New Carlisle Town Council

124 E. Michigan Street, New Carlisle, Indiana

General Meeting, April 24, 2012


President Colpitts called the meeting to order with Vice President Higgins, Council Member Gelow, Council Member Vojtko, Council Member Carter and Clerk-Treasurer Sue Moffitt present.  Also in attendance were Roger Nawrot, Chuck Leone, Pat Cummings, Jill Doll, Davey Doll, Carol Middlebrook, Bob Middlebrook, Josh Schweizer, Jack Mell, Mary Countryman,  Mike Shilts, Jamie Middlebrook, Jason Quirk, Ken Davis , Jeff Roseboom and Tim Kaminski.


The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.


A motion to accept the minutes of the April 10, 2012 General Meeting with the correction to page 2 was made by Council Member Gelow and seconded by Vice President Higgins.   

Council Member Carter asked to clarify his vote of nay regarding the Little League 5K Run approved at the last meeting.  He explained that his vote was the result of his concern for the use of the police budget for these types of fund raisers. 

Vice President Higgins also asked that it be noted that the concern she expressed at the last meeting was for the police overtime budget

The motion passed 4-0.  Council Member Vojtko abstained.

Public Comments


Employee Reports

Bob Middlebrook  

·         Would like to see changes made to the Intergovernmental Fire Agreement that would include fire chief to take an oath to be held to the same standards.

Bob would also like to see it become worthwhile for a member to give up enough of his personal life to take the position as Chief which takes approximately 20 hours of time per week.  He would like to see some form of compensation while maintaining it as a volunteer position.  He feels that the department would be agreeable to a two year term instead of the current one year term served by the chief.

President Colpitts would like to see the Chief have more than one year of service when elected by the democratic process of the fire department as well.  His experience has been that the Chief doesn’t really get an opportunity to do the things he wants to do because of the short amount of time and he would like to see more continuity with a term longer than one year.

Vice President Higgins would like to see additional compensation for the chief and a minimum 2 year term be looked into further.


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General Meeting – April 24, 2012


Council Member Vojtko added that additional paperwork and regulations over the last 20 years have added to the Chief’s responsibilities and asking them to give up twenty hours per week without some form of compensation doesn’t seem fair.  He feels that the term should be longer than 1 year and possibly 3-4 years.

Vice President Higgins asked if Bob Middlebrook has given any thought to what a compensation package could be.

Bob stated that $10 per hour would be $10,000 but even half of that would be a reasonable amount of money and offer some sort of incentive.

Vice President Higgins feels that we need to offer incentive to younger guys to get them to take training that would move them up to offices including Chief.

President Colpitts stated that in the past, when discussing fire territories, the members of the fire department did not want paid positions.

Bob stated that the public has no idea what the Chief position entails.  He has served as chief for 8 years and will not do so again, so this request is not self serving.

Fire Chief Josh Schweizer acknowledged that he has done all jobs prior to becoming Chief and found it to be quite the undertaking when he did.  He looks behind him at the up and coming guys and sees only one or two that may ever want to do the job of chief.

Following much discussion, President Colpitts asked that Bob and Josh Schweizer work with fire department liaison Carolyn Higgins to put together information and a recommendation for presentation at the June Intergovernmental meeting.  Vice President Higgins asked that Council Member Carter work with her on the committee and that Olive Township Trustee John Michalski be consulted as well.


·         The Council previously established a committee to look into a rental inspection program and Bob asked if they would revisit this again as no decisions were ever made.    

President Colpitts spoke with Council Member Carter about this today as it was on his platform.    He appointed Bob Middlebrook and Council Member Carter to the re-established committee.  He added that perhaps they might ask Mike Shilts to serve on the committee as well because he has expressed interest and could represent rental property owners.

Vice President Higgins stated that we need to be very careful with what we do on this committee.  She feels the issue is to determine when rental property is not maintained and kept up and does not agree with having people come into her rental property.  President Colpitts stated that we need to let the committee do their research and bring a recommendation to the Council.

Council Member Vojtko suggested that when doing the investigation maybe the committee could find out how many rental properties there are in town.



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General Meeting – April 24, 2012


Vice President Higgins asked Chuck Leone for guidance on this issue.  Chuck replied that there is a wide range of things a committee could do including survey surrounding cities and towns to see what they are doing and bring those findings to the Council.  He does feel that it needs to be a very deliberate process.  He also reminded the Council that because this is a formal committee established by the Council, meeting postings must meet the same requirements as any other meeting.

Council Member Gelow stated that if we do decide to regulate rental properties, the same requirements must be enforced on bank owned properties as well.

·         Vice President Higgins asked Bob Middlebrook for an update on the possibility of lead at 125 Zigler Street.

Bob reports that lead was found in the drip line on the front of the house but this is nothing uncommon.

Ken Davis

·         In regards to the emergency response plan, he is getting good ideas from other towns and hopes to have something on paper for the next meeting.

Chuck Leone

·         He has been working with Pat on CSI contract language.

Roger Nawrot

·         Anticipates 5-6 bidders on the sidewalk project.

Pat Cummings

·         Currently waiting on the gas company to finish for demolition of 125 Zigler Street.  Town  utilities have been disconnected

·         In reference to the contract with CSI he is presenting for approval, he has done due diligence by reviewing ten other contracts and feels the deal we are getting is very good.  He also spoke with Mishawaka, South Bend and La Porte regarding their wireless contracts and found that they are much different than cell phone and antennae attachments as there are many more rules and equipment in those instances.    Contract changes include realistic costs as well.

·         Has prepared a uniform allowance proposal for town and water treatment plant employees for Council review. 

Vice President Higgins stated that we also provide eye protection and safety boots yearly for these employees.  She asked Pat how he would track the $200 uniform allowance he proposes.

Pat stated that he would prepare a uniform allowance policy once he receives council approval that would include a yearly payment of $200 for each employee.



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General Meeting – April 24, 2012


President Colpitts stated that they would be given money once per year and can buy whatever they want but he feels that we would need to change the Town dress policy.

Vice President Higgins feels we should be saving the money by not using Aramark for uniform and mat service but feels a paper trail on the $200 should be required.   She feels employees should bring in receipts for purchased uniform items and then get reimbursement.

President Colpitts reports that Michelle Thompson brought mat service to his attention quite some time ago and Tim has expressed to him that the uniforms are not necessary for the employees at the water treatment plant.

Vice President Higgins would like employees to have what they need but also believes they must be held accountable.

Pat asks that the Council please give him any more comments regarding uniforms by next week.

President Colpitts asked that Pat prepare the necessary changes for the employee handbook / policy.

Old Business

·         CSI Contract

President Colpitts stated that the contract was before the Council at the prior meeting and there were reservations as to what we were getting with this contract but after further research Pat feels it is a good contract.

Chuck stated that he added new language to contract and feels Pat has done due diligence in researching it.

Vice President Higgins moved to accept the CSI contract as presented to the board.   Second by Council Member Vojtko, the motion passed unanimously.

Council Reports

Council Member Carter

·         There are 15 businesses that will take part in Taste of New Carlisle at the fire station on June 23rd. 

Council Member Carter moved to approve up to $700 for advertising costs of in the New Carlisle News, SB Tribune, La Porte Herald Argus and Harbor County News, to be paid from Council Promotional Fund.

Josh Schweizer informed the Council that due to a clerical oversight, the Firemen’s Ball has been moved to June 23rd. 

Council Member Carter stated that they will need to change the date but the problem is to get the ads in, he needs some kind of approval tonight so that there can be a proper announcement. 


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General Meeting – April 24, 2012


Vice President Higgins expressed concern about this and questions whether we are setting precedence as a Council.  She supports the project but has a problem giving $700 of taxpayer money for ads for it.

Council Member Vojtko voiced his agreement with Vice President Higgins and also asked whether this would be done in conjunction with Main Street/Discover New Carlisle.

President Colpitts explained that Main Street was set up as a steering committee to see if this is something we want to do.  The name has been changed to Discover New Carlisle but it is not 100 percent established yet.  Discover New Carlisle would like to hold a block party and may be interested in working with Council Member Carter on Taste of New Carlisle and would like to see him contact them.  He feels that this will be a promotional event, bringing people into Town who may stay and patronize other businesses.

Vice President Higgins moved to amend the motion to $500 for advertising of the Taste of New Carlisle Event and that they work in conjunction with the Main Street group.

Council Member Carter withdrew his motion.

Vice President Higgins moved to support the Taste of New Carlisle Event with a donation of no more than $500, with the understanding that the chairperson, will work with the Main Street group to advance this project.  Seconded by Council Member Vojtko the motion passed unanimously.

Vice President Higgins

·         Has heard many people with greatly increased property taxes this year and suggests that everyone look theirs over very thoroughly.  She can attest to the fact that these can be appealed although it may take two years at this point. 

Davey Doll stated that theirs increased 150% last year so he filed the necessary paperwork to appeal the reassessment.  This year he still had to pay taxes after winning his appeal but they will be adjusted next year.  The reassessment is done by a comparison of homes within a five mile radius and based on the same assessment of new subdivisions.

Vice President Higgins took pictures of surrounding houses, her house, etc. as part of her appeal.  She stressed that everyone who feels the reassessment should be changed must please take the time to file an appeal.

President Colpitts

·         Would like to schedule Council work session to discuss budgeting of special events, etc. 

The Council set Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 3 PM for a Budget Work Session.  Council Members should bring current budget copies for the session.

·        He has received some information from FEMA regarding the flood insurance program and evidently New Carlisle needs to opt into this program and follow the guidelines for our residents to be eligible for flood insurance.  He has asked Pat to look into this.

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General Meeting – April 24, 2012


·        Previously brought up a leadership class that he would like the town to put on for the supervisors.  He and Pat have taken this class, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and thought it very beneficial.   Costs would be $500 for up to 8 employees plus $20 per employee for the required book.  He would like this to be a mandatory class for supervisors including Ken Davis, Jeff Roseboom, Jason Quirk, Tim Kaminski and Augie Mauer. 

Council Member Vojtko is currently involved in something similar through his employer and feels it is a good idea as sometimes people get in a rut. 

Council Member Vojtko moved that we accept the John Maxwell Team’s leadership class,   21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, for our supervisory employees as a mandatory class with date to be determined.  Vice President Higgins seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Vice President Higgins stated that this is absolutely mandatory but employees must be given the class calendar so that they can plan around it.

·        Expressed his feeling that he needs to step down from the Main Street Committee and asked Council Member Carter to take his place as the Council representative.

Council Member Vojtko

·        Reports that Solid Waste District went into mediation regarding the contract and he is unsure of where this will go at this time.

·        Due to a clerical error, the NC Library, instead of having a .1 tax rate adopted a .001 tax rate and they are currently trying to remedy this although it has proven much more difficult than anticipated.  As it stands the budget is 1/100 of what it was one year ago.

Vice President Higgins expressed concern that the current tax bill shows 0 instead of $175 for the library portion that is usually on her bill.  Council Member Vojtko stated that the tax rate is set for the year and the current bill will not change but he is unsure of what will happen following the appeal by the Library Board.

Clerk-Treasurer Report

Sue reports that the Town has received its share of the undistributed funds from 2011 discovered by the State.  She distributed a memo detailing the amounts as well as the funds involved.




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General Meeting – April 24, 2012


Bills to be Paid

A motion to pay all bills as presented was made by Council Member Vojtko and seconded by Vice President Higgins.  The motion passed unanimously.


Upon a motion from Council Member Vojtko and second from Vice President Higgins the meeting was adjourned at 6:22.




Ronald Colpitts, Council President






Susan I. Moffitt, Clerk-Treasurer