The Brookville Town Council met March 2nd to discuss and review all current projects, pending inquiries, and updates on various new items around Franklin County. Attending were Bridget Hayes, Earl Moore, Chuck Campbell, Curtis Ward, and John Estridge (in replacement of Brooke Leffingwell). 

Starting off were the approval of the regular meeting minutes. All approved and the motion passed while Estridge abstained. Following was the approval of claims and payroll. Claims sit at $207,841 and payroll sits at $40, 102.51. Estridge made the motion to approve and was seconded by Campbell. The motion passed while Ward abstained.

Roles and Responsibilities were tabled for next month. 

Hayes gave an update on the Police/Town Hall construction. The permit has not been submitted yet but when it is, the approval takes up to 30 days. The board agreed to the progress.

Regarding the Community Crossings Matching Grant Bid for paving, the paperwork was ordered, and the bid approved belonged to Rohe for $225,597. Ward made the motion to approve, seconded by Estridge, and the motion passed.

The board next discussed the SEI READI project for $4.5 million towards the sewer lines up on Reservoir Road. Initially, this discussion had previously been tabled. Marty Hacker, a county resident, took the stand to lambaste the board for their lack of consideration to the current residents of Reservoir Road. 

He stated that " Nobody took the time to really sit down and discuss this project with those residents. There is no solid feedback. I think that Campbell and Ward should abstain from a vote as this project is a financial gain for them." 

Ward was quick to respond, stating "Despite any hold I may have in one of the three areas listed, even if I were to make money, basing a board vote solely on any financial gain would be a disservice to the community. This project is an opportunity for everyone, not just for certain people."

Bill Schirmer took the stand to clarify several points of this project, including a timeframe and deadline they have for this vote, the overall view of this project and what it instills, and how the vote at this time helps create additional openings for beneficial project additions. Campbell went on to add that the board isn't considering financial gain on anyone's end a factor. This current project has been in the works for quite some time and multiple discussions have shown positive results in the sewer lines and the building of houses. There is a concern that building 100 houses in five years may not be plausible, but the consensus lies in the project first moving forward.

Hacker continued to back up his claims and state that current residents deserve to give their own feedback over this change. Estridge offered a compromise to Schirmer and the board that this discussion be tabled until the next meeting to gain some proper feedback and still allow Schirmer to meet his deadline. Schirmer  agreed that this would be all right and Moore seconds Estridge's motion.

However, it failed, and Campbell counter-proposed that the grant is supported with the public understanding that matching funds is not a requirement. The motion was seconded by Hayes and passed to a round of applause.

Next on the agenda was the Golf Course survey approval. There is a contract with Rob Seig over fixing the culvert and drainage issues on the golf course. Seig is settled for $173/hour. Estridge made a motion to approve, and Hayes seconds, passing the motion once clarifications were discussed.
Moore was nominated by fellow board members to sit on the board for the Municipal Facilities Board Corporation. Campbell made the nomination and Ward supported; therefore, the motion was passed.

Visiting a previous discussion over re-districting ordinances, Hayes would like to rescind the decision to re-district rather than re-certify, allowing attorney Lynn Fledderman to create an ordinance for the 2012 election ward ordinance. A vote was placed, and the motion passed. Hayes also dropped the idea of potentially updating town ordinances for discussion. The board agreed and the motion passed.

Per the Shilling Center operations, the fire department had taken over operations at the end of last year. The board would like to have an agreement in writing stating all rates, their approval of the rates used, and the functionality. Hayes also states that she would like the board to retain authority over setting rates; however, she is willing to discuss and negotiate to keep neutral terms.

Two ordinances were amended for the Franklin County Zoning code. 2023-2 code for farm exemption gave a brief overview of what this code entails. A motion was made to approve and passed. 2023-3 code covered block consolidation. After another refresher over the details, a motion was made and passed, approving the amendments.

Hayes gave a short update on building permit #980 for the Franklin County Government Center to add a ramp, retaining wall, and lighting. A motion was made and passed.

Next up, Moore announces the numerous time he has been approached about the community's desire to have a dog park in town. A few locations were discussed that would be ideal for pet owners, and what would need to be added in. This is narrowed down to fencing and a gate at most. The board saw no issue with the possibility of a dog park and agreed to further investigate and discuss the idea. 

Per several prior meetings, Hayes states the posting of the quarterly reports of the golf course financial records on the town's website for the public. She will also read these reports aloud at meetings; however, requests for additional reports can be made.

Alongside the financial records, Hayes discussed the quote given for a new skid loader. The total cost is $60,352 and it will be split between all four departments. Hayes also clarifies that the actual quote had been $66,852, but there has been a $6,500 rebate. When asked about the funds for this purchase being available, clerk-treasurer Gina Gillman states that additional appropriations may be necessary, but this will not be investigated until the end of the year should there be enough overall. A motion was made to approve the purchase and passed.

Lastly, Ron Brune took the podium to speak about the renting of the golf course clubhouse for special events. He has provided several rules for the board in regard to the renting. First up, there will be a mandatory deposit made. The renter is responsible for all set-up and clean-up. Another deposit of $100 will also be made, but is refundable pending there is no damage to the clubhouse. Rates vary by timeframe and guest count. $150/3 hours (50 guests), $250 for 75 guests, and $400/4hours (100 guests). Renters are to supply everything needed for event, are responsible for providing rental insurance, the $100 damage deposit, and must follow guidelines for decoration. This clarifies that no wall decorations are allowed. All decorations must be on the tables or chairs only. 

Brune also states that no outside beverages are allowed on the premises.

They may request a bartender, but may not bring their own, for the golf course to ensure no damage or issues occur. Those indulging must be 21 or older and ID checks will be present. The golf course isn't responsible for those coming or going, so renters are to be diligent over all guests during events and cannot hold the golf course liable. Estridge made a motion to pass these rules and requirements for the rental and was seconded by Moore. The motion was passed after no more discussions. For questions or details on the rentals, please contact Brune.

Smaller points discussed include:
· The GM Development invoice originally submitted was for $55K from Zach Ward and needs approval from the board. The new total is $58,600 and was approved by the board; Ward abstained, after clarifications of the previous work being approved by the former developer. A motion was made a second time and passed. Ward abstained again.

· Lifeguard Training Reimbursement: The council made a motion to approve the reimbursement of lifeguard training from 2022. The total is $230, and the certificates are valid for two years.

· Nancy Main: Congratulations are for Nancy Main and Main Street Brookville, which is now nationally accredited. There are 121 organizations in Indiana and 17 are nationally accredited. Brookville is the smallest and therefore Nancy thanks the board for their unwavering support.

· Tom Cooney: Tom spoke up about a designated spot (9th & Mill streets) for pickleball that originally had been discussed, and now states that the community can receive so much more in the long run with the chosen location. He was asked to meet the board and John Palmer to have this added to the H.E.L.P. project.

· Lastly, Don Vonder Meulen and Mick Wilz took the podium to highlight areas for the Whitewater Canal Trail and the parking spaces owned. Both are asking for approval of working with the lots owned to put up a community kiosk center for tourists that encompasses the assets and perks of Franklin County (lake, restaurants, parks, etc). A motion was made and passed. Further information is yet to come.

Mark Shires, chief of the fire department, made a request to the board to increase the running rate from $5 to $10. As of last year, the department did 233 runs and pulled over 1100 man hours. The department consists of 20 participants and Shires would like to reach 30; however, there is not much incentive for these volunteers. Instead of depositing the funds into the trucks, he asks the board to consider having that money distributed to his department for the runs they're doing. A motion was made to approve this increase and was passed.

Terry Mitchum, chief of police, spoke up to make a request to the board as well. He states he has been in contact with Jeffery "Bo" Staat, who would like to be hired back on. Staat previously worked for the BPD for six years before resigning seven months ago. His resignation was not discussed, though Mitchum states Staat stepped down as sergeant due to time constraints and felt he wasn't a good fit at the time. Staat asks to be re-hired with his full benefits and Mitchum backs up this request with the experience Staat already has, his disposition towards helping the people of Franklin County, and how due to such a short staff, having someone who is already trained and ready will benefit the county.

Hayes suggested the board hold an executive meeting to interview Staat as he has been absent for longer than six months; however, ultimately the board made a motion to pass the request at a vote of 4-1.

Mitchum also quickly clarified that the body cams will be up and running soon once a new invoice has been submitted that includes a trainer to come down and teach the use of the body cams.

No other items were on the agenda.

A brief discussion over a tornado siren was brought up. There are digital alerts already in use; however, the use of an actual siren will need further discussion later.

There were not other discussions. The meeting was adjourned.