At its Tuesday, Feb. 9 meeting, Brookville Town Council formed a committee consisting of Curtis Ward and Chuck Campbell to study the development of a proposed new town hall project, as well as advertise for Requests for Proposal Qualifications.

The project introduction states, “The purpose and intent of the project is to improve operational efficiencies of the city's assets, and to meet the city's obligation to provide safe and clean municipalities in a post-pandemic culture.”

Ward said the financing of the project would be very much like how the funds were raised for the town aquatic center-functioning like a public-private partnership, with the full financial impact being determined in the scoping period.

However, it took a few years for the funds to be raised for the aquatic center and the project schedule is aggressive with an apparent goal of achieving a guaranteed price and schematic by spring of 2021 and construction by this summer.

That being said, the price of the project has not yet been determined. The project scope says the town will likely seek to renovate and redevelop an existing building within the town.

The committee consisting of Ward and Campbell will review the proposals received. The criteria used in evaluating the proposals will be the experience developing similar projects, demonstrated capacity and ability to perform the work, ability to finance the project, reputation as indicated by reference for performing that type of work, overall approach to develop the project and scoping process fees.

Proposals must be received by March 3 by 2 p.m.

There was no further discussion on the project and the board unanimously voted to approve the RFPQ process.

The bids for Community Crossing Matching Grant and Non-Community Crossing Matching Grant bids for paving were announced. The town received four submittals from Robertson Paving Inc., $165,046; Paul H. Rohe, $174,436; Crim and Sons Paving, $196, 424 and Dave O'Mara, $177,982. The bids will be taken under advisement by town attorney Tammy Davis.

The board approved a contract with Great Plains Communications for general internet service for the pool building. It was decided they would approve a 60-month contract for $71.

Brookville Police Chief Terry Mitchum reached out to the board a few weeks ago about a proposed new ordinance. After looking into what surrounding counties charge, these were his suggestions: proposed fee for accident reports, $10; VIN check, $5; after two false alarms, $25 per false alarms and lockouts $25 for resident, $40 for non-resident.

After some discussion, Davis thought the accident fee was a bit excessive and there seemed to be some confusion as to how accident reports were supposed to be collected. An online service the town offers to acquire an accident report already charges $15. The proposal was tabled until some clarifications could be made.

Later in the meeting, the board opened its public hearing for an increase in sewer and water rates. At the Jan. 12 meeting, council members landed on a 20 percent sewer increase for 2021, and a three percent increase in 2022 and 2023. The committee suggested a water rate increase at five percent for 2021 and a three percent increase for 2022 and 2023.

Before the second reading of each, an amendment was made to the surcharge for out-of-town residents. Originally, the suggested surcharge was 50 percent due to the out-of-town customers not being taxed.

However, the school corporation would have also received that extra surcharge. When Davis looked into whether or not the town could make an exception, she found it would be discriminatory to excuse the school and not the other 25 out-of-town residents as well.

Ward proceeded with the second reading of each ordinance, and there was little public discussion before the vote except from The Franklin County Observer reporter, Bridget Hayes.

Hayes inquired about how much money the town would make from the increases, how the excess money could be used and how much the town had spent on the wastewater system improvements in the past.

Campbell explained that the town is doing this to try to break even, but later said he misspoke and that the town is not in a deficit. Campbell, town administer Tim Ripperger and town clerk/treasurer Gina Gillman explained some of the improvements made in the past four years.

This included a new screen which must be inspected every year, a razz pump and grinder pump among others. Campbell said these increases help the town keep up with the rising costs. Gillman added now that the plant is aging, in the past four years there have been substantial replacement costs.
As far as rate increases in the future, an as need basis was discussed so rate increases would not be so drastic. These increases were approved.
Other items on the agenda included:

Approving a building permit for Sacksteder Properties RBWB, LLC for interior remodel, HVAC and plumbing.

The town was contacted by Whitewater Publications to see if the town would be interested in placing an in-memoriam ad for $50 and this was approved.

Part of the budget for the police department was the purchase of tasers. Mitchum was able to secure a discounted priced of $32,775 at $6,555 payments per year and this was approved by the board.

The street department experienced a mechanical failure on a salt spreader and they requested a new one which was approved for $676.

The next BTC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.