The Milan Town Council met Monday, February 12, at the Milan Town Hall. Present were Paul Hildebrand, president; Dale "Hobie" Holbert, newly appointed clerk-treasurer; Matt Huffman and Bob Brannigan, council members; John Ingram, town manager; and Gary Skaggs, town marshal.
Town Attorney Larry Eaton was also in attendance.
The meeting opened with the pledge to the flag, followed by a moment of silence for Gladys Moody and Ingram's mother, who passed away recently. Moody actively served as clerk-treasurer for the town until her passing.
Holbert was sworn in by Judge James B. Morris on February 1 and took office that same day. His appointment came from Democratic Chair Cynthia Melton. Holbert, a 1983 graduate of Milan High School, is a Democrat and resides within the Milan town limits. He is a retired member of the Milan Volunteer Fire Department and currently sits on the board of Milan Rescue 30.
He is the sergeant in charge of the Ripley County Sheriff's Office Reserve Deputy Program and has served as a reserve deputy since February of 1998. He brings with him 30 years of work experience in sales, marketing, finance, insurance, banking and operations management.
The minutes from the January meeting were approved with no additions, corrections or deletions. Town claims were presented and paid with no questions.
First on the agenda was the town manager's report. John Ingram started out by thanking council members, as well as the police department, for their kindness during his mother's passing. He said it meant a lot to him to see them at the service.
Ingram reported a water leak at 224 Maple Street and a sewer line repair on Josephine. He said that he ordered 80 more tons of salt. The town currently has 30-35 tons of salt remaining. One of the dump trucks quit running while a town employee was using it to salt roads. It is currently in a shop in Batesville. It was discovered the high pressure fuel pump went out and the cost to repair will be a little over $2,000.00.
On the salt bin building, Ingram reported the sliding doors on it are getting in bad shape. He bought some lumber to make a new door frame. Ingram said he called Halcombs for an estimate on new metal for the doors and their cost is around $160.00 per door, adding the bin has four doors. Ingram stated that he isn't going to be able to do them all at once, but would like to get the metal while it's available so they have it when they get time to work on them. Hildebrand suggested contacting Tree City Metal and other metal suppliers to compare prices prior to purchasing.
Skaggs presented the town marshal's report. He reported the following: two theft reports, one report of criminal mischief, one domestic call, two traffic arrests, 21 traffic warnings, one traffic crash with property damage only, three VIN checks, 58 calls for service, nine assists to other agencies, four assists to fire and EMS, and 85 reserve officer hours donated.
Skaggs also presented a request from the board. On March 2, the American Canine Association is putting on a "winter sniff-off" being held in Little Nashville, IN and he would like to have Officer Terry Wilson and police dog, Kory attend and participate in the competition. The cost will be covered by money in the dog fund. Skaggs said that Wilson's shift would be covered by another officer during the competition.
Skaggs also said that the department has two 2005 Ford Explorers that have 100,000 miles on them and he would like to replace one of them. He presented bids from four different dealerships. The cheapest bid was from Batesville Chrysler for a 2013 Dodge Durango, with a trade-in, he is looking at $22,481.00. Skaggs said he is going to try to use most of the equipment in the Ford Explorer. He is looking at $2,000.00 to $2,500.00 to have everything taken out of the Explorer and put into the new vehicle. A motion was made to go with Batesville Chrysler for the new police vehicle. Motion carried, with Hildebrand abstaining.
Next on the agenda was the grant agreement receipt from the Town of Rising Sun. This is revenue sharing money from the boat. The amount received this month was $15,654.02. A motion to enter into the agreement with the Town of Rising Sun was unanimously approved. A similar agreement was also entered into with Ohio County.
In other new business, the Ripley County Area Planning Commission says that the town must adopt an ordinance concerning flood hazards within the Town of Milan, as well as adopt a resolution to participate in the National Flood Insurance program. A motion made by Hildebrand to ordain and adopt the resolution was met with unanimous approval. Ordinance number 13-0211-1 and resolution number 13-0211-R1 were assigned.
Conflict of interest forms were filed by Hildebrand and council member, Matt Huffman. Both were approved.
It was reported the building owned by Len Eckstein that was completely gutted by a fire recently has no insurance. Eckstein was advised by the state fire marshal to prepare for some lawsuits, because he had some campers and RVs stored in there that did not belong to him, according to Ingram.
Huffman said that he has the preliminaries on the computer hardware for the server, spare hard drive and flash drive with the license for the Microsoft software for the clerk-treasurer's office. Hildebrand questioned cost. Huffman said it really depends on what they get, adding that they could be looking at $25,000.00 to $30,000 for software, plus annual maintenance on top of that plus $6,000.00 more for hardware. If it comes in at $30,000.00, Huffman said it would probably be a $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 maintenance fee, which provides 24/7 support.
Part of the cost would be absorbed by grant money received from the City of Rising Sun in March. The software company they are looking at is Keystone; however, Holbert brought up the fact that Keystone technical support is not great. He said he spoke with the IT person at Columbus Utilities. Their town clerk uses Keystone and they are currently looking into several other places, based on the poor support they have received from Keystone.
It was decided to gather opinions from other towns on the support end of it. Holbert said that he would make more calls this week. His concern was mandatory software updates being received and downloaded from Keystone in a timely manner. Huffman said he would look into other options to compare costs, get some quotes together, etc. and discuss findings at the next meeting in March.
Being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Milan Town Council will be at 6 p.m., Monday, March 11, at the Milan Town Hall.