Town sets up new fund

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Less than one year after voting down the issue, the Cloverdale Town Council took an abrupt turn at its Tuesday meeting.

The council voted by a 5-0 vote to approve town ordinance 2006-4, establishing a Cumulative Capital Development Fund, pending approval of the Department of Local Government Finance.

According to the ordinance, the funds accumulated in the CCD fund would be used for several items, including the right to acquire land for future use of public ways or sidewalks, and for land with or without buildings for park or recreation purposes, in addition to construction of sanitary or storm sewers, or to purchase or lease motor vehicles for the use of the police or fire department including ambulances and firefighting vehicles.

The ordinance continued stating money from the fund could be used to retire in whole or in part general obligation bonds of the unit that were issued for the purpose of acquiring or constructing improvements or properties that would qualify for the use of the funds, and that money from the fund could be used to purchase, lease, upgrade, maintain or repair computer hardware, computer software, wiring and computer networks, communications access systems or to pay for services of a full-time or part-time computer maintenance employees, among other items.

According to the ordinance, an ad valorem property tax levy would be imposed and the revenues from the levy would be retained in the fund. The maximum rate of the levy, according to the ordinance, would not exceed 5 cents per $100.

An ad valorem tax is based on the assessed value of real estate or personal property, or essentially a property tax. It is also the major source of revenues for state and municipal governments.

Council member Glenn Vickroy made the motion to accept the ordinance with Vice President Dennis Padgett giving the second.

However, following the vote, council member John Davis asked why there was a change of heart regarding the establishment of the CCD fund, which was originally passed in July 1993.

"It's exactly the same as we tried to pass last year and you voted it down," Davis said. "I knew I was right all along."

"John, I think we can change our mind," Padgett said.

"You want to know why we changed our mind," Council President Don Sublett added. "I don't think I have to give you a reason why."

On July 31, 2005, the council voted down the measure in a special meeting. At that meeting, town clerk Patti Truax was asked what the fund was to be used for, saying it would be used for police vehicles.

Meanwhile, the board agreed to table the golf cart issue for at least one more month.

Padgett informed the board Tuesday he had recently visited Lebanon, which had established a town ordinance for citizens to use golf carts.

Padgett said Lebanon's ordinance called for those using golf carts on city roads to be registered drivers and that registration stickers had to be placed on the back of the carts. He said the Lebanon ordinance called for road and hour restrictions on the carts, however.

"It's really worked out pretty good," Padgett said of the Lebanon ordinance. "I'd like to have a vote on this."

However, Vickroy said that while he respected Padgett's view on the item, he wanted to table the issue pending a meeting with local law enforcement and town attorney Scott Hoff.

Council member Judy Whitaker gave the second for the motion, which received a unanimous vote.

One person in the audience, however, asked during the audience comment portion of the meeting what the council had against the use of golf carts.

Vickroy said he was not against the issue, he just wanted more time to look over the Lebanon ordinance since the board only received information on the ordinance Tuesday evening.

"The council is addressing this," Sublett added.

In other news, the board:

-- Approved transfer resolution 2006-3 for $4,186.50, transfer resolution 2006-4 for $1,069.76, and transfer resolution 2006-5 for $3,000.

-- Approved April 30 claims for $3,440.39, May 1 claims for $24,676.43, and May 9 claims for $75,539.69.

-- Heard an update from Strand associates on the U.S. 231/SR 42 project. The board learned that there were only three or four items left to be completed as well as a little clean up. In addition, the board unanimously approved to pay the third payment of $71,132.30 for the project.

-- Approved Utility Manager Mike Gray to get quotes for a new dump truck pending attorney approval.

-- Approved a motion for Gray to get quotes for street paving.

-- Approved a motion for Gray to fix the town durapatcher by a 5-0 vote.

-- Approved a motion for Gray to purchase padlocks with universal keys not to exceed $500.

-- Approved a motion for Gray and the Utility Department to begin surveying the sewer plant road. The board learned the road could be widened by 6-8 feet and the property owner in the area has agreed to sell.

-- Approved a motion for Gray to purchase a bush hog not to exceed $850.

-- Approved a motion for Truax and her assistant, Elaine Campbell, to attend a one-day clerk school session in Indianapolis by a 5-0 vote.

-- Heard a presentation from Indiana Testing, Inc. representative Mike Williams on possible drug and alcohol testing for all town employees.

Williams said on-site testing was possible, which could cut down on cost for the town. The board agreed to table the item until Hoff had time to look over the proposal.

-- Learned that the ethanol plant located near the town had changed its name to Indiana Corn Products. Representatives from the plant informed the board that they would be blasting limestone soon and construction of the plant was moving forward. They also told the board the plant should be up and running by the summer of 2007.

-- Unanimously approved Sublett and Vickroy to attend the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns meeting in Rockville on May 25.

The Cloverdale Town Council meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month at town hall. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., June 13.

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