Town Council looks at lawsuits

Friday, October 13, 2006

Prior to Tuesday's regular meeting, the Cloverdale Town Council met in special session to discuss the selection of a board member for settlement authorization on two lawsuits the town is facing.

Town Attorney Scott Hoff told the board members Tuesday that a meeting with representatives regarding two fire lawsuits the town is facing had been set for 10 a.m., Oct. 24.

Both lawsuits deal with Iowa-based Simon Fire Equipment and Repair regarding the possible purchase of a 2001 demo fire truck estimated at $229,990.

On Tuesday, Hoff said he needed at least one board member at the meeting with full settlement authority.

Council Vice President Dennis Padgett immediately motioned that board member Glenn Vickroy be appointed to attend the meeting with Hoff, with Council President Don Sublett making the second.

However, council members John Davis and Judy Whitaker both had concerns regarding the motion.

"What does he know about the lawsuit," Davis asked.

Whitaker then turned to Vickroy and asked the same question.

"Not much," Vickroy responded.

Whitaker then asked Davis if he was knowledgeable of the lawsuit.

"Yes, I am," Davis said.

Hoff then said he had already scheduled a meeting with Davis to prepare a mediation statement.

But Padgett said he believed Vickroy was better suited to attend the meeting with Hoff.

"I made my choice," Padgett said. "That's my decision."

Whitaker then suggested Hoff take both Davis and Vickroy, and Hoff said that was not a problem as long as one of the board members took the lead in negotiations.

Sublett then asked Padgett is he would amend his motion, but Padgett stood firm.

"I made the motion for Glenn," Padgett said.

The board voted 3-2 in favor of sending Vickroy with Hoff to the Oct. 24 settlement meeting, with Whitaker and Davis both voting no.

Whitaker, however, then motioned to add Davis to the meeting because of his knowledge of the lawsuits, with Davis making the second.

The board voted 3-2 in favor of sending Davis as well, with Padgett and Vickroy both voting no.

Meanwhile, the board learned from Main Street President Kay Gedert that the organization had recently received a letter from CSX Real Property in regard to a purchase-sale agreement dated July 20, 2005.

The letter said the agreement was accepted on July 28, 2005, between the town and CSX Transportation for the purchase of 1.266 acres of land in the town.

According to the letter and Gedert, the land purchase was to be transferred by the town to Main Street.

The letter stated the purchase agreement had to be agreed upon by the town and Main Street by Thursday or the purchase-sale agreement would be terminated.

On Wednesday, Cloverdale Town Clerk/Treasurer Patti Truax told the BannerGraphic there were two parcels of land involved in the agreement. The first was east of Main Street at the southwest corner of Lafayette and Logan streets.

The second, Truax said, was west of Main Street bounded by an access of Market Street.

Gedert then asked the council for approval of the acquisition, and the board voted 3-2 in favor of the purchase, with Padgett and Vickroy voting no.

In other business, the board:

-- Approved claims of Sept. 25 of $14,643.51, Sept. 30 of $325, and Oct. 10 of $52,449.59 by unanimous vote.

-- Learned from Town Utility Manager Mike Gray that the dump truck the town recently purchased has been delayed.

Gray told the council the truck could be in town by the end of this week of early next week.

-- Learned a pre-bid meeting for the town's wastewater project had been scheduled for 10 a.m., Oct. 24, and the bids would open at 7 p.m., Oct. 30.

-- Unanimously approved town Halloween hours for 5:30-8:30 p.m., Oct. 31.

-- Learned that the town police department had received all of its donated weapons from the Putnam County Sheriff's Dept. and Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter.

-- Unanimously approved Salary Ordinance 2006-9.

-- Learned that the ethanol plant is progressing.

-- Agreed to table a vote on the town's rules and procedure manual by a 5-0 vote.

-- Agreed to conduct a special meeting to discuss the town's revised drug policy and to discuss a possible resolution for unusually large residential utility bills for 6:30 p.m., Oct. 17.

-- Unanimously approved a measure for a tax abatement for Putnam Plastics.

The town meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month at Town Hall.

Its next regularly scheduled meeting is for 7 p.m., Nov. 14.

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