Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: September 10, 2015

The meeting is called to order at 3:15 pm

Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis, Dan Combs

Non-Members Present: Pat Combs, Sharon Yoder, Novella Shuck

Agency Representatives Present

  • Vicki Pierce, executive director, Community Kitchen
  • Julio Alonso, executive director, Hoosier Hills Food Bank
  • Sarah Cahillane, director of development, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
  • Daniel Watts, Interfaith Winter Shelter
  • John VanderZee, New Hope
  • Alysia Fornal, executive director, Stepping Stones, Inc
  • Sarah Owens, outpatient counselor, Amethyst House
  • Doug Wilson, director of communications, SCCAP- Gorwing Opportunities
  • David Vanderstel, executive director, Monroe County History Center
  • Bethany Terry, VITAL Coordinator, VITAL
  • Erin Predmore, executive director, Monroe County United Ministries
  • Colleen Menczer, Cutters Soccer Team
  • Kristi McCann, Girls, Inc
  • Perry Township Food Pantry
  • Emergency Shelter Fund
  • Janice Lilly, director, Heatlh Food for All Fund (HFAF)
  • Barb Stork, Levi Combs, and Josh Johnson, Mt. Salem Cemetery Preservation Society

Agency Representatives Not Present

  • Community Shelter
  • Middle Way House (Request for funds not received)
  • New Leaf New Life (Request letter received, but no representative present)
  • Bloomington Area Birth Services (Out of business)
  • My Sister's Closet (Request for funds not recieved)
  • Boys and Girls Club(Request letter received, but no representative present)
  • Monroe County Youth Football (Request for funds not received)
  • Smithville Youth Baseball (Request for funds not received)

Agenda

  1. Funding Requests from Community Groups in Bloomington
  2. Budget Review
  3. Other
    1. Weed Form
    2. Guidelines: Reciprocal Agreement with Bloomington Township Regarding Relatives
    3. Shelter Update
    4. Convention/Seminars

Funding Requests from Community Groups in Bloomington

Healthful Food for All (HFAF)

This is relatively new organization founded two years ago. Their aim is to make food more available to low-income households. They raise money to buy food from farmers that they are unable to sell at the Farmers Market at half price after the market ends. They were originally only donating this food to The Rise because they were working with such small amounts, but they received a large amount of squash and gave that to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Their first year they donated $5,200-worth of food and last year donated $17,500 worth of food. They have expanded their funding support and multiple organizations now donate to them.

This year, they have a $10,000 matching grant if they can raise an additional $5,000 on their own. Last year they did start running out of funds at the end of the year and had to turn down a potential chicken purchase. Their organization uses 5% of their budget for their operating cost and the rest goes to purchases. They do not donate directly to Hoosier Hills Food Bank because Janice states they do not operate at high enough volumes of food. In the summer, farmers sell their unsold goods to Hoosier Hills Food Bank at cost. The board asks Janice why the farmers don’t just do the same thing in the winter, so that the farmers could write off the entire cost. Janice states that in the winter, most active farmers are smaller farms who aren’t making enough income in the summer alone to sustain themselves, so it provides a service to the farmers as well.

Mt. Salem Cemetery Preservation Society

Because funding for cemetery work comes out of the cemetery maintenance fund and not the community funding, the board does not need to balance this request against any others. Barb Stork states that they are overseeing 5 cemeteries, but their current focus is on Mt. Salem. They plan to take over all upkeep of the cemetery, and at one point want to clear out the lower area and restore headstones. This year, they plan to repair or replace the front gate at the cemetery, and earlier this year had a problematic tree taken down. Their request is for a $2,500 contract to take care of similar maintenance issues.

Missing Representatives

Sharon stated she would contact New Leaf New Life and Boys and Girls Club to see why they failed to attend the required board meeting, even though they submitted request letters.

Budget Review

For the Township employees, the proposed budget accounts for a 1% cost of living raise and up to 1.6% merit raise in salaries based on the annual review. This is not based on longevity. Employee insurance is covered in both the Township general and Township assistance funds because if the insurance was all taken out of the assistance fund, it would cut into the funds we have available to assist clients. Conversation was held about optimal health insurance plans for the Township. The Township general fund has a budgeted clerical position (in case of extended family leave). It was not in the budget last year but they are placing it back in this year. They would not hire another employee without the board’s permission, though. The building capital fund increased because we have needed to hire a supplemental handyman for some jobs, as our regular handyman is 84 years old. The Emergency Assistance fund also increased $10,000 for burials because the Township has seen a lot of those this year thus far. Additionally, Sharon paid off the last bond on the apartments from 2007 so the Township is officially debt free. Last year the Township levied a $0.005 tax and this year it is requesting a $0.006 tax. There is an increase in the actual budget of 2.6%, which is what Department of Local Government Finance will allow us to increase to.

Sharon handed out Township Form 17 regarding salaries to the board members.

Other

Weed Form

The Trustee’s office is responsible for cutting detrimental plants found on any properties and for cutting rank/obnoxious vegetation in residential areas. Our office requires weed complaints in writing before taking action, but does not have any guidelines regarding who is allowed to make these weed complaints. We have borrowed a form from Richland Township to adapt for our purposes so that we are not just randomly enforcing the law. One amendment to the form Dan would like to make is a section to state how far the complainant lives from the property in question.

Guidelines: Reciprocal Agreement with Bloomington Township Regarding Relatives

Lillian Heneger, Bloomington Township Trustee, wanted to make an inter-local agreement with our office, to avoid conflicts of interest in running the Emergency Assistance Program. They have a lot more employees than us because they also have a fire department. If the Board approves this, and a conflict of interest arose (say, a relative of a Bloomington Township employee applying for emergency assistance) our office would perform the case investigation, Dan would make the decision, and Bloomington Township would pay for the assistance, and vice versa. Barb moves to adopt this reciprocal agreement. Jack seconds it, and all approve.

Shelter Updates

The Community Shelter had a bed bug outbreak recently but fortunately Pat caught it early and it has been dealt with. The shelter needs a room to “bake” clients’ clothes when they arrive, though, if we wish to prevent future outbreaks. Most shelters and other similar organizations have a bed bug room that is used to heat clothes and belongings up to a point that will kill any bed bugs. Sherman Bynum is working on drawing up a plan to convert some closet/pantry space in the Community Shelter into a bug room now. It is a simple plan that will just involve meeting the fire code by installing sheetrock or drywall in the space we wish to work with.

The fire alarm system is not working properly at the shelter. B Tech came over yesterday to reset it. It was installed in 2012. Koorsen had been maintaining it. There is a technical issue where the sprinkler setting keeps turning off, and this should be replaced immediately. The fire department is also not being alerted by the system if the sprinklers did go off. The system also needs a new panel that will cost $2,000, but until that is installed, regular upkeep will keep the system operable for now. Because this is a capital expense, it is Perry Township’s financial responsibility. The board advises that the Township go ahead and purchase the necessary panel.

The shelter has also been operating well below the budgeted money that Perry Township had allocated to run the shelter through 9/30/15. Because of this, we can finance the bug room and the sprinkler system update through that fund. The City-allocated funding begins 10/1/15, and there may be a brief Township board meeting before then to authorize using United Way to pay Express Employment for the shelter employees’ wages.

Convention/Seminars

The Indiana Township Association Convention is from 9/21 to 9/23. Rooms have been reserved for the nights of the 21st and 22nd for the Township employees attending. Sharon will be answering phones at the office on Monday and Tuesday but the office will be closed to walk-ins those days. Barb and Jack indicate that they are unable to attend the conference themselves but Susie may still attend. Dan states that there are 1,005 townships in Indiana but only 50-60 of those are urban ones like Perry Township.

Barb adjourned the meeting at 6:11pm.