Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: March 28, 2019
The meeting is called to order at 4:15 pm
Members Present: Barbara Sturbaum, Dan Combs, Jack Davis, Susie Hamilton
Non-Members Present: Pat Combs, Sharon Yoder, Courtney Blazo, Paul Swain
- Judge's Eviction Work Group Proposal
- Concrete Quotes for Bus Shelter
- Estimates for Cemetery Fencing & Tree Remove
- New Leaf New Life Request
Judge's Eviction Work Group Proposal
Forest and Dan Combs have been meeting with Judge Stafford of the small claims court division and several other legal agencies regarding the placement of outreach services in the courtroom regarding evictions. The Proposal that was drafted and delivered to Dan was a proposal to exclusively offer lawyers. Dan states that this is not what the board and himself had in mind. The draft created presumes that eviction is a legal problem and a social problem that demands the legal process while Dan and Forest believe the problem is a lack of social services.
As a result, there is no proposal prepared for the board this evening as one has not met the terms requested. The next proposal will include recommendations from social services regarding the obtainment of legal funds so that the tenant can hire legal counsel from non-profit legal organizations. The problem with the previous proposal was that it did not include any content regarding social services, which is considered a major component of the process moving forward. Their suggestion was to incorporate an addendum, which was never the initial intention. The constraint at this time is that when a tenant faces eviction, the law states that the landlord has the right to hold their property, which lead to discussion over definitions. The group that created the proposal were lawyers, so the language was written to spend money on legal counsel. Additionally, the pro-bono program currently in place is at risk of ending, which places more importance on a proposal being drafted correctly.
Jack inquired how long this proposal might take, to which Dan replied it should take some time and that no exact date could be said at this time, but that the group will be working on the Jack Hopkins grant. Susie inquires whether or not this initiative will just help Perry township residents. Dan states that the initiative will not be exclusive to Perry residents. Further, Dan attributes the fact that Perry is amongst the lowest in national and state averages for eviction because of all of the various organizations that have helped to alleviate the risk of homelessness. Jack inquires whether or not other townships are helping in this feat. Dan states that Perry is spearheading the initiative.
Concrete Quotes for Bus Shelter
Pat begins by stating that she contacted at least eight different concrete agencies and the only two willing to draft a quote for the creation of slabs were Pro-Finish Concrete of Bloomington and Gardner Concrete Service of Ellettsville. The estimate is only for the concrete slabs as the city of Bloomington will create and pay for the shelter. The current bus stop is in front of the All Options office and will be moved to the center of the campus of Perry Township off the sidewalk. There will no longer be any kind of seating in the shelter due to vandalism. There also will not likely have trash cans.
Jack inquired whether or not the contractors were insured. Dan states that they must show proof of insurance and that yes, they do have to have insurance if they are working on the project. The bus stop would be 4 posts and a roof in the dimensions of 12x4 feet. The board was in agreement that a long and skinny shelter will accommodate a large quantity of people and that the slab will be a cost-effective measure for the project. After brief discussion, Pro-Finish is unanimously decided to be the boards favored contractor in creating the concrete slab.
Estimates for Cemetery Fencing & Tree Removal
At the previous meeting the board had discussed and decided that the township would purchase the galvanized fencing. Dan states that there are listed prices per foot for the black plastic-coated fences which range between $12-$14 at the value cost and the affordable ranges from $16-$18. The distinguished difference between the residential and the commercial grade is that commercial is 5 foot and residential is 4 foot in height. Dan states that the plastic coated is generally about 25% more expensive and the Iron is far more expensive.
The board reviews and discusses pictures provided by Dan in regards to the conditions of the cemetery. In many cases, headstones are tipped over, broken, or hard to reach due to brush that needs to be cleared. Dan states that in the tree removal, the estimate incorporates the removal of 14 trees total. Many of the ash trees that need removed are in poor condition. Dan states that whoever does do the contracting for removing the trees will have to put down plywood in order to avoid tearing up the ground any more than it already is. Jack acknowledges that according to the estimates provided that the total costs will be $13,000.00 plus $12,000.00 from cutting down, grinding up and cleaning the trees. Dan states that these are not formal quotes, so these estimates are not legally binding, but that he estimates the entire project will cost close to $25,000.00.
Dan states that he wants the board to consider that there will be a separate time to discuss final quotes once they are provided. Once the trees are removed, the board will discuss their final decisions regarding fencing. At this time, estimates are still being solicited. Dan states that he would also like to remind the board that the township cannot effectively move forward with tree removal and fencing until the cemetery is in the townships name. He states that Paul is currently working on this through eminent domain. Dan states that he and Paul are currently researching whether or not there are any survivors of the land the cemetery is on so that when the township goes before the court, they will be able to inform the court that the township has done everything to contact anyone connected to it. Paul explains that the township has already met many of the requirement necessary to complete the filing. Paul states that the case law that lays the groundwork for the township establishing authority in the court over the cemetery is scarce as there aren’t many looking to contest the land ownership. The primary focus is that getting the cemetery in the townships name will protect it from any financial hardship should anyone decide to treat the land in a way that it is not intended or if any damage is done to the fencing and the grounds.
Dan inquires whether or not a formal resolution by the board is enough for the executive to file proceedings. Paul states that a verbal resolution should be sufficient. Barb makes the motion that Paul proceed with legal action in whatever form necessary in order for the township to retain legal authority over the cemetery. The board unanimously decides in favor of this motion. The verbal resolution passes. Paul states that he wants the board to also know that there is a portion of this same statute that states that in the cost of the assessment, any cemetery land that is less than an acre shall be assessed in the amount of $1.00. Paul states that he will find whether one or the other shall take precedence.
New Leaf New Life Request
New leaf New Life has recently requested to have a shed behind their building to house items for people who are incarcerated. Dan states that the prospect of allowing a shed makes him feel uncomfortable. Dan states that placing the sheds behind the building is giving individuals an opportunity to break in behind the building. Dan states that while he could make an executive decision to reject the prospect, he wants to bring the issue to the board’s attention. The board comments that they are in support of rejecting New Leaf New Life’s request and suggest that they ask Storage Express or a third party to donate a shed for the same purpose so it would be more secure.