Perry Township - Monroe County, IN
Perry Township Offices

Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: July 14, 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, Kevin Robling (Township Attorney), Lauren Slavin (Herald Times)


  1. Martha's House
  2. Line Item Transfers
  3. Shelter Staffing
  4. Set Date for Budget Meetings
  5. Kelly's Cemetery
  6. Other

Martha's House

Dan discusses Martha’s house updates and states that there has been a lot of meetings since the last Perry board meeting with Community Foundation, United Way, the County, the City, Bloomington Township, Perry Township, and other agencies. Dan states that it looks like it will go to Shalom Center. Perry Township will go until September 30th of this year with the money our board has already appropriated, and we will pay the Employment agency. On October 1st United Way has stepped forward with a designated fund to administer the money from the City, County, and Bloomington Township money in order to pay bills for Martha’s House. Jack asks how it was going with Express Employment and Dan states that it is working well.

Dan discusses Shalom Center and how they are interested in taking over Martha’s House. Dan stated that the plans are to keep it as is, which means completely sober. They also intend to develop it as a continuation of care; the shelter has to be sober because that is the commitment made to the neighborhood. Shalom Center is having a meeting this afternoon with their board to discuss if they want to take over the shelter. Shalom Center is a United Way agency. They are talking about giving us a two year commitment and giving us a proposal.

The County Council has advertised $17,000 to appropriate today at their meeting, and the City council is talking about $13,000 that they can access. They may be able to pick up another few thousand if commitments come in. Dan states that this will bring us to around $30,000 and we need around $40,000 to complete the three-month period of October, November, and December. Bloomington Township has $6,000 that they are talking about committing. This is the short-term plan to get them through the end of year and then Perry Township would step back in at the end of September and let United Way handle dispersing the grant money. Perry Township would still handle the little things like supplies and timecard checking. Dan feels like we are progressing. Jack asks about Wheeler Mission and if they were off the table, to which Dan states that we have not heard anything from them, and he has heard that they are interested in the other mission shelter in town.

Dan asks to discuss with the board, and get their input regarding, how Bedford County, Owen County, and Lawrence County used to give money to Shelter Inc. and Martha’s House so their people could stay in the shelter just like Monroe County does. Patrick Murray and Bob Miller has never heard of that and have no memory of that happening, but their procedures never changed in-house, and so Bedford and Spencer people are allowed up to 100 days in shelter. Other out of county residents only get 10. Dan wants to tell the employees the new intakes from Owen county and Lawrence county instead of 120 days to go to 10 days. Dan wants to use this as leverage and send the counties a letter stating that we are not going to house their people unless they help to fund the shelter. Susie asks about the County Council not giving money to Martha’s House. Dan states that the Commissioners gave money, around $20,000, in approximately 2006. Dan states that Darryl Neher and Susan Sandberg have taken the lead in pulling the agencies together to work on funding. The offer that they are working on, and what we know, is that it could cost about $130,000 to $160,000 a year to keep the shelter running. The building will still be Martha’s House, but the name of the shelter will change. Forrest has stated that he has people to come in with donations. Dan states that the building will still be called Martha’s House, but the entity name will be different.

Barb asks about the lien that was in the newspaper regarding Martha’s House and who that belongs to, as she is of the understanding that the lien belongs to the Martha’s House Corporation. Barb thinks that Patrick is working with the IRS to get the amounts reduced. Dan found out that his name is still listed as the responsible officer on the paperwork. Martha’s House Board never removed Dan from being the officer even though it is in Perry Township records that Dan and our board stepped down as well as who was appointed. Dan will be working on getting that taken care of. The information was being sent to their PO Box and we were not aware that they never updated the names.

The Board discusses Crawford House (we do not see people) and Rapid rehousing (less than 10 percent), which were the people that failed the program.

Kelly's Cemetery

Kelly’s Cemetery is moved from position #5 to #2 on the agenda. Dan discusses and gives a recap of the history. Perry Township agreed to take over the cemetery and Fence the property. We took over the maintenance of the property in the mid 2000’s when we found the cemetery. The owner is Greg Chitwood and they were platting the area out as a big subdivision at the time. We agreed to build a fence around the cemetery. The deed to transfer the property to Perry Township did not ever get made. The fence cost $1837.00, and we have been mowing since 2010. We have never heard anything from the developer, and we got a call in June that said someone built a wooden privacy fence around the cemetery and tore down part of the fence that we had built.

Dan spoke to the owner and the owner got angry with Dan and threatened to call the newspaper. Dan started looking at all the information we had on the cemetery, at which time he discovered that the deed was never transferred over to us. Dan asked Mr. Chitwood why he didn’t call us. Mr. Chitwood stated that he didn’t think that we cared since we weren’t taking care of the whole lot while Dan stated that he thought that we were. Dan states that we are obligated by law to take care of the cemetery. Dan doesn’t want the board fence, which doesn’t look nice, but also would come with maintenance cost.

Barb states that anyone can go inside and add graffiti, do drugs, etc. Dan would like to let them know that we are going to take care of the cemetery and what is left of our fence (the chain link fence), which is still inside of the board fence. We aren’t, however, going to take responsibility of the board fence or the lot because if we take care of the lot, we must also take care of the board fence. We do not need a deed to maintain the cemetery we only need to have access to the cemetery. Kevin Robling gives his recommendations and choices that Dan and the Board have. Kevin recommends that we revoke the resolution, which we can do by making another resolution, and file it at the courthouse with the recorder. If we do another resolution, it would mean that they would be responsible for the wood fence. Kevin will draft the resolution with the Board’s recommendations.

Barb makes the motion to pass the resolution that Kevin recommends and allow the President and the Trustee to sign. Susie seconds the motion; all are in favor and the motion passes.

Shelter Staffing

The shelter had 4 staff, including a case manager and 3 night managers. We are telling them to hire someone else so that they not only have an extra person for vacation or sick but also someone to fill in hours so that they are not doing any overtime. Shalom is already working on a living wage for the employees. Martha’s house has a past employee that they are going to hire.

Set Date for Budget Meetings

Sharon is looking at Thursday, September 10 at 4:15 pm which would be the public hearing. The second meeting would be October 8th at 3:15 pm which is a Thursday. The budget meetings must be 2 meetings: a public hearing and an adoption meeting. Sharon will send a confirmation email to everyone. Dan and the Board discusses the group criteria for the grants and what our guidelines should be for approving them. Barb asks that the letter that goes out to the groups should say:

  1. Don’t increase your ask from last year because we are running short of money
  2. This may be the last year that we can expand our grant giving beyond sheltering and food, or that our priorities are to groups asking for food and sheltering.

Line Item Transfer

Dan explains we are moving the money for Martha’s House. Barb moves that the board approves the line item transfer so that we can pay the bills and Jack seconds. All are in favor and the transfer passes.


The Township Convention is September 20 through 23 for the Indiana Township Association in Indianapolis. Dan wants to close the office for a day so that the staff can go for a development day.

Barb adjourned the meeting at 4:10pm.