Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: September 8, 2016
The meeting is called to order at 4:15 pm
Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis, Dan Combs
Non-Members Present: Pat Combs, Sharon Yoder, Novella Shuck
Agency Representatives Present
- Amy Stark, Girls, Inc.
- Bethany Tery, VITAL
- Waine Martin, New Leaf New Life
- Mark Knowles, First Christian Church for Interfaith Winter Shelter
- Levi Combs, Mt. Salem Cemetery
- John Vanderzoe, New Hope Family Shelter
- Julio Alonso, Hoosier Hills
- Vicki Pierce, Community Kitchen
- Amanda Nidley, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
- Forrest Gilmore, Shalom/Friend's Place
- Alysia Fornal, Stepping Stones
- Sarah Owen, Amethyst
- Jeff Baldwin, Boys & Girls Club
- Funding Requests from Community Groups in Bloomington
- Budget Review
Funding Requests from Community Groups in Bloomington
Most grant requests are continuing requests from previous years, and for these we do not require the organizations to make new presentations. Friend’s Place and Boys & Girls Club are the only two new proposals. At the next meeting on October 13th at 4:15 the board will make their final decisions on the grant requests. All those who did not have new proposals signed in, were read into the record, and were then invited to leave if they wanted. The following agencies were present:
- Amethyst House
- Boys & Girls Club
- Community Kitchen
- Friend's Place
- Girls Inc. (They also introduced their new directory, Amy Stark, who started 7/20/2016)
- Hoosier Hills Food Bank
- Interfaith Winter Shelter
- Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
- Mt. Salem Cemetery Society
- New Hope
- New Leaf New Life
- SCCAP - Growing Opportunities
- Stepping Stones, Inc.
- Food Pantry Perry Township
Their request is for the standard Martha’s House request of years past, but Forrest is making this presentation since the shelter, now called Friend’s Place, is run through Shalom Community Center now. Before 1/1/17, any funds they receive they get matching funds for through Urban Enterprise, and they have received $157,000 in matching funds so far. They have 4 months to raise an additional $143,000. If the Trustee approved them for a grant though it would be for the 2017 budget and would not receive matching funds. This grant is for basic costs of running the shelter. Changes that Friend’s Place has made to the shelter include expanding available beds from 36 to 40 , which is good because they are basically at capacity every night. When run by Martha’s House they only saw 20 or so beds filled each night. They have also updated their gender policy to recognize people’s gender identity instead of the gender on their ID, and have made general improvements (including painting) to the shelter. So far they say they have not heard a word of complaint from the neighborhood. Police calls are also down, and they evaluated their staff and have seen some turnover, but they are building a strong staff there. The bug room is up and running, though they want to replace the men’s beds to get rid of plywood repairs because they suspect they may be harboring bugs. At this point Dan also interjects to state that Friend’s Place is considering a future program for people who have resources in other places to return them to those other places, but it is not in the current budget request.
Barb asks if there has been an increase in Shalom patrons and Forrest states no. Their meal program, which is the best measure of traffic there, is steady. This summer they have been seeing higher level of homeless with (anecdotally reported) severe illnesses so they have been trying to deal with that in the shelter. They have also been utilizing in-house resources from other agencies. Monroe Hospital has just recently started doing a 72-hour detox program, and completed 20 of these so far. To qualify for that program, people have to already be starting the withdrawal process (in other words they can’t still be drunk, etc. when they enter the detox program). The hospital can do intake from social service agencies, family, or the clients themselves. They can take walk-ins for this program but prefer not to.
Boys & Girls Club
Jeff Baldwin discusses the Boys and Girls Club project. The last couple of years, they have been laying the seeds for their capital project budget. It has so far been going very well. The project has been resonating with the community because of their support for youth who don’t have home resources. The Club serves 400 kids a day. Jeff is requesting funds to go towards the renovation of the Lincoln Street Club site, which will be used for decades to come. Jack asks what will happen to the kids in the program while the renovation is going on, and Jeff states they plan to complete the Crestmont Boys and Girls project first, so that it is completed by this time next year. They originally intended to move the Lincoln Street kids to that location temporarily while their own renovation was underway, but they are also in talks with Fairview Methodist Church to use some space there during the renovation. That would add cost to their project, but they are talking to their donors about that. Crestmont’s permit process and architectural plans are complete, and building is starting there now. This is why their attention is now pivoting towards the Lincoln Street project, which they hope to complete the plan for in one year, and begin work after that. They plan to pour a new concrete porch (which they have already secured funding for), repair brickwork, fix their leaky roof, update their antiquated electrical system, etc.
The Boys and Girls Club request was originally for a set yearly ongoing amount over 5 years; however the Township cannot approve grants that exceed the board’s own elected terms. The request Jeff is now submitting fixes that issue.
Sharon will send out letters to the agencies requesting funds after the next meeting.
The board has been provided notes on the upcoming budget recommendations. In those notes, Dan has asked for 2.8% raises for the staff (the State allows for 3.8%). The budget has always carried a clerical position, but the Township did not fund it last year. This year Dan wants it added back in since more senior staff have more vacation time they can take off, and in case people have to miss significant chunks of work due to other issues.
Dan and Sharon talk about an ongoing issue they have had with PERF, as there is $9,000-$10,000 that the Township has paid the program that should be paid back to the Township, but PERF and Sharon are in talks to make sure it is refunded correctly, as they think it should go to Dan himself. The issue arose because PERF sees Dan as retired 100%, even though he has only retired from his MCCSC teaching position. Jack and Barb advise he talk to a lawyer about the issue, and Dan says he may look into it, but Sharon is handling the issue alright for now. Anyway, the Township would not be paying towards his retirement for the 2017 budget year.
The budget increases the Township assistance amounts for utilities and shelter, though the total assistance budget remains the same. The parking lot debt service is funded, and that project can begin any day (Neidigh Construction has 20 days to start). The rainy day fund has $20,000, and the Township has nothing to spend it on right now, but it is good to have ready to appropriate. The total tax rate for the Township will be 0.0277 including debt service. Jack asks if the Township is getting a refund from the BMV for what it deserves (given its ongoing refund issues). Dan says yes. He also notes the Township’s tax rate is the lowest of all the major Townships, even accounting for others’ fire stations.
If the Township spends every cent of next year’s budget, it would still have a $382,000 surplus. $248,000 of that is in Township assistance. At some point (perhaps in 5 years or so) the Township may need to stop community funding, because every year the surplus goes down $40-$50,000. This would probably not happen while Dan is still trustee though.
Dan apologizes in advance for not being able to attend the 10/13/16 board meeting as he bought plane tickets for England before setting the meeting date and did not realize the error before advertising the board meeting date. He offers to schedule a work date to go over the numbers beforehand but the board does not technically need him present to pass the budget. Barb and Jack both say they don’t have changes to Dan’s numbers. Susie says the numbers look good to her too. Susie does ask what the money for the Cemetery Preservation Society is for, and Dan states that this year a tree fell on a just-completed stretch of chain-link fence, and so this needs to be fixed. Their grant request includes mowing expenses too. They are also talking about taking over management of a small cemetery at the junction of Fairfax Road and Walnut Street Pike.
Barb moves they accept Dan’s recommendations for the Community Grants. Jack seconds and all vote aye. Sharon says she will also have the salary resolution ready at the next meeting for the board to sign.
There was no other business.
Barb adjourned the meeting at 5:26pm.