residents not happy with their sewer fees can now do something about it.
The Town Council
voted 5-0 to approve an ordinance to add a section in the sewer rate
ordinance for an appeal process. Residents who pay the fee can file an
appeal with the sanitary board’s secretary up to one year under the
circumstances in which it is based. Those appealing are asked to include any
documentary evidence with the completed appeal form.
The Sanitary Board
will hear the appeal at a public meeting and must issue a decision within
sixty days of the hearing.
The Council tabled
second reading on another ordinance to change appointments on the sanitation
board at the request of Council President Ray Poparad. Poparad said the
board, which is currently comprised of Council members and a representative
of the steel mills, will decide on a project at the sanitary building and
would rather have it be their responsibility than the citizens the Council
intends to appoint.
“We need to finish
what we started,” Poparad said.
Marcus Rogala added that the current board should also decide the proposed
budget for next year.
The ordinance would
put three citizens on the sanitary board along with a Council member and the
Since the ordinance
did not get a vote Wednesday, the Council refrained from making board
appointments at this time.
On a similar note,
Council members Toni Biancardi, Rogala and Poparad will make up the Town’s
stormwater board which oversees the duties related to the MS4 Stormwater
Quality program. The board has met sporadically through the year but now
plans to meet the same night as the sanitary board.
approved three resolutions. One was to authorize Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan
to make payments on certain claims prior to their confirmation. Another was
to transfer general maintenance funds and the other was to put in internal
controls or a “materiality threshold policy.” The latter is a change in
state law that requires Town employees be educated on how the Town handles
In other business,
Poparad said he would like to see businesses receiving tax abatements to
have their CF-1 statement reviews be given to the Town instead of filing it
at the County.
The forms are to
state whether or not the businesses have met the conditions agreed to at the
time the abatement was granted, such as number of jobs created and
Poparad urged the
council to get a resolution in place so that the Town would receive the
forms and then give notice to the County for their files.
One abatement form
has come in from Mittal Steel that has met the provisions in terms of
expanded pay roll and employees, Jordan said.
The new council has
brought up a few times over its first month in office whether to meet twice
a month as it did years ago.
Biancardi said the
Council should consider the costs of holding an additional meeting every
month, such as the cost for its attorney. The current contract is for one
meeting per month and then an hourly rate for anything additional.
From the audience,
resident Sarah Oudman said the Town officials are busy throughout the month
with meetings of Town boards and said more meetings would mean “losing more
quality time for other things.”
also sitting in the audience, wondered if there were ways to speed up the
meetings like giving a synopsis of proposed ordinances rather than having to
read them aloud. The Council meetings usually last well over an hour,
Council member Erik
Hull said it would be easier to prepare for one meeting a month rather than
two and he would rather sit for one meeting to get business done.
Poparad said having
two meetings per month doesn’t mean they will go quicker. It depends on
what’s on the agenda.
The Council will
look at what the costs and benefits for a second meeting would be at their
meeting next month.
Summer is around
the corner and so are mosquitoes.
The Town has paid
$700 three times a year for mosquito fogging traditionally. Council member
Andy Bozak asked the audience if they thought the foggings made a
difference. At least three members and Fire Chief Bill Arney said they do.
approved the costs for at least one fogging at an amount not to exceed
In other matters:
-- The Council
approved a contract with Umbaugh & Associates at a cost not to exceed $7,000
to evaluate the Town’s TIF areas. The company, which will be paid with funds
from the Redevelopment Commission’s budget, will look at parcels that had
previously been discarded from the TIF and determine if it would now be of
benefit to add them back in.
announced that June 30 is the deadline to turn in applications for the Burns
Harbor Scholarship fund. Any resident who is enrolled in a form of secondary
education is eligible, added Jordan.
-- The Town is
seeking volunteers to join the committee for the Town’s upcoming rummage