Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: August 15, 2016
The meeting is called to order at 12:00 pm
Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis, Dan Combs
Non-Members Present: Pat Combs, Novella Shuck, Sharon Yoder, Jeff Fanyo
- Awarding Parking Lot Bid
- Stepping Stones Request for Funds
- Rent Benefit Level
- Paid Family Leave
Awarding Parking Lot Bid
Jeff Fanyo drafted a letter for the Township to accept the bid for the parking lot project from Neidigh Construction, the lowest bid received. He recommends the Board accepts this bid and has drafted a contract for Neidigh Construction to sign. Dan previously had asked Jeff to look into whether Neidigh Construction had any liens placed against them in the past, and he states that has been nothing since 2007. The last time the Township used Neidigh Construction (for work at the shelter), they went far over their time estimate for the project, but this is mainly because they completed 90% of the work, but then our project was not a priority to the company so the last 10% of the project dragged on. In order to ensure this does not happen again, the drafted contract has a caveat that the bulk of the project must be completed in 120 day, and the entire project must be completed in 180 days. There is a $200/day penalty for going over the allotted project time.
Larry with Neidigh Construction did ask Jeff how best to undertake the project and he recommended to him that they do the parking lot in two parts (front and back). Dan called the Bloomington Parking Enforcement director to ask about getting permits for the employees to park on Washington Street, but that call has yet to be returned. Jack states he will make sure that call is returned. Sharon also is looking into leasing parking spaces from the businesses across the street.
Barb motions that the Board accept the Neidigh Construction bid of $217,000 for the parking lot project. Jack seconds this motion, and all vote “Aye” on the measure. The Trustee signs the “Notice of Award” letter acknowledging the board’s vote. Neidigh has 15 days to provide the Township with a signed contract, which we will then sign. After that, the Township sends Neidigh Construction a Notice to Proceed, at which point the clock starts ticking on the project.
Stepping Stones Request for Funds
Stepping Stones contacted our office via email today to inform us that they do not believe they need the additional appropriation of $5,000 after all, and they should have enough funds to make it to the end of the year. They will let Perry Township know when their organization’s merge may happen and with whom, as soon as they are able to divulge this information.
Rent Benefit Level
The Township Emergency Assistance Program is still only at 37% of its budget as of 7/31/16, even though we should be closer to 60%. One place in which the Township could increase the assistance it hands out is by raising benefit levels for rent, currently set at $525 for a single person, $600 for a two-person household, and $675 for a 3+ household. Dan hands out charts that case investigator Laura put together comparing Perry Township’s rent benefit levels with those of neighboring townships (Bloomington, Van Buren, and Richland). Generally, our benefits are lower than anyone else’s. Our maximum benefit levels used to be the highest in Monroe County, but they have not changed in years, and Walnut Grove is the only major apartment complex in the township that that really falls within our single-person standard anymore. Dan says the Township needs to use some standard to establishing rent levels, and it can’t be completely arbitrary. Unfortunately, the fair market rent rates for the county and federal guidelines use the number of bedrooms in a unit rather than number of people in a household, which is the township standard. Changing the rent level will mean we are handing out higher levels of assistance per person, but if the office really does think the Township is giving out too much for someone it can use the existing guideline structures, such as deducting excessive expenses, to lower the benefit given if necessary. The board can discuss this issue further and vote on changes to the new benefit levels at the next board meeting.
Paid Family Leave
Maternity leave for Township employees is currently unpaid. There is also no policy in place for paternity leave or family leave (for sick parents/spouses). Dan would like to discuss setting up policy on paid leave, and an unpaid leave policy stretching beyond that. The board discusses this briefly, citing sick leave, FMLA, and whether people should use up their sick time before they use paid leave. Dan states this can be discussed further at the next meeting, and he just wants the board to start thinking about it.
The next meeting will be September 8th at 4:15pm
Barb adjourned the meeting at 12:25pm.