NJ Town Council Discusses Potential Changes to Holiday Decoration Procedure

North Judson Town Council members will be looking into alternative holiday decoration options after there was collective council dissatisfaction and a few citizen complaints about how lights and decorations were handled in 2017.

As a portion of his report, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe presented a purchase order from HAP Industries for $5,796 for their decoration assistance last year. Though the members voted to pay the P.O., Councilman John Rowe suggested revisiting the deal with HAP and potentially purchasing decorations rather than renting them. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Discusses Umbaugh Contract and Change to the Town’s Point of Contact

The North Judson Town Council members renewed the town’s contract with Umbaugh and Associates when they met Monday evening.

Council President Wendy Hoppe mentioned that Umbaugh really helped save the town money last year. The council members noted that the contract appeared to be identical to last years and Town Attorney Justin Schramm said he felt comfortable moving forward with it.

The contract secures Umbaugh for consulting services related to the 2019 Budget and any other financial matters. There’s a $7,000 maximum for budget consultation, but if all the time is not used then the town will not be charged the full amount.

Though no changes were made to the agreement itself, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe mentioned that there has been a switch in who serves as the town’s point of contact. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Addresses Un-Cashed Checks

At the North Judson Town Council meeting Monday night, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted members that there are several un-cashed checks on the books that go back several years.

Rowe mentioned that on all checks dispersed by the town, it states that they can be receipted back if they haven’t deposited after 2-years. Clerk-Treasurer Rowe said after speaking to the State Board of Accounts about the matter, the plan is to receipt all checks back into the town.

However, there was one check for Fire Captain Eric Wappel from 2015 that was apparently lost. Rowe was seeking to reimburse Wappel for the fire pay he never deposited. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Scheduled to Hold Special Session Prior to Regular Meeting

Before their regular meeting tonight, the North Judson Town Council members will meet in a special session to discuss the town’s 2018 salary ordinance.

Another topic up for discussion during the special session will be the approval of a bond counsel engagement letter. The special session will start at 6 p.m. tonight.

There is a light agenda for the regular session which is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Time will be allotted for public presentations, department head reports and council items. Continue reading

North Judson Police Department K9 Supporter Shirt Fundraiser This Monday

North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher announced that the NJ Police Department will be selling t-shirts and hoodies as a part of their K9 fundraiser from 8 a.m. until noon on Monday, January 8th.

The t-shirts cost $10 and the hoodies will be sold for $20. Fisher stated they consciously set the prices in order to allow all community members a chance to obtain the North Judson Police Department K9 Supporter apparel. The police station is located at 206 Keller Avenue. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Alerts Town Council Members of $6,000 Insurance Policy Premium Increase

When the North Judson Town Council met Tuesday evening, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted town council members that the town’s insurance policy premium increased from $56,000 in 2017 to about $62,000 for this year.

Rowe said he has recently been working with Christin Romine, an insurance accountant executive with 1st Source Bank in order to familiarize himself with the town’s history and current policy. He explained that after talking with her, he found that a large factor for the increase is the amount of claims that the town filed over the last few years.

Council President Wendy Hoppe recalled that in 2015, within the span of a few months they lost three police vehicles, including a Dodge Charger and two Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Approves Encumbrance for Norwayne Field Wall Repairs

North Judson Town Council members encumbered funds for repairs to the wall at Norwayne Field when they met Tuesday night. Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe explained that the wall that runs along Highway 10 is missing stones in some spots and there are places where it is crumbling.

A total of $4,400 that was left over from building improvements was encumbered to pay Schamber Masonry for work on the Norwayne Field wall. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Choose Not to Encumber Funds for Utility Tractor

North Judson Town Council members refrained from encumbering funds for a new tractor for the utility department when they met Tuesday night. Council members conferred that they were under the impression they were waiting until springtime to take any action on that purchase.

Councilman Josh Brown stated he’d like to know what the intended purpose for the tractor would be before they establish a specific amount intended for the purchase. Brown said he wasn’t aware of any reasons the tractor would be a necessary piece of equipment. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Address Appointments at Year-End Meeting

North Judson Town Council members appointed Councilman James Young as the council representative of the Starke County Economic Development Board, at their meeting Tuesday night.

Town Council president Wendy Hoppe also asked if any members were willing to volunteer as the representative for KIRPC or the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission. Councilwoman Jane Ellen Felchuck added that they could nominate a citizen, if no members are interested in filling the position. Since Councilman John Rowe wasn’t present during last night’s meeting, they decided to table that appointment until their meeting on January 2nd. Continue reading

North Judson Town Superintendent Addresses New State Board of Accounts Requirement

Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann touched on a few different topics during his report at the North Judson Town Council meeting Monday Night.

He alerted council members that leaf and brush pick-up has officially concluded for this year and will resume in the spring.

Additionally, in Superintendent Horstmann’s report, members were told that the State Board of Accounts is requiring that the town take measures to better secure the modem tower located in Town Hall. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Receive Update About Addition to Norwayne Field

The ball is rolling on a new addition to Norwayne Field, according to North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe.

Prior to her resignations, former Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins alerted town council members that the $12,000 raised by the community center committee would go toward a cover for the stage at Norwayne Field.

During the clerk-treasurer’s report at Monday’s town council meeting, Rowe explained that he received the preliminary plans for the stage cover and now the North Judson Park Board will be working with them to finalize decisions. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Settles Purchase Order Uncertainty

The North Judson Town Council members previously refrained from acting on a purchase order from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation until they could acquire more information about the charge.

At their town council meeting last week Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe elaborated on the existing contract between the two entities.

Mr. Rowe explained that in the agreement for planning and implementing economic development programs, it states that the town will pay twenty percent of the tax revenue they receive from the economic development tax in two yearly payments. Continue reading

After Months of Deliberation, North Judson Town Council Adopts Animal Ordinance

A matter that has been addressed vehemently in multiple North Judson Town Council meetings over the past five months has been settled, with the Ordinance for the Housing and Maintenance of Animals in the Town of North Judson receiving its final reading at Monday evening’s meeting.

The ordinance was approved on the third reading and adopted with a 3 to 1 vote with Council members Jane-Ellen Felchuck, John Rowe and James Young voting in favor and Council President Wendy Hoppe opposing.

Sarah Burkett, the citizen who obtained more than 300 resident signatures in favor of substituting or amending the ordinance that was in place, asked when the newly adopted ordinance would go into effect. Continue reading

Particular Purchase Order Raises Questions at North Judson Town Council Meeting

When it came time to approve purchase orders at the North Judson Town Council meeting on Monday, members chose to refrain from paying the second installment charge for consulting services from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation until more details can be gathered.

Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted the council that bill was for $8,273.60. Before the purchase orders could be approved, Council Member Josh Brown asked what the SCEDF is doing specifically to warrant a total of $16,000 owed with the two installments.

Council Member Jane Ellen Felchuck explained that Executive Director Charlie Weaver does send reports and John Rowe said that representatives have attended recent meetings in order present new information. Council President Wendy Hoppe also mentioned that they brought in OTES and that they’re hopefully working to bring in more industry. Continue reading

New Health Insurance Option Available to North Judson Town Council

Annually, the North Judson Town Council is required to review their health insurance plan. On Monday, they received a report from their insurance broker John Howard with the Wealth Care Group.

Howard explained that for the first time this year, the council has the ability to pick up to three plans that employees can then personally choose from. No formal decisions were made about which plan to choose. Continue reading

New North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Scheduled to be Sworn-In Friday Morning

Tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. Andrew J. Rowe will be sworn in as North Judson Clerk-Treasurer. Rowe was voted in during a democratic caucus last Thursday and a resolution to appoint him to the position received unanimous council approval at a North Judson Town Council meeting on Monday night.

The resolution also states that Rowe is granted the authority to be the signature of all bank accounts, accounts payable, accounts receivable and all other financial records required by the office of clerk-treasurer. Continue reading