Culver council updated on CVS changes, more

Culver's CVS Pharmacy is looking to add a drive-through window at the alley on the west side of its Ohio Street building, though the move would require the town of Culver vacating said alley and could impact the town-owned parking lot at Madison and Ohio Streets as well.

This according to town manager Dave Schoeff, speaking to the Culver town council at its final meeting of 2013, last Dec. 30.

Council member Ginny Munroe expressed concern that the parking lot serves "a very specific purpose" and aids in reducing parking congestion in the downtown area, where there exists a "parking issue."

Schoeff noted the Hamster Group, which owns CVS, would need approval from the council before taking the matter to Culver's plan commission, which would make the final decision. He added that plans would likely involve a canopy overhang for the drive-through, which would primarily serve sales of medicines. The alley would become one-way due to its narrow width. He also noted the company has been "working with this for quite some time," though he was not given a specific time-frame for addition of the window.

Munroe asked -- and it was agreed by others -- that the matter be examined in more detail via a council work session in the near future.
Culver park superintendent Kelly Young told the council work was halted on installation of the new ice skating rink in the park the previous Saturday due to an issue with some needed brackets. Chris Chambers and other volunteers plan to attempt installation again in short order.

In other park-related matters, the council voted to postpone the final readings of an ordinance to add a new member to the park board until the next council meeting. Park board president Tammy Shaffer reported the board is working to finalize and implement new policies.

Fire chief Terry Wakefield told the council he was recently voted chief for another one-year term, his second. Brandon Cooper has stepped in as the department's safety officer, he added, and two longtime department members are retiring as of the end of the year: Glenn Whitmarsh, a 50-year member, and Mike Grover, with 30 years.
Bids were opened by Schoeff for a new walkaround rescue truck for the department, with Hoosier Fire Equipment coming in lowest at $301,455. Schoeff and town attorney Jim Cleavenger will examine the specifications of the bid to ensure they conform to those required.

Approved by council were encumbrances for $2,012 for repairs made to a fire truck (though town clerk Karen Heim noted $800 of the money will be reimbursed by insurance); $35,000 towards control monitors for Culver's EMS, a follow-up to the previous meeting's approval of $30,000 towards the overall cost of the monitors; and $79,450 for the street department towards resurfacing of Washington Street between White and Ohio Streets, at the request of utilities manager Bob Porter.

Also approved was the transfer of funds between major categories so the town's budget "zeroes out" for the end of the year, as well as an ordinance adopting the town's 2014 salary, about which a public hearing was held at the previous council meeting.

At Schoeff's request, council approved $908 for an "adverse effect" sign required by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation in connection with the downtown revitalization grant completed last year in Culver's downtown area. The new sign would acknowledge the historical character of the downtown since it was changed as part of the grant.

Work on the storm water improvement project on Culver's west end has been moving slowly forward, Schoeff reported, with work at the time taking place at Cass and Slate Streets. In response to a query from council member Lynn Overmyer, Schoeff said noise from a pump at one project site on Cass Street will likely continue a few more weeks, since workers are waiting for NIPSCO to service a gas line they have had to "jump" over in their work.

Schoeff also discussed the possibility of placing an air conditioning unit for the town hall meeting room in the room's ceiling tile, at the council's prior request. Some discussion ensued as to the location of the condensing unit for the conditioner, with council president Sally Ricciardi questioning where -- on that side of the building -- the unit could be placed.

Council approved a total of $33,250.45 to replace a 1999 street department truck. Porter requested purchase of a 2013 Chevrolet truck at $27,814, plus a new plow for the truck at $5,400. It was noted the old plow could have been moved to the new vehicle for just under $2,000, but Porter felt the old plow's condition made the new plow a better option. It was also noted a new Ford truck would have cost less, though Porter said past problems with Ford vehicles justified purchase of the Chevy.

Further approved was $7,000 (not to exceed $10,000) for an Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management-required well head protection plan for the town's well; the plan, said Porter, is primarily educational and concerns where the town's water comes from and goes.

At Heim's request, the council approved both the clerk and her assistant endorsing checks towards implementation of the town accepting automated payment of utility bills via Teacher's Credit Union bank. Heim added she hoped the program could be in place within the next few months.

Approved was filing of a $1,953.17 lien on the property at 439 Lake street, for which Heim said a certified letter had been sent with no communication from the homeowner. Council member Bill Githens suggested -- and council approved as part of its vote -- sending a notice via regular mail before the lien is filed.

Council also approved Ricciardi signing a proclamation of Culver's observation of Arbor Day in April.

Audience member Rhonda Reinhold praised the efforts of Culver's emergency services after she said she found her grandmother, Bobetta Ruhnow, unresponsive at the latter's home last summer. She said she had feared the worst, but described the actions of the EMS members who arrived as "unbelievable" and she lauded the massive response of Culver's fire chief and firefighters as well.

"I was in awe of their professionalism and what they did that day," she said of all the respondents. "It was amazing. Thank you."

The meeting concluded with Munroe's acknowledgement of the time and "great work" of town employees and volunteers over the past year.
"We truly appreciate what our employees are doing," she said.