Georgetown investments to remain with German American
By Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
Reversing a move from its July 20 meeting, the Georgetown Town Council announced its investment accounts will not transition to Edward Jones during its regular meeting last month at the Georgetown Optimist Club.
The council had voted to award a contract for account management to Edward Jones after reviewing proposals from that firm and two other financial institutions with local ties. Council president Chris Loop said, due to new Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, Edward Jones representatives decided they would not elect to assume the risk posed by a municipality and withdrew from the arrangement, leaving the accounts with German American.
Loop said the council’s goal was to lower costs with some of the investments, but, due to the current climate, its plan did not materialize.
“We didn’t lose anything, but we didn’t get to make the change we wanted to,” Loop added.
Councilman Ben Stocksdale said the council would review its budget and incoming revenues while keeping an eye on investment rates to determine if it should pursue other options for the accounts in the future.
In another matter, Loop reported he and Georgetown Township Trustee Dee Roney recently toured the old town hall building and nearby Wolfe Hotel, along with Greg Sekula and Laura Renwick of Indiana Landmarks. The council is considering selling or renting the old town hall building.
As part of that meeting, Loop said possible parking lot improvements for the property were also discussed. Indiana Landmarks will develop a request for proposal for the old town hall site, which will be sent to the media, posted online, etc. Indiana Landmarks will accept plans until Oct. 30 at 4 p.m.
Once received, the proposals will be reviewed and vetted based on several factors during the following 60 days, with the goal of reaching a decision by early 2021.
“We’re trying to work something out,” Loop said.
Town Engineer Bob Woosley conducted a bid opening for the proposed Georgetown Park basketball court rehabilitation project. Bids were submitted by Temple & Temple, EZ Construction and Cornell Harbison Excavating, with Temple & Temple securing low bid at a cost of, $149,200.
Woosley explained the quotes also included lighting, landscaping, fencing and some drainage work necessary for a possible future parking lot project. He pointed out the estimates did not include the final basketball court surface and goals, adding the favored colored surface is a specialty item and would require separate budgeting. Woosley advised that when the project begins, the council set aside an additional $20,000 to cover those costs.
Woosley recommended the contract be awarded to Temple & Temple, contingent upon all necessary documentation being provided.
Loop, speaking about the town’s current cash position, suggested the quotes be tabled for discussion at a future meeting.
The council voted unanimously (Councilman Gary Smith was absent) to table any action. Councilman Billy Haller asked later if there was anything that could be done to lower the cost of the project.
“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” Haller added.
“We’ll have to look at that closely,” Loop said.
Woosley also spoke concerning several upcoming bid lettings and projects, including improvements to a retention basin at the Catalpa Ridge subdivision near Frank Ott Road. Quotes for that work will be opened at the September meeting, he said.
“We’re trying to force it (water) into the basin,” Woosley said of the project which will, hopefully, address ongoing water issues in the area.
The basin was not built in accordance with the original plans, Woosley said, adding the project would get the basin back to the original design intent and, hopefully, correct existing drainage issues.
Active construction is also occurring at Estate Circle and Dant Drive, Woosley said. Temple & Temple was hired to extend rip-rap in the channel behind the property as a preventive measure.
“It’s got a pretty good slope coming down from Estate,” he added.
Woosley also reported town crews will complete upcoming projects on Fitch Drive, Henriot Road and Autumn Cove, as well as some follow-up work on a drain that is not functioning properly after completion of the sidewalk and wall improvement project along S.R. 64 earlier this year.
Loop also announced matching funds for downtown facade improvements were awarded to A&B Donut. The town launched the facade improvement grant program to assist and encourage owners of downtown buildings with updates. Work at A&B’s location will include a new sign paint, and planters outside the building along S.R. 64 on the town’s west side.
In other business, the council:
Approved $500 to cover costs through the end of the year for upcoming Zoom online training workshops for town employees. Topics include animal control and building ordinances.
Heard from Georgetown Police Sgt. Travis Speece, who said the Vehicle Identification Number for the department’s new Explorer had been received; however, they had yet to take delivery on the vehicle which was expected to arrive by the end of August. Speece also announced the patrolman position, for which the town is hiring, was posted.
Received an update from Woosley regarding the ongoing Lakeland Estates matter. A hearing has been scheduled before the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission on Oct. 1 in Indianapolis. Woosley and town attorney Kristi Fox will attend the hearing and may testify.
Acknowledged, based on Loop’s report, that Floyd County adopted the road resolution mentioned at the July 20 meeting.
Signed an agreement for human resources services with HR Affiliates, which was awarded the contract at the July 20 meeting.
Appointed Stocksdale to a seat on the town’s redevelopment commission.
Noted budget sessions are underway, and the public hearing and adoption of the 2021 budget would likely occur at the September meeting.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m.