The regular monthly board meeting of Soldier Township was called to order by Karl McNorton (Trustee and presiding officer in the absence of Mike Mathes) on January 9, 2024, at 12:15 p.m. Others present were Jerry Glasgow (Treasurer), John Tipton (Co-Road Superintendent), Chad Lady (Acting Fire Chief), and Laurie Moody (Bookkeeper).

Guests in attendance were — Larkin Downing

Member Glasgow made a motion to approve the check register and the minutes from the December 5, 2023 board meeting, as presented. Member McNorton seconded the motion. Motion passed with a 2-0 vote. There were no amendments or additions to the agenda.

Public comment and communication — none

General —

For documenting purposes in the Minutes, Member McNorton stated that the new township Administrator, Audree Guzman, was supposed to start on Monday, January 8, 2024. However, that date was changed to Monday, January 15, 2024, due to her having contracted COVID. The current profit and loss report for 2024 was presented for documentation and review.

Fire —

Acting Chief Lady presented the Fire Report. The department ran 1,223 calls in the year of 2023, of which 70% of them were medically related. An apparatus replacement guide was presented, detailing the status of all department apparatus, and pinpointing the ones that should be considered for replacement in the near future. There are numerous grants open for application in the very near future which will be given to Mrs. Guzman for consideration.

The annual membership with Vector Solutions, the fire department’s training platform, is due for renewal. Member Glasgow made a motion that the subscription with Vector Solutions be renewed at a cost of $3,130.95. Member McNorton seconded the motion. Motion passed with a 2-0 vote.

Bay doors at Station 71 have all been repaired by Overhead Doors.

Information and cost estimates were presented for purchasing new thermal imaging cameras.  After discussion, Member McNorton made motion to approve the purchase of 4 FQ-PAEX Seek  Attack PRO cameras, 4 PD-PAA Seek Attack PRO truck chargers, 2 PQ-AAAX Seek FirePRO  300s, a 5-year enhanced warranty on all 4 Attack PROs and a 2-year enhanced warranty on the FirePRO 300 at a total cost of $20,515.22 to be paid using Special Fire Protection Reserve Funds. Member Glasgow seconded motion. Motion passed with a 2-0 vote.

Acting Chief Lady presented a proposal from Chuck’s Heating & Cooling for the replacement of the heater in Building #2. After discussion and consideration, it was requested that two more bids be obtained from other companies for the repair or replacement of the heater before moving forward with it.

Road — The Road Department has two pieces of equipment that are coming up for lease renewal. Options for the renewal of the lease and/or purchase of the Caterpillar PM312 Cold Planer Mill were included in the packet for informational purposes. The 3-year lease for the Bobcat SkidSteer Loader T770 and cold planer 24PLA expires in March of 2024. The value of the equipment far exceeds the residual at lease end to purchase the equipment. Mr. Tipton recommends that we purchase the Bobcat Skid Steer. No decision was necessary for either piece of equipment at this time but will be revisited at the board meeting in March 2024.

Mr. Tipton presented the road report for December 2023. There were 2 new entrance permits, 13 work orders, a few potholes were filled, and tree and brush trimming was executed throughout the month. Inclement weather during the week of the 24th necessitated the road crew treat road bridges, intersections, and hills.

An invoice in the amount of $21 , 1 15.00 from Schulz Construction for the replacement of the roof and siding on the administrative office building was presented for consideration and approval of payment. The repair was needed due to hail damage that occurred last year. An insurance claim had been filed and a partial payment was received for $16,460.25. The check was applied to the Special Highway / Road Improvement account. Member McNorton made a motion to approve usage of Special Highway / Road Improvement funds to pay the invoice to Schulz Construction for $21,115.00. The motion was seconded by Member Glasgow and passed with a 2-0 vote. The bill will also be submitted to the insurance company for additional payout from the claim.

Member Glasgow suggested that John Tipton’s title be officially changed from the current title of Co-Road Superintendent to that of Road Superintendent. Due to the fact that this necessitates the execution of a new contract, Member McNorton suggested it be taken to legal counsel, Lee Hendricks, and address it further in the March board meeting. Member Glasgow also opened discussion concerning overtime compensation for exempt, salaried employees, or the authority to leave early on occasion after working more than the expected number of hours. No formal action was taken as a result of this conversation.

Executive Session: Motion was made by Member McNorton to go into executive session not to exceed 1 p.m. under the non-elected personnel exception to discuss a fire department personnel issue. Executive session included the Board, Chad Lady, and Laurie Moody.

Seconded by Member Glasgow. Motion passed with a 2-0 vote. Executive session convened at 12:54 p.m.

The Board returned to open session at 1p.m. with no binding action having been taken.  With no further business to come before the Board, Member McNorton made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Member Glasgow seconded the motion and the motion passed with a 2-0 vote. The meeting was adjourned at 1 p.m.

The next regular monthly Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at 12: 15

Approved signed docBoard Meeting Minutes – 1-9-24 signed