Common Council Meeting Minutes – May 7, 2018

City Council, News

Mayor Shannon Kohl called the Martinsville Common Council to order on Monday, May 7, 2018. Mayor Kohl read a Unity Prayer to those in attendance, the Mayor then led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.



  • Shannon Kohl, Mayor
  • Terry Buster, District 1
  • Ben Merida, District 2
  • Mike Lanam, District 3
  • Chip Keller, District 4
  • Phil Deckard II, District 5
  • Eric Bowlen, Councilman-at-Large
  • Kris Fuller, Councilman-at-Large
  • Josh Messmer, City Engineer
  • Anne Cowgur, City Attorney
  • Craig DeMott, DPW
  • Terry Anderson, Fire Chief
  • Matt Long, Chief of Police
  • Rebecca Tumey, Clerk Treasurer
  • A quorum was declared present.


A motion was made by Councilman Eric Bowlen to waive the reading of the minutes of April 16, ,2018 and May 1, 2018 and to accept the minutes as written. Councilman Ben Merida seconded the motion. The Motion passes for April 16, 2018 6-0, with Councilman Buster abstaining to absence. The Motion for May 1, 2018 passes 5-0, with Councilmen Keller and Fuller abstaining due to absence.


Mayor Kohl reported she has been very busy with Artesian Group LLC; that a new book store opened on the East side of the Square and the first 2019 Budget workshop was on May 1, 2018.


City Engineer Josh Messmer gave an update on the Community Crossing Project that will soon start. Phases I and II will be completed by late July. Phase III will be completed by late September. The White River Levee Project Phase I, with Banning Engineering, will begin soon. The Capital Improvement Plan for 2018 includes a salt barn for the Street Department. Silver Creek Engineering is determining if a portion of the Rogers Block Plant is stable enough to be moved to the Street Department. This could result is a great savings of funds. Finally, the Board of Works approved the purchase of a camera that will allow the City to maintain, inspect and map our infrastructure.


Morgan County Economic Development Commission – MCEDC President Mike Dellinger reported the time for remonstrance regarding the tax abatement for Artesian Group, LLC has passed. He will file the documents with the County Auditor. Hopkins and Woods has withdrawn their request for a tax abatement as their plans to purchase new equipment have changed. Dellinger he will attend the MCEDC Board of Directors meeting this Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at Franciscan Hospital in Mooresville.




Resolution 2018-514 / Outstanding Warrants Older than Two Years – Clerk-Treasurer Becky Tumey presented a list of warrants (checks) that are older than two years that have not been cashed. She asked the Council to approve the voiding of the warrants. A motion to allow the voiding of the checks was made by Councilman Eric Bowlen and seconded by Councilman Mike Lanam. The Motion passes 7-0.

Ordinance 2018-1774 / Additional Appropriation – Clerk –Treasurer asked the Council to allow her to have $12,000.00 to pay her attorney. City Attorney Anne Cowqur protested the ordinance in that she did not have time to review the document and she doesn’t think Tumey has statutory authority to write nor present an ordinance. This item was tabled until May 21, 2018.

SCI REMC/ CF-1 Compliance Report – The annual report for tax abatement compliance was presented to the Council for their approval. A motion to accept and allow the report was made by Councilman Phil Deckard II and seconded by Councilman Terry Buster. The Motion passes 7-0. A brief discussion of SCI REMC having interest in leasing a portion of City-owned property at the Rogers Block building will continue at the next meeting.

I-69 Section 5 Reimbursement – City Attorney Josh Messmer reported the City needed to reimburse the State in the amount of $80,322.50. This is necessary due to State funds having inadvertently spent on projects outside the I-69 project. The reimbursement will come from the Rainy Day Fund. A motion to allow the reimbursement was made by Councilman Ben Merida and seconded by Councilman Kris Fuller. The Motion passes 7-0.

The following discussions were held, but were not on the Agenda. 

Policy Update – Mayor Kohl announced she had just received the Policy Update, regarding “best practices analysis” from City Attorney Anne Cowgur. Kohl went on to say she has not had time to review the report. Cowgur explained the document is a “privileged” document prepared for the City by the City Attorney at the City’s request. She went on to say the document is protected by attorney-client privilege and not for the Public, unless Mayor decided to release it. After discussion, Councilman Chip Keller asked that a minimum, the Board of Works be allowed to review the document.

Citizen Celia Kreft came forward and she believes the City is moving in the right direction. She also said that sometimes it takes time for government to catch up.

Councilman Phil Deckard II asked Councilman Eric Bowlen on an update regarding the Roberts update and the Council Attorney, William Beggs. Bowen said, he was still waiting on the report from Taft. Kohl said if there was a SBOA (State Board of Accounts) investigation, Anne has not seen anything. Kohl went on to say if we had done something wrong, we would already know about it. Mayor Kohl said she inherited practices with no policies.   Cowgur suggested we all get on the same page.”

Councilman Deckard said he is getting calls from employees regarding the Teamster Contract. He asked what the status is. It was reported by Cowgur that the contract has been passed by the employees. The Council asked why it hadn’t been brought to Board of Works for approval and why no executive session. Cowgur said it was an over-sight on her part. It will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting.


A motion to accept the claims as reported was made by Councilman Eric Bowlen and seconded by Councilman Terry Buster. The Motion passes 7-0.


There being no further business, Councilman Terry Buster made a motion to adjourn. This was seconded by Councilman Phil Deckard II. The Motion passes 7-0.