Culver's Town Council last week tackled several matters in a relatively brief August 24 meeting.
Included was denial of a request by a patient treated recently by the Culver-Union Township EMS, to forgive a portion of her bill for ambulance services recently rendered. The request was based, said Town Clerk Casey Howard during her Clerk's report, on the patient's claim she was bruised by an EMT attempting to put an IV into her arm. The patient paid $800 of the bill, but asked the EMS to waive the remaining $83 due to the bruising.
Howard reported that EMS Director Chuck Dilts -- not in attendance at the meeting -- requested the Council grant her request as more than half of the bill had been paid. Council member Lynn Overmyer suggested bruising is a normal possibility in placement of an IV.
"Anyone could come in and try to threaten us if we do this," agreed Council member Ginny Munroe. "We live in a litigious society where people sue for everything....should they (EMTs) not have come to take care of her?"
Town attorney Jim Clevenger, noting, "It's probably not as easy to sue (over the bruising) as you might think," recommended the Council refuse the patient's request, explaining that granting it sets a bad precedent.
The Council also agreed to treat St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Culver as a church (for billing purposes) rather than a residence; the church is located in a house on State Street. Churches, explained Town Manager Michael Doss, are excluded from automatic billing for Culver's recently-inaugurated town-wide trash service, though church pasonages are not. Bill Furry, representing the church, noted St. Elizabeth's produces very little trash ("coffee grounds and a few pieces of junk mail"), which parishioners take home, and asked that the church no longer be billed for trash service, to which the Council agreed.
Also discussed was a request for reimbursement from two residents of Peru Court who recently installed new, concrete driveways to eliminate ongoing problems from storm water flooding.
According to property owners in attendance at the meeting, flooding problems began with the town repaved Peru Court a few years ago, paving over existing pavement rather than milling it down first, and thus creating a three-inch increase in the street's height.
As a result, they said, gravel was routinely washed down the street during rain events, and water was flooding yards and driveways. Paving the driveways, it was noted, seems to have alleviated the problem. Property owners Anderson and Lewis requested at least partial reimbursement for the paving work, which the Council will consider after examining the area more closely.
During his attorney's report, Clevenger outlined his concerns over specific language in a proposed contract for engineering services at the Lake Maxinkuckee outlet culverts -- slated for replacement -- on West Shore Drive. Clevenger raised concerns over reimbursable expenses, various fees, overtime rates, liability insurance, and some other details in the proposal from the Bonar Group, which Cleveneger noted was recently purchased by GAI. Following input from the Council, it was agreed he will revisit those details with company representatives.
The Council approved purchase of road salt for Culver's streets during the upcoming winter season from Cargill at $56.58 per ton, as well as $6,790 for planned concrete work from R. Bachman Concrete, necessary to replace a town water flow meter on Academy Road in the near future.
Munroe mentioned she's received several phone calls concerning noise issues in the downtown area of Culver on weekends, and asked if Doss could work with Police Chief Wayne Bean on revisiting Culver's noise ordinance.
Council President Sally Ricciardi also appointed Barbara Winters to the Culver's Board of Zoning Appeals, filling a Democrat slot on the politically-balanced board.