Winona Council Makes Clarifications On Farmers Market Agreement

April 16, 2024 at 9:08 p.m.
Winona Lake Town Councilwoman Ashley McGinnis (L) talks about a clarification for the farmers market agreement Tuesday as Councilman Barry Andrew (R) listens. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Winona Lake Town Councilwoman Ashley McGinnis (L) talks about a clarification for the farmers market agreement Tuesday as Councilman Barry Andrew (R) listens. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

WINONA LAKE - Clarifications were made on the farmers market agreement by the Winona Lake Town Council Tuesday before it was unanimously approved.
At a special meeting April 9, the council approved fees for the Miller Sunset Pavilion and farmers market, but Councilwoman Ashley McGinnis said Tuesday there were things that still needed to be clarified in the farmers market agreement.
“Those three things were the fee for the food trucks, clarity on the table situation and the possibility of a half-season rate,” she said.
On the food trucks, the agreement stated food trucks may be available at an additional cost. McGinnis said she wanted to discuss what that cost may be. She also came across a town ordinance that a food truck has to file a permit with the town and if they’re a county resident they have to pay $35; outside county resident, $45; if they need electricity, it’s an additional $10 for 110 amp and $20 for 220 amp. The permit is valid for one event only.
Council President Jim Lancaster asked if there was any reason they couldn’t just adopt those rates and the permit form into the agreement and McGinnis agreed they could.
On the half-season rate, it was decided that a half season would be 13 of the 26 Saturdays and the vendor’s rate for the farmers market would be $350 for a half season. A whole season is $500.
Finally, on the tables, each vendor will be provided one table. If a vendor wants any additional tables, they have to provide their own as long as there’s space. The pavilion would be full with 35 vendors and there’s 34-35 of the tables, Lancaster said.
The farmers market agreement was approved with all the changes discussed.
Following up on another discussion from the April 9 meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Heather James provided financial information on the ice skating rink at the pavilion.
She said to the best of her knowledge, the information was correct.
The fund was established in 2022 with a revenue recorded as $88,996.74.
In 2023, the revenue was $551,007 with expenses being $523,673. The $551,007 includes brick sales and donations from 2019 to 2022, along with operating revenue from 2022.
In calendar year 2024, the revenue is $61,147.40, with expenses of $91,870.89.
At the April 9 meeting, resident Jewell Pahl asked about the amount that was owed on the pavilion, what the plan was to get it paid and how the town was paying for it now. James didn’t have the information then but said the annual bond payment was about $585,000.
Tuesday, James said the bond principal is $4,607,000 and with interest the total is $5,836,283.30. “So far, those payments have been made from the TIF (tax increment financing) fund,” she said.
Later in the meeting, McGinnis reported she was doing some research and putting together “perhaps” a plan for the operations of the pavilion. Council Vice President Austin Reynolds stated he is working with McGinnis on that.
K & J Operations, which is Ken Nisly and Lancaster, currently is contracted to manage the pavilion for $152,800, including the farmer’s market.
Councilman Barry Andrew asked who the $1 million general liability insurance policy in the K & J Operations contract with the town was held under. Lancaster said it was under the town.
Andrew also asked about marketing for the farmers market as that was part of the discussion at the April 9 meeting. Lancaster said it’s already started.
Pahl returned to the council meeting Tuesday and asked what the plan was to pay off the $5,836,283.30 owed on the pavilion and how was the town currently making payments. James told her the town has made a couple payments on it and TIF funds are being used to make the payments. The town will use the TIF funds while they are available.
Town attorney Adam Turner said the TIF will continue to capture funds for 23 to 25 years. The town has two TIF districts but no one indicated which TIF the funds were coming from.
“So a resident would have no concern at this point about this pavilion being paid off? It’s going to come from TIF funds indefinitely?” Pahl asked.
McGinnis said that’s also what she and Reynolds are also working - different forms of revenue for the pavilion and bringing in as much as they can.
Pahl asked how much interest was being paid on the pavilion, and James said the annual interest rate was 4.7%.
Lancaster said they could also do more brick sales to raise funds, or do another capital campaign.
In other business:
• The council approved an ordinance establishing a trash fund.
James explained, “As we continue our cleanup work, we discovered that those utility funds were put in the wastewater fund, and in order to accurately track everything, they need to be separated into their own fund. So this (ordinance) establishes that fund and allows us to start recording.”
• The council approved an affidavit in aid for title.
Turner said there’s a little strip of undeeded property along the back of Stone Camp along Union Drive. Portions of it have been deeded into the town’s name and other portions haven’t. The portion that was deeded into the town’s name was through a title action, but the remaining portions were not.
“This is literally undeeded property. It’s never been deeded to anybody,” he said, and basically the town needs to move the piece of property into the town’s name.
The plots are too small for any regular lots so the town will offer to sell them to adjoining land owners for their appraised value plus the costs related to the sale.
• The council approved an extension of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) agreement for the Argonne Road roundabout.
Town Manager Craig Allebach said the roundabout agreement for the construction is set to expire at the end of June. INDOT contacted the town and asked for a two-month extension to close that out because it won’t be done by the end of June.
A positive vote also was given for the INDOT Community Crossing Matching Grant agreement.
Allebach said the town received $835,551.09 from the state for milling and resurfacing of a number of different roads in Winona Lake. The town has to provide a match of 25%, or roughly $208,000, which will come from the wheel tax and the motor vehicle highway restricted and unrestricted funds.
He also asked for permission to apply for a fiscal year 2025 grant through the Criminal Justice Institute called the Comprehensive Hoosier Highway Injury Reduction Program (CHHIRP), which the council approved.
The application will be for around $180,000 for the Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership, which includes nine agencies throughout Kosciusko County.
• Allebach announced upcoming events including World Compassion Network’s Run for Hunger at 10 a.m. April 20; the farmer’s market starts May 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is every Saturday until the end of October; and the Fat + Skinny Tire Fest is May 17-19 in Winona Lake, Warsaw and out in the county.
Nick Hauck, managing director for The Village at Winona, said there will be many things going on during Fat + Skinny. There are many volunteer opportunities available. To volunteer, visit fatandskinnytirefest.com and hit the volunteer link.
Lancaster added that fireworks will be June 29, with the rain date being June 30.

WINONA LAKE - Clarifications were made on the farmers market agreement by the Winona Lake Town Council Tuesday before it was unanimously approved.
At a special meeting April 9, the council approved fees for the Miller Sunset Pavilion and farmers market, but Councilwoman Ashley McGinnis said Tuesday there were things that still needed to be clarified in the farmers market agreement.
“Those three things were the fee for the food trucks, clarity on the table situation and the possibility of a half-season rate,” she said.
On the food trucks, the agreement stated food trucks may be available at an additional cost. McGinnis said she wanted to discuss what that cost may be. She also came across a town ordinance that a food truck has to file a permit with the town and if they’re a county resident they have to pay $35; outside county resident, $45; if they need electricity, it’s an additional $10 for 110 amp and $20 for 220 amp. The permit is valid for one event only.
Council President Jim Lancaster asked if there was any reason they couldn’t just adopt those rates and the permit form into the agreement and McGinnis agreed they could.
On the half-season rate, it was decided that a half season would be 13 of the 26 Saturdays and the vendor’s rate for the farmers market would be $350 for a half season. A whole season is $500.
Finally, on the tables, each vendor will be provided one table. If a vendor wants any additional tables, they have to provide their own as long as there’s space. The pavilion would be full with 35 vendors and there’s 34-35 of the tables, Lancaster said.
The farmers market agreement was approved with all the changes discussed.
Following up on another discussion from the April 9 meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Heather James provided financial information on the ice skating rink at the pavilion.
She said to the best of her knowledge, the information was correct.
The fund was established in 2022 with a revenue recorded as $88,996.74.
In 2023, the revenue was $551,007 with expenses being $523,673. The $551,007 includes brick sales and donations from 2019 to 2022, along with operating revenue from 2022.
In calendar year 2024, the revenue is $61,147.40, with expenses of $91,870.89.
At the April 9 meeting, resident Jewell Pahl asked about the amount that was owed on the pavilion, what the plan was to get it paid and how the town was paying for it now. James didn’t have the information then but said the annual bond payment was about $585,000.
Tuesday, James said the bond principal is $4,607,000 and with interest the total is $5,836,283.30. “So far, those payments have been made from the TIF (tax increment financing) fund,” she said.
Later in the meeting, McGinnis reported she was doing some research and putting together “perhaps” a plan for the operations of the pavilion. Council Vice President Austin Reynolds stated he is working with McGinnis on that.
K & J Operations, which is Ken Nisly and Lancaster, currently is contracted to manage the pavilion for $152,800, including the farmer’s market.
Councilman Barry Andrew asked who the $1 million general liability insurance policy in the K & J Operations contract with the town was held under. Lancaster said it was under the town.
Andrew also asked about marketing for the farmers market as that was part of the discussion at the April 9 meeting. Lancaster said it’s already started.
Pahl returned to the council meeting Tuesday and asked what the plan was to pay off the $5,836,283.30 owed on the pavilion and how was the town currently making payments. James told her the town has made a couple payments on it and TIF funds are being used to make the payments. The town will use the TIF funds while they are available.
Town attorney Adam Turner said the TIF will continue to capture funds for 23 to 25 years. The town has two TIF districts but no one indicated which TIF the funds were coming from.
“So a resident would have no concern at this point about this pavilion being paid off? It’s going to come from TIF funds indefinitely?” Pahl asked.
McGinnis said that’s also what she and Reynolds are also working - different forms of revenue for the pavilion and bringing in as much as they can.
Pahl asked how much interest was being paid on the pavilion, and James said the annual interest rate was 4.7%.
Lancaster said they could also do more brick sales to raise funds, or do another capital campaign.
In other business:
• The council approved an ordinance establishing a trash fund.
James explained, “As we continue our cleanup work, we discovered that those utility funds were put in the wastewater fund, and in order to accurately track everything, they need to be separated into their own fund. So this (ordinance) establishes that fund and allows us to start recording.”
• The council approved an affidavit in aid for title.
Turner said there’s a little strip of undeeded property along the back of Stone Camp along Union Drive. Portions of it have been deeded into the town’s name and other portions haven’t. The portion that was deeded into the town’s name was through a title action, but the remaining portions were not.
“This is literally undeeded property. It’s never been deeded to anybody,” he said, and basically the town needs to move the piece of property into the town’s name.
The plots are too small for any regular lots so the town will offer to sell them to adjoining land owners for their appraised value plus the costs related to the sale.
• The council approved an extension of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) agreement for the Argonne Road roundabout.
Town Manager Craig Allebach said the roundabout agreement for the construction is set to expire at the end of June. INDOT contacted the town and asked for a two-month extension to close that out because it won’t be done by the end of June.
A positive vote also was given for the INDOT Community Crossing Matching Grant agreement.
Allebach said the town received $835,551.09 from the state for milling and resurfacing of a number of different roads in Winona Lake. The town has to provide a match of 25%, or roughly $208,000, which will come from the wheel tax and the motor vehicle highway restricted and unrestricted funds.
He also asked for permission to apply for a fiscal year 2025 grant through the Criminal Justice Institute called the Comprehensive Hoosier Highway Injury Reduction Program (CHHIRP), which the council approved.
The application will be for around $180,000 for the Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership, which includes nine agencies throughout Kosciusko County.
• Allebach announced upcoming events including World Compassion Network’s Run for Hunger at 10 a.m. April 20; the farmer’s market starts May 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is every Saturday until the end of October; and the Fat + Skinny Tire Fest is May 17-19 in Winona Lake, Warsaw and out in the county.
Nick Hauck, managing director for The Village at Winona, said there will be many things going on during Fat + Skinny. There are many volunteer opportunities available. To volunteer, visit fatandskinnytirefest.com and hit the volunteer link.
Lancaster added that fireworks will be June 29, with the rain date being June 30.

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