Zionsville Town Council delays settlement agreement in Ice-America lawsuit, calls for town audit


In a meeting held June 20 at Town Hall, the Zionsville Town Council voted to postpone signing a $45,000 settlement agreement, which has been proposed to resolve the legal dispute regarding a lawsuit between Seaside Ice, LLC/Ice-America, LLC and the Town of Zionsville. 

CIZ 0216 COVER Refuted Claims cover pic
Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron

Instead of signing the agreement, the council requested Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron agree to a town audit before the council moves forward with its signature. 

According to town councilor Josh Garett, the council’s decision to postpone signing the agreement was reached after several attempts by the council to work with the mayor on a financial controls audit of the town because of financial errors similar to the Ice-America incident. 

“This lawsuit is a result partially because of financial control errors. I don’t feel this council should sign off on this lawsuit until the mayor signs off on an audit,” Garett said at the meeting. 

Styron declined to comment on the council’s request for an audit of the town, saying only that she signed off on the agreement.

“I signed the settlement agreement between the Town of Zionsville and Seaside Ice, LLC and delivered it to the council’s attorney last week,” Styron said.

However, according to town officials, the decision to postpone signing the settlement agreement has the potential to result in further unknown financial damages owed to Ice-America.  

The settlement would require the Town of Zionsville to pay Ice-America $45,000 for alleged nonpayment for services provided earlier this year at Mulberry Fields Park’s ice-skating rink.

The settlement was reached through attorneys that represent Ice-America and the Town of Zionsville after Ice-America filed a lawsuit against the town in February. To be implemented, the agreement requires the signatures of the mayor, the Parks Board, Parks Department, the town council and Ice-America to move forward on payment.

The lawsuit was filed in the Indiana Commercial Court in the Marion County Superior Court 1, claiming a “Breach of Contract” against Zionsville to recover damages resulting from the allegedly unpaid contract balance billed to the town in an invoice. 

  Town officials said the town made a $59,000 payment Jan. 23 for an invoice received from Ice-America. The invoice, according to town officials, requested a change of payment method, via electronic transfer, to a bank in West Fargo, Minn. Cindy Poore, director of the Zionsville Department of Finance and Records, paid the invoice, according to town officials. 

However, according to Scott Williams of Ice-America, the vendor never received the payment. 

The chain of events earlier this year led to a fraud investigation by the Indiana State Police. Attempts to reach the ISP for the status of the investigation were unsuccesful.

Zionsville Town Council President Jason Plunkett

Zionsville Town Council President Jason Plunkett said he believes that the Ice-America incident highlights the need for a town audit. 

“The Indiana State Board of Accounts told the town council two years ago that we need to investigate the town,” Plunkett said. “There’s a lack of internal controls and those still exist. This is a perfect example of why we need to audit our internal controls. This is why for the last three months the town council has requested the mayor’s help to fix the systems and processes.” 

The settlement agreement will be presented at the next town council meeting in July.