April 11, 2005

 

Executive Session

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in Executive Session at 6:30 PM, Monday, April 11, 2005.  Members present were Patrick Stoffers, President; William Evans, Vice-President; Lisa Creech, Phillip Rogers and Dennis Williamson.  Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, Mike Spencer, Attorney and Frank Nierzwicki were also in attendance.

 

The Council discussed information in accordance to:  IC 5-14-1.5-6.1 (b) (2) for discussion of strategy with respect to:

(B) Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing.

 

No other matters were discussed.  The meeting adjourned at 7:25 PM.

 

 

Regular Session

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session on Monday, April 11, 2005, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Patrick Stoffers called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Lisa Creech led in prayer and Dennis Williamson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Patrick Stoffers, President; William Evans, Vice President; Lisa Creech, Phillip Rogers and Dennis Williamson.  Also present were Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Mike Spencer, Attorney

 

Supervisors Present:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Ron McGlocklin, Mike Farmer, Jeff Farmer, Rick Coppock and Frank Nierzwicki were present.

 

Approval of the minutes

 

Lisa Creech moved to approve the minutes for the Special Session, Regular Meeting and Executive Session on March 28, 2005.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Action to Pay Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Lisa Creech made a motion to pay the Accounts Payable Vouchers.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Proclamation for the Exchange Club

 

Lisa Creech read the Exchange Club Proclamation stating child abuse is a serious and growing problem.  The Exchange Club of Ellettsville, through its support of parent aide programs, parenting classes and community service activities, is making significant progress in stopping this crime. The Ellettsville Town Council hereby proclaims the entire month of April shall be observed as Child Abuse Prevention Month and urge all citizens to use this time to better understand, recognize and respond to this grievous problem.  Lisa Creech made a motion to accept the Proclamation for the Exchange Club declaring the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Announcement

 

Patrick Stoffers announced there is a Democratic vacancy on the Parks Board.  Sandra Hash mentioned it was announced in The Journal.  Patrick suggested if anyone is interested in the position to contact the Clerk Treasurer. 

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 05-05 declaring a strip of land, Southeast part of lot 178 in Paddington Park as surplus property

 

William Evans read the resolution in its entirety except for the description.

 

Lisa Creech asked if the other side of the road should also be considered surplus since the roadway went through a lot and there are two pieces to this property.  Frank thought the other part was for an easement.  Patrick wondered if the other piece has any maintenance problems.  Jim Ragle responded the smaller side has not been a problem it is just a small strip and the adjacent property owner has agreed to maintain it.  The surplus piece is larger and has several trees creating both mowing and leaf removal problems.  It would be beneficial for both the Town and adjacent property owner to sell them the property.  William Evans made a motion to adopt Resolution 05-05 declaring a strip of land, Southeast part of lot 178 in Paddington Park as surplus property.  Phil Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 05-06 adopting a Capital Assets Policy

 

Sandra Hash gave a brief explanation of this mandate from the State Board of Accounts (SBA) for communities to adopt the Government Accounting Standards Board Statement 34 (GASB 34).  The SBA has talked to us for several years in preparation for this.  They have provided us with sample asset policies.  For our Town size we needed to come into compliance in January 2004.  This will be a retroactive policy.  During our recent audit we were advised to move forward with our policy.  We presently keep a straight asset listing without depreciating.  In the past our threshold has been anything over $500 which is a little cumbersome.  The low priced assets depreciate so quickly it makes it non beneficial to track them.  The auditors suggested a realistic threshold for our assets would be $5,000.  This policy explains how to categorize, depreciate and describe the assets.  It mandates we do a physical inventory annually.  Patrick asked if any depreciation is being posted on the CTAR.  Sandra replied no but we are reporting fixed assets annually on the civil side.  Patrick was puzzled because we are on a cash basis on the civil side and depreciation is a non cash entry, but agreed he feels good that we have a formalized policy for assets.  Sandra added the GASB 34 does mandate the civil side depreciate from now on.  Being on a cash basis, we will have an income statement but we have been instructed the information will not be available until after we are audited.

 

Frank Nierzwicki wanted to point out to the Town Council; GASB 34 is requiring everyone to come into compliance.  The draft work program for the area MPO has money set aside for a consultant and study background work on GASB 34.  There is about $12,500 of which $10,000 can be reimbursed starting July 1, 2005 until June 30, 2006.  If this is passed, it would be something to assist with the development of GASB 34.  Patrick asked if this included road inventory and installation material cost going back to 1930.  Sandra mentioned as a Town, at our level, we are not required to go back and figure that out.  We start as of January 1, 2004 and any new infrastructure from that point on will need to be recorded.  The assets already in place will be kept on our historical listing and we will figure the depreciation.  Sandra and Frank will be meeting with a consultant Monroe County utilized to assist with the collection of their background data, this week.  Sandra feels it would be a benefit to learn the formulas and guidelines they have used to figure the cost.  It is a learning process all the way around.  The starting point is utilizing the policy set up by the State Board of Accounts. Patrick thanked Sandra for all the work she has put into developing this ordinance.  Lisa Creech questioned why we went with $10,000 if the State Board of Accounts suggests $5,000.  Patrick replied $10,000 is a common threshold in the state of Indiana, he is not aware of any standard and there are some proposed regulations.  He wants it noted the City of Bloomington’s threshold is $10,000.  He feels $5,000 is reasonable.  We don’t have many purchases beyond the $5,000 let alone the $10,000 threshold.  Sandra added it would be the department supervisors’ responsibility to track their assets under $10,000.  Dennis Williamson wanted to know how we were going to inform those individual employees of their responsibilities.  Sandra answered the department heads already have an inventory system in place.  The Police Department has a software program they utilize, the Street Department also wrote their own program and are tracking their assets.  The Utilities Department has an annual inventory of all parts and supplies.  The supervisors will get a copy of this policy and if there are any questions we can have a work session.  It was then discussed on page 13 of the policy regarding the Disposition of Surplus Property.  Patrick feels the way it is written the department head would have essentially a veto over the disposable of property.  Mike Spencer agreed but said he didn’t think that was the intention but that is how it reads.  He thinks they should strike out “Department Head”.  William Evans agreed with Mike Spencer. Lisa Creech made a motion to strike in the paragraph on page 13, first paragraph, with the heading CAUTION to strike “of the Department Head and”.   William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.     

 

Ordinance 05-07 making the Personnel Policy retroactive to January 1, 2005

 

Sandra Hash reminded the council the Personnel Policy was passed February 28, 2005 going into effect at the passing.  It was her understanding in the supervisors’ meeting everyone was in agreement to make the policy retroactive to January 1, 2005.  To be covered in giving the employees these additional benefits, she spoke with Mike Spencer about this ordinance and consulted with the Council President to make sure it was okay to proceed with an ordinance to make it clear the policy would be retroactive to January 1, 2005. 

 

Ordinance 05-08 to amend Ordinance 04-25 the Salary Ordinance for 2005

 

Sandra Hash explained in the end of the year salary ordinance there was not a listing for a Code Enforcement Officer.  It needs to be split between the Planning Department and Police Department.  Provisions need to be made for this in the salary ordinance.  There was a part time Police Officer listed but not a clerical position.  Frank added the Code Enforcement Officer is working well with the two departments. 

 

New Business

 

House of Prayer Heart A Fire Choir request a Fund Raiser Road Block

 

Linda Webb handed out copies of a letter from the Director of The Vienna Austria Department of Cultural Affairs inviting their choir to sing at the International Advent Sing in Vienna, Austria November 30, 2005 until December 5, 2005.  They have a number of fundraisers planned from now until the money is due.  They would like to do a bucket fundraiser on Sale Street on Friday, May 27 from 12 until 7 PM.  They need to raise about $36,000 over the next five months.  William Evans asked if they were going to be on Highway 46.  Patrick Stoffers stated Title 9 of Indiana Code says you can not block a state highway but Sale Street would be okay to block off.  Lisa Creech thinks this would be good test for closing the street for future events.  Linda Webb mentioned advertising in the Herald-Times and The Journal to let the community know about this great honor.  Lisa Creech made a motion to approve the Fund Raiser on Sale Street for Friday, May 27 from 12 PM to 7 PM for the House of Prayer Hearts a Fire Choir fundraiser.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Richland Bean Blossom Youth Sports request to close Park Street for a Street Dance on April 29, 2005 from 6:30 PM to 9 PM and April 30, 2005 from 8 AM to 5 PM for Opening Day at the Ball Park

 

Jennifer Pursell, Richland-Bean Blossom Youth Sports, is requesting to close Park Street on Friday, April 29, 2005 for a street dance and again April 30 for Opening Day at the ballpark.  Every team from tee ball up has a game that day.  She spoke with Ron McGlocklin, Town Marshal, who did not have a problem with this.  Sandra reminded the Council this has been an annual event since 1998.  Jennifer mentioned this had been an issue a few years ago when a child was hit by a car crossing the road between the tee ballfields and concession stands.  Patrick asked where the street would be closed.  Ron answered they usually close the street at Ritter and Park at the upper edge of the ball field and down by Turtleback Creek and Park Street.  He mentioned the street department furnishes the barricades.  Dennis Williamson was curious about the street dance music.  Jennifer answered she is trying to find a DJ.  She would like this to be a family event with music for the young and old.  Lisa Creech made a motion to close Park Street for a street dance on April 29, 2005 from 6:30 PM to 9 PM and on April 30, 2005 from 8 AM to 5 PM for Opening Day at the ballpark.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Capacity Certification for Greenbrier Knolls and Deer Run Subdivision Phase II, Kenton Robinson

 

Lisa Creech announced she would be abstaining.

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo Associates, explained the sewer capacity certification letter for the next few phases in Deer Run and Greenbrier Knolls Subdivisions.  This is just a continuation of the project to the south property line.  Dennis Williamson asked about the numbers.  Rick answered Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) takes the number of lots times 310 gallons a day for single family residents.  Patrick stated for the record it indicates 26,350 gallons per day.  William Evans made a motion to accept the Capacity Certification for Greenbrier Knolls and Deer Run Subdivision Phase II, Kenton Robinson.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.  Lisa Creech abstained from this vote.

 

Capacity Certification for Union Valley Farms Phase III, Development Group Network

 

Rick Coppock is requesting the same type of certification to be sent with the plans to IDEM for approval for the Phase III Union Valley Farms.  This phase is to the north of the existing development and entails 15 acres.  Dennis asked who the contact person is for this development.  Rick answered Jim McDonald.  Patrick pointed out for the record the letter indicates 9,920 gallons per day.  Lisa Creech made a motion to approve the Capacity Certification for Union Valley Farms Phase III, Development Group Network.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Ron McGlocklin said the Ellettsville Police Department will be participating in the Project Child Safe, also known as PCS.  This project is funded through the criminal justice system.  They hand out free gun locks for both long and hand guns to adults throughout the community.  The papers were signed and sent back today.  They should be receiving the locks between May 21 and June 13.  This is a good project to keep the community aware and our kids safe.  Last year they received about 400 locks and still have some of those.  This year the PCS will be putting out a press release.  Lisa Creech commented this is an excellent project because her son has heard other children talk about their parents’ guns.

 

Jim Davis mentioned a local radio station would like to put a tower on the Louden Road water tank site. The fire department has its main transmission frequency on a tower out there.  Since it is in the county, the Monroe County Plan Commission said there is a case law indicating we have less hurdles to jump over if the property is deeded to the utilities rather than a municipal government.  He is requesting the property be transferred to the utilities.  The fire department has some problems getting radio communication in the Whitehall area.  They will gain about 50 foot in height on the tower.  This radio company, if approved, will put up a new tower at no cost to the Town and pay the Town monthly for being on this tower.  This would be a win-win situation for Ellettsville because it will improve our radio coverage to the southwest; we will get a new tower and be paid money to have it there.  It was then clarified that if the Town owned the property we would have to obtain a permit but if the utilities own it, no permit is required.  Dennis Williamson wanted to know if we deeded the property to the utilities, would they pay the utilities.  Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, went on to explain the Fire Department would maintain the tower, building and some of the apparatus that supports the tower.  With their help, we will put the tower up and divide the money between the Town and utilities.  The Town purchased the property with utility money.  He does not have any reservations about moving on with this.  Mike Spencer said it would not be a problem or issue to prepare a deed.  Jim needs the Council to give Mike the approval to take care of this.  Lisa Creech made a motion to transfer the property to the utilities so the Fire Department can proceed with the tower.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, would like to hire Jim Harden as a Temporary Full-time laborer.  Jim worked for the utilities for a number of years, left on good standings and would like to come back.  Dennis Williamson made a motion to accept the recommendation for utilities to hire Jim Harden.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Next Jeff talked about the proposal letter for the NRSC customers and corporation.  The first six items listed are the services that will be provided.   Jeff then read the next four items The Town of Ellettsville proposes:

  1. All monies held in the bank by the NRSC on the date of the merger shall be used to pay all outstanding indebtedness. After all indebtedness is paid the balances shall be distributed to Northern’s membership.
  2. All NRSC customers would become Town of Ellettsville customers and be charge the same rate as in town sewer customers effective on the next billing cycle after the merger.
  3. The responsibility and ownership of the NRSC infrastructure will transfer to the Town of Ellettsville Utilities.
  4. The Town of Ellettsville utilities will assume responsibility for all legal fees and activities related to the merger.

An Option to Item #2 would be the NRSC customer’s sewer rates would remain in effect for a period of three years.  At that time they would switch to the in town sewer rates as proposed.

Jeff would like to unite the utilities to protect the environment and sewer plant.  This letter is similar to the one sent out during the last merger discussions.  Jeff feels this is a pretty simple merger.  Their infrastructures are in need of repair with no value.  Our goal is to unite the utilities.  Lisa Creech made a motion to let Jeff Farmer proceed with sending out the letter to NRSC and to set up a meeting with interested parties.  William Evans seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Sandra Hash mentioned next week is the Indiana League of Municipal Clerk-Treasurers Conference.  She and Amber will be attending Monday through Thursday.  They should be back Thursday afternoon.  Marion will be in the office Tuesday and Thursday.  The utilities will handle any fee collections the other days. This conference will be covering Capital Asset Records, Open Door Law and Budgets & Appropriations.  They will also cover the new legislation on the GASB 34.

 

Dennis Williamson attended the Ellettsville Main Street meeting last week. They will be presenting a letter to the Town covering plans for the next three years.  Dennis asked Frank to attend the May 11th meeting where they will be discussing the Heritage Trail, Gateway Project and things needing to be done this year.

 

Lisa Creech asked Sandra to post a meeting May 10, 2005 from 7 to 9 PM at the Fire Department.  Dennis, Bill and she will be meeting with John Shean in a Republican Caucus.

 

Lisa would also like to commend the Street Department on all the hard work they have done on the old fire station building. 

 

She also mentioned a lot of interest in another Fall Festival.  Lisa has not heard from Joe Peden but spoke with his daughter Rachel. The problem is getting everyone together for a meeting.  Lisa would like to get the ball rolling on this.

 

William Evans commended the Police Reserves on a successful IdentaKid program that was held at Big Lots.  Officer Tony Bowlen was successful in getting a $2,800 state grant for portable breath testers (PBT).  Tony Bowlen and Russell Harris are presently working on state grants for a new digital camera and a shooting range, which would be located near the police station.  Russell Harris and Chuck Jacobs have qualified for the firearms instructor course through the police academy and are waiting for openings. Neidigh Construction has returned to fixed unacceptable work in their original construction.  Striping and sealing pavement should be done around the first of May.  Staining of the north side of the building should be done this week. William thanked the police for slowing the traffic down and also thanked Jim Ragle for the work he has done on the old fire station, it has turned into a nice facility.

 

Sandra Hash asked for permission to write a letter to INDOT for directional signs in the business district for the Chamber of Commerce.  Patrick said to go ahead and write the letter. 

 

Adjournment

 

William Evans made a motion to adjourn.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.