The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session at 7:30 PM, Monday, April 14, 2003 at the Town Hall. David Sorokoty called the meeting to order and Ray Freetage led in prayer. Geraldine McIntyre led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
David Sorokoty thanked everyone for their sympathy regarding his father-in-law’s passing.
David Sorokoty asked for roll call of the Council Members. Members present were David Sorokoty, President; David Drake, Vice-President; Ray Freetage and Geraldine McIntyre. Also present were Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Mike Spencer, Attorney.
Supervisors Present: Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Ron McGlocklin, Jeff Farmer and Mike Farmer.
Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting on March 24th, 2003
Geraldine McIntyre moved to approve the March 24th minutes and David Drake seconded. Motion carried.
Action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers
Geraldine McIntyre moved to approve the accounts payable vouchers. David Drake seconded. Motion carried.
Resolution 07-03 Transfer of Funds
David Drake read the resolution in its entirety. This resolution transfers funds from MVH-122 Group Health Insurance to MVH-123 Unemployment Insurance for $126.00. Geraldine McIntyre moved to accept Resolution 07-03. Ray Freetage seconded. Motion carried.
Ordinances on First
Ordinance 03-06 to amend the
Zone Maps –
Ray Freetage introduced this
ordinance, which changes the zoning from R-1 to C-3 for lots 6 and 7. Mr. Grover Brashear is in Richland Bean
Blossom. nursing home, therefore, Fred Gregory; court
appointed legal guardian represented him.
Mr. Gregory stated the property is in disrepair and thought the best use
for the property would be commercial instead of residential and requested this
ordinance be approved. The property as
well as Ms. Jaco’s property is for sale. Ray Freetage questioned what is the expected commercial use of this property. Mr. Gregory said there were no definite
plans for the property yet and the Council could
consult with the realtor for his opinion. David Drake, Vice-President of the
Plan Commission stated that the first several properties along
Ordinance 03-07 to amend the
Zone Maps –
David Sorokoty introduced this ordinance, which changes the zoning on this property from R-1 to C-3.
Ordinances on Second
Ordinance 03-03 to amend
Chapter 255-35 of the
David Drake read the
ordinance. This ordinance proposes
adding Veteran’s Day and Election Day for both primary and general elections as
scheduled Holidays for Town employees. Geraldine
McIntyre said she checked with the Monroe County Clerk and the Utility office
cannot work if the Town Hall is used as a poling place. The County and City are paid for 16
Holidays. It was discussed further with
comments that it wasn’t necessary and would be costly for the Town to give all
of the employees two more paid Holidays for Election Days. It was decided to amend the ordinance to read
only adding Veteran’s Day as a paid
Ordinance 03-04 to amend
Section 310-5, 310-10 and 315-10 of the
David Sorokoty read the ordinance. David Drake said he agrees with the idea because of repeat offenders but would rather issue 1 warning per calendar year first. Then if necessary send a letter with a fine. Sandra Hash questioned if the Town’s ordinance could be stricter than Indiana Code. Mike Spencer said it could be more stringent. Ray Freetage and David Sorokoty said they thought the ordinance was too harsh. Geraldine McIntyre agreed $25 was too stiff for the first fine. Sandra Hash questioned how the five days would be determined and stated that fines are hard to collect. David Drake said some of the owners are out of state and more elusive to contact. This was discussed further and comments were that the ordinance was written too generalized, too harsh and should be more directed toward repeat offenders. Geraldine McIntyre made a motion to table Ordinance 03-04. David Drake seconded. Motion carried.
Contract with the Chamber of Commerce concerning maintaining the Ellettsville Web page (ellettsville.in.us)
David Drake moved to approve the contract as written. Ray Freetage seconded. Motion carried. Sandra Hash explained that the Clerk’s information has been moved from the Geocities website to the Ellettsville website. She said the Clerk’s office is only responsible for maintaining the Town Government Page. All of the Minutes and the Town Code are now on the website as well.
Police Station Site
David Sorokoty said a decision needs to be
made for the Police Department. David Drake informed the Council that he
had visited several towns and cities in Southern Indiana that are similar in
size to Ellettsville and presented pictures of them for everyone to get an idea
of the lay out and location of the towns / cities services concentrating on
Police Departments. He explained that in
housed in an old
doctor’s office on the north side of town.
Mitchell’s City Hall, Utilities and Police Station are combined in one
Ray Freetage commended David Drake for
taking the time to visit other towns and cities. He has looked at other facilities as well and
they are not in the center of town. The
Geraldine McIntyre requested to hear from the Utilities because they own the property and from Ron McGlocklin because it affects his department. She suggested if using the McNeely site to build a bigger building add the Clerk’s office and a meeting room and let the Utilities have the entire Town Hall building.
Mike Farmer said there is room for both facilities but suggested everyone decide what building sites they prefer and perform a study to make sure it is feasible.
Ron McGlocklin thinks we need to make a decision and that either place would be fine. He doesn’t have a preference. Once the site is picked we should move forward with the building plans. He spoke with contractors and they suggested a block building would be more cost effective to build per foot.
Rob Hunter, R & D Computer Hardware Concepts stated he’s done work for the Police Department and has “band-aided” some of their problems for years and knows they still use DOS for their incident reports. He proposed upgrading their software at the same time as building a new station and suggested allocating $8,500.00 for new computer equipment and network systems to prepare the department for the next 5-7 years.
Ray Freetage moved to utilize the property on McNeely for the Police Station and move ahead with speed. David Drake seconded. Motion carried. David Sorokoty said they would be scheduling a special session soon to start designing the Police
Station and hear Ron’s needs and wants for a new station as well as the Council’s input.
Agreement with H. J. Umbaugh for a Capital Projects Plan
Sandra Hash explained that the purpose of this agreement is to layout a financial plan for the Town’s future. They will look at all of the books of the Town and do long range planning. They plan to meet with the Supervisors as well. Mike Spencer felt the contract gave too big of range, it wasn’t specific on the cost of the agreement. Therefore, H. J. Umbaugh amended the contract and added Exhibit A, which is a breakdown of costs. David Drake and Ray Freetage both agreed the Council should get going on this. Sandra Hash reminded the Council they had previously voted to employ the services of H. J. Umbaugh for a Capital Plan, tonight is just wrapping up unfinished details of the agreement. H. J. Umbaugh representatives have already met with Sandra and collected some information for the project. Geraldine McIntyre made a motion to go ahead with H. J. Umbaugh Capital Projects Plan. Ray Freetage seconded. Motion carried.
Financial Agreement with Public Finance extension on track hoe
Mike Farmer explained the Utilities had leased a track hoe for the highway project for two years. They want to lease it for an additional year and the Council has already approved extending the lease. The Council signatures are required on the paperwork. Sandra Hash said the payments are the same as the last two years and it has a good interest rate of 3.39%. Since we have extended the lease, they reduced the balloon payment at the end, which will be approximately $64,000.00 if we choose to purchase it.
Patricia Wilson-Freeman concerning water usage of 176,000 gallons
Patricia Wilson-Freeman who lives in Arrowhead Addition addressed the Council saying that a few weeks ago she received a note from the Ellettsville Utilities informing her she may have a water leak. Her husband then thoroughly checked the house and found no leak. A few weeks later, she received her bill for $952.00 saying they had used 176,000 gallons of water. Her regular water bill is normally around $14 or $15 and she claims there is no way they used that much water since it is just her husband and herself. She called the Office and told them her bill was incorrect and that there must be a problem. Becky Wines, Utilities Office Manager, told her the crew had checked the meter and everything was working fine. She had Melvin Sutherlin, whom she bought the house from, check the plumbing for her as well and found no problem. However, Melvin looked at the meter and said it wasn’t even running and suggested she call the office again. She also had Grimes Plumbing check out the house’s plumbing and everything was fine. When she called, Becky told her that something happened between February 5th and March 7th but that it seemed normal again now. She and Becky were both confused and concerned how if she had a leak it could be problem one time and fixed the next time, so Becky filled out a Customer Action Report form to have Mike Farmer and the guys look into the situation. Mike told her he would take care of the situation personally. They changed her meter. She is requesting the Council release her from this debt and not make her pay this bill because she says there is no way she used that much water and she can not find any leaks.
Mike Farmer apologized for not personally taking care of the situation. He agreed that was an enormous amount of water to use for a domestic service but stated the bill was for over a two-month period. The meters were estimated for those two months due to such severely cold weather during that time. The Office looked at her customer history and in general over the last year she used two or three thousand gallons of water per month. However, over this three-month period the usage increased dramatically indicating something unusual. There may be a problem. They tested the meter and ended up changing it because it was running slow at low flows. Since unsure of what actually happened because there aren’t enough facts to determine the cause they have offered to make an adjustment on the sewer portion of the bill. They will adjust her bill by $552.00 but he’s fairly certain the meter read water usage, in fact, it may have not registered her using as much as actually went through the meter since it was running slow at low flows. His goals as Utilities Supervisor are to serve Mrs. Freeman and give her an answer if possible and to
reduce the Town’s unaccountable water, but he said the decision to have her pay this bill was the Council’s. The office has received several calls of citizens questioning their bills since this situation has been in the newspaper. Mike and the Council all agreed they didn’t want to set a precedent of questioning high water bills. Mike proposed selling her the water at the wholesale rate for a cost of $265.97 and the normal sewer rate of $43.08 plus tax for a total $309.05. After further discussion he offered to give her an average bill based on the last three months of usage. Ray Freetage moved to have her water bill be averaged over the last three months. David Drake seconded. Motion carried 3-1.
Privilege of the Floor
Doug Clausman, resident who
lives not far from
Doug also inquired if Ellettsville has a noise ordinance. David Drake stated noise violations are hard to enforce. Decimal meters are expensive and an officer has to be certified to operate them. The general consensus now if the noise is clearly audible at 50 feet away then it is considered too loud. Ron McGlocklin said the Town has adopted the State statute on noise. He agreed decimal meters are expensive and it is hard to enforce. He suggested a sign stating it was a neighborhood and the residents request drivers to be quieter in the hopes the signs would raise consciousness and create more courteous drivers in the area.
Beth Robinson-Pyclik commented that Robinson Construction Management
who recently purchased the old elementary school would like to have the 14’
alley from Temperance to Ritter opened.
It would help to redevelop the property.
She asked for discussion and planning on this area possibly making this
into a street and extending
She also inquired if the Town would be interested in housing the Town Offices in the old school building. If so what would be needed and what concerns might the Town have with the property. David Sorokoty said this was a little too soon to decide but the main concern was leasing. Solving the Police Department’s location is currently the main issue. He suggested Beth offer space to the Post Office also. His goal is to keep Ellettsville’s downtown alive. David Drake stated in would be nice to have that building occupied but expressed the idea of what to do with the Town Hall if vacated.
Ron McGlocklin said the department needs to have a paper trail to track lost and damaged equipment because in the past they have had problems with issuing equipment and accountability within the department. If they had a form it would assign responsibility to the individual officers for their equipment. He has already spoken with Mike Spencer about creating a form for issuing out equipment to the
officers and would like to have this form adopted and added to section #600 making it number 605 of their Standard Operating Procedures. Geraldine McIntyre made a motion to allow this paragraph to be added in their S. O. P.’s. making it #605. Ray Freetage seconded. Motion carried.
Jim Ragle requested
permission to tear down the 2 out buildings on the
Darlyne Sowder, Parks and
Recreation Board President informed the Council that the
Ellettsville’s representative on the Animal Control Board gave copies of
the minutes and statistics to each Council member from the last meeting. She said she requested the actual street
addresses on the statistics to confirm whether they were in fact Ellettsville
calls. Steve Chambers said it would be
possible and he would get her that information.
The Board has decided not to build a new building; however, the City of
Sandra Hash informed the
Council that she and Amber Ragle would be attending a conference
Sandra received information from the
Affordable Homes Group last week. There
is a HUD house at
Geraldine McIntyre gave an update on the road. There is a 15’ alley in that area and it needs to be determined if John Davis or the Town owns it. After that they can proceed with the plans for the road to the Senior Citizens’ Housing addition. She also extended her sympathy to the Farmer Family for the loss of their Mother.
David Sorokoty said
he and Ron McGlocklin attended a meeting for the Hilly Hundred and Ron
explained the rules expected of the bicyclists.
Ron told them that if the bicyclists rode more than 3 people wide on the
road they would be issued a ticket. They
will ride northeast of Ellettsville on
David Sorokoty asked for a motion to adjourn. Geraldine McIntyre moved to adjourn. Ray Freetage seconded, motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at p. m.
David Sorokoty, President David Drake, Vice President
Lisa Combs-Creech Ray Freetage
Geraldine McIntyre Sandra C. Hash, Clerk-Treasurer