Roll Call: Members present were Dianna Bastin, President; David Drake, Vice-President; Scott Oldham, Phillip Smith and Dan Swafford. Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Mike Spencer, Town Attorney were present.
Approval of Minutes
Bastin entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting
Accounts Payable Vouchers
Dianna Bastin entertained a motion to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. David Drake so moved. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried.
Resolution 10-09 Budget Reduction
Sandra Hash stated the Department of Local Government Finance told
the Town of
Drake made a motion we adopt Resolution 10-09.
Scott Oldham seconded. Roll call
vote: Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake –
Ordinances on Second
Ordinance 09-13 to amend Ordinance 08-11 fixing of Salaries for Budget Year 2009
Sandra Hash explained this ordinance changes the title in Planning Department from Administrative Assistant to Assistant Planning Director.
Drake made a motion we adopt Ordinance 09-13.
Phillip Smith seconded. Roll call
vote: Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake –
Ordinance 09-14 to delete Chapter 154
Dianna Bastin stated there was a decision not to do this and entertained a motion to table this ordinance. She explained if we don’t eliminate the Department of Redevelopment it will be easier than bringing it back another year. We can work with other parameters.
Smith made a motion to table this ordinance.
Dan Swafford seconded. Roll call
vote: Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake –
Agreement between Northern Richland
Sewer Corporation and the Town of
Mike Spencer went over the new contract. There are no significant changes. Paragraph 1 is amended by adding “If the IURC denies the application; the following amendment to paragraph 1(B) and 1(C) shall be void”. Paragraph 3(C) was changed from “general rate increase” to “tracking factor”. Section 4 paragraph 2 was amended by adding “If the IURC denies the general rate increase, this amendment to paragraph 2 shall be void”.
Mike Spencer’s concerns were with the flow rates and the tracking factor petition being filed. Mike Spencer spoke with and asked Mr. Carmin on April 17 if there is one petition for both the flow rate tracking factor for this year and the second increase in January 2010. Mr. Carmin agreed that was the case. Mike Spencer spoke with Mr. Carmin on April 27th and was told NRSC’s accountant was ready to file the petition and needed an affidavit (which Mike Spencer has a signed one) and the signed contract. Mike Spencer has the contracts and they are ready to be signed. It is Mike Spencer’s “feeling” that the language he would have liked to have had in the contract was not included; based on the representation of Mr. Carmin, with the signing of the contract they will have everything they need to file the petition and it is ready to be filed within the next few days.
The other issue Mike Spencer has is with the billing rates to cover the cost of Ellettsville billing Northern’s customers. That is tied to a general rate increase and different from the tracking factor. The general rate increase will not occur with the tracking factor increases. The board needs to make a decision on whether they are willing to do it that way. Mike Spencer understands Northern can not afford to pay the additional rate unless they can pass it on to their customers which they “legitimately” can not do unless they get IURC approval. Dan Swafford stated “until they approve the entire package we can not increase the billing”. Mike Spencer went on to say there are two petitions; one for a tracking factor that covers the flow and the other will be a general rate increase which covers items not related to Ellettsville Utilities but will include the billing rate increase. They can not include the billing rate increase in the tracking factor.
Marlene Allen and NRSC received all the information. Everything has been signed, notarized and sent back. The tracking factor was filed late today. All other signatures are in place to move forward with the second rate increase as well. NRSC found out they do not need the contract filed in order to move ahead with the rate increase. NRSC does not know how long it will take the state to approve the papers. In the meantime, NRSC will receive an increase they can work with. They do not know if it will be enough to cover all the billing. It would not be good business to move forward with something and then be denied. The contract is presented with a clause stating they are more than willing to move forward and want to do this. If it comes down to a contract not being signed, NRSC will move forward and hopefully have a contract after they receive their increase from the IURC.
Marlene Allen said Mr. Krohn informed NRSC it usually takes six months or less. The tracking factor starts the process and it will move faster after that. The rate increase, itself, will go in within days from now since the tracking factor has been filed.
David Drake agrees with Mike Farmer and feels things could have been done a lot faster. It is ironic NRSC has the money to sue the Town but not to pay for the billing increase. David Drake’s thought is there is a new cooperative attitude among some of the people with NRSC. He understands everything NRSC has said this evening. For the small amount of money they are talking about, he thinks it would be better to put this issue to rest and get it over with. In the spirit of this new found cooperation, hopefully we can get this all worked out and not have this problem again.
Scott Oldham said it does not seem fair with Eastern having already agreed that we now allow one party to opt out.
Nancy Elkins stated NRSC is asking for a base rate increase at the same time to have enough money to operate on. NRSC has 231 customers. If Ellettsville Utilities is so “hard up” they should ask for more money too. None of the money NRSC is asking for is going to them. Every penny in the contract will be going to Ellettsville Utilities. There has not been a rate increase since 1971.
Dianna Bastin would like to move forward with this since it was started in good faith back in October. Scott Oldham asked if any of the representatives from Eastern would like to comment.
David Williby would like to see Northern get things worked out. David Drake asked if Eastern would feel put out or taken advantage of if NRSC is given more time to do their billing when Eastern is going to start now. Mr. Williby said Eastern can live with that.
David Williby brought up another issue. He thought the Maintenance Interest Money, the town took out, was $63,000. He is now finding out two withdraws have been taken out (the other for $73,000). Eastern would like to know why they were not informed about it.
Dan Swafford stated this happened before the present Council was elected. He knew there were two withdraws but not sure of the amounts. After the meeting, there will be a discussion with Mike Spencer to figure out what happened in 2002. Mike Spencer stated there were two withdraws, one in 2002 and one in 2005. Mike Spencer received a letter from Mr. Krohn indicating Eastern conducted an evaluation and came up with one withdraw. Eastern was operating on information that was provided before the second withdraw. The information received, the first time, was accurate at the time then there was a second withdraw shortly after that. Mr. Williby asked if there has been a third withdraw. Mike Spencer spoke with Becky Wines (Utilities Office Manager) who confirmed there have only been two withdraws.
David Williby would like to see NRSC come into an agreement. Mr. Williby received a call from the IURC and was told they need a minimum of thirty days on the tracker. Dan Swafford would like some more time to look into it and then meet with Eastern and NRSC. Dan asked if everything in the contract was okay except for the billing. Mike Spencer said yes.
Swafford would like to make a motion we adopt the agreement between Northern
Richland Sewer Corporation and the Town of
The following discussion took place before the vote
Dianna Bastin asked Mike Spencer “if I sign this am I agreeing to give them the extra time for the rate increases?” Mike Spencer said yes because the contract states the rate increases are not going to go into effect until the IURC approves. This will give them the time they need.
Dan Swafford said the board is going to have to amend the contract and send it back to NRSC. How do we proceed now? Mike Spencer said we are currently at our existing rates. We are getting into an issue as to whether we can impose the new rates without entering into a new contract.
Marlene Allen and NRSC were advised by their attorney, before this evenings meeting, to present this contract one more time. If the contract was not signed, they would not meet again until they receive their rate increases. They do not have the time to continue legally and doing the research to pursue this. NRSC will stick with the old contract and hope to receive the rate increase information soon. NRSC’s attorney recommendation was to table this until they receive the information from the state.
Mike Farmer would like to meet with NRSC as soon as possible. They need to talk about what they are trying to accomplish with the new contract and billing rates. Ellettsville Utilities should be involved in the NRSC general rate increase. Mike Farmer feels they need advice and direction; they can partner with Ellettsville Utilities to make sure they have enough money to operate, pay bills and to start an infrastructure rehab program. NRSC needs to do proactive work on their system.
Marlene Allen stated NRSC has a good accountant and was prepared ahead of time. The infrastructure is not behind and they are right on target. They have a scheduled maintenance repair and handled anything that came up in a timely matter.
Dianna Bastin asked Phillip Smith and Dan Swafford to work together, come up with something and put it on the next meeting agenda. At the next meeting, if NRSC does not want to move forward; Dianna will let them know if Ellettsville will continue to pick up the difference.
Frank Nierzwicki, Director of Planning Services has been asked by a
Rose-Hulman Environmental Engineering student to work and gain experience in
the Planning Department this summer starting the first week in June until
September. She would like to have a
twenty hour per week volunteer internship.
Her name is Jessica Spore and she is from
Smith made a motion that we allow Jessica Spore to go on an unpaid internship
with the Planning Department. Scott
Oldham seconded. Motion carried. Roll call vote: Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott
Sandra Hash and Frank Nierzwicki received a phone call from the Southern Indiana Development Commission. There is money available through the Mediation of Flooding. Frank explained there is an 80/20 match and SIDC was able to get the first 80% back. They are going to assist the Town in getting the remaining 20%.
Scott Oldham asked Frank about a violation letter that was sent out last week. Frank explained there are many issues with Autumn Ridge and a letter, dated May 8th, will be sent out. Rick Coppock sent a citation letter regarding an erosion problem and a down erosion fence. Scott Oldham asked what the law is regarding the letter being sent May 8th. Frank explained there needs to be 10-15 days on legal notice from the environmental concerns.
Dianna Bastin announced Micah Austin, a SPEA (
Micah Austin formally thanked everyone for the two years he has been with Ellettsville.
Phillip Smith made a motion we adjourn. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried. Dianna Bastin adjourned the meeting at