April 14, 2014

 

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, April 14, 2014, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  David Drake called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.

 

Roll Call:  Members present were David Drake, Vice President; Dianna Bastin; Dan Swafford and Scott Thomas.  Scott Oldham was absent.  Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, and Darla Brown, Town Attorney, were also present. 

 

Supervisors present were:  Mike Cornman, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

David Drake entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on March 24, 2014, and the work session on March 31, 2014.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Dan Swafford abstained.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

David Drake entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Proclamation for Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month

 

David Drake read the Proclamation for Huntington’s Disease as follows:

 

Proclamation

Town of Ellettsville, Monroe County, Indiana

 

WHEREAS, Huntington’s Disease is a strongly genetic, neurodegenerative disease that typically affects people in mid-life, and places each child of an affected parent at risk of inheriting the expanded gene responsible for causing the disease; and

 

WHEREAS, HD is a rare and orphan disease affecting 30,000 Americans while placing another 200,000 at-risk; and

 

WHEREAS, the average lifespan after onset of Huntington’s Disease is 10-20 years, and the younger the age of onset, the more rapid the progression of the disease, resulting in children who develop the juvenile form of the disease rarely living to adulthood; and

 

WHEREAS, Since 1993 when the gene that causes HD was discovered, research into the causes are currently exploring many new avenues and approaches including focus on way to delay onset of HD, development of effective therapies that may slow the progression of HD and ultimately, a cure for the disease; and

 

WHEREAS, there is at present no effective treatment or cure for Huntington’s disease, raising awareness about HD is critical to the advancement of vital research and support services; and

 

WHEREAS, Indiana has one of the highest incidences of Huntington's disease in the country:

 

NOW, THEREFORE be it Resolved, that the Ellettsville Town Council, Ellettsville, Indiana do hereby proclaim the month of May, 2014, as

 

                                                HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH

 

ADOPTED this 14th day of April in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Fourteen.

 

Proclamation for Ellettsville Lodge #245 Free and Accepted Mason’s Day May 17, 2014

 

David Drake read the Proclamation for Ellettsville Lodge #245 Free and Accepted Mason’s Day May 17, 2014, as follows:

 

Proclamation

Town of Ellettsville

Monroe County, Indiana

 

WHEREAS, The Ellettsville Lodge #245 Free and Accepted Masons has existed in the community of Ellettsville since 1857, and 

 

WHEREAS, Ellettsville Lodge # 245 Free and Accepted Masons has had its lodge building at the corner of Sale and Vine street in Ellettsville since 1895, and

 

WHEREAS, The Ellettsville Lodge has graced its building with statues of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist who are recognized as the Patron Saints of Freemasonry, and

 

WHEREAS, on May 17, 2014, The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana will be dedicating the Statues of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist with the ancient of corn, wine and oil.  

 

NOW, THEREFORE, The Ellettsville Town Council, Ellettsville, Indiana does hereby proclaim May 17, 2014, as

 

ELLETTSVILLE LODGE #245 FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS DAY

 

                      and to urge all our citizens to continue their generous support of

                    our local Ellettsville Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.

 

ADOPTED this 14th day of April in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Fourteen.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2014-04 Long Term Loan from Sewer Capacity to Stormwater

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained the purpose of the ordinance is to purchase the property at the corner of Hartstraight Road and State Road 46 for $78,500 and $5,000 has been added for closing costs, if needed.  The money will be borrowed from the Sewer Capacity User Fund and paid back with stormwater revenue.  Payments won’t start until 2016 because the Town has to pay off a piece of equipment and interest.  Right now, they’re earning .5%  interest on their investment.  She wrote the interest rate into the agreement for repayment of that money so they won’t lose their interest on those funds.

 

Dan Swafford asked if the loan will not affect the rates.  Darla Brown replied that was correct.  Mr. Swafford asked for clarification on the loan not starting until 2016.  Ms. Hash explained the Town is going to borrow the money from the Sewer Capacity User Fund to pay for the trail.  She consulted with the Utilities’ Managers and they have adequate cash reserve in the Sewer Capacity User Fund to cover the long term loan without disrupting any services. Mr. Swafford confirmed payment will come from the stormwater funds.  Ms. Hash replied that was correct.  Mr. Swafford commented the land is being purchased to help with the flooding in Ellettsville.  Where will the additional funds come from to renovate the property to handle the access stormwater and studies?  Ms. Hash replied it has not been discussed with her.  Mr. Swafford asked if there is any discussion about planning or are they buying it first and proceeding from there.  Ms. Hash reiterated she only knows about purchasing the property.  Any improvements would come after the purchase.  Mr. Drake explained part of the urgency for purchasing the property was because someone else was interested in it.  This is probably why the Town hasn’t come up with a plan.  It is also tied to possibly being involved with the Heritage Trail so it will have a dual benefit.

 

Ordinance 2014-06 Transfer of Appropriations Between Funds

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained this ordinance to pay the newly created Town Manager position for the remainder of 2014.  It will be written into the budget for 2015.  There was a surplus in the health insurance lines.  When they did the budgets last year they were told there could be a 20% increase for health insurance but the actual quote came in with a 14% decrease.  There is still a cushion in each of those funds for any changes the departments may have.

 

Dan Swafford asked why they’re already putting money in for wages when there isn’t an applicant.  Mr. Drake replied a salary has to be established before someone can be hired.  Mr. Swafford asked the yearly salary amount.  Ms. Hash replied for the remainder of this year the number she was given was $18,235 for the actual wages, $1,000 for office supplies, and $1,765 for fuel which totals $21,000.  This ordinance is to move the funds around and the salary ordinance will be decided later.  Mr. Swafford sees the appropriations coming from excess health insurance but it is for this year.  Ms. Hash noted it will be a budget item in 2015.  Mr. Swafford said his point is there is money this year but where will it come from next year?  He wants everybody to think about this. 

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2014-05 Adding Chapter 8 to the Ellettsville Town Code regarding Mass Gatherings

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman, explained this ordinance is to give direction when the Town has large events in the community. 

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, further explained this is exactly what was introduced at the last meeting and she suggested certain changes which are as follows:

 

§98.05(C)(2), Vehicular Ingress and Egress to Facility and On-Site Parking, she added section (f) based on a suggestion from the Town’s ADA Coordinator:  “Accessible parking spaces must be provided in accordance with the American’s with Disabilities Act.”

 

§98.05(C)(3), subparagraph (c) was added as follows:  “The Town Marshal and the Fire Chief, either separately or in conjunction with one another, shall have the authority to shut down an event immediately for public safety purposes due to riotous or tumultuous conduct or dangerous activities or for impending weather hazards or other disasters.”

 

§98.05(C)(7), Sanitary Facilities, subparagraph (b):  “Toilet facilities shall comply with the American’s with Disabilities Act with at least one ADA accessible toilet facility for each 450 persons.”

 

David Drake asked if §98.05(C)(3) makes the Town responsible for failing to shut down an event in an emergency.  Ms. Brown thinks it’s one of those situations if you do or you’re don’t you’re going to have problems.  At least if they have the authority to do it and exercise it under the circumstance the Town will be fine.  There are unforeseen things that can happen.  If there are foreseen circumstances then that gives the Town Marshal and the Fire Chief the authority to shut it down.  If the paragraph wasn’t in the ordinance and an emergency happened and there was no shut down of the event the Town might still have a problem.  The purpose of it is to make applicants aware their permit could be yanked under certain circumstances.

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman commented it is his understanding if it is a permitted process they’re certain there will be law enforcement present.  They have discussed having additional training in mass gatherings for law enforcement and fire department officers similar to what they now have at the Indiana State Fair and the appropriate emergency management system.  He will be taking a two day class on this starting on April 15, 2014.  Ms. Hash stated with the Fall Festival it would be nice to know they had some personnel on the grounds that could make that kind of call.  As volunteers it is difficult to have that kind of knowledge. 

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen advised under §98.05(C)(3)(b) he would feel better if for every 500 people there were two certified police officers.  Mr. Swafford asked if the reserves are certified.  Marshal Bowlen replied they meet state standards to be a police officer but they’re not academy certified as required by the National Incident Management Systems (“NIMS”).  Mr. Swafford suggested a reserve officer could be used as the security officer.  Marshal Bowlen agreed but they’re talking about using two certified police officers and it doesn’t mean they have to be from the Ellettsville Police Department.  He suggested it state “Indiana certified police officers” so they have the authority to act.  Mr. Swafford asked if the person putting on the event would pay for the police officers.  Marshal Bowlen replied the ordinance states it is at the expense of the applicant.  Town Council members agreed to the change in the ordinance.

 

David Drake asked if the security officer requirement should be dropped since there will be two certified police officers.  Chief Cornman replied it sounds as if the Town Marshal wants three officers, two full time and one reserve officer.  Ms. Hash asked how the rate will be established.  Mr. Swafford suggested their regular rate plus benefits and any equipment.  Chief Cornman recommended the Town Council decide on each application.  Ms. Hash commented the Fall Festival pays the reserves $2,000.  Does this mean the Fall Festival would have to have an agreement with the full time police officers?  Chief Cornman doesn’t think it is prohibited as long as it is met by the application process between the people involved.  To him, it is still as is.  Marshal Bowlen noted there are usually full time people working at the Fall Festival anyway.  Where the pay comes from isn’t germane to the ordinance at hand.  Usually, with the manpower they have at the Fall Festival they wouldn’t have any trouble because there is rarely a time when there aren’t two officers present.  Ms. Hash stated if there is a mass gathering they need to approach the Police Department and work out the cost ahead of time. 

 

Dan Swafford asked if the rate can be changed for different organizations without setting a standard.  Scott Thomas replied it isn’t actually the Town they’re paying.  The agreement is between the parties and the Town Council approves the permit.  The Town Council isn’t in the middle of establishing rates.  Ms. Brown agreed.  The Town is leaving it to the applicant to make those arrangements with the officers.  Mr. Swafford asked if the money would go straight to the officers and not through the Clerk-Treasurer.  Marshal Bowlen replied if there is a mass gathering the Police Department will, more than likely, have extra people working for the Town.  There are private security companies throughout the State of Indiana who employ certified police officers and have a standard rate they charge their customers.  In order to approve a security plan they will have to work out what they’re going to do for security when they apply.  They may not actually be using certified Ellettsville police officers at the mass gatherings.  Ms. Brown added they’re working with off duty officers.  Mr. Swafford asked if they use Ellettsville police officers will they be using Ellettsville cars, gas, uniforms and other things.  Marshal Bowlen replied he can’t really answer the question because he doesn’t know what the event would be or what it would entail.  With reading the ordinance, the applications will have the security plan and questions would answered during that process.  Anything that would be done would be with the approval of the Town Council or they wouldn’t get a permit.  Mr. Swafford understands this but there are several issues that raise a red flag such as what if an off duty officer gets hurt.  Would the organization have to have insurance to pay the benefits because they’re in Ellettsville cars and uniforms?  He wants to table this to look further into it unless there is some urgency in getting this passed.  He asked Ms. Brown her thoughts.  Ms. Brown replied she didn’t know if she could give him an answer at this time. 

 

Dan Swafford made a motion to table this ordinance.

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman noted the other thing to consider is whatever the event might be, the Town Council can give the directive it may be in the best interest of any Town service to be a part of it.  It is the permit process the Town Council votes on.  Ms. Brown advised what typically happens, and it could be put in the ordinance, is whomever hires the off duty officers makes provisions in their insurance policies to cover them while they’re working the event.  Ms. Hash noted the insurance for the Fall Festival is quite substantial and if they add on workers compensation for security it could end up being such a big number it could become unaffordable.  Mr. Swafford stated he wants to protect the Town and doesn’t want tax payers to pay for a big for-profit event. 

 

Dianna Bastin doesn’t think it will matter whether it’s a non-profit or a for-profit organization if someone hurts a police officer.  She understands Mr. Swafford’s point.  The Town officers travel outside the Town limits and the risk is always there.  If they want to charge people to protect Town officers she is all for it but it should be across the board.  The line shouldn’t be drawn at non-profit or for-profit.  She doesn’t want to negotiate for the Fall Festival at a Town Council meeting.  It won’t matter where they are or what they’re doing.

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman thinks they need to do a little more work on the ordinance.  In looking at other ordinances, he thinks they’re way off base.  Where they’re headed now is no more mass gatherings.  He thought they wanted to make sure there was security, fire and EMS personnel and consideration for personal services.  He didn’t think it was to be a business or money maker for the Town.  Mr. Swafford doesn’t think it’s a money maker because they are not going to profit from it.  He reiterated he doesn’t want the public to pay for an event being held for profit.  Chief Cornman thinks using their officers in an off-duty situation is a separate issue.  Mr. Drake added it’s no different than an off-duty officer driving past a problem and jumping out to deal with it.  It’s exactly the same issue as if he is working in an off duty capacity.  Mr. Swafford understands but this is something they’re required to be at so there is a difference.  Mr. Thomas noted only if the permit has included the Ellettsville Police Department.  If the Town Council agrees with it then one of their questions needs to be to the Town Marshal about protection on a case by case issue.  He doesn’t think it’s something to be handled at Town Council because it is a requirement they get to fulfill and decide on.  If it’s just a requirement, effectively the Town Council could say “no more Ellettsville police or anything” to limit the Town’s cost.  It’s what has to be provided before Town Council can move forward.  It’s a separate issue they have to bring to the table. 

 

Darla Brown agrees but thinks they do need to come up with a policy where they’re trying to treat all of the applicants equally as much as possible whether non-profit or for-profit.  Perhaps they could add language of having the certified police officers covered by an indemnification clause.  It’s worth looking at but whether or not it goes into an ordinance is a different question.

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen won’t approve any security plan that doesn’t include a bonded and licensed security firm who will provide the paid officers.  The only way around it would be to actually use the Town Police Department in which case the bill would be paid directly to the Town of Ellettsville.  He couldn’t enter into an agreement because it would be part of the permitting process. 

 

David Drake asked if officers who want to work off-duty positions using their police cars already have to get the Town Marshal’s permission.  Marshal Bowlen replied yes and they have to submit their request in writing.  It’s not only for security, it’s for any off-duty job.  Mr. Drake thinks those issues are already covered as it pertains our officers.  The Town isn’t really concerned what happens to other governmental entities.  He doesn’t know if it is necessary to put it in the ordinance. 

 

Dan Swafford’s earlier motion died for lack of a second.

 

David Drake entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2014-05 concerning Mass Gatherings for the Ellettsville Town Code as amended adding two certified police officers.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2014-05 concerning Mass Gatherings for the Ellettsville Town Code as amended adding two certified police officers.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford – no; and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

New Business

 

Ellettsville Masonic Lodge 245 – Request for Street Closure and Sidewalk Repair on Sale and Vine Streets – Bill Ludlow

 

Bill Ludlow thanked the Town Council for the proclamation.  They will have a dedication for the statues on Saturday, May 17, 2014, and anticipate having 50 to 75 people in attendance.  They would like to have the program in front of the lodge and are requesting to close Sale Street from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  They are further requesting to make minor repairs on holes and cracks in the sidewalk.

 

Dianna Bastin asked if they’re want to close Sale Street from Main Street to Temperance Street.  Mr. Ludlow replied Main Street to Vine Street.  Ms. Bastin asked if Vine Street will be closed also.  Mr. Ludlow answered Vine Street will be open.

 

Jim Ragle, Street Commissioner, will have the barricades and signs delivered to the Lodge.  Members of the Lodge are to set out the barricades and signs.

 

David Drake thinks it would be nice if a sign could be posted to detour people up Matthews and over.  Mr. Ragle advised they don’t have any detour signs.  He’ll check with Utilities.  Ms. Bastin commented on the day of the function, the Town Marshal could always exercise the right to further shut down the street.

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen noted when they have officers for the Fall Festival parade and Hilly Hundred traffic comes down through there they want to turn anyway.  He will get with Mr. Ludlow to figure out if there’s some way to have an officer down there.

 

David Drake entertained a motion that the request for the street closure and sidewalk repair on Sale and Vine Streets by the Ellettsville Masonic Lodge 245 be granted.  Dianna Bastin made a motion that the request for the street closure and sidewalk repair on Sale and Vine Streets by the Ellettsville Masonic Lodge 245 be granted.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

M.E. Simpson Water Distribution System Leak Detection Services Proposal – Mike Farmer

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, previously provided an email to Town Council detailing the water loss issue Utilities is having.  They purchase approximately 1,000,000 gallons a day from City of Bloomington Utilities.  That amount spiked to 5,000,000 during the draught.  All water utilities have water loss issues and under 10% is fine.  Both the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”) like to see water losses under 15%.  In 1998, losses were at 23.6% and there were a couple years they were only 5%.  In the last ten years they have been under 15% and in 2009 they were 16.9%.  In 2010, they went back under 15% and after the draught in 2012 they noticed a spike of over 20%.  They have been diligently trying to find the leaks.  During the winter with all of the snow they were able to walk the rural areas to search for leaks.  Since the leaks are over 20% it is time to bring in a professional detection company.  This will decrease the water loss and increase revenues. 

 

Dan Swafford asked how they find the leaks.  Mr. Farmer replied they use electronic sounding devices that will give an echo of water movement that is unique to a leak.  Once they hear the sound, they have a computer that will correlate where the leak is.  Mr. Swafford asked if they expect any water outages during the testing phase.  Mr. Farmer answered no because they like to make direct contact with the system through water hydrants, control valves and sometimes they go through meters. 

 

David Drake entertained a motion to approve the M.E. Simpson Water Distribution System Leak Detection Services Proposal.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to approve the M.E. Simpson Water Distribution System Leak Detection Services Proposal.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Request of Extension of Paid Time Off – Fire Chief Mike Cornman

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained one of their full time firefighters, Travis Abrams, suffered an off duty injury, is in rehabilitation and will be off of work for awhile.  He has used all of his sick time and is starting to use his paid time off (“PTO”).  Per Town policy he can only use two weeks or the equivalent of five shifts and anything over that has to have Town Council approval.  He is requesting permission for Travis Abrams to extend his PTO beyond the two weeks.

 

David Drake asked if there was a particular length of time he wanted to start with.  Chief Cornman replied he only has 14 shifts and he doesn’t think it will take that long.  If it were to take the 14 shifts, they have a sick leave transfer policy and upon supervisor approval they can transfer it to another employee of the Town.  Several firefighters have mentioned if that time comes they would be willing to do so.  If he runs out of sick time or PTO or comes back with a doctor’s statement he can’t work they will be filling the position.  Mr. Drake would feel more comfortable if they had an end date that would require the Town Council to take further action.  Chief Cornman advised they can’t go any farther than 90 days according to Town policy.  His suggestion would be if it goes past the 90 days he will return to Town Council.

 

David Drake entertained a motion to allow the request for the extension of paid time off for the firefighter.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to allow the request for the extension of paid time off for the firefighter.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville and Indiana Department of Transportation with Regard to Funding for Phase II of the Heritage Trail Project, the Bridge

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is a proposed contract between the Town and the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) for funding for Phase 2 of the project.  This is substantially similar to the contract the Town signed with INDOT in 2010 for Phase 1 of the trail.  Essentially, $223,523 is earmarked for the Town.  These are federal highway funds funneled through INDOT to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”).

 

David Drake asked if this obligates the Town to anything.  Ms. Brown replied it is an 80 to 20 match.  All the duties and obligations that applied to the first contract will apply to this one.   If they don’t finish the project the Town may owe money to INDOT. 

 

Dan Swafford made a motion to approve the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Indiana Department of Transportation in regard to Phase 2 of Heritage Trail, the bridge.  Mr. Swafford withdrew his motion.

 

David Drake entertained a motion to table the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Indiana Department of Transportation in regard to Phase 2 of Heritage Trail, the bridge.  Dan Swafford made a motion to table the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Indiana Department of Transportation in regard to Phase 2 of Heritage Trail, the bridge.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Darla Brown requested Town Council email any questions to her.

 

Council Comments

 

Dianna Bastin announced Pete Osborn had a birthday and is now 96 years old.  Before that, he and his wife celebrated 76 years of marriage.  Pete is their unofficial senior supervisor for Utilities in his neighborhood.  On behalf of the Town of Ellettsville, Happy Birthday Sir and thank you!

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, received information from the Monroe County Auditor which shows the circuit breaker impact is growing.  This year, the Town has a certified tax levy of $1,691,834.  The levy based on abstract assessed valuation of properties is adjusted down to $1,675,300 the circuit will reduce the levy another $100,000.  The Department of Local Government Finance provided a break down by fund.  The Town will lose $71,562 in the General Fund, $1,809 in the Lease Rental Payment, $15,772 in MVH, almost $3,000 from the Fire Cumulative Fund, almost $800 from Parks and Rec and $7,000 from CCD. 

 

Adjournment

 

David Drake entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:31 p.m.