April 23, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, April 23, 2012, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Phillip Smith. 

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Scott Oldham, President; Dan Swafford, Vice President; Dianna Bastin, David Drake and Phillip Smith.  Sandra Hash, Clerk Treasurer, Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.  

 

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

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on April 9, 2012.  Dan Swafford so moved.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Phillip Smith so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 04-2012 Temporary Loan from the Rainy Day Fund to Motor Vehicle Highway (“MVH”) for $50,000

 

Sandra Hash – When the balances were read at the last meeting, the MVH balance was approximately $700.  They received a payout for the MVH fund since then but the inadequacy carries through.  They need a temporary loan to carry it through to the end of the year.  Dan Swafford asked the amount of the loan.  Ms. Hash replied it is $50,000.  Mr. Swafford asked if that will carry them the rest of the year.  Ms. Hash answered it would.  Scott Oldham asked if she predicts MVH will be able to pay the loan back at the end of the year.  Ms. Hash replied when the Town receives its tax payout in December they will pay it back.  But, when they do this they’re using tax dollars that are meant to carry them from January through June of 2013, and again, they will be short.  Until they can get caught up they will have to do this.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 04-2012 Temporary Loan from the Rainy Day Fund to Motor Vehicle Highway for $50,000.  David Drake made a motion to adopt Resolution 04-2012.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2012-10 Amending Ordinance 2011-13 Fixing of Salaries for Budget Year 2012 Concerning Law Enforcement Officers Wages When Participating During Off Duty Hours in Programs Administered by the Division of Traffic Safety, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute

 

Sandra Hash – The officers work Operation Pullover and Driving Under the Influence check points.  These are grants the Town receives that are over and beyond their regular rate of pay.  This amendment to the salary ordinance allows those wages.  Dan Swafford asked if the officers will be taxed just like regular wages.  Ms. Hash replied the Town pays it out and is then reimbursed through state grants.  Mr. Swafford asked about overtime.  Ms. Hash stated it is not calculated into their overtime.  It occurs during off-duty hours and they are not on their regular time sheet.  The officers give her a separate grant time sheet.  Mr. Swafford asked if there are any Indiana codes or ordinances that would interfere with a police officer working a certain amount of hours per day.  Ms. Hash responded not to her knowledge.  Mr. Swafford asked when they are doing these things if they use the Town vehicles.  Ms. Hash answered yes and they’re in Town when they do it.  Mr. Swafford confirmed the Town has done this before.  Ms. Hash replied they have done this numerous times.  It has never been put in the salary ordinance which gives the Town the authority to pay them.  It was in a bulletin this should be done so she is correcting it.

 

New Business

 

Stoneview Town Homes – Final Plat Lots 55 – 62

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, on behalf of the Petitioner – This is an approval of the townhomes located on McNeely Street next to the water tank.  There is approval for eight buildings. This would be the seventh building with one building yet to finish.  There are no public improvements on this project except for a section of sidewalk along McNeely Street.  The Petitioner has submitted an irrevocable letter of credit to the Town for the construction of the sidewalk. 

 

Dan Swafford – He had a chance to look at the units when he and Rick were there.  They are very nice condos.  He and Rick did a walk through on one of the completed units and they did a very nice job.  He commends them for it.  It’s a nice addition to the Town of Ellettsville. 

 

Dianna Bastin – She was up there when they were painting the water tank.  Are the condos behind the first set of buildings past the tank?  Mr. Coppock replied they’re south of the tank, the last building on the south end of this particular unit.  Mr. Swafford commented they back up to Kelli Heights. 

 

Rick Coppock – These are a little different than most subdivisions or final plats because they are condominium units.  They actually buy the interior of the buildings.  Each building has to be final platted and this can’t be done until after the building has been framed.  At this time, they’ll go ahead and do the measurements.  This is how they divide the units that are placed on the final plat.  This is why it is different.  Each building is done and the remainder of the ground around the building is a common area.  They have a homeowners association who maintains the common area and the exteriors of the building.  Mr. Swafford asked when the letter of credit or bond expires for the sidewalk.  Mr. Coppock replied usually one year is required.  They still have one building to go.  Mr. Swafford asked if Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, has this information.  Mr. Coppock answered she does.  Mr. Oldham asked Connie Griffin if she had any objections as to planning or zoning.  Ms. Griffin replied she did  not.

 

Scott Oldham – Asked Darla Brown, Town Attorney, if they needed to vote on this.  Ms. Brown replied she thinks the motion should be they’re accepting the dedication shown on the plat.  The final plat has already been approved by the Plan Commission.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to accept the dedication on the final plat for Lots 55 to 62.  Dan Swafford made a motion to accept the dedication on the final plat for Lots 55 to 62.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Chapel Hill Wilderness – Final Plat Lots 1 and 2, Smithville Warehouse – West State Road 46

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo & Associates, Town Engineer – This has been continued.

 

Dan Swafford made a motion to table Chapel Hill Wilderness.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Greenbrier Meadows Phase Two Section One – Final Plat

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo & Associates, Town Engineer – This is a continuation of the Greenbrier Meadows subdivision which is along Ratliff Road across from a church.  It was at the Plan Commission meeting on April 5, 2012, for preliminary plat approval for 29 lots.  This request is for five lots.  The reason being the sanitary sewers are in for the five lots and this minimizes the amount of public improvements that need to be constructed.  They will still need to construct about 700 feet of roadway, which is approximately 1,400 feet of sidewalk, install water lines, curbs and gutters.  Before any lots can be sold the public improvements will either have to be constructed or a bond or letter of credit submitted to the Town.  They wanted to get it before the Town Council and they will be working on the construction of the road and waterlines over the next month and a half.  There is a pending sale on one of the lots.  They want the ability to, if necessary, be able to provide a bond for those improvements that have not yet been completed and move ahead with the final plat process.  They are requesting final plat approval contingent on receiving a bond or the public improvements being completed. 

 

Scott Oldham - Asked if it’s contingent on a bond.  Mr. Coppock responded it always is.  Any final plat approvals are subject to the bond or the improvements being completed.  As a matter of getting this step out of the way he thought he would bring it before the Town Council for approval.  Mr. Oldham asked if this is the project that will connect with Turtleback or what does it connect to.  Mr. Coppock replied Deer Run eventually connects all the way through to Greenbrier Knolls.  Mr. Oldham asked if it will be completed with this phase.  Mr. Coppock answered not with this phase.  This phase is for five lots that are to the east of Deer Run and the Ratliff Road intersection.  Part of what has been provided with the preliminary plat approval in this section, is a section on Ratliff Road that is low and sometimes floods during rain events.  They’ve worked out the grading to take water away from the roadway by a ditch to a storm sewer system.  Then it goes into a detention pond for water quality treatment before it is released again into the natural drainage system.  They think that will help with flooding in that area.  There isn’t a pipe but a low area by the church.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney – The next Plan Commission meeting is next week.  Is there any reason it can’t go back before the Plan Commission for them to do the final plat approval.  Mr. Coppock replied they did final plat approval at the last Plan Commission meeting.  Ms. Brown stated she thought he had said he got preliminary plat approval.  Mr. Coppock stated they got preliminary and final plat approval at the last Plan Commission meeting.  They have preliminary approval for 29 lots and final plat approval for five lots.  Ms. Hash asked what the five lot numbers are.  Mr. Coppock replied they’re Lots 46, 47, 48, 59 and 60.  Ms. Brown asked if the plat they want to record has the same or similar language with regard to Stoneview Condos.  Mr. Coppock asked if this was in regard to the signatures.  Ms. Brown answered yes.  Mr. Coppock stated they changed the signature to match with Stoneview Condo’s signature page. They are not seeking signatures but seeking final plat approval.  They’ll ask for signatures when the bond or improvements are completed.

 

Dan Swafford – Asked when they ask for the bond.  Mr. Coppock replied before they record the final plat.  Mr. Swafford asked who set the price on the bond.  Did he go in and estimate what the cost would be on all of the public improvements for the entire subdivision.  Mr. Coppock replied they set the costs of the improvements for this section of the subdivision.  Mr. Swafford asked if any of the remaining subdivision has a preliminary plat, grading permit or any kind of approval.  Mr. Coppock responded they are ready to apply for the grading permit for this particular section.  Mr. Swafford asked if he will be figuring out the dollar amount.  Mr. Coppock replied they have already figured out the approximate dollar amount.  The dollar amount is based on current prices and he figures them for every subdivision regardless of who designs it or does it because they’re all the same.  Mr. Swafford asked if this is typically the time they do the bonds or letter of credit.  Mr. Coppock answered the bonds are set before the Town Council signs on the plat.  The bond amount has to be in the hands of the Town Council. 

 

Scott Oldham – Asked if there’s a reason they can’t wait until the bond is set, fixed and in place prior to approval.  Mr. Coppock responded it is a matter of timing.  Eventually, there will be some bond amount set.  Mr. Oldham said he’s a little concerned with what they’ve learned from some other projects that have come up in the last couple of years in their rush to sign off on something before they have everything they need in hand.  Unless there’s some overriding reason they need to come away from that.  Mr. Coppock commented his only concern is the amount of time between meetings.  Sometimes they get in between meetings when there is a closing.  It could be three weeks out plus finding everybody to sign the plat.  He’s not in any big rush for this but he just wanted to get it before Town Council while they’ve been talking about these issues.  Mr. Oldham stated there is only another 14 days until the next Town Council meeting and there’s a Plan Commission meeting in between so he doesn’t know there’s an issue.  Ms. Hash advised there is an extra week this time so it will be three weeks between Town Council meetings.  Mr. Coppock said they don’t necessarily have to have any approvals at this meeting.  He reiterated they wanted to get it before Council so they can take a look at it before they get to a critical one meeting juncture, nobody knows about it and then they get into some of the issues they’ve been having lately. 

 

Dan Swafford - He agrees with Mr. Oldham because he has the same concern.  His other concern is the intention to complete the entire subdivision.  What worries him is they’re asking for preliminary plat approval on five units and if the rest of the subdivision isn’t finished then where are they at with the public improvements.  Mr. Coppock replied the reason you have the bond for the public improvements is to service the lots for which you have final plat approval.  Any amount of public improvements has to be there for those five lots when you give final plat approval or the Town would be on the hook for the public improvements.  You only have to build the amount of public improvements that are required to serve those lots.  Mr. Swafford asked if they won’t put their gravel or black top down in any area other than what they’ve approved.  If the first five lots were sold and something happened and the subdivision was never completed then all they would see would be a stub.  Mr. Coppock said that was correct.  This is the typical process for a subdivision.  They’re built in phases as the money is available.  Mr. Swafford said he understands all of that.  He is concerned after being on the Plan Commission for several years that the Town doesn’t get stuck in situations such as Mustang Drive.  There should be something in place that these bonds get renewed every year so they don’t fall in between the cracks.  Mr. Swafford reiterated he doesn’t want the Town to be on the hook for anything.  The Town isn’t in the development business.

 

Scott Oldham – His concern goes a little further.  Past experience being what it is he hates to see 4, 5, 6, 10 or 15 homeowners get stuck on the hook for a development that is never completed and the Town has no ability to help them.  Again, while the Town is not in the development business they still assist, do what they’re responsible for and make the responsible decisions up front.  Mr. Swafford said that’s a good point.  He asked Ms. Brown, if the project is over 50% can they ask for a bond or letter of credit on the completion of the rest of the project.  Ms. Brown replied she thinks they can do whatever the Town and developer agree to.  Mr. Oldham commented theoretically they can ask for a bond at 0% completion.  Mr. Swafford asked in the beginning, instead of asking for five lots, could they ask for a bond for the whole project.  Mr. Coppock replied nobody could afford to do that.  The public improvements for the five lots are approximately $200,000.  Mr. Oldham stated they’re asking for theoreticals such as at what point they could ask for a bond.  It becomes a fact there are certain subdivisions that have either been built or partially built and they have a mess on their hands with no other alternatives.  There are condominiums that are turned over to homeowner associations once they’ve reached 100% sold.  However, all they have to do is hold one back and they never reach 100% sold. 

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney – The Plan Commission approves the final plat.  If the final plat for the five lots has been approved she doesn’t know there’s anything for the Town Council to do right now.  Normally, what the Town Council does is accept the streets in the inventory and accept the dedication.  If the final plats have already been approved by the Plan Commission then it’s done.  If it’s been approved then it’s approved.  Mr. Swafford stated he’s thinking in the future and because of what Mr. Oldham said has happened.  Ms. Brown stated they should be careful about accepting streets, approving dedications or putting language in the plat to that effect until they’re sure the infrastructure is going to be done.  Mr. Swafford asked what could be done.  Could they get a guarantee from the bank?  Ms. Brown said she will think about it.  As for this meeting, the Plan Commission has approved the final plat for the five lots.  Mr. Swafford stated being on the Plan Commission they have discussed this situation and this is why he is bringing it up so Ms. Brown could look into it further.  They want to see the Town nice and just not one or two houses that doesn’t have a top coat of blacktop or missing a sidewalk.  Ms. Brown asked if the problem is the plats for the five lots can’t be recorded until the Town Council signs off on it.  Mr. Coppock said this is why he brought it up at this meeting so they can look into these issues.  It doesn’t have to be signed or approved at this meeting.  It’s out there so they do not get into an emergency situation.  Whatever issues they need to look at can be done in time.

 

Phillip Smith - Confirmed he’s just giving them plenty of time to look at it and think it over.  Mr. Coppock replied that’s correct and the issues can get ironed out.

 

Scott Oldham – Asked Ms. Griffin if she had any thoughts on this.  Ms. Griffin replied she did not have any problems or concerns with final approval.  The Plan Commission, Town Attorney and Rick Coppock are reviewing procedures for final plat approval and will be making changes that will keep council better informed of the process and status of the project. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to continue Greenbrier Meadows Phase 2, Section 1 final plat.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to continue Greenbrier Meadows Phase 2, Section 1 final plat.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Supervisor Comments

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo & Associates, Town Engineer – He has been attending the participating agency meetings with the Indiana Department of Transportation for I-69.  Also attending were representatives from Morgan County, Martinsville and Bloomington as well as the Monroe County engineer.  He has a copy of the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis for Section 5 of I-69 which really takes off from Dillman Road to the south edge of Martinsville.  They have been going through the preference for intersection designs, alignment and typical cross sections of the roadway through Section 5 where the median might narrow down.  Some places will have local access roads to serve the adjoining properties with a grass median in between.  In some places they’ve proposed having a concrete barrier wall. They’ve met once a month over the last three months.  From those meetings, they will have a public meeting on I-69.  The meeting will be on April 24, 2012, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Fair Grounds.  The purpose of this meeting is to get more public input on the aforementioned items.  Mr. Swafford thinks there’s a meeting for public officials at 11:30 a.m. on the same day and he encourages everyone to attend.

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo & Associates, Town Engineer – He has been working with Martha Miller of the Soil and Water Conservation District in Monroe County.  They have been working on a stream banks stabilization project by the little league park.  It is his understanding they have the funds and now they’re trying to get permit approvals so they can bid the project out for improvements at the ball park.  The improvements will be around the vehicular and pedestrian bridges. 

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – She has needed a Code Enforcement Officer for some time.  They’re getting into the season where one is needed for tall grass, trash and sign violations.  She introduced Warren Hoobyar as the suggested part-time Code Enforcement Officer.  This is a seasonal position with 24 hours a week during the prime part of the season.  The rate of pay is $10.00 an hour.  Mr. Hoobyar has been interviewed on two occasions with Dan Swafford and Phillip Smith.  Mr. Hoobyar is a resident of Ellettsville and has shown an interest in being a Code Enforcement Officer.  Mr. Hoobyar can start on May 1, 2012.  She is seeking Town Council approval for hiring Mr. Hoobyar. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to hire Warren Hoobyar as part-time Code Enforcement Officer at the Planning office.  Phillip Smith made a motion to hire Warren Hoobyar as part-time Code Enforcement Officer at the Planning office.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen – Due to a shift in personnel he has an open sergeant’s position.  He is requesting permission to post the promotional opportunity internally some time this week.   Mr. Swafford confirmed he hasn’t lost an employee.  Marshal Bowlen replied that’s correct; there was a shift in personnel.  Mr. Oldham gave permission for the promotion to be posted. 

 

Council Comments

 

Sandra HashMonroe County has taxed some nonprofits that should not have been.  This will result in a tax reduction of approximately $2,200 to the Town of Ellettsville.

 

Privilege of the Floor

 

Bruce Frye – Applauds the acquisition of the Code Enforcement Officer.  He lives in Autumn Ridge and is attending this meeting with Bill Schneider, his neighbor.  He has a copy of a letter dated April 20, 2012, from Bill Schneider to Scott Oldham which has to do with code violations of the church property next to Autumn Ridge.  They are interested in knowing the responses to the questions asked in the letter.  Mr. Oldham replied currently they’re still looking at some of those issues so he can’t give any answers at this time.  He has similar questions.  The questions asked in the letter were the same as those he and Connie Griffin discussed about two to three weeks prior.  Mr. Frye asked if the questions will come up as an item at some point.  Mr. Oldham responded they will at some point but he didn’t know when. 

 

Bill Schneider – Is there one of the questions he could answer at this meeting.  Mr. Oldham said no, not that he’s going to answer tonight.  They think they have some of the explanations for the questions he posed but he wants to make certain they’re correct before he releases them.  Mr. Schneider asked if Mr. Oldham could give him some idea of how many citations have not been completed in a reasonable period of time.  Mr. Oldham answered he does not know.  His first question is always on the status of the project such as is it going forward, is it going in a different direction or what are they going to do with it if anything rather than simply staying stagnant.  He has not received an answer to this.  If the project is not going to be completed then they have a different issue rather than the code enforcement issue.  His question is why they have not seen any movement with that project for three months.  Mr. Schneider asked if it would be reasonable to request that these issues be addressed and answered by the Town Council meeting after next.  Mr. Oldham responded he would hope it would be sooner. 

 

Tom Orman – School zones are 25 mph.  When you hit Sale Street the speed limit drops to 20 mph.  This was done in 1980 by Ordinance 79-5, Chapter 71.  This is Ellettsville’s highest traffic flow street other than State Road 46.  He was pulled over by a police officer for speeding.  He was going 33 mph in a 20 mph zone.  He received a $131 ticket and it made him mad.  He can’t see the justification of Sale Street being 20 mph from Thomas Road to Temperance Street and it is a speed trap.  He thinks Ellettsville needs to take the second major artery in its Town and post an adequate speed limit.  It has a big down hill grade.  Nobody can drive 20 mph down that road.  He is at the meeting to help the Town Council change it to an adequate speed limit.  He feels like he got violated.

 

Dan Swafford – Asked Darla Brown, Town Attorney, what it takes for Town Council to change speed limits.  He agrees with Mr. Orman it is listed in the Comprehensive Plan as a major collective.  He has driven it several times and you have to ride your brakes to coast down the hill.  There are other major collectives in the Town that are different speed limits.  For example the speed limits on Maple Grove Road is 35 mph, McNeely is 30 mph and Reeves Road is 30 mph.  Phillip Smith said he thought it was based on density.  Ms. Brown replied she will have to research his question.  Dianna Bastin stated Maple Grove was not in the Town so they wouldn’t have any say so.  David Drake commented his recollection is the state sets the normal speed limit.  If a town wants to alter from what they have it must be a justifiable reason such has an engineering study.  Mr. Smith asked Jim Ragle if he had any input.  Mr. Ragle replied it has always been 20 mph since back in the 1970s.  Mr. Swafford stated he did some research in Bloomington and their side streets are 30 mph, Indiana University streets are 30 mph and Monroe County roads are 30 mph.  Mr. Drake commented they have so many obstacles you can’t even do the speed limit on their streets.  Mr. Oldham said the state law is 30 mph and this is the normal speed limit on streets in Bloomington.  For some reason the council back in 1979 restricted this further.  Not knowing what the reason was may not be germane 30 years later.  Sandra Hash said the code references a traffic and engineering study but it was so long ago there isn’t a copy of it.  Mr. Swafford stated he found where the traffic study was referenced but could not locate it either.  Mr. Smith said he drives that road four or five times a day and he tries his best to keep his speed at 20 mph.  Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t.

 

Tom Orman - You can justify school zones or housing additions being 25 mph because of kids riding bicycles.  A major artery shouldn’t be 20 mph.  The road shouldn’t change from 30 mph to 20 mph when there’s no change in density.  He’s been on the road millions of times and never knew the speed limit was 20 mph.  Mr. Oldham explained that nothing they may do with the speed limit is retroactive.  Mr. Orman stated he would like to see how many tickets were issued for speeding in one year on that road.  Mr. Oldham asked Marshal Bowlen if he knew how many tickets have been written for speeding on Sale Street.  Marshal Bowlen replied not that many were issued.  Mr. Oldham stated probably none of them knew the speed limit was 20 mph. 

 

Dan Swafford – Asked if the Town has a radar speed sign that shows how fast people are going.  Mr. Orman said he’s not trying to get out of a ticket but do what’s right for the Town. 

 

Bill Schneider – He drives Sale Street three to four times a week and has done so for four years.  He has seen students walking down the street because there are no sidewalks.  He drives 20 mph and has done so for four years on the way to the Endwright Center.  A 30 mph speed limit on that street would be excessive and people could get killed.

 

Sandra Hash – Thinks the Town has a couple of radar signs.  They were used in Meadowlands before the speed bumps were installed.  Mr. Drake thought they were used around the elementary school.   Ms. Hash stated when Jerry Pittsford was Town Council President the Town purchased at least one radar speed sign.  Mr. Ragle said the Town has one radar speed sign but it is 110 volts and would have to be plugged into someone’s house.  Dan Swafford asked Mr. Ragle to check on the price for a new radar speed sign and solar pack. 

 

Adjournment

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:56 p.m.