Special Session to fill vacancy
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in special session at 6:40 PM, Monday, August 26, 2002 at the Town Hall to fill the vacancy on the Council. The two candidates were Darlyne Sowder and Ray Freetage. David asked if there was anyone else. No one else was mentioned. David asked for discussion on the matter. Geraldine McIntyre nominated Ray Freetage and Mike Cornman seconded. Motion carried 3-1 with David Drake voting no. David Sorokoty said they look forward to working with Ray. David Drake explained why he voted no. He said that it was nothing against Mr. Freetage, but he wasn’t aware that there was another candidate besides Darlyne. He thinks that Darlyne has been very involved in what the Town does. David Sorokoty asked if Mr. Freetage would start at tonight’s meeting and Mike Cornman pointed out that he would need to be sworn in first. Meeting adjourned at 6:44 PM.
Budget pre-adoption hearing
The pre-adoption hearing started at 7:00 PM. David Sorokoty asked if the paperwork was there for the final budget. Sandra Hash explained that the paperwork was there, but this was basically just a comment time for the public if there were any objections, and she could look up the information if there were any questions. Karla asked if the final budget was ready and Sandy said that it is ready. David Sorokoty said the highlight out of the budget was for the Employees. Every full-time employee got a $1,266.00 raise, which was derived from 3% of the supervisors pay. Some employees, such as the patrolmen were as low as $27,000 and the Council brought them up to $31,600. David said the raises were good for a couple reasons: The Town didn’t want to be a “training ground or proving ground” for other municipalities or the County and the Town needed to make a commitment to their employees and through this budget, they are doing that. Secondly, this budget allows the Council to give an increment raise of 3% or 4% from here on and it will affect all employees the same. He thinks it is very important to have salaries aligned in the Town. He said that this budget really reflects the Council’s commitment to the employees, which are the backbone of the Town. There were no comments from the public and the meeting adjourned at 7:05 PM.
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session at 7:30 PM, Monday, August 26, 2002 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 asked for roll call of the Council Members. Members present were David Sorokoty, President; David Drake, Vice-President; Mike Cornman, Ray Freetage and Geraldine McIntyre. Also present was Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Mike Spencer, Town Attorney.
Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Ron McGlocklin, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer.
Approval of Minutes of the meetings on August 12, 2002 and August 14, 2002
Mike Cornman moved to approve the minutes. David Drake seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
Action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers
Geraldine McIntyre moved to approve the accounts payable vouchers. David Drake seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
Ordinances on First Reading
Ordinance 02-17 creating a separate fund to retain 5% of the Cassady Electric contracted expense
David Drake read Ordinance 02-17 by title. Sandra explained they were doing the underground connections for the hook-ups downtown in conjunction with the Highway 46 project. Indiana Code dictates that we retain 5% of the cost until the job is completed. Cassady’s invoice has the 5% earmarked that we put in a savings account in their name each time we receive an invoice. When the project is completed to everyone’s satisfaction, the money in the savings account will be given to Cassady Electric. David Sorokoty added that the hook-ups are at no cost to the homeowner or business owners.
Ordinances on Second Reading None
American Legal Publishing – updating the Ellettsville Town Code
David Drake made a motion to approve the contract with American Legal Publishing. Mike Cornman seconded. Sandra explained that some of the concerns that were raised before have been addressed through American Legal Publishing. They agreed not to exceed $8,950 for the project, regardless of how large the project might be. That will include the new personnel ordinance and the planning and zoning ordinance. They waived the provisions pertaining to the copyright of the Code. The Town will still retain all copyrights. Future supplements will not raise for the first two years after delivery of the new Code. The minutes are not included in this proposal. Ray Freetage asked what the cost would be after the first two years. Sandra responded by saying that the cost will be $19.00 per page for single column, or $23.00 per page for double column. The double column would be the most feasible, because you would get more text on double column. After two years, the price could increase based on the price index. Geraldine McIntyre asked if Sandra checked with any other companies. Sandra said she had received a proposal from Municipal Code Corporation, but American Legal Publishing was less expensive. Geraldine said that Deborah had done a lot of checking and found that Lafayette had ceased using American Legal Publishing. Geraldine asked why we stopped using Mr. Palmer. Sandra said he has not communicated with the town since the last update. Geraldine questioned why SPEA at IU couldn’t do it. David Sorokoty said if you would average it out at $25.00/hour (not even a professional fee), it would only be 320 hours of work at the price American Legal Publishing quoted. David feels that we are getting our dollars worth, and feels like it needs to be done. Geraldine agreed that it needed to be done. Sandra said her office is not able to compare the Town’s Code to Indiana Code to make sure references are correct and there are no contradictions, and that is what we are paying for. American Legal Publishing will go through the Town Code and fine tune it. Some ordinances were done several years ago and American Legal will direct us on how to update those properly and put Code references in, so we are in compliance with Indiana Code. Mike Cornman asked what the original price was and Sandra said it was the same price ($8,950), but there was some clarification made as to what would be done for that price. Sandra added that the person that takes care of Monroe County’s Code if a full-time employee and she said keeping the Code updated and in order takes about 75% of her time. 75% of her wage is $17,160, so an $8,950 one-time fee is a bargain. Sandra said that this would add a level of professionalism that we currently do not have. She added that American Legal Publishing has customers all over the United States. David Drake said he thought it would be a mistake to have an outside company do the minutes. He thinks that the
Town could do it. Karla asked if current ordinances are checked to make sure they are in compliance with Indiana Code. Mike Spencer responded that everything done recently has been checked for compliance, but Indiana Code changes frequently and no one goes back to check the old ordinances. Geraldine asked what we paid Mr. Palmer. Sandra said the last time he updated the full Code was in 1997 and it cost $5,600. David Drake asked if the money has already been encumbered. Sandra replied yes. David Sorokoty asked for a vote. Motion carried 4-1 with Geraldine voting no.
Street Lighting Presentation, Matt Lawrence from Cassady Electric
Geraldine McIntyre presented the Council with maps prepared by Cassady Electric showing the proposed location of all the streetlights on Temperance Street and Main Street. Matt explained that the selection was exactly what Downtown Bloomington has on the square. He also explained the lighting parameters and symbols on the map. Pricing was not included. There will be a bidding process at a later date. Mike Cornman expressed concerns about light pollution.
Matt also reported the underground connections to the properties along Main and Temperance Streets were approximately 40% complete.
Group Health Insurance Renewal
David Drake made a motion to approve the Group Health Insurance renewal. Sandra explained that the Town changed from Starmark to Anthem in 2001 and this renewal is with Anthem. The cost increase is 14% and Council approval is needed to renew with Anthem. Employees have not complained about the insurance. Ray Freetage asked how much the insurance is now. Mike said Anthem is much better than Starmark and it is worth renewing. Ron McGlocklin said what we have now is better than what we had previously. Sandra answered Ray’s question that the monthly premium is $11,383.47 and it will renew at $12,970.00 per month. She said our insurance is age-rated and there is a breakdown in the Council members packets. The Town pays 80% of the monthly premium and the employee pays 20% (10% per pay). Ray Freetage seconded. Motion carried 4-0 with Mike Cornman abstaining. Sandra said Regina from the May Agency asked if the Council wanted to pursue flood insurance on the fire station and if the Council wanted to increase the umbrella amount of $1 Million. Sandra said there is a breakdown in the binder that Regina passed out. Flood insurance at the fire station would be an additional $4,627 annually with a $1,000 deductible. If the Council decided to increase the umbrella from $1 Million to $2 Million, it would be $3,500 annually. If it is increased to $3 Million, it would be $5,250 annually, and an increase to $4 Million would be $6,100 annually. These amounts were not budgeted for in the 2003 budget. David Sorokoty said he thinks it is something that needs to be discussed at another meeting. He would like to get Jim Davis’ input on the flood insurance before proceeding.
Insurance settlement for Police Station and Equipment
Sandra explained that the insurance company paid all the losses at 50%, so the total paid will be $30,219.62 minus the $5,000 that has already been given to the Town. This amount will be to cover the loss of the building, the rental of the trailer, the hook-up of the electricity in the trailer and the office equipment, computers and radios, basically all of the loss abstained from the water damage in May. David Sorokoty asked Ron McGlocklin if they estimated $78,000 in loss. Ron said yes. David doesn’t understand where the $30,219.62 came from. He thought that this
number sounded low. Sandra tried to explain where the numbers came from. Mike Cornman asked if the Council is supposed to approve this. Sandra said that Andy wanted the Council to be in agreement, and if they were, he would cut the check. David Sorokoty would like to table this discussion and get a meeting set up between Mr. Frye, himself and Ron McGlocklin. He doesn’t feel their starting points are the same. Sandra agreed to call Mr. Frye and set up a meeting. Ed Bitner asked why the insurance was only paying at 50%. Sandra replied the Town doesn’t have flood insurance, but half of the damage was from sewer backup.
Privilege of the Floor
Betty Pierson would like to talk to the Council about a summer sewage rate. She said she has requested a Special Meter in the past and the office has been very helpful, but she is not allowed to get a Special Meter, but her neighbor has one. She said the reason she was asking about a summer sewage rate or the possibility of one was because she had managed a utility office 25 years ago, and they could put in a calculation for three months for a summer sewage rate. She did major yard work this summer and her bill last month was around $90.00 and this month it was $133.45. Her normal bill is around $50.00 a month, and she knows the water is not going through the sewer. She was told that she could get a water-only meter installed, and the cost would be between $250.00 and $400.00. She thinks that it would be more cost-effective to have a program change, instead of someone coming out to install a water meter, someone coming out to read it and then uninstall it during the winter. It seems like a lot of labor cost. She thinks it is a lot to pay for water running on the ground, not into the sewer.
Mike Farmer said that they could look into a summer rate, but they would have to run it by their advisors for any kind of rate increase or change in the rates. For every action, there is a reaction. Because of their customer base, which is mainly residential, he is afraid that it would affect revenues and would probably have to raise winter rates. For the benefit of some, it would affect all. There is the option to get a sprinkler system for their yard or garden with the water-only meters. Special Meters were a good idea for a year or two, but it is not a good idea any longer. It will not integrate with our touch-read system and can’t be made to integrate. There are about 500 special meters out there now and they are not giving any more out. It adds 20-25% workload to the billing staff making manual deductions for the Special Meters. We bill for Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation and Northern Richland Sewer Corporation, add to that Ellettsville Water and Sewer billings and manual deductions being entered into the system for Special Meters it is a tremendous workload on our staff. David Sorokoty asked if it was possible that they make a Special Meter that could be touch-read. Mike said if you have a water-only meter installed next to your residential meter, it would be touch-read. We do have customers that have water-only meters, so there is an avenue. David Sorokoty asked if the office could stay in contact with Mrs. Pierson to let her know if there will be a change for next summer. Mike said there is something available now. David asked what the cost was. Mike said around $240.00 for a 5/8” meter. He would get the Council a packet that has some numbers in it for them to look at to get something in ordinance form. Ray Freetage asked how the water-only meter compared to the Special Meter. Mike explained how a Special Meter worked, but said there are ways to abuse it. Sandra asked if there would be a minimum bill on the water-only meter. Mike said it would have to be considered and he can’t answer that right now. Mike said he would advise anybody that thought they needed a water-only meter to really look at their usage to see if it would be advantageous.
Betty Pierson doesn’t think anyone should have to pay $240.00 for a water-only meter. She doesn’t understand why we have all of this, when you could just do a three or four month calculation for summer sewage. She doesn’t think anyone has even discussed the possibility of summer sewage. David Sorokoty said to give them a chance to look into it further.
Jim Davis explained the Mutual Aid agreement and said Mike Spencer has already looked over it, and the Council all have a copy of it. This agreement is for mutual aid between the fire departments in Monroe County and it allows for a termination of the agreement, what to do if one department requests personnel and the liability issues, command structure, yearly reports of equipment that each department has so everyone knows what the others have if they need something specific they can call that department. It is mainly so everyone is on the same page. It has been several years since this agreement has been updated. It is countywide. With the events of September 11th, we are better prepared in case anything was to happen. Geraldine McIntyre moved to accept the County Mutual Aid Agreement and Jim Davis would be allowed to sign for the Council. Ray Freetage seconded. Motion carried 4-0 with Mike Cornman abstaining.
Sandra Hash requested permission to attend the IACT Conference on September 17, 2002 for Municipal Day. She also asked if Amber would be able to go. Geraldine said that Deborah would be in the office that day. Mike Cornman made a motion to approve the Clerk-Treasurer and Deputy Clerk-Treasurer going to school September 17, 2002. Geraldine McIntyre seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
Geraldine McIntyre said that she gave each Council member a letter and would like a response back to it. David asked for clarification on who needed to respond and what kind of response she wanted. Geraldine said she wanted a response from the Council and what the letter pertained to. Geraldine said she didn’t need it tonight, but did want a response from the Council members to the letter they received from her.
Ray Freetage wanted to thank the Council for allowing him to participate with them on the duties of the Council. David Sorokoty said he came highly recommended and looked forward to working with him.
David Sorokoty said he would be attending the INDOT meeting in Seymour on August 29, 2002.
David Sorokoty asked for a motion to adjourn. Geraldine McIntyre moved for adjournment. David Drake seconded. Meeting was adjourned at 8:29 PM
David Sorokoty, President David Drake, Vice President
Mike Cornman Ray Freetage
Geraldine McIntyre Sandra C. Hash, Clerk-Treasurer