August 12, 2013

 

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 12, 2013, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 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:  Mike Cornman, Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin and Mike Farmer.

 

Clerk-Treasurer’s Written Report

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, advised the report was submitted in writing.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on July 22, 2013 and the budget meetings on July 14, 2013 and July 31, 2013.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.  Dan Swafford abstained.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

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

 

Resolution

 

Resolution 14-2013 to Build the Ellettsville Heritage Trail with the Town of Ellettsville’s Work Force

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is required by statute in the event the Town wants to build a public works project by means of its own workforce.  Notice was published in the paper. 

 

Dan Swafford asked if Utilities workers build the trail does the Town have to pay workers out of the General Fund.  Ms. Brown replied the Town has to pay them.  If Utilities does the work then they have to be reimbursed.  Mr. Swafford asked if this applies to the equipment.  Ms. Brown replied yes.  It includes the Utilities’ assets as well as their personnel. Scott Oldham asked if the Town can use assets other than from Utilities.  Ms. Brown answered yes, if it’s not a Utilities’ asset then there’s not an issue.  Mr. Swafford asked the reason for reimbursing the funds from the General Fund rather than Utilities.  Ms. Brown replied the State Board of Accounts has a section which says expenses paid from utility funds should be directly related to the operation of the utility.  Mr. Swafford asked for the breakdown of the costs to build the trail.  Ms. Brown answered the estimate for the total cost of labor and equipment is $53,918 and $41,921 for materials.   Amenities which include four trash cans and two signs are estimated to cost $3,376. 

 

David Drake asked if this can still be paid out of other funds and not tax dollar funds.  Ms. Brown said this is her understanding.   Mr. Oldham asked if this could come out of the Build Indiana money.  Ms. Brown replied that is her understanding and it could include donations.  Ms. Hash added she should pay out of the Build Indiana funds until it has been depleted.  Mr. Swafford added the state doesn’t want utility rate payers paying for the trail.  Ms. Brown said that was correct. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 14-2013 on the condition the necessary right-of-way can be acquired for the trail.  David Drake made a motion to adopt Resolution 14-2013 on the condition the necessary right-of-way can be acquired for the trail.  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.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-08 to Amend Section 36.195 of the Ellettsville Town Code Changing Division Chief to Assistant Chief in the Ellettsville Fire Department Personnel Policy

 

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained a few years ago it came to their attention that the title of Division Chief really wasn’t the appropriate title.  Division refers to a geographical responsibility.  The Division Chief in their job description isn’t something that’s geographical.  The title of Assistant Chief is more consistent with other fire departments in the area.  He is requesting the definition be changed in the Town code.  The job description for the position is not changing.

 

Ordinance 2013-09 Concerning Credit Card Fees

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance is based on the Town Council’s approval of the Point and Pay Pay Services Agreement.  Indiana Code allows political subdivision and municipally owned utilities to pass along to the Town’s customers any fees the Town incurs if it accepts credit cards, debit cards or electronic funds transfers.  For credit cards the fee will be 3% of the transaction with a minimum fee of $2.  The electronic fund transfer fee will be $1.50.

 

Phillip Smith asked what is considered an electronic fund transfer.  Ms. Brown answered it is any transfer of funds other than a transaction by paper, check, draft or other similar instrument that’s initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit an account. Mr. Smith asked if checks are run through a machine will it act like a debit card.  Mike Farmer replied no.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-06 to Amend Ordinance 2012-13 and 2012-14 Regarding Nepotism

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the purpose of this ordinance is to place it somewhere in the Town Code.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-06.  David Drake made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-06.  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.

 

Ordinance 2013-07 to Amend Section 72.02 of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding No Parking Areas

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance allows the Police Department to tow vehicles if they create a hazard. It also assesses an administrative fee for towing vehicles to offset the cost.  Mr. Smith asked if the fee is in addition to what the towing company charges.  Ms. Brown answered yes.  Mr. Swafford asked how much the fee is.  Ms. Brown replied $25 and will be assessed when the vehicle owner or last operator obtains a copy of the abandoned or impounded vehicle report from the police department.  This will be deposited in the Town’s General Fund and the Law Enforcement Continuing Education Fund.  Dianna Bastin noted this is a vehicle release form from the police department.  Mr. Oldham added the fee is consistent with other area agencies.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-07.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-07.  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.

 

New Business

 

Agreement with Smart Bill Concerning Mailing Utility Bills

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, would like to table the agreement.  Ms. Brown has been working with their representatives on a contract.  He’s uncertain if they have come to terms yet and a couple of items in the contract are unclear.  The Town Council will be updated accordingly and it will be brought up again at the next meeting.  They want to improve how customers are billed and what type of bill they receive.  The post office wants a bar code on the bill.  Customers have also requested a different type of billing.

 

Dan Swafford asked if the new software they purchased has bar codes.  Ms. Hash replied it can do bar codes.  Mr. Farmer noted the costs they will incur by going to a new system impacts their budget.  This will be a consideration during the rate study.  If they don’t like it they may have to look at barcoding their current cards.  Mr. Swafford would like to see why the Town is outsourcing this and not doing this in house including a cost comparison.  Billing is one of the reasons they went to new software.  What made them decide to outsource the billing?  Mr. Farmer replied they thought it would be cheaper.  If it is done in-house they need a machine to fold and stuff.  There isn’t any room for those kinds of machines and they’re costly.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table the agreement with Smart Bill concerning utility bills.  Dan Swafford made a motion to table the agreement with Smart Bill concerning utility bills.  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.

 

Agreements Concerning the Secondary Water Line/Town’s Petition to Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) for Water Rate Increase:  Mark W. Cooper, Attorney at Law and Cline, King & King, PC

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Umbaugh and Associates has suggested the Town retain IURC counsel for the rate increase.  There are two contracts.  One is from Pete King of Cline, King & King for $250 an hour.  The other is from Mark Cooper, Attorney at Law, for $250 an hour.  Mr. Swafford asked if the Town has used Pete King before.  Ms. Brown replied that is correct.  Mr. Swafford commented since they’ve used Pete King before and it’s the same rate, it’s only sensible to stay with Mr. King.  Ms. Brown advised the suggestion is to retain Mark Cooper to work with Mr. King.  Mr. Swafford asked the reason for two attorneys.  Ms. Brown answered Mr. King suggested it because Mr. Cooper has some expertise at the IURC level.  She thinks there are some issues which require two attorneys and this may be one of them.

 

David Drake asked if the Town will have to pay for two attorneys to do the same thing.  Ms. Brown replied when they both attend IURC hearings they will get paid for the same thing.  Mr. Swafford asked if there’s an estimate of how many hours this may incur.  Ms. Brown said she did not have one.  Mr. Oldham stated they don’t have much of a choice if they’re going to move forward and it won’t get any cheaper.  Mr. Swafford asked who they used for the rate study on the sewer.  Mr. Farmer advised the last time they did a rate increase they went through a small utility filing and it didn’t require as much preparation for the rate increase.  They think when they go the IURC this time they want lawyers representing the Town because of the bonding issue, a request for a rate increase and some other issues.  IURC can sometimes be difficult to get through.  They ask a lot of questions about technical detail.  Sometimes they can be adversarial to an utility wanting a rate increase.  Mr. Swafford asked if Utilities was a member of the IURC when they did the sewer rate increase.  Mr. Farmer replied, sewer is not under the IURC.  Mr. Drake asked if $250 an hour was standard for this type of work.  Ms. Brown thinks it is less because other attorneys charge $400 an hour or more for a similar type of service.  Mr. Farmer advised they will also need an attorney for the bond.  Ms. Brown concurred. 

 

Dan Swafford asked the length of time it will take to go through the IURC.   Mr. Farmer replied it can take nine to twelve months.  There hasn’t been a rate increase for four years.  Mr. Swafford asked if the additional legal fees were included in the budget.  Mr. Farmer replied no.  When a rate increase is done the legal fees are calculated into the cost.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the agreements with Mark Cooper and Cline, King & King in regards to the waterline and IURC rate increase.  David Drake made a motion to approve the agreements with Mark Cooper and Cline, King & King in regards to the waterline and IURC rate increase.  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.

 

Council Comments

 

Scott Oldham announced the Citizens’ Action Coalition will be in Town canvassing the area for political purposes over the next several weeks between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

 

Phillip Smith announced a scout from Troop 119 is attending the meeting to earn one of their badges.

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Jim Ragle, Street Commissioner, has received three quotes for a dump truck to replace a 1988 model. 

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the bids are as follows:  $90,031 from Bloomington Ford, $90,346 from Sternburg Ford and $96,137.52 from Sternburg International.  Mr. Ragle noted Sternburg Ford didn’t have the equipment they needed, however, Bloomington Ford does.  It’s a complete dump truck with hydraulics, snow plow and spreader.  It’s fully equipped and ready to go.  Mr. Swafford asked what will be done with the old truck.  Mr. Ragle replied they will keep it around for awhile.  It’s rotted out but it’s good for junk and stone hauling.  Mr. Swafford asked how many dump trucks the Street Department has.  Mr. Ragle answered there are five and the 1988 will be phased out.  Snow plowing is a top priority.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to accept the bid from Bloomington Ford for the dump truck for $90,031.  David Drake made a motion to accept the bid from Bloomington Ford for the dump truck for $90,031.  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.

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, previously forwarded an email concerning a Pre-Award Certification Assurance Survey required by the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) when there are federal projects.  They want to make sure the Town is in compliance with Title VI, Title II and Section 504.  This is to ensure non-discrimination.  Some of the listed requirements and survey questions are not handled in the Planning Department.  They should be handled by the attorney because of contractual language and the Clerk-Treasurer because of audience attendance at meetings.  The Planning Department would also have some of those responsibilities.  The survey has a September 1, 2013 deadline. She is requesting staff, counsel and supervisors be on-board to answer the questions.

 

Josh Desmond of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”) has received funding notices that are less than expected for fiscal years 2014 – 2017.  In the past they have allowed projects to roll forward if they’re not on time frames.  They’ve allowed money to be set aside to pool for larger projects in the future.   These things are being eliminated as a part of daily business. Phase II of the Heritage Trail is in that year.  Transportation alternative funding has been cut.  They will be questioning the Heritage Trail and if the Town can expend that money by the deadline.  They’re trying to reallocate this money into other projects.  The Town is now in a situation if they don’t start expending money the funding will not be given to the MPO.  The Town is in a “use it or lose it” situation.  The meeting is on August 14, 2013, at 3:30 p.m.  She is seeking guidance.

 

Scott Oldham asked the amount of the funding.  Ms. Griffin replied it is $223,000 with a local match of over $55,000.  It is in the transportation improvement program for 2014.  The trail has to be in place before the bridge can be put in.  There are deadlines with federal funding and MPO funding.  Mr. Oldham doesn’t see having the trail in place is an issue.  The total cost of the bridge is approximately $250,000 to $300,000.  Mr. Oldham asked Rick Coppock if $285,000 is enough to finish the bridge.  Mr. Coppock replied it should be. 

 

Dan Swafford confirmed the bridge has to be ready for letting.  Ms. Griffin replied the Town decided not to obligate itself to go with federal funding for Phase I.  This money needs to be obligated and they’re wanting to make sure the Town is going to be using it.  If not, they need to allocate it for another project. 

 

Darla Brown said Mr. Desmond is looking for is a commitment on the part of the Town.  When does it have to be ready for letting?  Ms. Griffin will have that date on August 13, 2013. 

 

The Town is in the 2014 time frame which is July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. It has to be obligated and inputted into the FEMUS system which guarantees that money is there for the Town six week before it contracts letting.  Mr. Oldham asked Mr. Coppock if he had any issues with the timeline.  Mr. Swafford asked if this is INDOT or local MPO money.  Ms. Griffin replied it starts off at the state.  There are funding categories and the state gives funds to those categories, but, it comes through the MPO.  The Town wrote a grant for it and was awarded $223,000.  Mr. Swafford said the Town still has to go through INDOT’s hoops.  Ms. Griffin added the Town still has to follow federal guidelines to receive the money.

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, stated the difference is back when the trail project first started Ellettsville and wasn’t part of the MPO.  The Town got funds directly through INDOT as part of the Transportation Enhancement Funds.  Since that time, Ellettsville is part of the MPO and the funds are received through the MPO.  The Town has to adhere to all INDOT guidelines and requirements.  It is how the money goes through the MPO and gets to the Town.  Mr. Oldham asked for what the Town has already done and completed on both phases does it take the Town closer to getting through INDOT’s hoops for the bridge.  Mr. Coppock replied that is correct.  The hydraulic study still has to be completed.  It can be lengthy at times but in his discussions with the contractor they don’t anticipate that.  Then, the Town will have to acquire one parcel which will be Thurman’s Garage before the Town will be ready to let the project.  Mr. Oldham asked monetarily or time wise is there any issue with this.  Mr. Coppock asked the time frame.  Ms. Griffin replied it is the fiscal year July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.  Mr. Coppock said the Town should be able to get it done in that amount of time.  Mr. Oldham asked with that amount of money.  Mr. Coppock replied he believes so.  Ms. Brown asked if there was any wiggle room.  Ms. Griffin replied she didn’t take that there was a lot of wiggle room by the email.

 

Scott Oldham stated as long as the Town’s experts think they can fiscally and timely meet the deadline they don’t need to do anything other than tell the MPO they’re planning to press forward.  Mr. Swafford asked if they’re wanting anything other than a commitment from the Town.  Ms. Griffin replied there is a meeting scheduled and if there are additional requirements she’ll report back to everyone.  Ms. Brown clarified Mr. Desmond needs a letter confirming the Town does intend to go through with the project.  Ms. Griffin noted that would be satisfactory at this time.

 

Privilege of the Floor

 

Jeanna Kapczynski thanked the Town.  This is a positive step forward.  There will be a lot of work for Phase I.  For Phase II remember that Main Street has a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation.  They need to try and use it next year.  They will do all they can to help the Town.

 

Adjournment

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:06 p.m.