August 25, 2014
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 25, 2014, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Dan Swafford 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, Jim Davis, Town Manager, Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer. Kip Headdy also attended the meeting to represent the Street Department.
Approval of Minutes
David Drake entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on August 11, 2014 and the Heritage Trail meeting on August 6, 2014. Dianna Bastin so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. 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.
Resolution 11-2014 Matthews Drive Bridge Project
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Jim Davis had received a letter from Todd Taylor, buyer for Monroe County Commissioners. The county is undertaking a road improvement project to reconstruct Matthews Drive and the Town owns certain property that is affected by the improvement project. The county has made the Town an offer to buy permanent and temporary right-of-ways for the sum of $98,145. The permanent right-of-way consists of 2.057 acres and the temporary right-of-way for construction purposes consists of .004 acres. The Resolution approves the sale and authorizes Scott Oldham to sign the necessary documents.
David Drake asked if it affects the contract with the Monroe County Solid Waste District (“Solid Waste District”). Ms. Brown replied not that she knows of. Mr. Coppock spoke with Larry Barker, President of the Solid Waste District, and he said they had already worked everything out between them and the road project.
Dan Swafford asked if two bids were received for the project. Ms. Brown replied no. Mr. Swafford asked who did the appraisal. Jeff Farmer answered First Appraisal Group.
David Drake commented he initially thought the Town shouldn’t have the county pay for the right-of-way since it is tax dollars from the county. When he found out it would be state and federal funds to pay for it he no longer opposed it.
David Drake entertained a motion to accept Resolution 11-2014 Matthews Drive Bridge Project. Dianna Bastin made a motion to accept Resolution 11-2014 Matthews Drive Bridge Project. Dan Swafford seconded. Roll call vote: David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 12-2014 Additional Appropriation for the Heritage Trail
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, advised the money to be appropriated for the trail is coming out of the Matthews Drive bridge project which they don’t have yet. She requested this matter be tabled.
Dan Swafford made a motion to table Resolution 12-2014 Additional Appropriation for Heritage Trail. Dianna Bastin seconded. Roll call vote: David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Ordinances on First Reading
Ordinance 2014-13 to Amend Title XI of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Pawnbrokers
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained last fall Town Council passed an ordinance regarding regulations for pawn brokers. There has been an issue with regard to Section 111.06. Specifically, the information that is required to be reported and transferred to the Ellettsville Police Department by the pawn broker. The purpose of this and the next two ordinances on the agenda is to make it clear when pawn brokers, second hand dealers and dealers in metals have to report the information to the Ellettsville Police Department. Essentially, §111.06 is to be changed to require the pawn broker to transfer information required by the ordinance to the law enforcement web site within 24 hours of the licensee receiving the pawned article. Section B requires them to send the same information to the Ellettsville Police Department at the same time they send the information to the law enforcement website. It also states the licensee is responsible for maintaining all records and receipts or whatever they need to show they have actually made the electronic transfer of information.
David Drake asked what was happening to cause the need for the ordinance to be amended. Ms. Brown answered there were issues with some individuals in Town who were disputing when and how soon the information had to be transferred.
Ordinance 2014-14 to Amend Title XI of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Second Hand Dealers
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the issue is similar to 2014-13. The information the second hand dealer receives has to be transferred electronically to the law enforcement website within 24 hours. Licensee is responsible for maintaining all records and transferring the same information to the Ellettsville Police Department that was transferred to the electronic website.
Ordinance 2014-15 to Amend Title XI of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Dealers in Valuable Metals
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance is a little different. When the Town Council originally passed it it gave the valuable metals dealers 48 hours which she did not change. A provision was added stating when the information is transferred to the law enforcement website it has to be transferred to the Ellettsville Police Department.
Scott Thomas asked if this is just a clarification of the time frame. Ms. Brown replied yes. The intent was for it to be transferred to the local police department at the same time it was transferred to the website but the ordinance did not actually state this.
Ordinances on Second Reading
Ordinance 2014-11 to Amend the Ellettsville Town Code, Personnel Policy, Concerning the Town Manager
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained there were some minor changes the Town Council requested at the previous meeting. Specifically, under §36.004, Safety, there is a requirement that employees report certain events or accidents to their supervisor who should notify the Town Manager. This was added to make it parallel to the rest of the ordinance. Scott Oldham mentioned he wanted a section added about emergency closings. Section 36.011 states the Town Manager shall decide when Town facilities will officially be closed. The Town Council was in agreement to remove “liaison” and substitute “Town Manager” throughout the personnel policy.
Dan Swafford asked if they have done away with liaisons. Ms. Brown answered yes, if the ordinance is passed. Mr. Drake recalls from the last meeting that any department head or employee is free to speak with any member of the Town Council. The issue was the Town Manager would also be doing the same things as a liaison and then getting them to Town Council. It was decided it would have been too many layers of complexity to continue with liaisons and the Town Manager. There were other issues where the employee would report to their department head and then to the Town Manager. So, this was changed because it required the employee to report it to two people.
Darla Brown noted one other change the Town Council discussed at the last meeting was to amend §36.102, Applicant Testing. The current Town Code reads, “It shall be the responsibility of the supervisor to select for interview a reasonable number of applicants based on the foregoing criteria.” The first draft said “It shall be the responsibility of the supervisor and Town Manager to select for interview . . .” The Town Council said they didn’t want the Town Manager involved at that level. Section §36.102 has been removed, meaning there will be no changes to it and it will read as it does in the Personnel Policy. Under §36.103 the final interviews will be conducted by the supervisor and the Town Manager. The supervisor picks the applicants, narrows down the list and then the Town Manager and supervisor will interview the final applicants.
Scott Thomas commented it clears up a number of variations from last time. He agrees with §36.102 where it is the supervisor’s position to select the candidates and then involve the Town Manager. He was originally concerned with having the Town Manager involved at every level of human resources and unavailable to the community and to the things the Town Council thought they should be point person on. Ms. Brown noted Town Council is still the final word on who gets hired.
David Drake entertained a motion to accept Ordinance 2014-11 to amend the Ellettsville Town Code, Personnel Policy, concerning the Town Manager. Dianna Bastin made a motion to accept Ordinance 2014-11 to amend the Ellettsville Town Code, Personnel Policy, concerning the Town Manager. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford - no and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 3-1.
Eagles Landing Project – Todd Lare and Doug Wilson, South Central Community Action Program
Todd Lare, Executive Director of South Central Community Action Program (“SCCAP”), explained they are a local non-profit, located in three counties and nearing their 50th anniversary. They provide opportunities for low income individuals to move toward personal and economic independence. SCCAP operates an energy assistance program, weatherization, Section 8, Head Start, early Head Start, Circles Initiative and the American’s with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). They have approximately 100 staff members and their annual operating budget is between $8 Million to $10 Million. They have rented space at Jack’s Defeat Creek for several years for Head Start and early Head Start which costs a lot of money. Eagles Landing has approximately 98,000 square feet and they found some positives in the site. They’re excited about some of the possibilities that may be able to be located there in addition to Head Start and early Head Start classrooms. It may be a co-location site on an ongoing basis with the Town of Ellettsville. It’s an amazing facility and the gymnasium is historic, worth preserving and could be rented for events. Currently, there is a tenant who uses it continuously for another operation. It consists of nine acres in the middle of the Town and there is no other space that can really serve to unite the community or a place for future Town events. In order to make the space work they need other partners to help pay for the purchase and upgrade for the facility. At a minimum there are cosmetic needs. It will need to be brought into compliance with the ADA, flooring and paint, bathroom upgrades, roofing and landscaping. Their vision is to host a community center which may include Town Hall for some period of time. The Boys and Girls Club is currently located in the building. They may have new programming for RBB Schools, the library has contacted them for potential space and Girls, Inc. has been mentioned. Currently, the Chamber of Commerce is located there as well as other commercial, non-commercial tenants and small entrepreneurs. They envision continuing to be a small incubator space as well. They would like to restore the commercial kitchen and dining room and also make it available for events and a meeting space. They also plan on the continued use of the grounds for community events for the Fall Festival, farmers market and other events. They have started to have long term conversations with the Town about their future plans. There are a variety of options.
Currently, the Town is on a month-to-month lease. One option is a three to five year lease in the same offices currently occupied by the Town. There may be a modest rent increase due to improvements to the facility. Their preference is to have the Town rent as long as possible because they think it would make a great Town center for an ongoing basis. Another option is a 10 to 20 year lease and moving locations in the building to make a permanent home for Town Hall. They have done some architectural renderings that show it as a possibility. They’re in the feasibility phase and have made a contingent offer on the facility that has been accepted. At this time, they’re looking at the condition of the facility, revenue and expenses to decide if it is feasible. There has been a Cook report done on the facility but they have not had a chance to study it. They’re working with Owen Mass, an architectural firm, who specializes in schools, libraries and municipal buildings. The next step will be for Owen Mass to have their engineering firm look at the same things as Cook. They anticipate physical improvements and will look at how that will affect the current and presumptive tenants. They need to close the deal and have their classrooms ready for Head Start in August 2015. Their contingent offer requires an October or November closing. The Seven Oaks Charter School has approached them to lease 18 classrooms with an enrollment of 450 students by August 2015. They are asking the Town consider a long term presence and the positive aspects of preserving the facility in the heart of the community thus spurring interest in Eagles Landing. They’re look toward a major revitalization project while remaining fiscally conservative while the Town addresses other more important pressing fiscal liabilities. They’re requesting the Town Council authorize the Town Manager to continue a dialogue with them so they can negotiate toward the best interest of all parties and provide support for the project subject to the Town’s final approval.
Scott Thomas met with Mr. Lare this date and looked at the facility. At this time the Town is looking at options. The Town was forced out of a flooding building and moved to its current location as a stop gap measure. He doesn’t know if this has changed and has not committed the Town either way. They’re also looking at the option of building or buying another location. The Town Council also cares about the community. Last meeting, Town Council announced they are not looking to purchase Eagles Landing.
David Drake doesn’t think the Town would ever consider purchasing the building because it is too big of a project. He thinks the Town Manager and Mr. Thomas should stay involved to find out what the Town can do to help it work and help Town government at the same time. Since the Town doesn’t have any other plans at this time, they will be there for a while. If they can make a little bit of a commitment to try and help it through with a lease of a few years then it is a reasonable thing to do. Mr. Thomas agrees. Mr. Drake stated the Town can’t commit to anything at this time because they have no idea of the future. The Town is still paying off bonds on the buildings for the Fire and Police Departments.
Jeff Baldwin, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington, is excited to hear that the Town is willing to come to the table. As a tenant of Eagles Landing, the Boys and Girls Club has a vested interest in continuing to move forward with a collaborative effort to secure the property. This is a tremendous opportunity for the community and can truly be transformative. If the Town makes the move to chat and continue down the road, a number of other people will be looking at it with great interest. It will help motivate other people to get serious about the efforts. The140+ kids and their families they serve on a daily basis at the Ellettsville club thank the Town for being a part of the process.
Mike Wilcox, Superintendent of Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation (“RBBCSC”), supports the revitalization of Eagles Landing. RBBCSC does not support a charter school being on the property. It is not in the best interest of the community. He is confident when he says this is the view the community and their patrons as well.
Jeana Kapczynski, President of Main Street, was happy when SCCAP spoke to Main Street about the possibility of using Eagles Landing as a community place in the restored gym. It’s in the Ellettsville Main Street territory and they would like to see it revitalized. Grants could be obtained for the historic portion. She hopes the Town will seriously consider giving them the go ahead for a short term lease. The Fire and Police Departments hold $2.5 Million plus interest over the next 10 years so she doesn’t know where the Town will find funds to build another government center. Where the Town is at makes a lot of sense for right now and SCCAP would like a short term commitment that the Town will stay at Eagles Landing.
David Drake asked Jim Davis, Town Manager, to stay in touch with SCCAP. Mr. Davis replied he will. Mr. Thomas asked to be kept in the loop so he can be involved.
Establishing a Public Works Department – Consolidation of the Utilities and Street Departments
Scott Thomas advised this was discussed at the last couple of meetings and he has received a lot of feedback and phone calls.
Scott Thomas suggested a motion to table this and asked representatives from Bynum Fanyo to take the time to put together a proposal showing the savings and benefits to the Town both financially and beyond; and to do so without figuring in the savings of not replacing Jim Ragle. He thinks the Town can do the same thing and still have the equal savings. With this information he thinks they can make an informed decision to make sure the savings are there and better represent the people of the Town. He is asking they calculate the figures through the end of their contract and include potential rate increases. He wants to see this information because based on their previous talks he does believe there is the potential for efficiency, improvements and cost savings. Based on the information they have he doesn’t feel he can make a good, informed decision for the citizens.
Scott Thomas made a motion to table this until the next meeting. Dianna Bastin seconded. Motion carried.
Raises/Promotions for the Various Individuals in the Street and Utilities Departments
Dianna Bastin made a motion to table this as it is directly related to Scott Thomas’ interest in a cost savings. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried.
Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained Monroe County Voters Registration is requesting the permission to use the Fire Department’s conference room for the election on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, for Richland 1 and Richland 2 precincts.
David Drake entertained a motion to approve the use of the conference room on the election on November 4, 2014. Scott Thomas made a motion to approve the use of the conference room on the election on November 4, 2014. Dianna Bastin seconded. Roll call vote: David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
David Drake entertained a motion to adjourn. Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn. Dan Swafford seconded. David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:09 p.m.