August 9, 2010

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, August 9, 2010 at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Phillip Smith called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Dan Swafford led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Phillip Smith led the prayer.

 

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

 

Supervisors Present were:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Jay Humphrey, Mike Farmer, Connie Griffin and Rick Coppock.  Jeff Farmer was absent.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting July 26 and the Budget Meetings July 21, 28, and August 4, 2010.  Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Scott Oldham so moved.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 07-10 to adopt the Monroe County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

 

Jim Davis, Ellettsville Fire Chief - stated this plan is from the Department of Homeland Security.  This is a boiler-plate the State Department of Homeland Security is doing throughout the state of Indiana.  It's a grant from the Federal Government.  They want all the counties to adopt this standard.  The committee met over a period of several months and identified threats in Monroe County and what has taken place over the past ten - fifteen years in the county such as floods and tornadoes, etc.  It was been reviewed by counsel. 

Jim Commerford, Monroe County Emergency Management Director - this comes out of a 2000 act, the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act, by the Federal Government, that requires every entity across the United States - every local government - to adopt a Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Basically, when there is a disaster, in order to receive assistance for re-building, a Hazard Mitigation Plan is required.  It came to light in this part of the state with the floods of 2008.  In the plan; hazards are identified and rated. What's the likelihood of it happening, what the impact is going to be if it does happen.  After this is established a list is created along with what can be done to mitigate those issues.  A prime example right now is Morgan County buying homes through FEMA.  A plan must be in place in order to do that.  They had to do the plan before they could get those funds.  A Monroe County group was organized in early 2009 to work on a plan.  They've held public meetings to go through it.  The Monroe County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan establishes all the entities in the county - Stinesville, Ellettsville, Bloomington city and the county.  Adopt this as our hazard plan for the county and in the future we will be available to receive funds.  Once a year there will be a meeting to update and amend the plan if there is a disaster or something isn't covered.  In 2015, it is possible to do a re-write of it.  We had help with it from The POLIS Center out of IUPUI.  They had a grant to do it with all the counties.  They've done 70 some now.  Sandra Hash read the Resolution in its entirety.  Dan Swafford made a motion to approve Resolution 07-10 to adopt the Monroe County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

After the vote, Jim Commerford added Jim Davis asked him to cover an additional issue which would be coming up in a couple of months.  In the next couple of months a Mutual Aid Agreement for the IDHS's across the district.  They're asking every entity to sign.   It's a boilerplate thing they put out.  It goes back from the 2008 floods too where some entities helped out in other counties and couldn't get reimbursed for their time from FEMA because they didn't have on paper what their people were worth and how the process worked. This covers that so reimbursements can come back to you.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 10-12 to amend various sections of Chapter 96 of the Ellettsville Town Code concerning animals

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning - stated this particular code update is one that has not been done since 1913 with fowl running at large and keeping of hogs and swine since 1942.  She went over some of the code changes.  The definitions have been expanded or added.  Fowl now includes "or other like birds."  The definitions "domesticated animals", the word "keep", and the word "livestock" have all now been defined.  The title has changed from "fowl running at large" to "keeping of fowl" and the same for "keeping of hogs, pigs or swine" to "keeping of livestock".  "Fowl running at large" has not changed since 1913.  The "keeping of hogs, pigs or swine" has not changed since 1942.  No livestock or fowl are allowed in the corporate limits in the Town of Ellettsville.  Fines have been established, sections of the code amended, livestock is not allowed in the corporate limits of the Town unless the property is zoned to Agricultural Use.  The Town Council can receive written petitions from the citizens.  Section 6 (C) has been amended to read:  Any person or persons, corporation, partnership, or association violating any of the provisions of this section commits a class E ordinance violation and shall suffer a fine for that violation.  Each day that any person, persons, corporation, partnership, or association keeps, harbors, or allows the keeping and harboring of any livestock is in violation of this section shall be deemed to constitute a violation.  Section 96.04 Violation (A) reads:  Any person violating the provision of this chapter, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $25.00.  Each violation of a provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.  The punishment for the second and subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a class D ordinance violation and shall suffer a fine not to exceed $100.00.  There was an additional request from Darla Brown to add another section to that because of the fine section.  That is Section 10:  This ordinance takes effect at 12:01 on the third day following its final publication according to the procedure specified by Indiana Code 5-3-1.  Phillip Smith said; say Timmy Brown wants to have rabbits for 4-H.  What would he have to do?  Connie Griffin stated he would then provide you with a written petition and come before this Council and ask for a determination.  He would need to provide documentation of proof he is a 4-H member.  Phillip Smith went on to ask what happens if John Brown, Timmy's dad, wants to do it - as an adult - he's not in 4-H - but to supplement the food his family has.  Connie Griffin stated they dealt with that same issue on the Plan Commission level.  It becomes an issue of selectivity.  We try to stay away from that, but because you wanted it in for the 4-H, that's where that line came in.  But, in my opinion, in order to avoid selective enforcement, agricultural animals need to be in an agricultural zone.  People purchase land properties, single family residential, and multi-family residential for that purpose - for urban usage - and this is an agricultural usage.  Scott Oldham asked - on that same note- what if someone wanted to keep a rabbit as a pet.  Connie Griffin responded it's defined as an agricultural animal.  She went on to say, this is not an easy code.  Plus, this is an introduction.  It gets into - how do we determine what a pet is - but, also we've had some cases where you have chickens and large areas they are running around in.  We've had neighbors who've gone into civil litigation because of the smell and the health issues chickens can produce.  The code is looking at it from a safe and health point of standing.  This is not an easy one.  They do cause people not to have the things they want.  But, if you look at it from the point of health and safety and what land uses are, that's where the code is coming from.  Dianna Bastin asked - under fowl - pigeons or other like birds - she actually did a little research.  A parrot is a fowl, you keep it inside, you take care of it, you take it to the vet, and they live 75 to 100 years.  In Ellettsville, you can't have a parrot?  Connie Griffin said Darla Brown actually brought that to her attention today.  The question was whether they would include or exclude those types of birds.  That is up for discussion.  Dianna Bastin stated her second question is if we allow Timmy to have a 4-H bunny in the back yard, who makes sure he's taking care of the rabbit and it’s safe and well maintained.  Connie Griffin responded she thought if it were a 4-H project, there would be reports and such he would have to produce for his project and they could request those reports.  Phillip Smith stated #1 - they don't have to make those reports and #2 - he feels they are in a parent's area here.  It's up to the parent to make sure it’s maintained because they will be the ones sued by the neighbors.  Scott Oldham stated we're getting to a point where government's going to intrude on a parent's right.  I'm not interested in regulating rabbits unless they're running amuck and I don't see them running amuck.  I'm all for regulating ostriches because they're big birds.  We're splitting hairs and I think we need to look more closely at this code before we start telling some five year old she can't have a rabbit because she's allergic to cats.  Phillip Smith said he has seen in the Town of Ellettsville chickens running all over the place.  The last thing he wants is one of his neighbors having a flock of chickens to come out and crap all over his front step.  Scott Oldham said he things reasonable regulations are one thing, but when they start including parrots and other things like that, he thinks they ought to step back two or three steps and think along the lines of regulating how many of whatever you can have as opposed to just banning a thing.  Dianna Bastin added that domestic animal is such a broad term.  Her neighbor has a boa constrictor and it has a personality.  It interacts with him and he loves it.  It's a domesticated pet.  Phillip Smith stated if anyone has any suggestions or wants to see this ordinance, contact Connie Griffin and let her know what you think.  Connie Griffin said she just wanted to state she has received code complaints about living next to chickens and that's what actually prompted this particular code to go before Plan Commission.  One neighbor was threatening to slaughter the chickens and it becomes a health and safety issue.  She stated her email is connie_griffin@bluemarble.net and she would prefer written documentation of any questions referring to code.  Darla Brown suggested there be a motion made to send this back to Plan Commission for further review.  Dan Swafford stated that speaking for the Plan Commission, they have beaten this to death and they have spent hours on this.  They sent it here because there are no good answers.  Darla Brown suggested a motion to table it then and she and Connie Griffin could see if they could come up with some definitions that would exclude parrots and things of that nature from the definition of fowl and/or come up with some regulations that will allow people to have small birds and one rabbit as a pet.  Dan Swafford made a motion to table this ordinance and let Connie Griffin and the attorney, Darla Brown, work on verbiage in this ordinance.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Ordinance 10-13 to add a new section to Chapter 93 to the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Leaf, Tree and Brush Removal

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning stated Jim Ragle came to her and they were discussing a new brush code.  This was based, not only on statistics, but also on the equipment, their staffing and budgeting.  There were many considerations prior to this code.  She presented statistics based on information gathered from 2005 to 2009.  There was a 29% increase in employee hours on leaf collection.  The leaf loader itself had a 78% increase in use.  Loads of leaves increased by 38%.  Brush collection employee hours increased by 47%.  Dump trucks, 64% increase of usage.  Backhoe, 52% increase and the brush loads of 117% increase from that time period.

Jim Ragle, Street Commissioner,  Scott Oldham asked Jim Ragle about C (5); "All brush must be no more than four feet in length and not more than six inches in diameter."  It was his understanding this would be removed or altered.  Jim Ragle stated it was left in so that the sizes would be manageable by hand rather than having to bring out three trucks and backhoes and chippers because of the fuel and budget restraints.  Dianna Bastin brought up the fact that there have been two very large storms where the street department came out and worked very hard cleaning up afterwards and much of the debris would not have met these criteria.  Jim Ragle stated that they would pick up after storm damage regardless of what size it is.  Dianna Bastin emphasized she was not against this, but if they pass this "as is" and there is nothing in it about major storm cleanup, then much could be left out of the cleanup.  Dan Swafford stated if you read under 93.21 "for a two week period after storm damage occurs" so storm damage is exempt from this ordinance.  Dan Swafford asked if that is what the concern is.  Scott Oldham said it was that as well as some members of the public who are physically not capable of cutting this which is again why this service originally started to begin with.  Dan Swafford clarified, concerning his prior conversation with Jim Ragle, this ordinance was to prevent someone from hiring a tree trimming company who then leaves the rubbish for the Town to clean up.  Dianna Bastin stated she was all for that, but several weeks ago a storm came through and her neighbor, who is an able-bodied person, had lightening split a tree.  Part of it fell in the street.  He got his chainsaw out, cleaned it all up, put up in the yard and Ellettsville Street Department picked it all up.  One man couldn't have picked up that brush and it didn't meet the requirement of #5 and it came from a storm.  Jim Ragle said he was probably just a good citizen, but the problem is when there is a storm and people hire companies to come in and cut down their tree and leave the brush for us to pick up.  Scott Oldham asked would not #7 take care of that as opposed to leaving #5 in there.  Jim Ragle added they would help to the best of their ability after a storm - 100% - helping people clean up after a storm.  But, one other thing we need to do is limit the time.  We had a big storm last August and we had people this spring and early this summer saying they had storm damage from the storm last August to be picked up.  Dianna Bastin stated she agreed with that and it’s hard on our equipment.  Jim Ragle said they needed an ordinance to help because they are spending so much time on brush and leaf removal that it's getting out of hand.  He went on to say he saw two places today where people were through with their gardens and they cleaned them out and it’s all sitting in front of their house to be picked up.  It's hard to pick up and it's hard to get rid of too.  Phillip Smith stated he felt they were at a point now where they were going to have to start charging for some of this.  There's too many man hours and equipment hours to be doing this for nothing.  Jim Ragle added there were not too many towns or cities that would pick up without a fee.  Phillip Smith stated he would like to table this so they can go through it and information sent to you and Connie.  Dan Swafford asked is this ordinance for storm damage only or for say a tree that's dying.  Jim Ragle answered if it falls in the street they will take care of it.  Dianna Bastin added it is her understanding that we are only picking up storm damage, not clean up or pruning.  Dan Swafford added but if you do trimming, we want it in these small bundles in order to pick them up.  Jim Ragle answered yes, not dump truck loads.  Dan Swafford said the general regulations are a little misleading, because he, Jim and Connie worked on this and he thinks they need to rewrite general regulations 93.21 over again because, really, C is for pruning and that kind of thing and that's why it's such a small bundle.  Now, storm damage should be exempt from all of this.  That's what he thinks the confusion is over, because anything caused by storm damage, we will make an effort to get out there and get within two weeks.  This is the waste generated by nature and this is what you are asking to be not more than four feet long and six inches around.  Dianna Bastin stated if they were sending it back to the drawing board, she thinks it should only be damage after a storm.  It shouldn't be cleaning up your yard or pruning.  You should find a place to take that.  Dan Swafford stated what Dianna Bastin stated was true, but, for all the years we have provided a service, to completely delete it altogether is not a very good move.  He thinks it needs to be limited in order for everyone to acclimate to the change.  People do pay taxes in Town and they expect some things from the money they pay.  This is a small amount that can help everyone and he's all for helping out a little bit.  It's the small number of people who abuse it that has caused this to be reviewed in the first place.  Dianna Bastin stated they had just heard from their Street Commissioner it’s getting out of hand.  She thinks now is as good a time as any to start scaling back.  Jim Ragle stated they are not against picking brush up, but what we used to do in one day, now takes us three or four days.  Dianna Bastin added if we don't do something, it's not going to change.  Jim Ragle agreed it has to change or slow down.  Phillip Smith instructed everyone to send their recommendations to Jim Ragle.  Jim Ragle said he would get them to Connie.  Phillip Smith asked to bring it back in two weeks.  He added it would be nice if the Council members had the corrected one before the next meeting so they could review it.  Sandra Hash added a comment as a citizen.  She thinks our brush is a big problem.  But, this ordinance says if you are within the corporate limits you cannot keep any yard waste in your yard or you could have a $100 a day fine.  So, if we don't have a way of disposing of tree limbs, and we aren't allowed to burn them in a fire pit outside, then what will our option be?  If you're going to stop picking up, other than storm damage, and you need to trim some low hanging limbs how can they be stored until you can dispose of them without a fine.  Dianna Bastin has someone she can take them to, not everyone does.  Dianna Bastin interjected she had to do a lot of research to find that place and she is not publicizing it.  Sandra Hash added she was not asking her to, but we don't all have that option.  Sandra Hash went on to say, she knows they need to do something, but if you say it is totally for storm damage, then we, as citizens have no way of disposing of them.  There's no county-wide collection place we can haul it to. 

 

New Business

 

Autumn Ridge PUD Amendment

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning stated they would be talking about the Autumn Ridge PUD amendment.  The Plan Commission gave a favorable recommendation.  There is a map showing the new sidewalk placement in the Council packet.  There is also the notice of public hearing that was published in the Journal.  She added, on July 8 of this year, the Plan Commission met to discuss the request for a Planned Unit Development Amendment for Autumn Ridge.  The petitioner was Jason Walls and Greg Lauer.  They are the owners of the Autumn Ridge Holding Company and Mr. Walls is here this evening if Council has any questions for him.  The location is Autumn Ridge subdivision which is west of Autumn Hills subdivision, north of SR 46 and it is the subject property of NW NE 14-9-2W in Monroe County.  The PUD amendment request consists of the elimination of sidewalks throughout the condo development.  The new placement would be where the new road is stubbing and to each side of that.  The Plan Commission recommended that the PUD amendment have a favorable recommendation to come before the Council.  Phillip Smith stated he knew this has been a very complicated issue with the sidewalks and other things.  From what he understands after talking to people who live in Autumn Hill, they do not want the sidewalks.  Connie Griffin affirmed this.  She went on to say, the sidewalks were not put in as the development was put.   There are some concerns about losing yard space and the slope of the land.  The residents and the Town would like a resolution to this.  The Plan Commission basically honored the residents' request not to have the sidewalks.  Was it right to eliminate the sidewalks?  You can get into this big discussion back and forth on this.  There is a road stub.  It was part of the Comprehensive Plan to have in and out access out of subdivisions.  There was concern by supervisors for safety issues.  Based upon those decisions, the Plan Commission would like to bring forth a favorable recommendation for the PUD amendment.  David Drake asked if it wasn't normal for the sidewalks to be put in when the streets are put in.  How did we come to this?  Connie Griffin answered she was not really sure.  It was several years before she came on staff.  She believes now, they have started looking at check lists to be implemented into any process that comes out of the Planning Department.  These developments, when they start going in, need to be inspected weekly.  They need drive bys and constant communication.  We need to require things from the developer.  Also, before we go forth, we need to get these plat reviews back before the Plan Commission and let them have that power.  Right now, she is the only one who can sign off on all kinds of stuff.  She thinks we need to put that back into the Plan Commissioners' hands.  She thinks there needs to be a critical review inspection of any code violations that are present before we just sign off and let them go to the next level.  We need to practice and utilize our power to hold building permits, if necessary.  There are a lot of options available to us going forward, but she can't go back at this point.  David Drake affirmed he knew this wasn't her responsibility, but it seems like this whole subdivision got away from us.  Connie Griffin agreed.  David Drake said he didn't understand how we got a street built without the sidewalks.  And that's not the fault of the residents either.  So, if they don't want the sidewalks at this point, even though they should have been put in in the first place, he doesn't want to put it back on them again to have to deal with having all their yards and everything torn up again to do this now.  He sees this as the lesser of the two evils here, not the ideal choice.  The people who live there have already dealt with enough problems that we don't have to create a bigger mess.  Scott Oldham asked if the residents favor this recommendation of the Plan Commission.  Connie Griffin answered yes.  Phillip Smith made a motion to approve the Autumn Ridge PUD amendment.  Dan Swafford seconded.

Discussion prior to the vote:

Dianna Bastin stated she had the greatest respect for the residents, and for how hard they have worked to make known what they wanted.  But, she will be voting no for the PUD agreement because she feels the developer should have done what he brought to the Council and what he brought to Ellettsville.  It should have been complete and we should have never gotten here.  She wanted the residents to know her reasoning.

 

Bruce Frey, resident of Autumn Ridge - would like the Council to consider the timing of this request.  He's not asking them to rule one way or the other.  The timing of this is wrong.  He wanted to remind the Council what they have already done.  Through the Town's attorney, on July 1, the Council wrote to the developers and said "Please be advised that Jason Walls' proposed PUD amendment will be on the Plan Commission agenda for Thursday, July 8, 2010.  The Town requests that Jason Walls make the repairs to and surface coat the Autumn Ridge subdivision streets as per the estimates provided to me earlier this year.  Please ask Jason to make arrangements with a contractor to have this project completed no later than August 1, 2010 and give me an estimated start date for the work.  The Town will conduct regular inspections on the site during the work.  In the event the work cannot be completed by August 1, 2010, please make arrangements with Monroe Bank to extend the letter of credit for another year and provide me with documentation showing that Monroe Bank has in fact extended the letter of credit."  None of that happened.  The point is, they don't have sidewalks now so what is the big rush.  You folks don't have to do this.  All you really need to do is table it.  He asked if it wouldn't make more sense to decide whether or not they should receive the financial benefit of not having to put in the sidewalks after they've complied with what they've already been told to do, which is, put in the street.  At the last Plan Commission meeting, Jason Walls again told him they did not have the authority, they couldn't do anything, their hands were tied, they couldn't do the street because the Town had not told them whether or not the Town would be willing to agree, in advance, to reduce the amount of the letter of credit by the cost of putting in the street.  We are at this impasse.  They haven't done anything and they are not going to do anything.  Now, with this marvelous opportunity, they are all here, he would just like the Council to ask Jason what they're going to do.  They have not complied with this and he doesn't think the Council has to give them anything until they are ready to give it to them.

David Drake stated he thought the whole road issue was already taken care of.  Dan Swafford said he has said this over and over again, but the decision on the sidewalks does not have anything to do with the road.  It is his understanding the reason the work hasn't been done, it's all hearsay, is they want a letter from the Council for reduction.  That letter of reduction will not come until they know they have sufficient amount of money to complete the project if we need to complete the project.  He added he doesn't understand what's going on and why the roads haven't been completed yet.  Dan Swafford addressed Jason Walls and stated at no time did the Council say that they would lower the amount if the sidewalks were not put in.  Are you holding the road up until you have a decision on that?  He asked Jason Walls to clarify it.

Jason Walls responded they have had bids to put the road in and they have an accepted bid to do that work.  They have made requests to have the letter of credit reduced by the expense of the road when we do the road.  He guessed they were waiting on verification that those funds will be released when the road is put in, so we don't pay for the road twice.  That's what they are waiting on at this point.  David Drake stated they could not make him pay for the road twice.  Jason Walls stated the funds that are in the bond include the paving of the road so we're asking for a release of those funds to pave the road from that bond issue when we do pave the road.  Phillip Smith told Jason Walls they understood it and there's not enough money in that bond to do the road.  Jason Walls said there was.  Dan Swafford added with the existing things that need to be done.  Jason Walls went on to say the amounts in the bond issue at this point were engineered and turned in by an engineering firm and accepted by the Council for costs to do that.  Phillip Smith added Dan was right, there are supposed to be trees planted, sidewalks and streets.  Scott Oldham asked Jason why not just go ahead and do the road and discuss what we're going to do after that point.  Jason answered because the bond was for the road.  Dan Swafford stated it was for the completion of the project.  Jason Walls added which includes the road.  Dan Swafford replied if these sidewalks had gone in as they were proposed it would cost quite a bit of money.  David Drake interjected that he was still very confused as to why they would release the money from the bond to pave the road when they could hold on to the money from the bond to make sure the road gets finished.  Jason said they are only asking for the money to be released after the road is completed.  Typically, what has happened in the course of this project, when stages are completed, the bonds are reduced accordingly?  Scott Oldham asked what stage they are in currently.  Mr. Walls said they only have the street topcoat left to do, sidewalks, and street trees.  Scott Oldham asked Dan Swafford if his contention was that there was not enough in the bond to cover the sidewalks that are required by the original plat.  Dan Swafford answered there is not enough in there to cover sidewalks as platted and roads and landscaping.  He went on to say, on Jason's behalf, he wants to make a variance to the original plat which is something they need to vote on.  He added he thinks there are two separate issues going on here.  They cannot release that bond until they know they have enough money to finish the project.  Speaking for himself, if this passes and the sidewalks are released, he would be willing to say, yes, you pave the streets and we will reduce your letter of credit leaving the amount to finish the project.  Scott Oldham stated he didn't feel comfortable moving forward with anything until we move past one phase into the next.  Why would we approve any variance at all until we see if something gets done up there?  Dan Swafford stated that was a good question.  Scott Oldham added, given that, he would make a motion to table it pending the resolution of the streets.  Sandra Hash stated there was a motion on the floor.  Dan Swafford asked Mr. Walls, if this gets tabled, what his intentions would be then.  Mr. Walls answered he would have to consider his options at that point.  Scott Oldham said to Greg Lauer it seems to him like he is trying to hold them over a barrel saying, if you don't give me money I'm not going to meet your obligations as originally sought out however many years ago this started.  In this regard, quite frankly, why would we do that without any more progress up there?  You are asking us to take you at your word it's going to happen.  But, again, we need to see some progress before anything else happens.  We're not going to agree to something that ties our hands two months from now and in 59 days we still have no movement.  Mr. Walls stated, obviously, there would be no reduction in the bond if there was no road though, so there would be nothing to our benefit not to put the road in.  Scott Oldham stated, right, but if there is not enough money to finish the project as originally scoped, and originally agreed to however many years ago this started, why would we release any money.  Phillip Smith added his suggestion to Mr. Walls would be to finish the road and then come back and talk to them about the sidewalks because; we are at a stalemate now.  I don't really mean to sound gruff, but you are not going to tell us what to do.  Mr. Walls stated he certainly is not.  Phillip Smith added that's what it sounds like.  You won't do the road until we reduce the bond and, I got news for you, I won't vote to reduce the bond until the road's done.  Dianna Bastin stated, if you don't pave the road and meet that obligation, how are we going to know how much money is left over and how are we going to know how much to reduce the bond.  Mr. Walls answered he was not sure he understood that question.  Dianna Bastin asked shouldn't you pave the road and talk money after that to see how much you have left.  Mr. Walls stated he would know what they had left.  Dianna Bastin responded, her point was, how the Council would know.  He answered, you would know as well, because there's a bid to do the road and then there's a total amount on the bond issue.  Scott Oldham asked, in the long, you're asking them reduce your overall cost of the project.  Is that what this PUD is intended to do, to reduce your overall cost of the project?  Or, that would be an ancillary benefit to it.  Mr. Walls answered it would.  Dan Swafford stated before they went further, he doesn't want to give Jason ideas, but he wants the Council to be fully aware that he does not have to complete the street.  He can renew the bond for another year and we are going to go into another year without a street being paved.  He wants everyone to realize that.  There is no time limit on the bond or on when the road is supposed to have been done.  There is nothing in our ordinance to protect us from that.  For the residents' sake, he would rather they vote on this and pass it if it gets them a street instead of waiting another year for a street.  Scott Oldham stated he would rather hang on to this, let him pave the street, and then we'll discuss what we're doing from there.  Mr. Frey stated Council could seize the bond.  It doesn't have to go on for another year.  Phillip Smith asked Darla Brown, Attorney to enlighten them on this issue.  She stated they could seize the letter of credit.  The question being is that something the Town wants to do.  That is a possibility.  Dan Swafford reminded Council again, if they seize the bond, there is not enough money in it to complete the project.  We would probably get streets and that is it.

Bill Schneider, resident of Autumn Ridge - stated residents have been seven years without a topcoat on their streets.  The developer builds a fine home and all he's asking from the Council is a compromise between the residents and the Town and the church.  They're asking to forgo the original sidewalks in the plat, get the new sidewalks which were not on the original plat for the church and the stub, and you do what the developer is asking regarding the bond.  The residents want a street and the remaining 14 units built.  Jason has been cooperative.  All we are asking is for you to remove from the bond whatever it takes Jason to do the streets and then garnish what's left if he doesn't finish the sidewalks and the trees.  It was started seven years ago and we want the streets.  Sandra Hash spoke as a Plan Commission member - the whole purpose of a bond is to ensure the work is done.  When the work is done, you revisit the bond and you reduce the bond.  That's the process.  We can't promise that we're going to reduce the bond by any specific amount until we see the streets are in  properly.  To say he can't do the streets until we release the bond is ridiculous.  Phillip Smith interjected he wasn't sure what the sidewalks have to do with the streets.  Sandra Hash stated the residents are saying hold up on your agreement to change the sidewalk, use it as a bargaining chip until the streets are completed.  Phillip Smith added they had the bond as a bargaining chip.  Sandra Hash stated it was due to expire soon too.  Darla Brown said September 15th.  Dianna Bastin asked Jason if he agreed with what Sandra Hash just said.  He answered he did agree, but the road will be and inspected by your street department and the contractor's paving streets all over Ellettsville.  Scott Oldham asked by what date.  Mr. Walls answered as soon as they got an okay, he could come in and start them.  He spoke with the contractor a week ago.  Sandra Hash asked an okay for what?  Mr. Walls answered an okay to have our bond reduced by the expense of the road to be put in.  Sandra Hash stated that whole statement makes no sense to her and she asked for Rick Coppock to come and address this because he's the one who establishes our cost for our bonds.  Jason Walls stated the streets would be completed first.  Sandra Hash said complete the streets and let's talk.  You don't release a bond or promise to release a bond before the work is done.  Phillip Smith asked if the Town of Ellettsville has failed to reduce the bond when you have finished other projects.  Mr. Walls stated they've not reduced it on us at all.  Well, I think it was reduced one time maybe three or four years ago.  He was not asking for it to be reduced ahead of time.  You can inspect it while it's being done and everything will be completed.  Scott Oldham then asked could they then be assured you can begin paving the street.  Mr. Walls stated they would see everything.   Scott Oldham asked when.  Mr. Walls said as soon as you would like.  Scott Oldham said tomorrow would be good.  Mr. Walls then said, well within reason.  Phillip Smith asked when they would need to know if the bond was going to be renewed.  Darla Brown stated she needed 10 days to try to execute on the letter of credit.  Dan Swafford reiterated if Council decides to do it this way, then you're making the decision just to do the streets.  If we call in the letter of credit, we're going to get the streets done and that's probably it.  Phillip Smith stated his point was they needed this done by September 1.  Scott Oldham said if he only needs three days to complete this, it can be done before next Council meeting and we can revisit this then.  The next Council meeting is August 23.  Phillip Smith asked Mr. Walls if he can have the roads done by the 23rd of August.  Mr. Walls answered yes; he could have it done in three days when he contacts the contractor.  But in order for them to do that, he wants some verification their bond will be reduced.  Phillip Smith said he did not see any reason not to reduce the bond, but it will not be reduced the full cost of the road.  Because, you still have other obligations up there that have to be completed, the trees and the sidewalks.  Dan Swafford asked Mr. Walls to realize they would not reduce the bond the exact amount he spends on the street.  They will lower it if they have enough to finish the project.  Mr. Walls stated he understood that.  Dan Swafford asked if he was willing to do the streets.  Mr. Walls said he was not willing to do the streets without getting verification that we'll get the bond reduced.  At this point, Sandra Hash asked if they could have Rick Coppock come and explain how bonds work. 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo - stated the normal and usual process is that once an item of public improvement is completed in a development, then they can request that that public improvement can be reduced or eliminated from the amount of the bond.  That's the normal and usual process.  And then you evaluate the rest of the items left, like the sidewalks and the street trees and make sure there is money in the bond to do those items.  Dan Swafford asked if Rick Coppock could tell them, as an engineer, how much he thought it would cost for sidewalks, as shown on the original plat, and landscaping to be completed.  He answered he would have to do some calculations on that.  Mr. Coppock added, the other thing is, which no one has mentioned yet, those projects, being condominiums, there are parts which have not been platted yet and will be platted in the future before they can sell any homes on them.  There will be times when you will have to reduce another final plat, probably two or three from this subdivision, before any buildings on that property can change hands.  It's up in the air as to when those might be constructed.  But, there will be other go rounds at the bonding amounts.  Bruce Frey returned to the podium to speak, stating he didn't understand about this letter of credit.  He thought it was like a bond.  You paid a premium and then the bank guarantees x number of dollars and that's how you get the letter of credit.  He doesn't understand why they have this problem.  It's like there's two piles of money here.  There's Jason's money and then there's the bank's money.  To him, there is only one pile of money and he doesn't understand how this works.  You put in the street and you do all this stuff and then you go and get a new letter of credit for a lesser amount to finish what's left.  But, when you talk about Jason's money tied up in it.  He thought it was just, they paid a premium and they got a letter of credit where the bank guarantees $56,000.  If he's confused, he thinks maybe someone else is confused.  Maybe there is some confusion that's making this harder than it needs to be.  Or, if there really is too piles of money, he doesn't understand how the letter of credit works.  David

Drake asked if this is real money or is this just money the bank agrees to loan.  Mr. Walls states the letter of credit is secured with his cash at the bank.  So, when the letter of credit gets reduced, he gets access to the cash that I secured the letter of credit with.  This is cash as collateral.  David Drake stated he didn't want to look at it as being held hostage to the money.  If they don't look at it that way, they have two separate issues.  What we are being asked to deal with tonight is whether it is appropriate to change this PUD to do away with the sidewalks.  He thinks they have ample evidence from the residents they don't want the sidewalks anyway.  It would create a big hardship to put the sidewalks in now aside from the financial considerations.  He's not looking at whether it makes it easier on the developer to have more money or not.  What he's looking at is that what the residents want and is it the best choice out of the ones that we have as far as finishing this PUD.  He thinks they should go ahead.  The Plan Commission talked about this forever.  They made a positive recommendation.  They are a lot closer to the issue than we are.  He thinks they stop looking at it from the point of we're being held hostage for the money and look at it from the point of is this the best development solution that we have at this point in time to make it as easy as possible for the people who already live there.  As far as the bond goes, he is not in favor of reducing the bond by whatever amount it costs to build the road.  The bond will be reduced, but we will still leave enough money in the bond to do this other portion of sidewalk and whatever trees need to be done.  Dan Swafford stated he thought it was a compromise that will benefit everybody.  Phillip Smith closed comments.

 

Phillip Smith called for the vote on the motion on the floor.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – no; Dianna Bastin – no; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 3-2.  Scott Oldham's motion to table was removed by him.

 

Dan Swafford asked Mr. Walls if he would get up there and get this done before they have to call in the letter of credit.  Mr. Walls stated with the amendment that has been approved for the sidewalks the $19,000 or whatever is left in the letter of credit is ample money to put in the sidewalk and street trees that are needed.  They can have an assessment on the cost for that.  Dan Swafford asked for confirmation that he would start paving.  Mr. Walls said yes, they would start paving again, but he needs the money in the bond to pay for the paving.  We will need some type of an agreement that once the paving is completed, we'll have access to some of the letter of credit funds.  Dan Swafford asked if he was going to get estimates for paving, sidewalks and landscaping, and when he would have information to them.  Mr. Walls said he would probably have it soon.   Scott Oldham stated, just so I'm clear, you have no intention of paving this street unless we're willing to reduce this bond ahead of time.  Mr. Walls stated the issue is the cash they have put in for the bond for the city; I need that money to pay for the street.  Scott Oldham affirmed: So, again, you have no intention of paving that street until we reach some type of agreement to release some of that bond money.  Mr. Walls answered, yes, until they reach an agreement.  You wouldn't have to release it before I did it or anything.  But, some type of an agreement would need to be reached to release a portion of our bond for the street, once it's completed.  David Drake stated it would be at least two weeks before they could reach any type of agreement. 

 

Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Schneider Corporation concerning the Heritage Trail

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning stated the technical advisory committee for the Heritage Trail met and there were just a few minor modifications they wanted added into the contract agreement.

·        The project should be listed in 2 phases:  Phase I; the trail from the east side up to the bridge and Phase 2 to be listed as the pedestrian bridge.

·        All phases will require authorization to proceed.  That's not only to keep everything on track, but also to verify we follow appropriate INDOT protocol as a local public agency, to make sure we use our reimbursement correctly, there's no error that could jeopardize the grant payments.

·        Phillip Smith's name needed to be added to the signature line.

·        The project will start once the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee has amended the Transportation Improvement Program to include the Heritage Trail Transportation Enhancement Grant for appropriate INDOT approval and release of funds (September 10th, Plan Commission Meeting/Bloomington).  The amendment will be placed on the Technical Advisory Committee/Citizen Advisory Committee meeting on August 25, 2010.  All the information has been submitted to the MPO.  She has not received any other requests for additional information. 

Brenda Fox from INDOT requested the Heritage Trail project dollar amount to be featured in the Bloomington Transportation Improvement Program for the fiscal year of 2010 - 2013. 

 

Contract changes:

Authorization to Proceed:

·        Page 1, #3 that things will be in writing, or may be verbal with subsequent confirmation in writing. 

 Owner's Responsibilities:

·        Designate in writing a person to act as Owner's representative with respect to the services to be rendered under this Agreement.  That needs to be Council's decision.  She is the acting employee and responsible charge for our local public agency.  So, it seems she would be the one to place as the ERC. 

Modifications and Adjustments: 

·        Page 2 #8 Owner may modify the scope, extent or character of the Project, necessitating modifications to the Scope of Services or Fee Schedules.  But we know that, if you change something, you might have to revise the contract and pay additional fees.  

·        #9:  If, for some reason, there is a delay in the process, there may be some other negotiation that might have to happen. 

We plan on using what transportation funds we have and our matching funds that have been derived from Main Street and the Monroe County Commissioners.  We have enough money to start on this project.  We don't have quite enough to put all the fluff in with all the benches and things of that nature.  But, we definitely have a very good start.  One other important thing, we have also received a letter from INDOT requesting something they term a Viable Financial Development Plan for this Transportation Enhancement Grant since it sat idle for so many years.  They are looking for money that has been granted that has not been used.  With our last quarterly report, you can see that we are now starting to get things into those slots and things with dates.  I have started this particular report and I will bring that before you.  She will be submitting it before the next Town Council meeting, but she will forward a copy to the Council.   It will state what our mission is, where we are to date, how the project has transpired, what our actions are and where we are, much like the quarterly report, but broken out into a status report.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to approve the Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Schneider Corporation concerning the Heritage Trail.  Scott Oldham so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded. 

Discussion prior to the vote:

Dan Swafford asked Darla Brown if she had reviewed the agreement.  She answered she had, but it has been some time since she looked at it.  She had no questions on it and felt         

Connie Griffin set forth a fair assessment or summary of what the contract contains.

Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Supervisor Comments

 

Connie Griffin stated she had before Council the Plan Commission recommendation for Ike Grimes.  Mr. Grimes has taken care of the requests we've given him.  He has the documentation for the contaminated soil.  It has been removed.  Mr. Grimes is in a bit of a Catch 22 because the Certificate of Occupancy required an inspection take place on the

Guiding Light Ministries facility that used to be the Grimes Plumbing commercial building.  Seventeen violations were discovered and he will be working on those.  Due to the fact we now have a favorable recommendation for his annexation and a Resolution before you on August 23rd for the Fiscal Plan; having those things completed will then allow the annexation to go through.  He can then get the building permit to make the modifications on the plumbing building which is the church.  She also has before Council the land uses she has asked him to sign.  She is introducing these items to Council before the August 23 meeting in case they have any questions.  Connie also informed the Council they needed to be aware, before 10 days elapse, that the Plan Commission’s recommendation for Chapel Hill Wilderness, LLC was to grant a 10 acre subdivision of property so they will now have two lots out there.  Next month the Plan Commission will review the development plans for the warehousing structure.  They are requesting two BZA variances.  There will be an ordinance for the rezone for August 23rd.

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk Treasurer stated she had held the bonds in the Clerk's office in the past.  But, she thinks it's closer tied to the Planning Department and they should have a better oversight.  With Council's permission, she would like to transfer possession of those bonds to the Planning Department.  She added, she did not have to have an answer right then, they could think about it.  Phillip Smith stated they would get back with her.

 

Council Comments

 

David Drake stated he was still lost about this whole street issue in Autumn Ridge.  He doesn't feel like they really resolved much tonight.  He was hoping that what Mr. Walls was saying was if we agreed to reduce the bond by a certain amount and leave enough in there to finish the new sidewalk plan and the street trees that he could start paving the road immediately.  And then right at the very end, as he was getting ready to leave, he got to the part about getting estimates and we're going to have to do this and we're going to have to do that.  And, like I said, it's going to be at least two weeks before we could do any of that. He asked Darla Brown, attorney, if they have other recourses they could take besides seizing the bond.  For example, we decide to say we've had enough.  We're going to seize the bond and we're going to pave the road.  He still has an obligation to do the other things he has pledged to do as part of the plan and the plat.  So, he would assume they have the legal right to then sue him to force him to do those other things outside of the bond amount once we ran out of the bond.  Darla Brown answered, since he was asking her for a legal opinion, she would like to do is put that in writing to the Town Council members if that's alright.  David Drake answered it was more of a rhetorical question.  What he really is saying, this is just getting ridiculous.  What he would suggest Council do, because he doesn't think they can wait two more weeks for him to then come up with something new, and then we have to come up with all these agreements and we argue about that for weeks.  What he would suggest they do is, right now, agree to reduce the amount of the bond still leaving enough money in to do the sidewalks and the street trees, once he comes up with his estimate in the next couple of days.  As far as he's concerned, if they come back to the next meeting on August 23rd, and they drive through there and there aren't any paved roads, we're taking the bond and we're just going to do it all ourselves - or have it done - and then we're going to sue him for the remainder of whatever it costs to finish the project.  We've been arguing about this for way, way too long.  He was for changing the sidewalks.  It didn't have anything to do with the financial aspect or him holding us hostage.  That was a separate issue.  But, he doesn't like being held hostage for the roads separate from that issue and he is getting tired of messing with it.  So, if they can somehow vote tonight, to commit to reduce the amount of the bond and leave enough in it to do the sidewalks as amended and the trees, he would like to try to do that.  Scott Oldham stated his question in regard to that is how do we know how much to reduce the bond by because we are going to have to go back and forth several times to get the road to a stable foundation before we go any further.  David Drake stated Mr. Walls is saying now he is not going to do anything until he comes up with the figure for reduction of the bond and Council agrees in writing.  They could not do that for another two weeks.  If he comes back in two weeks and there is no rough pavement on that road, he would make a motion to take that bond and tell him he's done and sue him for the rest.  Dianna Bastin stated Mr. Walls was returning to the meeting.  David Drake asked Mr. Walls to clarify what he is willing to do.  Mr. Walls stated he would like some sort of agreement that the bond would be reduced, after the roads are complete, leaving enough in the bond to complete the sidewalks as amended and plant the street trees.  He believes there is plenty of money in there to finish the trees and sidewalks.  Dan Swafford said then you will start paving, because they will reduce it as long as they have enough left to finish the project.  Mr. Walls said he was simply requesting in writing what Mr. Swafford just said.  Darla Brown asked Mr. Walls if the letter he was requesting was administrative in nature.  She asked to put together a letter, circulate it to Town Council.  If there's no general consensus, then they can go ahead and put it on the agenda for the next Town Council meeting.  If it looks like everybody agrees, then the letter can go out.  David Drake asked could they not give approval to make a letter

like that tonight and then just get it done now instead of waiting for two weeks.  Darla Brown stated she did not think it requires a vote because it is administrative.  So, she thinks she can go ahead and prepare a letter, circulate it among Council, if you are happy with it, she can give it to Mr. Walls and his attorney.  If there is no general consensus or agreement, then they can put it on the agenda for the next meeting.  David Drake informed Mr. Walls that another thing discussed while he was gone was that if he, Mr. Drake, came through to the next Council meeting and the roads weren't done, his vote would be to take the bond, do what needs to be done, and then take enforcement action to finish the rest of the project that needs to finished.  He really hopes this will be taken care of before then.  Mr. Walls stated the intent was to finish it and be done.  Do the trees and do the sidewalks so there are no other issues.  Scott Oldham added the problem has been the intent has been to do that for about two and a half years since he has been listening to it.

 

Privilege of the Floor

 

Bruce Frey - stated he thinks sometimes Council doesn't get enough credit for what they do and he would like to take a moment and mention something that happened.  There were bulldozers out at Autumn Ridge and they were about to bulldoze out their tree line between the subdivision and where the church is going in.  They were panicked about it.  They called and Connie Griffin, Dan Swafford, and Rick Coppock dropped what they were doing and all came out.  They were able to resolve that so they still have a tree line.  He thanked them for what they did for the residents.

 

Adjournment

Dan Swafford made a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.  Phillip Smith adjourned the meeting at 9:19 p.m.