December 10, 2007

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session on Monday, December 10, 2007, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Dan Swafford called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Phillip Rogers led the Pledge of Allegiance and Phill Smith led in prayer. 

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Dan Swafford, President; Dianna Bastin, Vice-President; Ted Robertson, Phillip Rogers and Phill Smith.  Sandra Hash, Clerk Treasurer; Mike Spencer, Attorney and Rick Coppock, Town Engineer were also present. 

 

Supervisors Present:    Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Gary Darland, Mike Farmer, Jeff Farmer and Frank Nierzwicki were present.  

 

Open bids for Street Department’s Surplus Equipment

 

Mike Spencer opened seven bids for the Street Department’s Surplus Equipment:

  • John Naylor - $250 for the pick-up bed
  • Mike Stalcup - $75 for the factory Ford pick-up truck bed
  • Mike Stalcup - $351 for the 1986 Ford pick-up truck with utility bed
  • William Stidd - $5,525 for the 1985 Ford F-700 #1FDNF7081FVA10272 dump truck with original 24,000 miles
  • Jay Brinegar - $521 for the 1986 Ford F150 4x4 utility truck
  • Kelly Acuff - $551 for the 1985 Ford F250 truck
  • Mike Stalcup would like to withdraw first bid and submit $752 for the 1986 Ford ¾ ton utility truck

 

Phillip Rogers made a motion we sell the dump truck for $5,525 to William Stidd.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion that we sell the truck bed to John Naylor for the sum of $250.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Phill Smith made a motion that we sell the pick-up truck to Mike Stalcup for $752.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

Proclamation for Frances Endwright

 

Sandra Hash acknowledged Jerry Pittsford for the writing of this Proclamation.  Dianna Bastin read a note from Jerry Pittsford “there is no shortage of modifiers available for describing the life, deeds and person of Mrs. Frances Harding Endwright; however, we will let her legacy and her former students speak of her true greatness.  We, her Town’s folk, will only add the simple Proclamation to insure the perpetuation of her memory in the annuals of Ellettsville history.”   Dianna read the Proclamation to Honor Mrs. Frances Marian Harding Endwright and to declare an Official day of Mourning in its entirety.  We have known no better friend of Ellettsville and its institutions than Frances Endwright.  We believe there has never been any better servant of our Town and its Schools.  Her work in establishing three meaningful and valuable institutions in our Town, The Journal, Monroe County Fall Festival and the Henry F. Schricker Library at Edgewood High School has created a lasting and valuable legacy.  Her thoughts, words and actions brought much honor to herself, her family, her community, her state and her country.  She gave with great generosity of her time and her substance to many worthy causes.  She was a devoted servant to her God, Savior and church.  She was a loving and loyal wife to her beloved husband, Maurice.  She was to us all a friend and a “Neighbor”.  We, the Town Council of Ellettsville, hereby proclaim Friday, December 14, 2007 shall be a Day of Mourning to honor the memory of Mrs. Frances Marian Harding Endwright, a beloved citizen and servant of Ellettsville. 

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion to pass the Proclamation for Frances Marian Harding Endwright.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

Approval of the minutes

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion that we approve the minutes for the Regular Meeting November 26, 2007.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Action to Pay Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Phill Smith made a motion that we pay Accounts Payable vouchers.  Dianna Bastin seconded.   Motion carried.

 

Dan Swafford announced before the rest of the meeting, someone would like to speak to the Council. 

 

Sam Baker, an 8 year old, would like for Ellettsville to have a tree and a lighting ceremony.  Dan thinks this is a very good idea and asked Dianna to look in to this, not for this year but definitely next. 

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 22-07 Transfer of Funds

 

Sandra Hash read the resolution in its entirety.  More money is needed than is currently available in certain funds and appropriations.  The following transfers are hereby authorized:

From:

1-4-371

Breathalyzer Maintenance

 

 $        210.00

From:

1-4-373

K-9 Maintenance

 

 

 $     1,400.00

From:

1-4-374

Radar & Equipment Maintenance

 $        336.20

To:

1-4-221

Gasoline & Oil

 

 

 $     1,946.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From:

1-2-321

Telephone & Fax

 

 

 $          50.00

To:

1-2-211

Postage

 

 

 

 $          50.00

 

From:

1-5-345

Premium on Bonds

 

 $        100.00

To:

1-5-215

Office Supplies

 

 

 $        100.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From:

5-1-247

LRS - Miscellaneous

 

 $     1,241.18

To:

5-1-441

LRS - Equipment

 

 

 $     1,241.18

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion we pass Resolution 22-07 Transfer of Funds.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Ted Robertson – yes; Phillip Rogers – yes; Phill Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Resolution 23-07 to adopt a written Fiscal Plan and to establish a policy for the provision of Town services to an annexed area

 

Frank Nierzwicki, Director of Planning Services explained the Town of Ellettsville desires to annex in an area known as Romiane-Cole-Sykora II annexation.  This property is approximately 40 acres located on the south side of Lost Mans Lane.  The request for annexation was recommended and approved by the Plan Commission.   This resolution supports the annexation. 

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion that we approve Resolution 23-07 to adopt a written fiscal plan and establish a policy for the provision of town services to an annexed area at 4011 Lost Mans Lane.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Ted Robertson – yes; Phillip Rogers – yes; Phill Smith – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

The following discussion took place before the vote

 

Frank Nierzwicki clarified this property has two parcels.  There is one residence with a dog kennel on five acres and the rest would be agriculture.  The first portion of this property was annexed in September. 

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 07-14 Fixing of the Salaries for Budget Year 2008

 

Sandra Hash explained this ordinance will set the 2008 salaries and coincides with our budget.  A majority of the people received a 3% raise over last year.  The ordinance reflects bi-weekly and hourly pay.  Sandra explained, in 2003 State Board of Accounts suggested the salaries be broken down into hourly or bi-weekly amounts due to payroll cycles overlapping into another year causing confusions once a decade.  This ordinance avoids the problem but does make it confusing.  Sandra will provide a “by Employee” listing of annual pay for reference.  It was recommended to Sandra to add “From and to ranges”.  The “From” range is an “ideal” starting point for certain positions.  The Salary Ordinances will allow for paying less but not more.  The Town is able to amend the Salary Ordinance throughout the year if there is a need.  Sandra explained another change was adding the column “bi-weekly with education pay” to the Police and Fire Department listing.  Dan Swafford asked if the Police and Fire need to be recertified yearly and is it kept on record?  Sandra answered the certifications are maintained within the departments and the Supervisors provide her with a listing. 

 

Frank Nierzwicki has two issues for consideration on this ordinance.  He has spoken with the Fire Chief and would like for his Administrative Assistant to be paid the same as the Fire Department Administrative Assistant range of $13.46 - $15.65.  The current listing is for $9.00 - $14.90. 

 

Frank also requested adding a Community Development Planner with a range of $11.46 - $13.65.  He would like a line available for these grants so in the future, the money will be available to hire someone to fill this position.  Sandra explained customarily the Salary Ordinance partners with the budget; since there is no money in the budget for this position and after consulting with State Board of Accounts, it is her opinion the budget should be amended when the grants are awarded.  Frank contacted Indianapolis and INDOT concerning this position and having a person listed; he received the following email from Jamie Palmer, Senior Policy Analyst Center of the Urban Policy and the Environment in charge of the Community Planning Grant with INDOT:  It is not necessary to complete authorization of a new planning position that would be funded in part by the I-69 Community Planning Program funds, prior to the submission of your application.  It will be fine to complete that approval process between now and the execution of the grant agreement.”   Frank reiterated this is not a creation of a new position this is just for a grant purpose.  According to INDOT, this is something that happens elsewhere and not a problem with the State.  Mike Spencer would like to refer this to the State Board of Accounts. 

 

Dianna Bastin explained to the audience this position would be paid with grant money and when the grant money ran out, this person would no longer be employed.  The Town will not be paying the salary nor picking the person up next year. 

 

Sandra asked Frank to clarify “in part”.  What portion will the grant pay?  Frank stated the grant is for $50,000 and the personnel line portion is $45,750 which would cover the position.  Dan stated “we do not have to match funds on this grant”.  Frank said “no”.  Frank explained we have had grants with INDOT in the past which required “matching funds”.  We are looking at having funds budgeted for the position, which would not be full-time.  Sandra’s concern is authorizing payment for a position when the funds are not there.  It only takes two meetings to amend the Salary Ordinance.  Phillip Rogers does not see where it makes a difference.  Frank stated he brought it up now because the Salary Ordinance is being discussed. 

 

Ron Wayt, Chester Drive resident has been watching the new hires over the past year.  It seems unfair to the current employees of this town.  There have been people who have worked for the town 15 – 20 years who are making just above what the new people coming in are being paid.  A part-time person at the Water Department should not make over $16.00 an hour after one year of service.  There should not be that kind of increase.  The next time the salary is reviewed; an adjustment needs to be made to protect those employees who have served this town.  There should be a salary structure.  Dan agrees with Ron there needs to be some type of structure and he has discussed bringing in an outside firm to review the salaries and job descriptions. 

 

Dan Swafford asked for a motion on Frank’s requests for a grant position Community Development Planner.  The request died for lack of a motion.

 

Dan Swafford asked for a motion to change the Planning Department Administrative Assistant’s salary.  Phill Smith made a motion to change the Administrative Assistant level in the Planning Department from $9.00 - $14.90 to $13.46 - $15.65 to make it coincide with the other Administrative Assistant.  Dan Swafford seconded and added that just because we are extending this line we are not going to increase the current salary.  Frank Nierzwicki explained currently the salaries are toward the person and not the job.  He agrees with Ron Wayt having a more unified type of approach.  Roll call vote:  Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Ted Robertson – nay; Phillip Rogers – yes; Phill Smith – yes.  Motion carried 4-1.

 

Ordinance 07-15 to amend section 36.220, 36.230, 36.231 and Appendix B of Chapter 36 of the Ellettsville Town Code

 

Sandra Hash read the ordinance in its entirety.  The Town Marshal believes it is in the best interest of the Town to recognize the structure of the Police Department and to structure it more commonly in a matter commonly used in other Police Departments.  The restructuring will enable the Marshal to clearly define the job duties and responsibilities of each position.  Section 36.220 outlined the Definitions; Members, Rank Structure, Schedules, Shifts and Types of Shifts.  Section 36.230 outlined Promotions and Section 36.231 outlined Discipline of Police Personnel.  Appendix B listed what the Marshal or any Deputy Marshal may be disciplined (by demotion), dismissed, reprimanded, forfeited or suspended for.  

 

Sandra referenced Section 36.231 (F) (1) and suggested “the board” be changed to “Town Council” for clarification. 

 

Ted Robertson did not understand the difference between Section 36.231 (F) (5) and (6).  Mike Spencer explained the Boards listed are defined in the Town Code and deal with awards and honors.  The Board of Chief Officers was listed in the original Code as a functioning part but it was eliminated in this section with its only function being for awards, citations and honors.  Mike Spencer read that oral interviews shall be standardized and conducted by the Chief of Police or his designee and the Department Liaison.  Mike Spencer clarified Appendix (B) only referred to Awards and Certification.  Ted Robertson questioned in what section is the eliminated position referenced.  Mike Spencer referred Ted to the “Definitions” section. Ted Robertson made the following statement regarding this ordinance; he thinks this is an unnecessary proposal and it is not fair to the Police Officers who are already working.  The example he gave was Jay Humphrey had been with the Police Department for eighteen years and Ted believes this will create a position between the Marshal and Jay.  To redo the Town Code for one individual seems a little extreme.  With the problems the Police Department has had; promoting someone from the bottom to above Jay Humphrey will cause a lot of hurt feelings.  Dan Swafford added the positions have been filled and that Gary is just restructuring the department; if Jay wants this position, he can apply for it.  Ted clarified “if Jay is already second in command wouldn’t we, if we created this position, automatically move everyone up instead of essentially demoting three ranking officers”. 

 

Darlyne Sowder, Ellettsville resident asked if Reserve Officers are members of the Police Department.  Dan Swafford stated Reserve Officers are not a part of the Police Department benefit package.  Mike Spencer explained that Reserve Officers are recognized Police Officers.  There is a distinction and separate structural process for Reserves from regular officers.  The Indiana Statute creates the two distinct concepts defining the members of the police force.  Reserves are not required to complete the Indiana Police Academy.  The Reserve Officers have full police powers because they derive that authority through Indiana Statute. 

 

Doug Norton has been around Ellettsville for a long time, has known the Police Officers for twenty years and understood the Chain of Command.  We are a small town and not Chicago.  When the ordinance was being read, he understood it as there were going to be Assistants, Chiefs and double Chiefs.  He does not know or understand why.  What is wrong with the present Chain of Command?  He feels there is an agenda and motivation to why we are going through this process.  The residents would like to know where this is going and would like clear, defined answers as to who is in mind for the positions.  Mr. Norton thinks this ordinance is a waste of time and does not need to happen. 

 

Ted Robertson stated there are no real decisions being made but knowing this Town, there are favorites in the Police Department.  This position was created to bring Tony Bowlen up from his current position.  The Marshal can propose whatever he wants but Ted thinks there are qualified people who are not given a chance.  Ted Robertson was told from Marshal Darland that “if this does not pass one way or another, Jay will be demoted”.  Ted does not know if this is legal or not and he thinks Ron McGlocklin should have remained the Town Marshal.  Jay has done nothing wrong.  Ted agrees with Doug Norton there is an agenda. 

 

Laura Entrekin used to work at the Police Department and could have written a book about this right down to the demotion of Ron McGlocklin and Gary Darland coming in.  Is he qualified to be the Town Marshal?  Should that not be the first thing we ask instead of making all these changes?  This is a domino effect with the next step getting rid of Jay.  There is no reason this can not work the way it is now, there is nothing that needs to be changed other than someone else wants a different position; Tony Bowlen.

 

Darlyne Sowder does not know if she is in favor or not of what is being proposed.  It seems strange this is being pushed through at the end of the year.  The second reading will come the night of the last meeting some of the current Council Members will serve.  Would this be easier to accept if this was delayed until the new Council has a chance to consider it? 

 

Ordinance 07-16 annex the area known as the Romine-Cole-Sykora II Annexation, 4011 W. Lost Mans Lane considering of approximately 40 acres

 

Frank Nierzwicki explained this ordinance goes along with Resolution 23-07.  There are 40 acres adjacent to 30 acres that was annexed in the fall.  Sandra informed Frank she did not receive the “Attached Exhibit A” which is the legal description.  Frank explained Rick Coppock has one and will have one sent to her. 

 

New Business

 

Annual Maintenance Agreement between Komputrol and the Town of Ellettsville

 

Sandra Hash explained Komputrol is the software provider for the Town’s Computer Budgetary Accounting, Municipal Utility Billing, Payroll Processing, Bank Direct Deposit System, Fixed Asset Inventory and the General Ledger Accounting System.  The maintenance agreement, for $4,620, provides updates and phone support. 

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion that we accept the Annual Maintenance Agreement between Komputrol and the Town of Ellettsville.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried. 

 

Request for consideration of making the Wishing Well Park a Nature Preserve

 

Judy Morran, Edgewood Intermediate School has been in the School Corporation since 1976.  She and her children have a vision.  They would like to see valuable green space preserved for this community.  She is a member of the Outdoor Lab Committee for the entire School Corporation.   They would like to create an outdoor lab around the schools.  They have created a “Restore Indiana Prairie”, woodland trail, butterfly garden and a lot of other things are on going.  The “crown jewel” of the whole property is the Wishing Well site.  She has worked with Mr. Ritter of Sycamore Land Trust on all the projects.  They toured the Wishing Well site property; Mr. Ritter was amazed and would like to bring in a representative from the Department of Natural Resources.  He believes this property can become a State Nature Preserve or at least some sort of nature preserve.  Ms. Morran is proposing to the Council to start looking to protect this property that has been there for 50 years without being touched.  This would be a valuable educational and recreational resource while protecting the green space.  Ms. Morran explained where the Wishing Well site is located; 20 acres of wooded area north of the softball fields and tennis courts.

 

Frank Nierzwicki added the Wishing Well site is the head waters of McCormick Creek and used to be the wells for the town.  An application was submitted to Indianapolis and asked about environmental concerns in the area.  If they receive a grant for this property, they will begin mapping and documenting it for additional grants.  The more recognition they receive on this property, the more opportunities for other grants.  The Community Development Planner would be working on this with the liaison, school and sidewalk projects.  Dan asked Mike Spencer the procedure to turn the property into a Nature Reserve.  Mike Spencer is not sure and will have to look in to it.  Would the Town still own the property or is it gifted to Sycamore Land Trust?  Ms. Morran is unclear but understands it as if the DNR designates a State Nature Preserve then the State would set it up.  It will still belong to the Town but the Town will be given guidance on maintaining and governing it.  Ms. Morran has already spoken to the Parks Board.  Dan Swafford recommended tabling this until some research can be done.  Ms. Morran asked if a representative from DNR could come out and look at it.  Dan said to wait until the Council has done some research on this.  Dan asked Mike Spencer to look into how to make an area a nature reserve.

 

Dan Swafford made a motion that we table this until the next meeting.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Frank Nierzwicki informed the Council there is an alliance with Indiana and the Hoosier Lottery for a grant up to $5,000 the Town of Ellettsville is eligible to apply for.  The funding priorities is an alliance with Indiana Support Programs that exist to provide safe, caring, supportive, learning and living environments for Hoosier children and their senior citizens.  He asked for permission to apply for this grant that does not require staffing at any point.  This grant is for funds only for educational purposes.  He spoke with Main Street organization (who would receive the funds); they discussed limestone education, a lost art. 

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion that Frank apply for this grant to teach our local children limestone history and art.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Sandra Hash presented a plat amendment from the Plan Commission.  It requires the Council’s signature.  She requested a motion to be on record.  Dan asked Frank to explain the replat.  Frank explained this is a replat of a final plat.  By Town Code, Frank has the authority to approve final plats as long as they are not substantially different from the original plat.  Sandra Hash brought this to the Town Council because there is a statement she was asked to attest; if the Council is not required to sign the language on the document needs to be changed.  Frank explained there are four lots being reduced to three lots in Litten Estates.  The Town’s concerns would be if the lots were not the correct, minimum lot size.  By reducing the number of lots, we are getting larger lots.  The developer wants to sell to people interested in larger lots. 

 

Ted Robertson would like to make a motion that we approve the re plating of Litten Estates.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Public Comments

 

Russ Ryle, resident Reeves Road thanked Sam Baker for his comments to the Town Council.  Russ would like the Town to decorate a live tree annually rather than cutting one down. 

 

Ms. Baker asked where a copy of the Town Code could be located.  Sandra explained it is on the Town’s website at:  “ellettsville.in.us”   There is a copy at the Fire Station, if needed, and all the Town Council members have a copy.  It was suggested the Town Code be brought up on the overhead when changes are being made.  Dianna addressed Ms. Baker regarding her sons Christmas tree lighting.  Dianna has not been able to speak to the Supervisor’s about electricity and safety but there are pine trees at both gateways and she will consider them for Christmas decorating

 

Darlyne Sowder attended the Plan Commission meeting on Thursday night.  One of the items raised at the Plan Commission was the possibility of changing a lot of property to C-2 classifications.  Someone at the meeting suggested property owners address the Town Council and voice their concerns.  Dan stated the property owners could speak now or wait until it is actually brought to the Town Council.  If it does not pass planning, it will not come before the Town Council.  

 

Dan Bowlin is a resident on Association Street and owns the property at 438 W. Vine Street.  He was shocked and dismayed to find out there was a proposal to change the zoning designation for some of the C-3 properties to C-2.  He does not understand the process that has moved it this far.  He wants the Council to know, as an owner of a Historic property, the loss of a C-3 designation would be devastating to him personally and financially.  His property and business is a garage which would be restricted to certain unnamed conditions under a C-2 zoning or prohibited.  He hopes they can move this issue forward in a positive way.  There are others that share his concerns and he looks forward to working with everyone in the near future.

 

Jean Miller, resident 124 N. Matthew has been told her property would go from an R-3 to a commercial zone.  She understands if her property goes from an R-3 to a C-2, it would make her residence a commercial property.  Would she sell it as a residential or commercial property?  This is her retirement home.  Frank explained residential is allowed in a C-2 zone.  A lot of people did not realize what was going on until they received the certified letter.  The Plan Commission decided to table this until the next meeting.  Frank is willing to set up meetings to talk to people before the next meeting.  There is an issue on the “grandfather clause” which would cover the owner of the garage.  Dan Swafford suggested another letter be sent out.  Frank will have notices in the newspaper and press releases.  A meeting date will be set up before the next Plan Commission meeting. 

 

Dorothy Wampler, resident of the area in question.  She understands some of the registered letters were sent out to the wrong addresses.  What will be done about that?  Frank Nierzwicki worked with the Auditor’s office to find up to date addresses.  Some came back undeliverable.  Ms. Wampler wants to know if the taxpayers will be paying for another mailing.  Frank said no. 

 

Dorothy Wampler announced the burnt house on Vine Street is going on seven years with nothing done about it.  Is it time to do something?  Last time she tried to talk to Frank about it, he didn’t want to talk about it.  Frank looked into having the Town possibly buying the property for a parking lot.  The property went to Sheriff Sale.  The Town does not own it but had it boarded up a few years ago.  Ted Robertson clarified the owner, Mark Laughlin, paid the taxes on the property before it went to Sheriff Sale so he still owns it.  Ted Robertson lives next door and it depreciates his property.  He has locked up the property many times.  Frank had the Monroe County Building and Fire Department look at it for safety issues.  Dan told Dorothy he will look into it.  Ted gets rats and mice at his house from that property. 

 

Kenny Anderson and his brother own the property at 509 W. Temperance, Stop and Go Muffler.  They are concerned about the rezoning issue when it comes time for them to retire if they want to sell the property and business name.  They have been there for twenty-eight years.

 

Ted Robertson asked Frank to describe the different zones.  C-1 is neighborhood commercial; C-2 is tourism; C-3 is the top end with different uses.  There are industrial zoning in the one way pair area they would like to change to a commercial zone.  Residential zoning is the most restrictive, Commercial is more progressive and Industrial is heavy use.  Frank explained a vibrant downtown area with shops is what they would like with trails and green space in the flood plain.  They are trying to have consistent zoning in the downtown area.

Adjournment

 

Phillip Rogers made a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.  Dan Swafford adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m.