December 9, 2013

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, December 9, 2013, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by David Drake.

 

Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President;Dianna Bastin and, David Drake.Dan Swafford and Phillip Smith were absent.Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.

 

Supervisors present were:nMike Cornman, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on,November 25, 2013.Dianna Bastin so moved.David Drake seconded.Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

 

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

 

Meeting Schedule for 2014

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained the schedule for Town Council remains the same, the second and fourth Monday of each month.The only exception will be the meeting on Memorial Day which is scheduled on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.The Park and Recreation Board meetings are on the first Monday of the month with the exception of the Labor Day holiday.That meeting will be held on the following Tuesday.The Plan Commission meetings are the first Thursday of every month with the exception of the July 4th holiday.That meeting will be on the following Thursday, July 10, 2014.

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained this is.Itat

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, noted the Building Corporation is to meet the first Monday in April or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the meeting schedule for 2014adDianna Bastin made a motion to approve the meeting schedule for 2014.3.David Drake seconded.Motion carried.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-20 Fixing of the Salaries for Budget Year 2014

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained the budgets were set and everyone was given a 3.5% raise which is reflected in the salary ordinance.This is the first reading.All supervisors are requested to review the ordinance.The Plan Commission salary increased from $25 to $45 a meeting.The administrative assistant for the Fire Department received a raise over and beyond the 3.5%.

 

Ordinance 2013-21 Authorizing the Issuance of Waterworks Revenue Bonds for Improvements to the Municipal Waterworks

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is an ordinance with regard to the secondary waterline which was prepared by bond counsel, Ice Miller.It is a lengthy ordinance but it sets forth the parameters of the bond sale.The cost of the construction project is estimated to be $1,885,000.The bond anticipation notes, if they are issued, will be issued in multiples of $1,000.The bonds will be issued in minimum denominations of $100,000 and integral multiples of $5,000 thereafter.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-13 Concerning Second Hand Shops

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained she was asked to get a copy of the Terre Haute ordinance which has been provided to Town Council members.She looked at ordinances for 21 other municipalities with regard to secondhand dealers.A lot of the municipalities didnít incorporate it into their municipal code.Avon has a secondhand dealer ordinance that does not include coins.Their ordinance includes firearms, jewelry, electronic items or equipment, tools or any items originally marked with a serial number.It states a person who deals in secondhand goods cannot take an article from an intoxicated person, minor or someone who is known or suspected to be disposing of articles unlawfully.Vincennes has an ordinance about secondhand dealers but they donít define what that means.It states a secondhand dealer shall keep a book and certain things as required by statute.Shelbyville defined a secondhand goods dealer as someone who sells secondhand clothing, furniture, secondhand goods, wears or merchandise of any kind.Noblesville defined a secondhand dealer as a person who loans money on deposit or pledge or who purchases secondhand property of any description.Fishers has an ordinance about secondhand entities and it includes, but is not limited to, the following: coins, electronic equipment, household goods, jewelry, precious metals, office equipment and tools.She talked to an attorney for the City of Bloomington about their ordinance and was told when the ordinance was up for revision there were people who complained and were selling valuable metals but no one complained specifically about coins.She was told the same thing by the Terre Haute legal department.The Terre Haute ordinance includes coins under the definition for a secondhand dealer.

 

David Drake asked how the ordinance compares to the City of Bloomington ordinance.Ms. Brown replied it is almost exactly the same.Mr. Drake asked if it imposes any greater duties on a secondhand dealer than the City of Bloomington.Ms. Brown replied no.Mr. Drake asked if it is similar to the Terre Haute ordinance in that it includes coin dealers.Ms. Brown answered Terre Haute includes clothing but the Townís ordinance excludes clothing.Terre Hauteís ordinance specifically states if someone sells coins they are a secondhand dealer.Mr. Drake noted in an effort to compromise the Town has dropped different sections of the proposed ordinance such as estate sales and decreased the holding period.

 

Dianna Bastin commented coins donít have serial numbers on them and canít be entered into a crime database for tracing.If the coins canít be traced how do you know who they belong to?Mr. Oldham gave an example of three things being stolen from a home and sold by someone who is a suspect.The five day waiting period gives law enforcement the opportunity to prove the person stole the items.Mr. Drake stated he has no desire to run someone out of business because he is pro-business.He thinks the Town is being very reasonable with the ordinance.It is reasonable to conform the Townís ordinance to Bloomington because theyíre in the same county.He doesnít know the effect it will have because it works in Terre Haute and Bloomington.Mr. Oldham asked what the length of time is that Bloomington holds their merchandise.Ms. Brown replied it is seven days.

 

Novert Garvey, Brown County, is a friend and business partner of Jim Mullikin, Old Towne Coins.Mr. Mullikin renovated his entire space which improved downtown.The materials for the renovation were purchased locally as well as the labor.Ordinances effect small businesses and takes money.Mr. Mullikin gives the best price and pays better than anyone around.People come from all over because they prefer to buy and sell coins.This will hurt Mr. Mullikinís business.If he sells him something on Friday, Mr. Mullikin has to sell it on Monday.He is marginalized on the amount of money he can carry.This will severely affect his business because he operates week to week.Mr. Mullikin has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the community.He has a payroll and pays sales tax.Some coins do have serial numbers and are easily traced.Quarters before 1964 are also accepted by the bank but Mr. Mullikin pays more.Will banks be scrutinized for buying used coins?Is itbecause theyíre in the money business that theyíre not scrutinized?Indiana has a law that will supersede local laws.It will have metal, bullion and coin dealers take a picture of what they buy but it will not have to be put on a database.Mr. Mullikin keeps a record of everything he buys and sells.He doesnít want his information on a database because he is a legal buyer of coins.Mr. Mullikin is willing to take a picture of all coins but you canít tell one from the other anyway.People can sell coins at the places excluded in the ordinance.Auction shops sell coins every night but theyíre excluded in the ordinance.It will drive business elsewhere because he canít pay as much due to holding the coins longer.Prices fluctuate in precious metals.He drives 45 minutes to Mr. Mullikinís business because he likes him, likes dealing with him and he always gives him a fair shake.Times are hard right now.How many thieves have been arrested for coins on these databases? Has there been a large percentage of recovery from the databases?Are all databases the same?He doesnít want his social security number on a database.The ordinance will definitely affect Mr. Mullikinís business.

 

Carl Salzmann, resident of Monroe County, asked the Town Council to reconsider passing the ordinance for several reasons.One, it would be bad for Mr. Mullikinís business.He employees several people.This ordinance would require such onerous reporting time and effort with the database.Mr. Mullikin has always cooperated with law enforcement.He understands the good intentions of the ordinance but sometimes laws have unintended consequences.For Mr. Mullikin, he doesnít have the profit margin to hire employees to do the reporting and he would have to close down the retail side of business.This would mean a loss of jobs in Ellettsville.Second, it would be bad for numismatics.Mr. Mullikin has the premier coin shop in southern Indiana.Nowhere else can you go in and see the variety of retail items that the coin collector can purchase.If youíre in the hobby, there are things that are required and can be found in Mr. Mullikinís shop.Personally, he has been trading with Old Towne Coins since they started.Many times, a parent or a child can come in and set in the store for hours going through coins.Heís has seen Mr. Mullikin take a loss on a coin so a child can fill a hole in their book.Mr. Mullikin will also talk to children about the hobby and heís doesnít know of anyone else who does this.It would be very bad for southern Indiana and this area to lose a valuable resource that is not possible anywhere else.There are other coin and pawn shops but no one else is interested in the hobby.Old Towne Coins is an anchor of the business community.†† Mr. Mullikin put a lot of time and effort into the buildings when no one else was interested.He has made a major investment in the community and has been a friend of the Fall Festival.To drive someone away from Ellettsville who is the keystone of the downtown community is wrong.As an alternative, there could be an exception for coin stores.If Mr. Mullikin follows the state statute that goes into effect January 1st, he thinks it would be enough to address law enforcement concerns.

 

Jim Mullikin, owner of Old Towne Coins, has been speaking with dealers in Terre Haute and Bloomington.The dealer in Terre Haute does have to take pictures but does not have to submit the information to the web site.Not only will the ordinance hurt him it will hurt his customers.People do not want their information uploaded to a website because of hacking.If it is hacked, criminals will know what theyíve purchased.People who come into the store want to know if the government will know if theyíve bought gold or silver because from 1933 to 1974 it was illegal.He tells them no.Now, he will have to tell them yes.Theyíre not doing anything illegal.Theyíre just afraid to put their savings into something because of the bad economy.People are trying to save their wealth. He can only lock in purchases for three days.If he has someone walk in with ten gold eagles and itís $23,000, he can call the broker, lock in the price for three days and can still give the customer that dayís price.†† Under the ordinance he wouldnít be able to do this and would have to send customers elsewhere.Where will they take gold and silver when heís gone?There are ladies in the community who are buying cat and dog food to eat because they donít have enough money from social security to live on.They come to his shop every month and sell coins and jewelry to pay their rent.Where will they go?He could move his shop to Bloomington and make more money but he wants to be in Ellettsville because he likes the community.Normally, he sells to brokers once a week but other times it may be every day.Mr. Oldham explained the records of who has bought coins do not need to be kept but only those that are sold.Mr. Mullikin continued to explain some people buy coins one week and sell the next because of the fluctuating market.He has three employees who depend on him.

 

David Drake explained when the Town passes ordinances such as the one that is proposed it is not an indictment of any particular business or person.While Mr. Mullikin might do a great job in being the most honest guy in the world, the next person who comes in may not be and the Town has to regulate it as to what could happen.The coin dealer issue is more complicated than normal secondhand dealing.Coin collecting is more directed to a hobby than a theft.What would it do to the ordinance if they took it in increments and exempted coin dealers for now?Then if thereís a problem it would have to be ramped up.Mr. Oldham added he was going to propose something similar such as lowering the requirement to three days.Itís in the middle between exempting him and still making some requirements.If the time limit for coin dealers is dropped to three days it still preserves his ability to sell and buy.However, it still preserves the intent of the ordinance.

 

Dianna Bastin understands why people do not want to be registered and do not want people to know they have valuable items.She is a very minor coin collector.This was never personal and she is concerned.†† Mr. Drakeís concern is interfering with the actual coin collector.Mr. Oldham noted the Town needs to be on par with similar people in the county.Does it now create a bigger issue for Mr. Mullikin that people will be driven to him because they canít do the same in Bloomington?The statement that currency can be traded with anyone is a valid one.Mr. Drake thinks if the ordinance starts with a coin dealer exemption and then has problems they can tighten the ordinance.Ms. Bastin asked if they can exempt a business that has been in Ellettsville for a certain number of years.Mr. Drake doesnít want to get into exempting specific businesses.Mr. Oldham suggested grandfathering existing businesses.

 

Darla Brown confirmed they are wanting to exempt coins.Ms. Bastin confirmed with Mr. Mullikin he needed to be exempted for bullion and coins.Mr. Mullikin advised for jewelry he will do whatís required and follow the Indiana code.Ms. Brown doesnít think the intent of the ordinance is to not write down serial numbers.If someone brings him a large selection, he could, for example, write down 98 Lincoln pennies.Mr. Mullikin stated his store is having the worst year itís ever had.Ms. Brown suggested tabling the ordinance.Mr. Oldham can support exempting coins but not coin dealers.Ms. Brown liked the portion of the Terre Haute ordinance that specifically defined secondhand dealers.It might be better to work in a specific definition that exempts coins into the ordinance.Mr. Drake agreed to exempt coins.

 

Diana Bastin made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-13 concerning secondhand shops.David Drake seconded.Roll Call Vote:Scott Oldham Ė yes; Dianna Bastin Ė yes and David Drake Ė yes.Motion carried 3-0.

 

Darla Brown asked if clothes were to be included in the ordinance.The ordinance says if youíre in the business of purchasing clothes it doesnít apply.Mr. Drake replied he doesnít want to regulate people who sell secondhand clothes.

 

Ordinance 2013-16 to Establish Rates Changes for Water

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance was presented two meetings prior.It was introduced as a first reading at the last meeting.This is the ordinance that contains the new proposed rates that will go into effect if the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (ďIURCĒ) approves them.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to pass Ordinance 2013-16 to Establish Rates Changes for Water.Diana Bastin made a motion to pass Ordinance 2013-16 to Establish Rates Changes for Water.David Drake seconded.Roll Call Vote:Scott Oldham Ė yes; Dianna Bastin Ė yes and David Drake Ė yes.Motion carried 3-0.

 

Council Comments

 

Dianna Bastin announced the Main Street Santa Claus is coming to Town on Saturday, December 14, 2013.Breakfast will be served.Please support them because they do a lot for Ellettsville.

 

She thanked Danny, Kip, Griff, Mike, Scott, Alan and Jim for clearing the snow.Please give them room to clear the snow and watch for them on the road.

 

Scott Oldham announced there are some events for younger children at the library the week of December 9 Ė 14, 2013.

Dianna Bastin explained it is not that she doesnít want any codes or ordinances on land use.She thinks they need to be careful.The more they pass the

Supervisors Comments

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, announced that the employee Christmas dinner is on Friday, December 20, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

 

Scott Oldham asked about the status of the employeesí health insurance.Ms. Hash replied they have received several assurances that bills would be paid.Today the broker said she could confirm coverage as well as Anthem.There was a situation with an employee and she called the doctorís office and confirmed there was coverage. The doctorís office said they would work with the employee and take care of it.The broker had Sandy give the employees her cell phone number to call but she has not always been available.The broker is hoping to have temporary cards by the end of the day.Anthem said they will contact CVS and tell them the Town does have coverage.Although, they have all the necessary insurance numbers the Town still isnít actively in Anthemís system.When she talked to an Anthem representative she was told they would try to expedite it but with the Thanksgiving holiday and bad weather theyíre behind.

 

Dianna Bastin asked if employees have medical coverage on this date.Ms. Hash replied they do have health insurance.Mr. Oldham added the problem is they canít access it.This is unacceptable.He asked Darla Brown to review any contracts that may be in place because this is inexcusable.Information was provided to the insurance company in sufficient time that employees should not have to choose between eating or taking medicine.It is ridiculous.

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen advised he just received an email and everyone has an identification number.Now, the employees are at least in their database.According to the email theyíre supposed to have coverage.He doesnít necessarily believe it because of the person who provided the information has other instances of falsehoods.They have encountered several employees, including himself, who have the choice of paying for it themselves or not getting coverage or medication.The big concern is tomorrow.Those who need medication or service and are turned down what do they do for payment?Personally, he had to pay for services in which he would normally just have a co-payment. In the email, the broker reiterated she hoped to have temporary insurance cards by the end of the day.Mr. Bowlen replied to the email and told her he would be happy to drive to Bedford to pick up the cards.

 

Scott Oldham asked if the Town will be reimbursed by the benefits company for the funds it expends to make up for the lapse in coverage.Ms. Hash replied she thinks the broker has expressed a willingness to try and work with the Town.Anthem told her today if an employee gets a prescription filled then receives an insurance card within ten days from the date it was filled, they can take the insurance card back to the pharmacy and they will refund the money but withhold the co-pay.Again, this means the employee has to pay the money up front to get a prescription filled.At one point they offered a credit card number but pharmacies and physicians want the actual credit card.Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Hash if she had an issue with instructing employees to contact their supervisor and work with her to make sure theyíre not out any money.Ms. Hash replied she will work with them and is requesting permission for supervisors to use their departmental credit card.The refund will come back to the employee and not the Town.There needs to be a form for the employee to sign stating they agree to reimburse the Town when they receive their refund.Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Brown if there was a problem with doing this.Ms. Brown said no but needs to have a conversation with Julia Thomas because she has received different information.Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Brown to prepare the form for employees to sign.

 

Scott Oldham made a motion to instruct Sandra Hash and the supervisors to proceed as outlined.Dianna Bastin seconded.Roll Call Vote:Scott Oldham Ė yes; Dianna Bastin Ė yes and David Drake Ė yes.Motion carried 3-0.

 

Tom Mathison continues to be very concerned about the lack of availability of documents the public needs to have in order to follow whatís going on with the Town.Previously, heís mentioned that last year there was an ordinance that was distributed at a Town Council meeting and not put on the web.The ordinance had a totally different wording then what the Town Council members had and what had been published in the paper.Itís difficult for people to participate in discussions if not everyone has the same material. This continues and the website is getting worse.He looked at the links for the new water rates.The water rate ordinance isnít on it and three links do not work because the links point to a file on the C drive rather then on the web server.The link for agendas does not work.If it did work, the agendas are not always accurate.Two or three meetings ago the Umbaugh report was presented to the Council when it was not on the agenda.The Town needs to come with grips to the fact that the materials the Town needs to have in order to participate are not available.It is available if you call the Clerk-Treasurer or go to her office.If someone wants to read an ordinance they would have to go to the office and there may or may not be a copy available.Tonight, there were no copies of the ordinances to be discussed at the meeting.If the Town office needs more resources it needs to be addressed.Itís coming close to violating the open meetings rule when the agendas are not available, the agendas are not accurate, the ordinances are not available or if the ordinances are available they may not be the same.

 

Jim Mullikin reiterated bullion is different than coins.Mr. Drake clarified what he meant to say was not to exempt currency bills.Mr. Oldham asked Mr. Mullikin to provide some input and that would be valuable.Mr. Mullikin said he would quit buying bills.He doesnít buy that many and theyíre very expensive.If he has to submit them he wonít do it.State law is very precise and talks about mint issued coins.Mr. Oldham asked him to provide some professional knowledge about coins in writing.Mr. Drake said his thinking about bills was that they still need to be recorded because they have serial numbers.Mr. Mullikin thinks taking pictures are better.Mr. Drake doesnít think itís unreasonable to ask for serial numbers from bills.

 

Adjournmentt

   

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.David DrakeDan Swafford seconded.Motion carried.Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:44 p.m.