October 28January 13, 2014

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, January 13,M2014, 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 Sandra HashPhillip Smithyra..

 

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

 

Supervisors present were:  MMike Cornman, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin, Mike Farmer and JJeff Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the  regular meeting on December 23, 2013.  PDavid Drake so moved.  DDan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

 

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

 

Election of Officers

 

Scott Oldham opened the nominations for officers on the Town Council.

 

Dianna Bastin nominated Scott Oldham for President. David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Dianna Bastin nominated David Drake for Vice President.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Appointments

 

Town Council members were appointed as liaisons to the following Town departments:

 

Fire Department:                     David Drake

Planning Department:             Dan Swafford

Police Department:                 Scott Oldham

Street Department:                  Dan Swafford

Utility Department:                 Dianna Bastin

 

The following appointments were made to Town boards:

 

Board of Zoning Appeals:      Fred Baugh (2014-2017)

Park and Recreation Board:    Richard Pease (2014-2017)

 

Annual appointments by the Town Council for the following:

 

      Monroe County Ambulance Advisory Board:                       Mike Cornman

      Monroe County Emergency Management Advisory Board:  Jim Davis

      Monroe County Solid Waste Management Board:                Dan Swafford

      Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce:                                        Sandra Hash   

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion that the annual appointments by the Town Council be made as on the Agenda:  Mike Cornman, Jim Davis, Dan Swafford and Sandra Hash.  Dianna Bastin made a motion that the annual appointments by the Town Council be made as on the Agenda:  Mike Cornman, Jim Davis, Dan Swafford and Sandra Hash.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 01-2014 Cancellation of Warrants (Old Outstanding Checks)

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained this is a formality which has to be done annually when warrants tare over two years old.  Most of these are for meter deposits, with the exception of. Ms. Ramsey who left employment over two years ago. aA refund check was sent to her but itshe has was never cashed.  The Write off Policyostates Utilities will not refund amounts under $2.00.

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  Scott Oldham entertained a motion to pass Resolution 01-2014 Cancellation of Warrants (Old Outstanding Checks).  DDianna Bastin made a motion to pass Resolution 01-2014 Cancellation of Warrants (Old Outstanding Checks).3  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

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

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2014-01 Establishing the Regulated Area for the Furnishing of Water and Wastewater Service to the Public to Include All Territory with Some Exceptions, Located Inside and Within Four Miles of the Town of Ellettsville’s Corporate Boundaries

 

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained there is an Indiana statute that provides for municipalities to exercise its powers to serve water and/or sewer in areas within four miles of its corporate boundaries.  On the date of the last Town Council meeting, December 23, 2013, the Court of Appeals came out with an opinion interpreting that statute.  In Town of Newburgh vs. Town of Chandler, there were two municipalities competing with each other and a dispute arose over a subdivision to be built.  The question was which municipality was to serve the subdivision.  One municipality got its ordinance on file pursuant to statute six weeks ahead of the other.  There was a lawsuit and it went to the Court of Appeals which said “first in time, first in right.”  The Court of Appeals held that the municipality which got its ordinance on file was allowed to serve areas within four miles of its corporate boundaries to the extent they were not already served by another sewer corporation or municipality at the time the ordinance was passed.  The proposed ordinance has the same wording the Court of Appeals found acceptable.  She suggested the Town Council pass the ordinance on first reading.

 

David Drake said the Town is already authorized by statute to provide service within four miles from the Town limits.  This confirms and makes what the Town has been doing legal.  Due the sense of urgency it should be passed at this meeting.

 

Dan Swafford asked for clarification in the portion of the ordinance that states except for those customers located in the regulated territory that are connected to another service or sewer utility on the date of the ordinance.”  Ms. Brown explained the Town isn’t encroaching on anybody elses territory.  Mr. Swafford asked about sub-corporations and their territory with new customers coming in.  Ms. Brown would argue this means if there is not a particular territory where the customers are being served in Ellettsville then it can serve them.  Mr. Swafford asked if a new subdivision goes in and is still in their territory would they hook up with the other service and not the Town.  Ms. Brown replied to the extent there is a contract that’s opposite to the ordinance they’re going to have to follow the contract.  Mr. Swafford clarified he is wanting to know about new customers locating in the other territory.   Ms. Brown read the following from the ordinance:  “WHEREAS . . . Territory will not extend beyond the corporate boundaries of Monroe County, Indiana, and will not include customers connected to and receiving service from other existing water or sewer utilities as of the date this Ordinance is adopted.”  Mr. Oldham asked if there are geographic boundaries between the Town and Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation (“Eastern Richland”) and how territories are defined.  Does Eastern Richland have territory that is unimproved and is still within their Certificate of Territorial Authority (“CTA”) that the Town would be encroaching on?

 

Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, explained Eastern Richland still has territory that is within their CTA and is unimproved.  Mr. Swafford asked if Eastern Richland does a major improvement still under their territory would they still get the customers or would the ordinance void the original contract and Ellettsville would get the new customers.  Ms. Brown replied it would not void the original contract.  Mr. Coppock added the original contract doesn’t deal with where the territories are located.  The territories are setup by the CTA outside of the contract.  Mr. Drake commented the Town can’t pass an ordinance to negate an existing CTA by the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”).  The ordinance says anything that hasn’t already been assigned to anyone else would be served by Ellettsville.  Mr. Coppock noted if a new customer is going to connect to an Eastern Richland line they would be served by that entity.

 

Tom Mathison read the ordinance carefully and is surprised they would consider passing it on a first reading.  This is normally only done under emergency conditions and requires the unanimous vote of the members present.  It is inopportune to try and pass this on a first reading when the public has just barely seen it.  There is, obviously, some concern about the wording by one council member.  He suggests the Town give it the two readings that any ordinance would normally be expected to have.  If there is some emergency it would be nice to know what it would be.  Since there is currently the dispute on the land swap with Eastern Richland and South Central Sewer Corporation, which was brought up last year as a concern for Ellettsville, he is wondering if this ordinance has something to do with it.  If it does the Town should first find out how the IURC is going to rule.  If it doesn’t he would like to have the Council explain publicly that this ordinance has nothing to do with the land swap.  It seems to him that there are lots of questions, including some raised by the Council that should be addressed before this ordinance is passed.  He reiterated he doesn’t see any reason at all as to why it needs to be passed under emergency conditions on the first reading since there was no indication to the public about this intention.

 

Dan Swafford tends to agree with Mr. Mathison.  Unless there is an emergency reason he is not aware of he doesn’t know why it can’t wait until a second reading so more people can see it.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion that Ordinance 2014-01 be submitted for first reading.   David Drake made a motion that Ordinance 2014-01 be submitted for first reading.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – no; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion that Ordinance 2014-01 be adopted on the same day it was introduced.  David Drake made a motion that Ordinance 2014-01 be adopted on the same day it was introduced.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – no; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion did not pass 3-1.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, advised the ordinance will return for a second reading.

 

Old Business

 

 

Establishing the Position of Town Manager

 

Scott Oldham requested this be tabled until the next Town Council meeting.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion that they table establishing the position of Town Manager under Old Business.  Dianna Bastin made a motion that they table establishing the position of Town Manager under Old Business.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Council Comments

 

 Dan Swafford advised there is a dumpster in the middle of Vine Street that is a safety hazard.  There needs to be a barricade or reflective tape in front of it or have it moved.  Ms. Bastin noted it is a legal parking space.  Does the Town have the authority to make them move it since it is a legal parking space?  Mr. Oldham asked, whether it’s legal or illegal, is it good common sense to make them move it while everyone is trying to take care of their homes.  He would say no and place a barricade behind it for everyone’s safety.  Jim Ragle, Street Commissioner, advised he will put barricades with reflectors around it.

 

Dan Swafford received a letter of complaint from a citizen which was read by Scott Oldham as follows:  “Per Jim Ragle the Town of Ellettsville arranged for a dumpster to be set up in the old 7-11 parking lot after the flood of December 21, 2013.  We were told it would be emptied as often as needed so the space would be provided for dumping flood damaged items.  When the dumpster did not get emptied the week of January 5 11, 2014, it was overflowing on Saturday, January 11th and numerous people dumped their flood damaged items next to the dumpster located on Vine Street.  As it turns out that evidently was not a public dump site even though it was located on a public street.  The person who claims to have leased the dumpster is now attempting to collect $400 from a local resident whose items were placed in the dumpster by a volunteer helping empty a basement that took 4½ feet of water.  This is not the only person using the Vine Street dumpster.  If the public dumpster had been emptied the flood damaged items would have been placed in the public dumpster and the Town would have paid for the dumping.  Would it be possible for the Town to absorb at least part of the cost of the private dumpster since those items would have been covered by the public dumpster had it not been emptied prior to January 11th?” 

 

Dan Swafford asked if there had been a complaint about this dumpster.  Ms. Hash replied there was a questioncomplaint about a dumpster in a driveway but it wasn’t on the street so there must be multiple dumpsters.  The people placed their dumpster before the Town put their dumpster out.  Since the Town was willing to do the dumpster for the public they want to know if the Town would be willing to pay some on their dumpster.  Mr. Swafford said the issue with the two dumpsters is that they are identical and he did take photographs of them.  The one the Town placed was put in a parking lot and the other one is on a public street.  He can see how residents may get confused.  Although, Jim Ragle did announce where the Town was going to put its dumpster.

 

Dianna Bastin drove down through Vine Street after the flood and has been back several times.  She could tell the dumpster in front of the house was private and she knows where the Town’s dumpster is located.  Did the weather have anything to do with them not dumping the dumpster?  She absolves the Street Department of any responsibility for it overflowing because they’re tired.  They’ve gone through the water and snow.  Mr. Oldham noted it is the vendor’s responsibility to come and empty the dumpster.  Ms. Bastin thinks people can tell which dumpsters are private.  She asked Sandra Hash if there is any way for the Town to pay for something like that.    Ms. Hash replied the Town would have to have an appropriation and they were told to do the dumpster on Vine Street but no one has told her yet where to direct payment for it.  There is not an appropriation to cover this type of thing.  It would mean either the Street Department has to find it in their budget or she has to find it in the Town’s administrative budget.  Mr. Oldham asked if the Town has ever done anything like this in the past.  Ms. Hash replied to the best of her knowledge since she has been Clerk-Treasurer, she has never paid for a dumpster for the public to use.

 

David Drake asked if someone threw a few little things in someone’s dumpster or did they fill it up so much that the other person couldn’t use it.  Mr. Swafford said what he knows is hearsay but has heard it was a couple of truck loads.  Mr. Drake said good luck getting money from people who threw stuff in the dumpster under these circumstances.  He would think their case would be weak.  Ms. Bastin asked if insurance will pay for a dumpster.  Ms. Hash replied on the dumpster she received a call about the people do not have flood insurance.  Ms. Bastin isn’t opposed to helping people but how could it be done?  Mr. Oldham asked how much the dumpster cost that the Town had rented.  Mr. Ragle replied it cost $100 to set a dumpster and the dump fee is approximately $50 a ton.  Mr. Swafford added it usually costs approximately $200 a dumpster.   He doesn’t know if the Town can pay for a private dumpster for someone who did this on their own without being told.  Ms. Brown agreed with Ms. Hash in that the State Board of Accounts would require an appropriation.  Mr. Swafford asked how long it would take to do an appropriation.  Ms. Hash replied it can be paid out of an existing appropriation if a supervisor has a budget for trash removal and she has a budget line for Promotion of Town Business which could probably be used for dumping fees.  If more money is needed later then an additional appropriation could be done.  Ms. Bastin asked how long they will leave the dumpster set.  Mr. Ragle replied it will be for about one more week.  It is half empty now.  It couldn’t be emptiedy the other day because the telephone company plowed all of their snow around it and there was no way they could get close to it.  Mr. Oldham asked how the Council wanted to proceed.

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen advised the dumpster that the Town placed downtown is quickly becoming a magnet for people in the county to come and drop off their trash.  It is definitely being used by people outside of the affected flood area. 

 

David Drake commented this isn’t something that needs action on the part of the Town Council.  Mr. Swafford noted if the Town Council takes no action it means the Town isn’t going to cover the cost of it because it didn’t authorize it.  Mr. Oldham advised the only dumpster the Town has been authorized to pay for is setting in the Smithville Telephone lot for people to dump materials and who are in the affected flood zone.  Ms. Bastin noted it had been announced by the Street Commissioner that he was locating the dumpster on the Smithville Lot.  Mr. Swafford clarified that the dumpster will set for another 1½ weeks.  Mr. Ragle answered it will be left in place until they make sure everyone is finished with their homes.  Mr. Swafford asked that it be brought up at the next meeting to make sure the majority of the people have everything cleaned up.

 

Scott Oldham advised there are rumors that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) is going to come in and buy up the homes on Vine Street to be demolished.  FEMA is not going to do this at this point.  FEMA has denied a request to declare that zone a disaster area.  It is currently under appeal.  He talked with a State Senator and asked about the kind of help they can provide and they are working on it.   Today, he spoke with the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) and they are going to look at the area.  INDOT will get back in contact with the Town as to what they will be able to provide as far as information or services, if applicable. In addition, he spoke with the Army Corps of Engineers on this date.  Unfortunately for the Town, they take on flood projects on a navigable waterway.   Jack’s Defeat Creek runs dry sometimes so that is why it is considered a non-navigable waterway and outside the scope of the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Army Corps of Engineers did offer a few suggestions which may result in some hope of how to avoid this in the future by learning what other cities have done to alleviate the issue in their Town. 

 

Scott Oldham announced the Clerk-Treasurer and Utilities’ offices will be closed on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, for moving.  Are the offices expected to reopen on Wednesday, January 15, 2014?  Ms. Hash answered they will if they can get the server moved and everything connected and running.  The new temporary locations are Suite 103 for the Clerk-Treasurer’s office and Suite 106 for Utilities in Eagles Landing.

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, advised for some time Utilities will continue to use the drop box at the old Town Hall at 221 N. Sales Street.  They can also mail their payments to P.O. Box 8, Ellettsville, IN  47429.  They are also waiting for delivery of a new drop box that will be located at First and Association just outside of the new entrance to the Utilities office.   At some time in the future, they will have signs to let people know they won’t continue to use the drop box on Sales Street.  When the software was converted, Utilities purchased a six month supply of paper because it was a good deal but it has the old address printed on it.  They will print the new address on the information portion of the bill.  Signs will be put up at the two entrances at Eagles Landing to direct people where they need to go.

 

Jim Ragle, Street Commissioner, thanked the Utilities Department for helping with snow removal.  He had some guys sick and Utilities really bailed them out.

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman advised over the weekend the community lost a former volunteer fire fighter, Tad Hudson.  Tad served on the Ellettsville Fire Department for over 15 years and had been away from the Department for 10 years.  He was a very good and strong man with a lot of connections to the Fire Department and the community.  Tad’s dad, Ed Hudson, was a Fire Chief for about five years in the late 1950s.  His grandfather, Dewey Hudson, was a Fire Chief.  His family were very big supporters of the Monroe County Fall Festival and other community events.  Tad was a quiet and reserved man.  There are a lot of things that go on in the history of our community and we’re all connected through families and the organizations we belong to.  One particular is the Fire Department.  Tad’s nephew is Mike Stalcup, one of the Town’s firefighters.  They will miss Tad.  For so many years, everyone has worked, lived and volunteered here and it will continue.  Mr. Oldham expressed condolences on behalf of the Town Council to Tad Hudson’s family.

 

Sandra Hash advised at the meeting of January 10, 2014, there was a question about an appropriation to cover the rent.   She wants to make sure everyone understands she does not have an appropriation for rent.  Mr. Oldham asked her to prepare something for the next Town Council meeting.  Ms. Hash advised she will have to wait to do the appropriation until the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance approves this year’s budget.   

 

Privilege of the Floor

 

Randy Cassady thinks the comments about Tad Hudson by Fire Chief Mike Cornman were well deserved based upon his contributions to our community.  Mr. Cassady’s brother, mother and nephew and his family were caught directly in the flood with 42” of water.  It took out his business and the homes of his nephews and nieces.  As they try to rebuild in the Vine Street and Main Street areas, the Town has to continue doing business and has appropriately moved.  The individuals who live in those areas aren’t necessarily able to move.  Since this is multi-faceted in dealing with FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers, State of Indiana and Monroe County who will be the point person for the Town of Ellettsville to try and move this forward?  As we know in this community, they’re resilient and in the last seven years they have seen 500 years’ worth of floods.  They will clean up, move on and will forget about the devastation.   Who in Ellettsville will be the person to help direct this so that it doesn’t get lost and they can press forward for the members of the community?

 

Scott Oldham advised the Town is still trying to figure out what it needs.  They’re reaching out to various agencies and at some point they will have to pick a project leader.  First, they have to know what type of project they can do.  Will it be within the scope of what they’re able to do under the law or bounds of physics, geography or geology?  A lot of different things will play into it.  They’ve had conversations with Homeland Security who has been in contact with FEMA.  At this time, he can’t give him an answer to his question but for now it will be the Town Council.  There will be updates as they have them.

 

Adjournmentt

 

SScott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Dan SwaffordDseconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:15 p.m.

 

 

                                                                                                                                         

Scott Oldham, President                           Dan Swafford, Vice-President

 

 

                                                                                                                                         

Dianna S. Bastin                                        Phillip Smith

 

 

                                                                                                                                         

David Drake                                             Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, IAMC, MMC