June 12, 2017
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, June 12, 2017, at the Town Hall located at 1050 W. Guy McCown Drive. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m. Kevin Farris led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.
Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President, Brian Mobley, Vice President, Kevin Farris, Brice Teter and Scott Thomas. Jim Davis, Town Manager; Darla Brown, Town Attorney; and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Danny Stalcup, Jimmie Durnil, Kevin Tolloty, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer. Denise Line represented the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.
Scott Oldham welcomed Brice Teter who was elected to assume Dianna Bastin’s position.
Approval of Minutes
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on May 22, 2017. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Motion carried.
Accounts Payable Vouchers
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. Mr. Mobley asked questions on claims which were answered by the supervisors. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Motion carried.
Selection of Town Council’s Representative for the Local Income Tax Council Meetings
Scott Oldham volunteered to serve as the Town Council’s representative at the Local Income Tax Council meetings. Last year was spent on making councils aware of how mutual aid worked and how public safety exists within a sphere of everybody helping everybody. All agreed.
Ordinance on Second Reading
Ordinance 2017-06 to Amend Various Sections of Chapter 152 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Sign Regulation
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained there was a change to the sign ordinance suggested by Town Council. It went to the Plan Commission who approved the change. Now, it is back to the Town Council for consideration. The new language allows “either/or”. The changes can be found in §152.262 under Permanent Signs and §152.262(B)(2)(C), freestanding, monument or pole-type freestanding signs. The entire ordinance is up for consideration at this time.
Kevin Farris received calls from local businesses wondering about their signs. He told them they would be grandfathered in. Mr. Tolloty explained all permanent signs up at this time will be grandfathered in and most temporary signs will be as well. Mr. Farris conveyed a conversation with Ken Guzik, D.C. over his concern of not being permitted to display banners for the community. Mr. Tolloty explained the problem is how the sign is mounted. It doesn’t meet Town code now and nor will it in future. There is not a problem with him putting up a sign; the Town doesn’t allow signs to be on wheels. The way the signs are mounted could be a public safety hazard.
Brian Mobley asked if the charge for the permit will be $50 plus a certain amount per foot. Mr. Tolloty answered the permit fee for permanent signs will be $50 plus $1 per square foot. Mr. Mobley thinks the fee will hurt the mom and pop shops. He doesn’t think the Town should charge that amount and would like the fee to be reconfigured.
Scott Oldham asked if the proposed changes do away with the permit fees for yard/garage sale signs. Mr. Tolloty replied the sign code does not require a sign permit for yard/garage sale signs. Signs 8 ft2 and under do not require a permit. Mr. Oldham asked if signs such as birthday parties will not require a permit. Mr. Tolloty answered they’re exempt from requiring a permit. Mr. Oldham asked for examples of what will require sign permits. Mr. Tolloty explained on residential properties one commercial sign 8 ft2 and under is allowed without a permit. There is no limit on non-commercial signs 8 ft2 and under being allowed without a permit. On commercial properties two commercial and two non-commercial 8 ft2 and under signs are allowed without a permit. Mr. Oldham asked if someone wants to put a banner up to advertise a sale where does it fall. Mr. Tolloty answered banners over 8 ft2 will still require a sign permit. Mr. Oldham asked why the Town would be concerned about a banner hanging on the front of a store. He understands there needs to be a limit if businesses constantly have them. Mr. Tolloty explained there are a number of businesses who put up as many banners as they can and try to convert them to permanent signage. The signs then start to look tacky and it is not fair to other businesses who do follow the codes. It will keep them more uniform. Mr. Oldham asked if there would be a way to let them have a banner for one to two weeks before getting a permit. Mr. Tolloty replied it would be difficult to track and there needs to be an even playing field for all businesses.
Kevin Farris said Mr. Tolloty has been working on the sign code for almost a year. Sandra Hash took sign code packets to the Chamber of Commerce for members to review. Everyone had a chance to give their input and no one had any comments. Mr. Tolloty has done a good job with the sign code.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2017-06 to Amend the Various Sections of Chapter 152 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Sign Regulations. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – no; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried, 4-1.
Brian Mobley met with the Utilities and Street Departments and Lisa Ridge, Director of Public Works at the Monroe County, at McNeely Street to ascertain if Monroe County has any resources for the Town. Ms. Ridge will review the Indiana Department of Natural Resources FEMA Report and get back to the Town. She wants to make sure anything they do will also benefit Monroe County residents. Mr. Coppock is to provide prices for installing a culvert at McNeely Street.
Chemical Phosphorus Removal Project – Agreement with Mitchell & Stark
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Mitchell & Stark had the winning bid of $567,700 for the Chemical Phosphorus Removal Project. The agreement between Mitchell & Stark and the Town needs Town Council approval. Wessler Engineering will be the Town’s representative for this project. The work should be done in approximately 210 days after the Town Council signs the Notice to Proceed. She has reviewed the contract and sees no problem with it. The President of the Town Council will need to sign the Notice to Proceed.
Brian Mobley asked if this is a bond issue. Jeff Farmer answered it is not currently. There has been discussion to pay for it through the Equipment Replacement Fund and share the cost with Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation (“ERSC”) but it has not been agreed upon at this time. They want to pay for it in-house so a bond will not be issued.
Scott Oldham asked if they want to wait to move forward with this until they figure out how to finance it. Mr. Farmer thinks they need to move forward with it. Mr. Oldham asked if there is a timeline for working out the financing. Mr. Farmer replied at one point they were going to pay for it out of the Equipment Replacement Fund. Or, Larry Barker said ERSC would like to pay for their half and the Town has the money to pay for its half. Mr. Farris asked when the work would commence. Mr. Farmer introduced Kellam Hurst with Wessler Engineering to answer the question.
Kellam Hurst, Wessler Engineering, explained they will have a pre-construction meeting in a couple of weeks and then they will have a better idea of the contractor’s schedule by the end of June. He thinks they won’t mobilize and start any actual work until July. Mr. Oldham stated with 210 days to finish then the completion date will be in February. Mr. Hurst agreed and thinks the contractor will want to have the job completed before winter hits. Mr. Farmer thinks it will be completed before winter.
Brice Teter asked what the chemical phosphorus removal project is. Mr. Farmer explained the Wastewater Treatment Plant has a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The permit renewal was a couple of years ago and a new requirement was to remove phosphorus from the waste treatment. The building will be a chemical feed building that will allow for them to remove the phosphorus.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to accept the agreement with Mitchell & Stark for the chemical phosphorus removal project. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Termination of Lease Agreement between Richland Township and the Town of Ellettsville’s Planning Department
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, has reviewed the Termination of Lease Agreement and has no issues with it. Mr. Oldham asked what the Town pays yearly. Ms. Brown answered $1. Mr. Oldham suggested if the Richland Township Trustee (“Trustee”) would be willing to extend the lease under the same terms perhaps that would be a good place for Parks Board and Monroe County Fall Festival (“Fall Festival”) storage. Mr. Oldham asked if the space would be valuable for the Parks Board. Mr. Durnil answered probably not because they’ll continue to have the meetings in Town Hall but the storage may be helpful. They could store photographs and the Fall Festival could store their photo gallery upstairs. Mr. Oldham thinks it seems like a waste to terminate the agreement if the Trustee has no plans for the space. The Town has used the space for years and now it could be used for other things. Clearly, there are storage issues with the Fall Festival. He would like to continue the lease. All agreed. Ms. Brown and Mr. Davis will talk with the Trustee about continuing the lease. Mr. Stalcup advised the Trustee told him the Street Department can do whatever they want with the upstairs.
Town Hall Key Access
Scott Thomas asked for this to be put on the agenda because there had been an issue about employees being locked out from access but understands it has been worked out. They now know who has keys and who can get into Town Hall. Mr. Mobley asked for a list of who has keys to Town Hall. Mr. Davis has a list. Mr. Oldham asked if everyone who has keys needs to have them. Mr. Davis explained he has been discussing a knox box for Town Hall with Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil. If an alarm goes off at Town Hall, Smithville calls Sandra Hash, provided they can reach her, and the Police Department is called. They need to change their procedures. Just because it is the way it has always been doesn’t mean that’s the way it should remain. If an alarm should go off because of a fire, the Fire Department would get a key out of their knox box at the front of the building, inspect the premises and return the key to the knox box. It can work the same for the Police Department. If the alarm should go off, the police should always be the first to arrive. Should the Police Department determine it was a false alarm they would lock the building and would not have to call anyone. If something did happen after the police secured the scene they would then call whomever is on the list to come and survey any damage. When the key system was originally decided for Town Hall, there was a meeting about each department in the building having its own key code. Every key the employees carry gets them in the building. Employees are mostly using the exterior key pads instead of their keys. Everyone in the building agreed to do this. Although it is a public building, there ought to be a little sense of privacy as it pertains to the offices. He didn’t know the key code for a couple of weeks after moving in because it was handled by Sandra Hash.
Scott Oldham thinks the alarm should report straight to Central Dispatch because otherwise it could result in a delay of two to four minutes. To cut two minutes off of the process could mean everything. They don’t want Ms. Hash coming to the building by herself without some type of escort. Mr. Mobley said after the police go in they should wait on the key holder to make sure everything is in order or read the alarm to find out what set it off. Mr. Oldham agrees that’s how it works in commercial buildings but for other buildings it doesn’t necessarily work that way. Mr. Davis thinks whomever gets the call should not be the first person in the building. Marshal Durnil commented the last time an alarm went off, by the time the call went him, to Ms. Hash and then to the officer it resulted in a 12-minute response time. However, once the officer received the call he arrived at Town Hall in two minutes. The call should’ve gone to Central Dispatch. Mr. Davis said there needs to be a procedure in place. Mr. Mobley commented an employee had to come to Town Hall to unlock the doors and she charged for a two-hour show-up time. They need to have an elected official who is not on the clock unlock the doors. Mr. Oldham disagreed because police officers are already on duty. Mr. Mobley thinks an employee needs to walk through the building to make sure everything is in correct order. Mr. Oldham stated if there is a forced entry it will go up the chain of command until it gets to Jim Davis and he can come look at the property. There is no reason to get someone out of bed to check and see if the building is secure. A knox box would alleviate a key holder. Mr. Mobley disagreed. After further discussion, it was decided Mr. Davis and Marshal Durnil are to prepare an alarm response plan.
Clarification of the Mass Gathering Ordinance
Scott Thomas explained in recent weeks emails were sent regarding a recent court filing for a violation. They are not on the same page as to how this should be handled. If all other Town ordinance violations go to the Clerk-Treasurer to be paid why are they going to Court. Ms. Brown explained Town Code allows Sandra Hash to collect fines of $100 or less. For this case, the fine was over $100. According to §10.17, Ms. Hash is allowed to collect civil penalties of not more than $100 in ordinance violations cases subject to the schedule prescribed by the Town Code. Marshal Durnil added this was a flagrant violation of the mass gathering ordinance. Six shots were fired within 20 yards of three police officers. He felt this needed to be done to get their point across that they don’t want this type of activity in Ellettsville.
Fire Chief Mike Cornman noted in the past, Ordinance A, B and C violations were always taken to the attorney and D and E violations were taken to the Clerk-Treasurer. Predominantly, most violations are D and E. Ms. Brown stated she also processes garage sale violations because once people get notice they don’t pay. This violation was different because of the emergency nature of the violation and because of the way the Town code is written. Ms. Hash doesn’t collect fines for violations of more than $100. Mr. Mobley asked where that is found within the Town code. Ms. Brown answered it is in Section 10.17. Mr. Mobley disagreed because it states it is exempt. There’s no explicit declaration that it goes to the Town Attorney. Chief Cornman commented if it doesn’t go to Ms. Hash where is it to go to. Town Code also addresses the civil process which at that point is the Town Attorney. Mr. Mobley advised Town Code states “Clerk/Treasurer shall report this fact to the Town Council and the Town Council shall determine whether to refer such cases to the Town Attorney for further proceedings.” Chief Cornman noted because it falls under the Clerk-Treasurer’s purview it applies to D and E violations. Mr. Mobley wants this redefined. He asked Ms. Brown if she is charging the Town to file the lawsuit. Ms. Brown answered yes. Mr. Mobley understands violators are to pay the attorney’s fees. If the case doesn’t get to trial, who pays for the attorney’s fees? Ms. Brown explained she bills for her time to prepare the mass gathering ordinance violation. Mr. Mobley asked how much that would be. Ms. Brown doesn’t recall but it was probably less than one hour. Mr. Mobley commented on the lack of communication. Little 500 was in April and Town Council found out about this a few weeks ago. The discussion was between Fire Chief Mike Cornman, Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil and Scott Oldham. Mr. Oldham interjected he asked about it because he was there working and knew what happened. Mr. Mobley retorted they should have been informed. Further discussion ensued and it was decided emails containing information similar to a press release would be sent informing Town Council of any Town incidents.
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil asked to discuss “Consideration of Waving eBay Bid for Surplus Communication Tower” at this time. Members of the Ohio Boy Scouts have a 6½ hour drive. All agreed.
Consideration of Waving eBay Bid for Surplus Communication Tower – Jimmie Durnil
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil introduced Matt Walsh with the Boy Scouts of America. After winning the auction, Mr. Walsh asked if the Town would consider donating the tower to the Boy Scouts of America. Marshal Durnil agreed and is requesting to donate the tower to the Boy Scouts of America. Ms. Brown advised the State Board of Accounts never has a problem with surplus being donated to a non-for-profit.
Scott Thomas made a motion to donate the surplus tower to the Boy Scouts of America. Kevin Farris seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Matt Walsh read the following letter from C.J. Gaven, on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America:
“We would like to thank you for your generous donation of a radio tower to help support our program. This gift will be added to others to allow us to provide the best possible program to youth who attend our summer camp program at Seven Ranges Scout Reservation. We are very grateful for your support.”
Public Safety Local Income Tax (“LIT”) Expenditure Plan – Jimmie Durnil and Mike Cornman
Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained with the allotments and distribution of the county Local Income Tax dedicated to public safety the Town of Ellettsville is scheduled to receive $159,000 annually which has been collected for the past 5½ months. With these funds, the Fire Department would like to hire a full-time firefighter as an addition to the staff. The void was created when he removed himself from 24 hour shifts and went to a 40-hour work week. They still have a need for additional part-time personnel. Run volumes are extremely high and they have not added additional personnel since 1999. They would like to use part of the LIT money for this. For the other part of the plan, Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil is wanting to add at least $25,000 but is requesting $28,000 for part-time personnel to fill in while he lets another officer do investigative/technical work. Whatever the decision may be Marshal Durnil can still use $3,000 this year to increase a salary for a detective technician from current money.
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil explained it would be best if he could $25,000 for part-time fill-ins and also a $3,000 increase to promote an officer to detective/evidence technician. The increase would be equal to Sergeant’s pay. He thinks he can do it this year with the money he has. This would free up the officer for three of six shifts. He will still be assigned to regular six and three rotational shifts for now but he can fill in with reserves and part-time officers. There is a definite need for someone to specialize in this type of work.
Scott Oldham asked if this can be done out of current monies or is he requesting specific LIT money. Marshal Durnil answered he would like to have $25,000 LIT money and $3,000 for the increase. If they want to wait on the LIT money he can do the increase of $3,000 with current money. If he does the increase in July, it would leave $1,400 for the remainder of the year. Mr. Oldham asked Chief Cornman if he can wait a month for this to happen. Chief Cornman answered yes, he can. Mr. Oldham explained the Town has not yet received the property tax distribution from the county and the General Fund is short. Instead of tying up the money at this time, if they can wait until they receive the distribution from the county that would be best. Mr. Thomas asked if the Town has received the LIT money. Mr. Oldham answered yes, the Clerk-Treasurer has it but has not received the property taxes for June through December.
Brian Mobley asked if the LIT money is not guaranteed every year. Mr. Oldham replied the LIT money is guaranteed to the city, county, Ellettsville and Stinesville but not the townships. Chief Cornman added the Income Tax Council will have the final say and the Town would get advance notice if there is a drastic change. This is why Mr. Oldham wants to wait for the payment so if the county is late with payment they can ensure the employees will get paid. Mr. Oldham asked if the employee will hold the rank of Sergeant. Marshal Durnil replied no, he will be a detective/evidence technician.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to table the Public Safety Local Income Tax Expenditure Plan until the first meeting in August.
Brian Mobley asked Chief Cornman how long the process is to hire somebody. Chief Cornman answered it can take anywhere from two weeks to one and a half months. At the next meeting, he hopes to bring eight or nine additional part-time people for consideration. They’re have a critical shortage because they don’t have enough part-time employees. Mr. Mobley asked if the full-time officers have to take agility tests. Chief Cornman replied they do an agility test once a year. Mr. Mobley asked if people have to take agility tests to get hired. Chief Cornman answered yes.
Brice Teter seconded the aforementioned motion. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to accept Jimmie Durnil’s proposal of $1,400 for the remainder of 2017, starting in July for the detective/evidence tech.
Scott Oldham interjected the Town is not quite through payroll for half of the year. Marshal Durnil stated he won’t have anyone assigned to the position until after the first of July.
Scott Thomas seconded the aforementioned motion. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Scott Oldham asked Chief Cornman about his thoughts on Station 8 if Richland Township doesn’t have their entire payment. Chief Cornman explained if the Town does not receive at least $90,000, he is going to ask the Richland Township Trustee to consider redoing the contract and urge the Town Council to do the same because they can’t keep the station open. The funds are needed to keep the personnel there. They have a contract with IU Health EMS to keep an ambulance at Station 8 and they’re not too interested in having a backup ambulance coming out of Ellettsville. There could be the possibility of losing an additional $58,000 if they close Station 8. Mr. Oldham asked if Richland Township does not get the allocation from the Tax Council is he certain Station 8 will close. Chief Cornman answered he would recommend it be closed. Mr. Mobley asked if they will fall short on the four-minute response times. Chief Cornman replied in that particular area they would. They can still be at most areas within five minutes. Mr. Oldham asked if the intent would be to shut it down completely or leave equipment there for volunteers. Chief Cornman answered they would leave some support equipment that could be still used for off duty or volunteer response. Should the annexation go through there is no reason to have the fire department unless there is an agreement with the City of Bloomington which has not been mentioned.
Request for Street Department Laborer to be Raised to Full Salary After One Year of Service – Danny Stalcup
Danny Stalcup, Street Commissioner, explained Jay Humphrey’s one year anniversary is June 12, 2017. He is requesting approval to raise Mr. Humphrey from $20.91 to $22.16 which is full pay. Mr. Oldham asked if this is normal and customary in that it is done for everybody else. Mr. Stalcup answered yes.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to honor the request of the Street Department labor to be raised to full salary for Jay Humphrey. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Facility Use Request – Policy, Rules and Regulations to the Rental and Use of Town Facilities
Jim Davis, Town Manager, has had the rules reviewed by the Town Attorney. There needs to be an agreement in place for government related organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce who may want to use the Town Council meeting room. It is up to the Town Council if they want to waive the fee. Ms. Brown explained the Use Agreement sets forth Town policy. Mr. Thomas asked if this is similar for using a room at the Fire Department. Chief Cornman answered no. Ms. Brown added people would call to reserve the room for government related organizations. Mr. Mobley stated at the Fire Department personnel locked the meeting room. Who would lock up Town Hall? Mr. Davis answered the room will only be used by government related organizations and they can turn down anyone. Whomever wants to use the meeting room will pick up a key at the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, pay the rental fee and sign the agreement. They will be responsible for returning the key. Chief Cornman asked if the facility will be opened for use by private people. Mr. Davis replied that was not the intent. Mr. Mobley asked if the alarm will not be set for the night. Mr. Oldham suggested this be tabled to give them a chance to make revisions
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Scott Thomas commended the Town Marshal and Fire Chief for their work on the LIT. There was a lot of effort that went into it.
Brian Mobley mentioned receiving a comment from ERSC that they were upset about the Town lowering its sewer rates. Jeff Farmer has tried to negotiate with them. He would like to say to Larry Barker, if ERSC has a problem with a ticket item that was purchased and they don’t agree with it all of the Town Council members have mail boxes at Town Hall and they can address it has a Council. It’s kind of guilty when they have photos of raw sewage being dumped into Jack’s Defeat Creek from ERSC’s sewer lines. If ERSC has issues they need to bring the Town the paperwork and not allegations. The Town is willing to work with everybody.
Scott Oldham announced several friends of Council Member Dianna Bastin approached him about having a short celebration of her life after the next Town Council meeting. Is the Town Council amenable to allowing this after the next Council meeting? All agreed. At the conclusion of the next Town Council meeting there will be a short celebration of life for Council Member Dianna Bastin.
Town Manager Comments
Jim Davis, Town Manager, advised they need to appoint a representative to the Monroe County Solid Waste Management Board. After a discussion, it was decided Brice Teter will serve on the Solid Waste Management Board.
Jim Davis, Town Manager, explained someone is needed to replace Pat Mitchell on the Monroe County Animal Control Board. Mr. Mobley is interested but it will depend on the time of the meeting. Mr. Davis will find out the times of the meeting and let Town Council know at the next meeting.
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil read the following letter from Donna Atkinson, Principal of Edgewood Junior High School:
“Please accept this donation on behalf of the P7 Club at Edgewood Junior High School. This student-led fellowship group raised money by hosting a dodgeball tournament this spring and student Maeson Hardy asked that a portion of the proceeds be distributed to your organization.”
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil advised they will use the donation for computer equipment.
Brian Mobley asked the status of fixing the echo in the meeting room. Mr. Davis explained they’ve been waiting on a sample from a company. The lowest cost for fixing the echo in the meeting room is approximately $7,000 and the most expensive is $14,000. Mr. Mobley will get contact information for someone who works in the music or theatre departments at Indiana University. Mr. Davis called Indiana University but never received a response.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m.