March 13, 2006

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session on Monday, March 13,  2006, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Patrick Stoffers called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Sandra Hash led in prayer and Dennis Williamson led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Patrick Stoffers, President; Phillip Rogers and Dennis Williamson. Mike Spencer, Attorney; Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Rick Coppock were also present.  William Evans was on a business trip and Lisa Creech was absent due to illness.

 

Supervisors Present:   Jim Ragle, Jim Davis, Ron McGlocklin, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer were present.  Frank Nierzwicki was on vacation. 

 

Approval of the minutes

 

Dennis Williamson made a motion to approve the minutes from the last meeting as submitted.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Action to Pay Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Phillip Rogers made a motion to pay the Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dennis Williamson seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Proclamation to proclaim the month of March 2006 as American Red Cross Month

 

Dennis Williamson read the Proclamation in its entirety stating The Monroe County Chapter of the American Red Cross has served the Citizens of Ellettsville with compassion and integrity since inception in 1917 therefore, The Ellettsville Town Council do hereby proclaim the month of March 2006 as American Red Cross Month.  Dennis Williamson made a motion to accept the proclamation as read.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 06-06 to increase the Amount of the Ellettsville Utility Cash Change Fund from $100.00 to $200.00

 

Sandra Hash explained the Utility Office has been remodeled and an additional cash window was installed creating the need for a second cash drawer. 

 

Dennis Williamson made a motion to accept Resolution 06-06 to increase the Amount of the Ellettsville Utility Cash Change Fund from $100.00 to $200.00.  Phillip Rogers seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 06-06 to Amend Section 52.113 of the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Special Water Meters

 

Mike Farmer of the Ellettsville Utilities proposed an amendment to the Ellettsville Town Code deleting Special Meters for sewer credits.  He explained for the last few years they have been up grading their meter reading system.  They went from a direct read system to a touch read system.  The system is electronically hooked up to a pad that is inserted in the lid. This reduces the amount time it takes to read the meter.  The information automatically uploads into a handheld computer which is then transferred into the billing system computer in the Utility Office replacing hand writing into log books and manually keying data.   This has been necessary for several reasons; as our system grows we would have needed additional staff to keep up with the work load and most of the current meters were, on an average, 20 years old.  The best practice is replacing meters every 10 to 15 years.  The Special Meters are a direct read system and will not integrate with the new system.  The Special Meters were developed in 1985 to help people with their sewer credit.  All Special Meter readings and billings are done manually increasing the chances of inaccuracies.  There are other alternatives to the Special Meter which he will discuss at another time.  The Special Meter season is just beginning and they propose it be the last year the Special Meters are used.  Patrick confirmed the effective date would be December 31, 2006.

 

Ed Bitner clarified the last Special Meter reading would be October 2006.  Mike Farmer replied the date given is December 31, 2006 so the customers can bring their meters in for a $35.00 refund.  Ed Bitner said he paid $70 or $75 for the meter and seems only fair the whole amount be refunded since it is the decision of the Utility Department to do away with the meters.  Mike Farmer wants to be fair. Everyone returning a meter has received $35.  Most of the meters are in different stages of disrepair and age.  They do not have any value.  To stay consistent and fair with all the customers it was decided to maintain the $35 refund.  Ed Bitner asked the cost to install the touch read capable “water only meter”, what capabilities would they need to use it and would it be used year round.  Mike said the “water only meter” would cost $240 to install in the same pit splitting with the existing service.  The service can be used seasonally by disconnecting it during the winter months.  Mike explained the different ways to connect to the meter making it clear it can not be connected to the home water system.  Ed Bitner has all his outside faucets plumbed to use the Special Meter.  He would like to use the water only meter on those faucets.  He uses 2,000 to 2,500 gallons a month year round for car washing and does not want to run a hose from the front meter to his garage.  Would this be possible or could he use a barn spigot at his garage?  Mike Farmer said no to both the barn hydrant and connecting to the outside faucets.  He does not want to get into home inspections and barn hydrants are for high volume use.  Ed compared past water bills with current bill having a rate increase.  It was his understanding this Board promised to lower the utility bills.  They have not.  When Bloomington raised the water rates, it was passed on to the customers; why couldn’t it be absorbed.  He feels the Town is gouging him. 

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 06-05 Additional Appropriation

 

Sandra Hash stated the additional appropriation is to fund the new Redevelopment Commission expenses at $7,223.55 and $5,766 is for the Animal Control agreement with the County.  Ed Bitner commented on the Redevelopment part of the additional appropriation.  He does not have a problem with some of the expenses.  It is his understanding $1,750 is a raise for Frank Nierzwicki.  He would be excited to get that kind of raise working for Indiana University; that will not happen, hasn’t happened in several years and he doesn’t for see it happening since the State has shut down raises.  He could not, if he were a Board Member, back a raise for someone who already makes upwards of $40,000. He gave his comments, at the last meeting, on his findings in other towns not paying their Redevelopment Commission.  He does not have a problem paying the Commissioners on the Redevelopment Commission but to pay somebody to be in charge of them, like Frank Nierzwicki, he can not see giving him a raise at the cost of Ellettsville tax payers.  This year it is an additional appropriation out of funds that are already there but next year it will be fixed into the budget increasing the people’s tax bases.  He hopes the Board will lower the amount of his raise or eliminate it all together.  He also wished Frank Nierzwicki was present this evening to discuss this. 

 

Phillip Rogers made a motion that we accept Ordinance 06-05 Additional Appropriation.  Dennis Williamson seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Old Business

 

The Street closure requested by the House of Prayer is postponed until further notice.

 

Sandra explained they submitted the wrong date on the letter.  The new request was the same date as the Richland Bean-Blossom Youth Sports Day.  House of Prayer will resubmit their request after a new date is set.

 

Supervisors’ comments

 

Jim Davis of the Ellettsville Fire Department explained a letter from Mid-America Radio Group, the company that installed the new tower at the Louden Road water tank site.  Before construction, they posted a $100,000 bond in the name of Ellettsville.  All the work is complete and they are requesting the bond be released.  Dennis Williamson moved that we accept the letter requesting the release of the escrow account for the tower.  Phillip Rogers second.  Motion carried.

 

Jim Davis also reviewed the year end report for the Fire Department.   There were still a few building inspections, 15 footer inspections and 10 foundation inspections.  The department made 1,457 emergency response calls last year.  A lot of those were medical assisted calls.  Ed Bitner asked if there was more preventive maintenance for less fire runs than there used to be.  Jim said in the past the runs were classified differently so it is hard to compare.  They have required State reports to make so the record keeping categories had to match. 

 

The Fire Department responded to the following:

  • 273 classified as a “fire runs”
  • 5 Rupture explosions and Over Heating incidents
  • 110 Automobile accidents
  • 743 Medical calls
  • 75 Non-classified
  • 251 Back up ambulance calls

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, are working on a project for the Woodgate, Meadow Wood and Spring Valley additions.  There have been some pressure problems in those areas.  Customers are not satisfied with the water pressure in their homes.  It is adequate for daily use but not sprinkler systems or other home devices.  The last 2 ½ years there has been a steady increase in complaints.  They have developed a plan and will implement it soon to increase the water pressure to those areas. The Centennial Drive developer will give the Utilities Department some easements and capital so there will not be any cost to the Town of Ellettsville.   A booster station will be installed to increase pressure by 35 pounds which will be dramatic for them.  It will also increase fire protection flows in the area.  It is a rather large plan that will take a lot of work.  They have the booster station ready and the easements are being prepared.  A flier will be sent to these homeowners in the next two to three weeks to let them know what will be happening.  They will be notified again when the system will be turned on.  The system will be monitored for 2 -3 days to make sure it is working correctly. 

 

Ron McGlocklin, Ellettsville Police, recommended an addition to the SOP’s under the Firearm Section that will help out immensely.  This definition of the recommendation is in the 200 category of the SOP.  Section 1037 explains the definitions and what the purpose is.  He checked with other departments in Carmel, IPD and Bloomington and put together the information to fit the size of Ellettsville.  Most of this has already been a case study.  The Council needs to look at paragraph 7; the information was put into everyone’s mailboxes. 

 

The Police Department is in process of purchasing a new squad car.  This will replace the 1997.  The purchase will be under the State contract for the price of $21,400.  Patrick asked if there was a plan for the old 1997 vehicle.  Ron replied it will be surplus.

 

Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, reported on the rain.  There have been 7 ½ inches since Thursday and the Waste Water Treatment Plant has treated over 30 million gallons of flow.  The camera they purchased should be in the middle of next week and they will put it to good use.  The whole crew has been out chasing water problems.  They have been working with Larry Stanger of Eastern Richland on inflow and infiltration problems.  The camera will help out. 

 

Dennis Williamson gave the Ellettsville Reserve Patrol Officers report.  They are commended for working 256 hours in February for the Town.

 

Privilege of the Floor – non Agenda Items

 

Jay Brinegar is a local business owner.  He runs a local auction company in Eagles Landing.  It was called to his attention that some of his informational signs directing traffic to his place were removed by Frank Nierzwicki.  Mr. Brinegar thought the signs were in compliance.  He looked on the internet for the procedure for removing non-compliant signs and there was nothing written.  He feels this was done in bad taste; Frank did this the day before leaving on vacation.  Mr. Brinegar went to Frank’s office and spoke with Laura Entrekin; his signs are locked in Frank’s car.  He filed a civil complaint through the Clerk’s office about Frank’s actions.  He does not feel they were justified.  He would have liked Frank to be in attendance to address his concerns.  He wants to make this evident to the Board.  Patrick commented they just received Mr. Brinegar’s complaint, will find out the nature of Frank’s actions and be in touch.  Mr. Brinegar has an auction on Wednesday and would like his signs. 

 

Beth Robinson-Pyclik with Robinson Real Estate Inc. and Eagles Landing LLC has been having the same problems with signs.  Eagles Landing had several signs removed the day before an event without notification.  She has been told the signs are in Frank’s car.  She has not had time to file a complaint but she will take care of it this week.  Some of the signs were out of the Ellettsville jurisdiction.  Frank has also removed a directional real estate sign.  She feels like she has been targeted because the Century 21 sign is still there.  He removed her sign on the corner of Smith Pike and SR46 and left all the other signs at that location.  Also on SR46, at the entrance of Springs Valley, there are several real estate company signs that were left.  She named several locations in Town where real estate signs were left.  It looks very apparent that her company has been targeted and she does not know why.  She has called him many times concerning the completion of the Eagles Landing sign.  She has a very difficult time getting a hold of Frank and obtaining the permit approval he had.  Mrs. Robinson-Pyclik’s tenants have tried getting a hold of Frank regarding sign ordinances with no luck.  One of her tenants filed a complaint with the Town because Frank is not responding.  They have been trying to work with Frank on some different issues and they do not get returned phone calls or e-mails. 

 

Ed Bitner, Ellettsville Plan Commission, announced there will be a special Plan Commission meeting March 21, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.  They will be discussing the sign and parking ordinances.  He encourages all to attend. 

 

Adjournment

 

Patrick Stoffers adjourned the meeting at 8:19 p.m.