March 9, 2009

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, March 9, 2009, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Dianna Bastin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Phillip Smith led in prayer. 

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Dianna Bastin, President; David Drake, Vice-President, Scott Oldham, Phillip Smith and Dan Swafford.  Mike Spencer, Town Attorney and Rick Coppock, Town Engineer were present.  Amber Ragle sat in for Sandra Hash who was on vacation.

 

Supervisors Present:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen and Mike Farmer were present.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Dianna Bastin entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the regular meeting February 23, 2009.  David Drake so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Dianna Bastin entertained a motion to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Scott Oldham so moved.   Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Proclamation

 

Proclaiming the month of March 2009 as American Red Cross Month

 

Dianna Bastin 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 2009 as American Red Cross Month. 

 

A motion was not made to proclaim the month of March 2009 as American Red Cross Month.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 09-05 to create a separate fund for Water Storage Tank Maintenance

 

Dianna Bastin read the ordinance in its entirety.  The Town entered into a ten year agreement with Mid-America Radio to lease antenna space on the communication tower at the Louden Road Water Tower site and agreed to pay the Town $1,000 per month.  The payment is divided equally between the Fire Department, owners of the tower, and the Water Utility, owners of the property.

 

The Town entered into a five year lease agreement with T-Mobile Central LLC to place an antenna on top of the McNeely Street Water Tower.  T-Mobile agreed to pay $1,500 per month for the use of the premises.  Randall and Connie Cassady agreed to a partial release of the Warrant Deed restrictions and covenants on the McNeely Street Water Tower property.  In consideration of granting this release, the Town shall pay to Randall and Connie Cassady $750 of the monthly rent (divided equally between them and issued monthly by check). 

 

The Water Utility wishes to dedicate their portion of the rent to maintaining the Town’s Water Storage Tanks.  The Clerk- Treasurer will be asked to create a separate fund to receive monies from the rental of antenna space on both water towers.  This ordinance is a perpetual ordinance and is nonreverting at the end of the year.  The fund shall be terminated when the lease agreements end and the money has been expended.

 

Ordinance 09-06 to amend various sections of Chapter 50 of the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Water and Sewer Service Charges

 

Mike Spencer explained the Council passed a resolution establishing certain fees for services provided by the Utilities Department and approved by the IURC (Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission).  The fees are listed throughout different portions of water and sewer ordinances and this ordinance amends the various sections.  

 

Mike Farmer stated these fees have not been changed in the last ten to twenty years.  Due to the cost of labor, equipment, fuel, insurance and materials, the fees needed to be updated to be in better line with industry standards.  Mike gave an example of a water line repair; the ordinance lists the rates and charges of all equipment and persons needed to make this repair.  Included on the list of Rates and Charges are the increases for reconnect fees, NSF fees, hook-on fees for sewer and new water service.  There is oversight, by the State, on what the fees can be.

 

Phillip Smith asked about the $40 reconnect fee; can that be paid in payments (some now and the rest later).  Mike Farmer answered “$40 at the time of their payment to be reconnected”.  The Utilities Department accepts cash, check and credit cards for reconnect fees.  This ordinance takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the 3rd day following its final publication according to the procedure specified by Indiana Code 5-3-1. 

 

Ordinance on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 09-04 to amend Chapter 50 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Billing Services Fees

 

Mike Spencer explained this ordinance deals with the billing for the Utilities Department.  The Utilities Department does the meter reading and billing for the wholesale customers.  These are reduced fees compared to what was recommended by H.J. Umbaugh.  The Town agreed to come up with this proposal as a step to try and help every body and not hit every one with a substantial fee at one time.  This is an intermediary step to help the Town cover its expenses in providing these services.

 

David Drake made a motion we adopt Ordinance 09-04.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

The following discussion took place before the vote

 

David Drake stated the Town does not have an agreement from neither Northern nor Eastern Richland Sewer Corporations to pay the amounts listed in the ordinance.  Mike Farmer informed the Council that Eastern Richland had agreed to the fees and this was their recommendation.  Mike does not know if they will actually pay these fees but someone should because, currently, the Ellettsville Sewer Utility customers are “barring the brunt” of these costs.  Mike Farmer recommends passing this ordinance and the Sewer Utility start billing for it. 

 

Old Business

 

Southern Indian Development Commission

 

Greg Jones of the Southern Indiana Development Commission spoke to the Council a few months ago regarding the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).  He has moved forward and collected data for this program.  Mr. Jones gave a summary of what the Neighborhood Stabilization Program would like to do; find ten homes on the southwest, purchase them, rehabilitate nine and demolish one.  They are applying for the funding to get the process moving forward.  Mr. Jones passed out a packet with different grants the Town would be eligible for.  He is asking for permission to submit an application due this Friday.  The SIDC hired a Flood Coordinator; Jo Arthur, to help with Economic Recovery. 

He went over a budget for the NSP.  There is no match on the NSP.  The total budget is $1,126,550.  The items they looked at, to come up with the budget were median home value for the area, what it would take to acquire property, what would it take to inspect property, any other related services, the rehabilitation and everything that would totally encompass the entire project.  Mr. Jones did an estimate on how the money would be spent:

  • There will be Administration fees.  This will be needed to receive the funds and for them to be expended out correctly. 
  • Acquisition is a major portion of the budget at $851,000. 
  • $15,000 will be put into each of the nine homes for rehabilitation.
  • Demolition will be $6000. 
  • Program delivery, inspections and different client services.

 

The Town will not have to pay any of this grant money back.  Mr. Jones met with Frank and the Indiana Housing Community Development Authority; it was suggested to the Town, after viewing some of the areas that the Town needs to have a Housing Rehabilitation Program.  He pointed out information on the budget; the NSP budget column and then there is a CDBG budget column.  The CDBG is the budget column for the Housing Rehabilitation Incentive Program (HRIP) through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.  It is a suggestion they made for the community after they looked at some of the homes.  The town may not have a lot of foreclosures or vacant homes but there may be properties where home owners need help to bring their houses to code.  The HRIP is a matching grant program.  There are ways to find other grants to match the HRIP.  You will be able to receive up to $250,000 and the Town would put in $1,250.  Mr. Jones “divorced” the two issues of the NSP and the CDBG; he is asking if the NSP is something he can move forward with on the information he has available.  He would like to know if the CDBG is something the Town would like to do that way it can be included in the grant as something the Town will look into doing in the future.  If the CDBG is something the Town does not want to do, he wants to take it out of the grant.  It was a recommendation from Indiana Housing.  Mr. Jones clarified what the SIDC will do for the CDBG; take one grant, match it with another grant and the locals are “on the hook” for $1,250.  The CDBG program rehabilitates homes where property owners meet a certain income level to make improvements to their homes and bring them up to code. 

 

Greg Jones would need a letter, if the Town wants to go with the NSP grant, on Town letterhead listing the Town partners in the program; Town Council, SIDC, Town Attorney and a General Contractor. The SIDC will get bids for the contractors. 

 

Phillip Smith asked how much of Town employees’ time will be spent on this?  Mr. Jones answered the way it is listed in the budget “there is no Town Employees time spent on this, not even Frank’s”.  The reason Mr. Jones is being brought in, on this, is because Frank does not have the time.  Mr. Jones stated in the Administrative Budget, there may be things Frank could do but he does not have the list of requirements from the Indiana Housing Community Development.  The goal of this grant is to purchase foreclosed upon property or vacant property in order to stabilize neighborhoods.

 

Scott Oldham stated the Town does not have a choice; we can not handle the application, in house, due to the time restraints.  This is giving permission to the SIDC to apply in our name for the grant.  If the Town later changes their mind the grant is still free for the Town to refuse and back out completely.  If we do not do something tonight, it is a mute point. 

 

Greg Jones will submit the budget, application and the only signature needed is the one on the letter.  This does not bind the Town to anything.  Dan Swafford clarified that if the Town wants to apply for the CDBG, the fee would be $1,250 (10% match on the Indiana Housing grant).  Mr. Jones explained other grants and the qualifications. 

 

Phillip Smith made a motion that we accept Greg’s proposal to apply for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and seek additional housing opportunities through the Housing and Rehabilitation Incentive Program.  David Drake seconded.  Roll call vote: Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Greg Jones stated if the Town has any questions for specific funding for different projects the Town may want to do to please call him.  He will be able to point the Town in the right direction regarding funding. 

 

Council Comments

 

Dan Swafford announced Bulky Item Drop-Off Days are April 3rd and 4th at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.  The gates will be opened 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Earth Day is March 30th and it is being asked to conserve energy by turning off any unnecessary power from 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. 

 

Dianna Bastin stated the Edgewood High School Basketball team is Sectional Champions.  The next game will be Saturday at Washington High School.  Dianna introduced Amber Ragle as the Town’s Deputy Clerk. 

 

Adjournment

 

David Drake made a motion we adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Dianna Bastin adjourned the meeting at 8:09 p.m.