May 23, 2011

 

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, May 23, 2011, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  David Drake called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer led by Phillip Smith. 

 

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

 

Supervisors Present were:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

David Drake entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting on May 9, 2011.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

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

 

Clerk-Treasurer’s Report by Sandra Hash, Clerk – Treasurer

 

General Fund:

 

·        Beginning monthly balance of $124,454.69.

·        Month-to-date revenue is $364,991.80.  (There was a partial payment of the property tax.)

·        Expenses were $112,057.07.

·        Current balance is $377,389.42.

 

Motor Vehicle Highway:

 

·        Beginning monthly balance of $13,690.40.

·        Month-to-date revenue is $110,676.62.

·        Expenses were $22,782.54.

·        Ending balance of $101,584.48

 

Water Operating Account:

 

·        Beginning monthly balance of $203,084.

·        Month-to-date revenue is $67,330.

·        Expenses were $70,798.

·        Ending balance of $199,616.55 and with a $100,000 investment this totals $299,616.55.

 

Sewer Operating Account:

 

·        Beginning monthly balance of $168,048.

·        Month-to-date revenue is $50,986.

·        Expenses were $64,907.

·        Ending balance of $154,128 and with a $100,000 investment this totals $254,128.

 

Sandra Hash – Requested permission of the Town Council to present the Treasurer’s Report at the first meeting of each month.  David Drake approved this request.

 

New Business

 

Sharyn Kersey, Field Representative for Congressman Todd Rokita – They have an office in Mitchell.  Morgan, Monroe, Lawrence and the area that is comprised of Crane is where she will be spending most of her time.  She is available to any constituent at any time.  When the new maps are put in to place, Ellettsville will still be represented by a “Todd” but just not Todd Rokita.  Until that time, Todd Rokita is the Town’s Congressman.  She will start mobile office hours very quickly. 

 

Supervisor Comments

 

Tony Bowlen, Town Marshal – Requested approval of a new reserve officer, Gayle Jones.  Ms. Jones currently works for the Indiana Department of Corrections.  She has completed all requirements except for firearms qualifications.  They want to bring her into the unit so she is covered by insurance before they take her to the firing range.

 

David Drake entertained a motion to accept Gayle Jones as an Ellettsville Police Reserve.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to accept Gayle Jones as an Ellettsville Police Reserve.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

Gayles Jones was sworn in by Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer. 

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning:

 

The stormwater permit evaluation is expected to occur during the week of June 12, 2011.  The Planning Department will be doing several things to prepare for the evaluation.  Rick Coppock will be assisting by providing some of the requested documentation.  A copy of the Permit Evaluation Checklist has been provided to Town Council.  Some self-inspections were previously performed when the evaluation was to take place last year.  Monroe County and the City of Bloomington are also being audited during the same time frame.  Indiana University has already been audited.  Ms. Griffin will be speaking with the supervisors about working on self-evaluations.  Regina Korthals will stop and ask employees about stormwater and education and what they know about it in the Town of Ellettsville.

 

She is quickly running out of overtime hours in the budget.  She can earn up to 240 hours of comp time according to the Town Personnel Policy.  As of today’s date, she has 121.125 hours of over time.  At the same time last year, she had 195.125 hours of over time.  The office is becoming more manageable as time goes on.  The average for 2011, at this time, is approximately 12.11 hours every two weeks.  With 15 remaining pay periods, the overtime would total 181 hours or roughly three to four weeks of vacation time.  Ms. Griffin may possibly waive the 240 hours by reducing her hours.  To do so would require her to come in late or leave early.

 

There is $6,000 budgeted for code enforcement.  The time duration for hiring a code enforcement officer is April through October.  This position would be two days a week for a total of 16 hours.  The estimated total hours for his year would be 480 hours at a suggested wage of $10 an hour.  Ms. Griffin is requesting permission to either move forward or decline the position.  Dianna Bastin asked if the position has already been advertised.  Ms. Griffin responded she did not want to advertise the position without Council approval.   Ms. Bastin asked if filling the position would help with Ms. Griffin’s overtime hours.  Ms. Griffin responded it would help her to stay on course with her work load.  A motion whether or not to hire someone for code enforcement was requested.  Darla Brown, Town Attorney, stated under the Town Code authorization to recruit rests with the Town Council.

 

David Drake entertained a motion to give the Planning Director permission to advertise Code Enforcement Officer.  Phillip Smith made a motion to give the Planning Director permission to go ahead and advertise the Code Enforcement Position that she has open.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

There is a beaver problem causing water to back up to the east of Matt Casio’s Cedar Bluff Gardens.  This problem is causing Ruby Duncan’s property to have flood damage issues in her back yard.  The County is working on some drainage issues where McDonalds is located.  A right-of-entry form was sent to Mr. Casio on May 10, 2011, hoping to get his signature on May 18th or May 19th.  Also enclosed with the form was a map image and self-addressed stamped envelope.  To date there has not been any information or approval received from Mr. Casio.  After a discussion with Darla Brown, Town Attorney, it was decided a right-of-entry form will be sent from her office to Mr. Casio.  Last fall they got approval and they were able to break some of the blockage.  It is building up again and Ms. Duncan basically has a pond in her back yard. 

 

Phillip Smith – Asked who owns to the east of the property.  Ms. Griffin responded it is Cedar Bluffs Garden’s property.   David Drake asked if there is no way to get to it without going on Cedar Bluff Garden’s property.  Ms. Griffin stated that was correct.  Mr. Drake asked if the blockage was actually on Cedar Bluff Garden’s property.  Ms. Griffin said that was correct.  Mr. Drake asked if it was the Town’s responsibility because of the drainage system.  Ms. Griffin answered it is and because it’s backing up on to Ms. Duncan’s property and part of the Town’s requirement is that they have to fix the issue. Dianna Bastin asked why Mr. Casio doesn’t have to fix it so it won’t back on to Ms. Duncan’s property.  Ms. Griffin responded this could be pursued.  However, at this point and time they are wanting to try the quickest fix.  Then, start working with Mr. Casio on a different solution to the problem.  Mr. Drake commented they should be glad that the Town wants to fix it instead of having Mr. Casio fix it.  Ms. Griffin responded one of the issues could be that they are under code enforcement for the cleanup of the property.  This could be one reason the right-of-entry form is being refused at that time.  Ms. Bastin asked if we could tell Mr. Casio if he doesn’t let the Town come on to his property and take care of the blockage, it can be pursued against him.  Darla Brown stated she has a pretrial conference on May 24, 2011, with Mr. and Mrs. Casio on the ordinance enforcement case.  She will see what she can get done with the beaver issue.  Mr. Smith asked if the Town has looked into relocating the beavers.   Ms. Griffin said not at this time and will look into it.  Ms. Bastin asked about Wild Care assistance.  Ms. Griffin asked where they are located.  Ms. Bastin stated they’re located on Hartstraight Road and if they don’t do it they may know of someone who does or possibly the DNR. 

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – Previously, he sent emails to Town Council regarding Lori Collier of the billing office.  She started with the billing office on November 8, 2010 and her six months of employment which is considered the probation period is over.  Ms. Collier was started at the entry level pay of $14.94 and they are proposing to raise her pay to $16.52.  David Drake asked if the raise is included in their budget.  Mr. Farmer answered it is included in the budget.

 

David Drake entertained a motion to advance Lori Collier’s pay from entry level to $16.52.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to advance Lori Collier’s pay from entry level to $16.52.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – An email has been sent to Town Council requesting they consider changing the hours of the utility office as well as the Town Clerk’s office.  In response, he received emails requesting an audit of the foot traffic that comes into the utilities office during the day.  The proposal is to change from an 8:00 to 5:00 work day to a 7:30 to 4:00 work day and reducing the lunch break to one-half hour.  The utilities office did an audit over the last month which included shut off and penalty days and other days where there is a large amount of traffic in the office.  There was concern with closing the utilities office at 4:00 and not having the last hour of work from 4:00 to 5:00 to assist customers and give them the proper service.  They found out from the audit that 4:00 to 5:00 is the least used hour of the day by 50%.  All the other hours of the day have approximately 12% to 13% of the traffic and 4:00 to 5:00 only has 6%.  There was one week where six people came in from 4:00 to 5:00 over five days.  Some of the reasons for considering to change the hours are it will coincide with the field crew hours, street department and planning department and the staff is interested in changing the hours as well as the Town Clerk’s office.  There is also a practical consideration such as security because the staff will leave when everyone else employed by the Town does during the work day.  There is plenty of opportunity for customers to still pay their bill with the drop box, auto draft and a lot of people still use the mail.  The utilities office will stay open late, until 5:00 on penalty day.  They also propose to stay open until 5:00 on shut-off day.  The phones will be answered until 4:30 so people will still be able to call the office.  Dianna Bastin discussed the tally sheets with the employees when she was in the office and there are a number of different personal reasons it would benefit the staff.  Ms. Bastin thinks it’s a good idea and doesn’t see any harm in it.  David Drake commented most governmental offices are open until 4:00.  Mr. Farmer also commented the post office closes at 4:00.  Ms. Bastin stated she noticed there is a sign prominently displayed that if your water is shut off at 4:00 you will not get it turned back on by 5:00.  Ms. Bastin asked if water gets turned on at a certain hour.  Mr. Farmer replied they turn water back on at 5:00.  There is an opportunity to have turned back on after hours if the customer wants to pay an extra amount.  However, it is basically cost prohibitive.  There is an after hours service for emergencies which rings into the office and this will not change.  It is fairly easy to reach somebody no matter what time of the day.  Mr. Drake commented someone that works from 8:00 to 4:00 now has the option to go in at 7:30.  Mr. Farmers responded that is correct. 

 

David Drake entertained a motion to allow the utilities and clerk’s offices to change their hours of operation from 8:00 to 5:00 to 7:30 to 4:00.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to allow the utilities and clerk’s offices to change their hours of operation from 8:00 to 5:00 to 7:30 to 4:00.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Farmer stated they will advertise this and give the customers plenty of opportunity to get use to the new hours.  They will not change the hours until the next delinquent day has passed.  Sandra Hash asked the approximate date the hours will change.  Mr. Farmer stated it will be the middle of June.  Ms. Bastin stated she had made the suggestion to Lori to put a sign on the door regarding changing the hours.  Ms. Hash stated the new hours could also be printed on the billing statements. 

 

Jim Ragle, Ellettsville Street Department – Is requesting permission to do some blacktopping on Sale Street from S.R. 46 to Ritter Street.  They will have to have someone come in and plane it because the road is so bad and they can no longer cap it. It is in bad shape and the caps are up above the curb.  It will cost approximately $24,500 to plane it.  They will work with Mike Farmer regarding the underground utilities.  Dianna Bastin said she just got a call yesterday and explained there were some construction issues the Town was waiting on. 

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – After talking to Jim Ragle, they have been waiting to work on the 4” water main located on Sale Street.  It is one of the oldest water mains in Ellettsville.  There is hardly any fire protection so they will be increasing the size of the water main to 8”, adding a couple of fire hydrants, replacing the service lines to the existing buildings, and doing any sewer repair.  They are currently filming the sewer to find out if it needs any repair.  Smithville Telephone would like to partner with utilities to do a joint trench.  Smithville is looking into exactly what they want to do.  Both companies have been discussing this since the INDOT project.  This work will be completed before school starts again.  Phillip Smith asked since it’s going to be a Smithville, sewer and water project, can all of them pay for the paving.  Mr. Farmer will talk to Smithville Telephone as they are interested in partnering to accomplish the project.  It will be an advantage for the Town and Smithville Telephone to partner on this project.  They will be taking up at least a third of the road of the west bound lane.  As for the sewer, they do not know if will need any work.  It will probably be a 5 foot wide trench.  Dianna Bastin asked if Smithville will be ready to complete it before school starts.  Mr. Farmer stated whatever Smithville has planned, their first phase would be to get the conduit in and then they can pull their cable, fiber optic or whatever they have planned later.  Smithville is a very capable company and they will be able to pull it together quickly.

 

Adjournment

 

Phillip Smith made a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.  David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:36 p.m.