May 23, 2016

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Kevin Farris led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Scott Oldham, President; Dianna S. Bastin, Vice President; Kevin Farris, Brian Mobley and Scott Thomas.   Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer; Darla Brown, Town Attorney; Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer; and Jim Davis, Town Manager, were also present. 

 

Supervisors present were:  Mike Cornman, Danny Stalcup, Jimmie Durnil, Kevin Tolloty, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer. 

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting and Executive Session on May 9, 2016.  Kevin Farris so moved.  Scott Thomas seconded the motion to approve the minutes.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dianna S. Bastin so moved. 

 

Brian Mobley had questions on claims which were answered by the supervisors.

 

Kevin Farris seconded the motion to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Motion carried.

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 12-2016 Additional Appropriation for the Police Department

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained a position was added to the Police Department after the 2016 budget was completed and this appropriation is to covers benefits and a salary for the remainder of the 2016. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve Resolution 12-2016, Additional Appropriation for the Police Department.  Dianna S. Bastin made a motion to approve Resolution 12-2016, Additional Appropriation for the Police Department.  Kevin Farris seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 5-0.

 

Resolution 13-2016 to Create a LOIT

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained when they received the distribution the state included directions to create a special fund.  The payout has been received and the fund has been created but it needs Council approval.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve Resolution 12-2016, to create a LOIT special distribution fund.  Dianna S. Bastin made a motion to approve Resolution 13-2016, to create a LOIT special distribution fund.  Kevin Farris seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 5-0.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Resolution 11-2016 to Propose an Ordinance to the Monroe County Income Tax Council Imposing an Additional County Option Income Tax Rate to Fund Public Safety Cost and Casting Ellettsville’s Five Votes in Favor of the Ordinance

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is a follow-up to the May 9, 2016, Town Council meeting.  If the Town Council passes the resolution it will then go to the Monroe County Auditor and distributed to the other two members of the Monroe County Income Tax Council (“Tax Council”) who are Monroe County (“County”) and the City of Bloomington (“City”).  If it is passed a tax will be imposed on Monroe County residents at the rate of .25 of 1% (or .0025).  Thirty percent of the revenue collected will go for Monroe County Central Dispatch (“Central Dispatch”) and the remainder will go to the County, City and Town pursuant to a formula read into the record at the last Town Council meeting.  The Tax Council may adjust the percentage distributed to the Public Safety Answering Point (“PSAP”) on a year by year basis. 

 

Scott Oldham advised a Monroe County Council Person has asked that Section 3 be amended.  Ms. Brown confirmed the resolution contains the proposed amendment.  Mr. Oldham is requesting Town Council strike the amendment from the resolution because it caps the original intent of the fund which is to provide for public safety and Central Dispatch at a rate that grows with the county.  The amendment would artificially cap the total into a specific fund.  While there are specific adjustments he does not see that it is going to keep up with the growth.  The state has given the County and other taxing entities the option and he doesn’t want to start limiting them.  They can always revisit this topic at a later date should the formula set out in the original ordinance not work.  To have this amendment seems preemptive.  He is requesting the Town Council not consider the amendment to the ordinance and revert to the original ordinance as read into the record at the May 9, 2016, meeting.  Mr. Farris concurs.  Ms. Bastin agrees it should be stricken.  The law was written for the funds to be distributed this way and the beginning is not the time to start tailoring it.  It has been reviewed by three attorneys and they didn’t see a need to amend it.

 

Honorable Kenneth G. Todd, Judge of Monroe Circuit Court III, provided a judicial prospective to the ordinance.  The article published in The Herald-Times indicated most of the discussion related to additional funds for dispatch and questions were raised how the rest of such a tax might be spent.  There are issues beyond dispatch he thinks the public needs to be aware of.  He has been on the bench for 38 years and most of the time the state has continually pushed great responsibilities for corrections in criminal cases to the local level.  About 35 years ago the Department of Corrections (“DOC”) was authorized to disclaim any responsibility for misdemeanor offenders which was passed to the county level.  There has been increasing pressure from the state to push more of that responsibility to the local level.  They’ve responded to this in a variety of ways they think are effective and the state views Monroe County has being on the cutting edge.  They have partnered with people to provide substance abuse and mental health counseling, develop rehabilitative programs, and provide alternatives to jail such as home detention and work release.  Years ago, a lawsuit against the county for jail overcrowding brought forth changes in the total populace and difficult decisions.  In 2014, there were revisions to the Indiana Criminal Code reclassifying the felony levels of offenses, redefining crimes and reallocating the range of penalties.  Part of the revisions included a provision that Level 6 offenders, which is the lower level of offenders, would no longer be handled by the state and be the individual responsibility of each county.  This is significant because the greatest number of felony criminal offenders are in the Level 6 range which is a broad category that includes, but is not limited to, theft, certain batteries and certain drug offenses.  The result of the legislation is that they’re going to have to deal with all of those offenders in Monroe County who cannot be sent to the DOC unless there is a commission of a new offense while they are on probation.  There are approximately 200 to 250 offenders who return from the DOC each year.  Also, there is a group where all other possibilities have been exhausted and they’re returned to the DOC.  A gap in their ability to respond to offenders will increase in the future because of the lack of work release.  As they respond to this new legislation, it will be critical to have a community correction facility to deal with people in this large category of offenders.  The issue with developing a community corrections facility has always been the operational costs.  He is hopeful a taskforce of stakeholders will be formed to discuss long term planning, what their needs are and the most cost efficient and effective means of addressing those needs.  Should the Local Option Income Tax (“LOIT”) be adopted at least they would have some realistic means of assessing what they could do and how to pay for it.  The most important responsibility he has is trying to insure public safety and this means dealing with offenders in a way where people are not subject to harm or property being taken.  The ripple effects from crime go very far.  There is not only an impact on the victim but their family and friends as well as the family of the offender.  He is dealing with the fourth generation of offenders.  The impact of the cost is broader than what they’re talking about in terms of a tax increase and what it might fund.  He is in support of the LOIT.

 

Scott Thomas asked the Town Attorney about a potential conflict of interest since the funds from this would affect the employers of two Town Council members.  Ms. Brown answered she doesn’t think there is a conflict because what happens is so far remote that it is not an issue.  If Mr. Oldham and Ms. Bastin were to vote specifically to give themselves raises and that’s where the money was going it might be an issue.  The resolution has to be passed then go to the County and City for them to pass it.  The tax has to be collected and distributed pursuant to the formula in the resolution which means 30% goes to 911 costs and the rest of it gets distributed to the County, City and the Town who decides what to do with the money.  The money that goes to 911 or to dispatch could be used for software or equipment.  The County, City, Income Tax Council and the Town will all weigh in on how to distribute the rest of the funds.  Someone else in the process will decide on raises.  There are going to be elections and turnover in the City and County council before then.  Because it is so far down the line she doesn’t see it as a conflict.  Statutes on conflicts of interest for municipalities specifically address when a council member votes on an issue that involves a contract or a service to be provided to the municipality that is going to appreciably increase that council member’s income.  This is a legislative act and they’re not talking about a contract or service.  Mr. Thomas thinks public safety is the first and greatest priority that all governmental bodies have to ensure.  He thinks there’s money in the County, City and Ellettsville’s budgets to pay for these things without putting an additional tax on the back of people in the county.  An article in The Herald-Times discussed Monroe County being the second highest for cost of living or requiring the highest per hour income to make ends meet.  They’re only going to make that worse with this rather than addressing where they’re spending their money as governmental bodies.  He’s heard if they don’t do this then Ellettsville is looking at their portion of 911 costing $40,000.  He thinks they should bill them for what is due.  It should be a direct correlation and shouldn’t be on the backs of working people. 

 

Brian Mobley asked if there has to be a majority vote to pass.  Ms. Brown replied if the vote is 3-2 it still passes but the Ellettsville Town Council has five votes on the Income Tax Council.  Only three votes are needed to pass the resolution but the auditor will treat it as their five votes being cast for the proposed ordinance.  He agrees with Mr. Thomas.  He asked the Clerk-Treasurer if something was signed for .01%.  Ms. Hash answered there is a bill that addresses PSAP and allows counties to dedicate .01% of their current COIT to the PSAP system.  Mr. Mobley can’t do something to put more tax on people struggling to feed their families.

 

Dianna S. Bastin abstained from the first vote because she is a Monroe County Dispatcher and is very proud of her job.  She has been a County employee for 28.5 years.  She found out she was able to vote and wouldn’t have voted for it if it would have benefited her specifically.  She asked her boss what is in it for her and his answer was nothing personally.  She is not in favor of more taxes but it is the first time she actually understands where her money is going and it is all for public safety.  She is all for this regardless of what she does for a living and it is a good law to have.  People who use it will be glad to pay for it. 

 

Scott Oldham has an intimate knowledge of the criminal justice and emergency response systems and some days it is paper thin.  The same people they’re asking to pay the tax may one day need a fire truck, ambulance or police officer.  There will be a day if they don’t do this they won’t arrive until it’s too late.  They’ve gotten by for years and he doesn’t want to see it at the cost of somebody’s life in the long run.  He is for the ordinance.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve Resolution 11-2016, to propose an ordinance to the Monroe County Income Tax Council Imposing an Additional County Option Income Tax Rate to Fund Public Safety Cost and Casting Ellettsville’s Five Votes in Favor of the Ordinance.  Dianna S. Bastin made a motion to approve Resolution 11-2016, to propose an ordinance to the Monroe County Income Tax Council Imposing an Additional County Option Income Tax Rate to Fund Public Safety Cost and Casting Ellettsville’s Five Votes in Favor of the Ordinance.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, read the ordinance, in part, into the record as follows:

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE MONROE COUNTY INCOME TAX COUNCIL

IMPOSING A COUNTY OPTION INCOME TAX RATE

TO FUND PUBLIC SAFETY COSTS

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE MONROE COUNTY INCOME TAX COUNCIL:

 

1.   (a)       The Monroe County Income Tax Council hereby imposes the public safety county option income tax on the County taxpayers of Monroe County at the additional rate of twenty-five hundredths of one percent (.25%) pursuant to Indiana Code § 6-3.5-6-31.

 

(b)       Pursuant to Indiana Code §6-3.5-6-31(n), thirty percent (30%) of the tax revenue attributable to the additional tax rate of .25% imposed herein under Indiana Code §6-3.5-6-31 shall be distributed to the Monroe County Central Dispatch, as the Public Safety Answering Point of the County.  The remainder shall be distributed pursuant to Indiana Code §6-3.5-6-31(f).

 

        2.   The Monroe County Income Tax Council agrees that it may annually adjust the percentage distributed to the Public Safety Answering Point, as mentioned above, provided that the Income Tax Council approves a resolution supporting the proposed change on or before July 1 of the year in which the adjustment is to take place.

 

        3.   This ordinance takes effect on October 1, 2016.

 

        4.   The Monroe County Auditor shall record all votes taken on this ordinance and immediately send a certified copy of the results to the Indiana Department of Revenue, State Budget Agency, and Department of Local Government Finance by certified mail.

 

        5.   Any provision contained herein which is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unlawful or which by operation shall be inapplicable, shall be deemed omitted but the rest and remainder of this ordinance, to the extent feasible, shall remain in full force and effect.                      

 

Kevin Farris seconded the aforementioned motion.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – no; and Scott Thomas – no. Motion carried 3-2.

 

Ordinance 2016-05 Establishing Internal Control Standards and a Materiality Threshold for the Town of Ellettsville

 

Scott Oldham advised he had to leave for personal reasons and the Vice President took over the meeting.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the State Board of Accounts has asked municipalities to develop a policy to reduce risk of loss and describe the efforts the municipality and the employees are going to take to be sure the risk of loss is minimized. 

 

Scott Thomas asked if the replacement cost of non-currency items was changed.  Ms. Brown explained Section 3 of the Clerk’s Directive attached as an exhibit to the ordinance and will be amended to “Estimated replacement value except for those resulting from inadvertent clerical errors or misplacements that are identified timely and promptly collected with no loss to the Town except from valid accidents.” 

 

Scott Thomas made a motion to change Section 3 to reflect replacement value because that’s what it is actually going to cost to replace it.  Brian Mobley seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; and Brian Mobley – yes. Motion carried 4-0.

 

Dianna S. Bastin mentioned at the last meeting they discussed the thefts happening in cities and towns, not Ellettsville.  They questioned whether or not supervisors were audited with their credit cards.  She wanted to remind the public that most of the thefts they have been reading about in the newspaper have come from elected officials in office and not employees taking the credit card to the store to buy goods.  She doesn’t remember ever being called about a misappropriation or a misuse of credit cards.  She is for the law and thinks the managers and supervisors are glad to have the protection.  Ellettsville is more fortunate than a lot of communities.

 

Dianna S. Bastin entertained a motion for Ordinance 2016-05.  Scott Thomas made a motion for Ordinance 2016-05 with the amendment.  Brian Mobley seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.

 

New Business

 

 

Umbaugh Rate Study for Wastewater

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, presented a proposal from H.J. Umbaugh & Associates (“Umbaugh”), the Town’s financial advisor, to conduct a customer service study or rate study for wastewater.  It will cost $10,000 to $12,000.  Mr. Farris asked if it is not to exceed $12,000.  Ms. Brown replied Umbaugh has been good about staying within their estimates.

 

Brian Mobley knows the Town has been a client of Umbaugh for a long time.  The proposal lists $230 to $450 an hour which is outrageous.  Eventually, they may look at other sources.  Ms. Brown advised the purpose of the Cost of Service Study is to determine whether or not Ellettsville’s rate should be adjusted. 

 

Dianna S. Bastin entertained a motion for the Umbaugh rate study for wastewater.  Kevin Farris so moved.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.

 

Utility Request to Purchase a Backhoe – Mike Farmer

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, explained the Utilities Department would like to purchase a new back hoe.  They have 1998 and 1999 back hoes scheduled for replacement within their rates.  They propose trading in a 1998 John Deere 310SE and purchasing a 2016 John Deere 410L Back Hoe from West Side Tractor for $93,600 with trade-ins.  Mr. Mobley asked if this is a budget item.  Mr. Farmer answered they’re included in the schedule of equipment to replace.  They are requesting approval to purchase the backhoe.  It is one of their most important pieces of equipment, they use it every day and they’re going in to serious construction for the next three to four years.  Mr. Farris asked how soon they can have it.  Mr. Farmer replied eight to twelve weeks which should coincide with their secondary waterline construction.  Bids received were as follows:

 

West Side Tractor:               410L                                                $117,600

                                                      Less Trade-In                           -   24,000

                                              Total                                          $  93,600

 

                                        310S                                                 $106,000

                                              Less Trade-In                           -   24,000

                                              Total                                          $  82,000

 

McCallister:                          430F2                                              $114,480

                                              Less Trade-In                           -   14,000

                                              Total                                          $100,480

 

Dianna S. Bastin entertained a motion for the Utilities’ request to purchase a John Deere 410L backhoe.  Scott Thomas made a motion that they approve the Utilities’ request to purchase a backhoe, a John Deere 410L.  Kevin Farris seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.

 

Notification of Street Department Street Paving – Danny Stalcup

 

Danny Stalcup, Street Commissioner, advised he has decided on the Milestone Paving (“Milestone”) bid.  Milestone had the lowest bid and they’ve done a good job in the past.  Ms. Bastin asked if Milestone paved Tecumseh Street last year.  Mr. Stalcup answered yes.  Ms. Bastin noted it has held up well and still looks nice.

 

Dianna S. Bastin entertained a motion to accept Milestone to do the paving.  Kevin Farris made a motion to accept Milestone to do the paving.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.

 

Council Comments

 

Brian Mobley understands Judge Todd’s explanation of the different programs and has no problem with them.  Every time he asked people for a more in depth explanation of what the money will be used for nobody could give him a direct answer.  He thinks they should have taken more time and had committees to determine where the money was going.  He does support Central Dispatch and thinks it is a great opportunity.  He thinks the way it was presented was handled badly.

 

Dianna S. Bastin reminded everyone about the Memorial Day Service at Memorial Park on Monday, May 30, 2016, at 11:00 a.m.  The Boy Scouts will be putting flags on the graves in the Methodist Cemetery.  These young men take a map, walk the cemetery and honor our veterans.  It makes her proud.  Last year they did it for the badge and this year they called wanting to do it again - they just want to do it for Ellettsville.

 

There is a new business, Samboola’s, on Sale Street.  They have some unique pieces, is a very nice little business and they’re very friendly.

 

Town Manager Comments

 

Jim Davis, Town Manager, announced most of the footers have been poured at the new Town Hall. 

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil advised they are short on radios.  They have an extra car and they’re building a new car.  They don’t have to buy one yet but they don’t have a spare. 

 

Dianna S. Bastin read on Facebook® that Officer Alec Leggio of the Ellettsville Police Department happened upon something and did an excellent job in the last week.  Marshal Durnil agreed.  Officer Leggio stopped a car and found a couple of guns and people up to no good so it was a good traffic stop.  They’re doing a nice job.

 

Fire Chief Mike Cornman is requesting permission on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club and Main Street in cooperation with the Ellettsville Parks Board to close Sales Street between Main and Vine Streets on Saturday, June 18, 2016, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  They are also requesting permission to use the Town’s parking lot.  They’re having their Sweet Treat Social and the Heritage Trail Ribbon Cutting. 

 

Dianna S. Bastin made a motion to close Sales Street from Main to Vine Streets from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on June 18, 2016, or earlier or later as safety allows, and use of the Town parking lot.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna S. Bastin – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; and Brian Mobley – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Adjournment

 

Dianna S. Bastin entertained a motion to adjourn.  Kevin Farris made a motion to adjourn.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Dianna S. Bastin adjourned the meeting at 7:25 p.m.