October 28November 12, 2013

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  David Drake led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer byhSandra Hash.

 

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

 

Supervisors present were:  MKevin Patton, Mike FarmerJand Jeff Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the Executive Session on October 15, 2015, and the  regular meeting on October528, 2013.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.

 

2014 Health Insurance Renewal – Julia Thomas, J.A. Benefits

 

Julia Thomas, J.A. Benefits, explained she has met with all employees.  The Town’s health insurance plan was sent out for quotes to 20 different carriers.  The top four going from least to best are as follows:  United Healthcare was 2% above the current policy, Napon would reduce the Town’s cost by 1%, SIHO, the current carrier, would renew the exact same plan with a 1% reduction, and Anthem would reduce the cost by 14% for the same health plan.  Currently, the Town is doing age-banding which means the healthcare premiums are based on age.  With healthcare reform this will change with everyone who has 10 or more employees on their plans.  Now, the Town will go in to composite rating.  This means one price for employee, one price for employee and spouse, one price for employee and child and one price for family.  Younger employees will have a price increase.  They are offering two options.  It will be the exact same plan with the option to increase their deductible from $500 to $1,500.  Instead of a 14% decrease in cost it would be a 24% decrease.  The decision needs to be made at this meeting because the change will have to be made on December 1, 2013.  The Town has to comply with the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2014.  At renewal time in December 2014, if the Town is considered a small group, then it will see the effect of community rating which will increase insurance costs dramatically.  If the Town is a large group, which they anticipate, then it will be risk based.  They have to notify the carrier 15 days prior to changing and employees have to be enrolled right away.  They will meet with employees to determine which plan under Anthem they would like to have.  Mr. Oldham confirmed with those supervisors present that the consensus of the employees is they would like to switch to Anthem. 

 

Dan Swafford asked if the Town goes with Anthem can employees choose which option they want to go with.  Ms. Thomas replied that was correct.  Starting January 1, 2014, if an employee doesn’t like one of the group plans they can go to the insurance exchange or healthcare market place.  No one will be denied and they won’t receive funding through the Town.  Employees pay 20% of the insurance premium and it comes out of the paycheck on a pre-tax basis.  They will still be offered a flexible spending plan.  Ms. Hash advised the law has changed on the flexible spending account.  If an employee doesn’t spend all of the money it can be rolled over in January 2014. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to move the Town’s insurance to Anthem, options one and two per the employees’ majority vote.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to move the Town’s insurance to Anthem, options one and two per the employees’ majority vote.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

Resolution

 

Resolution 20-2013 Declaration of Official Intent to Finance a Dump Truck for the Street Department

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained the purchase of the dump truck has been approved.  It has been ordered and should be in within the next six weeks.  They need to get the financing together and will pay $10,000 down.  There are three quotes:  Indiana Bond Bankat 2.18%, Peoples State Bank at 2.5% and Old National Bank at 2.75%. 

 

Scott Oldham asked if the Town could finance it by borrowing from the Cumulative Fund temporarily.  Ms. Hash replied no temporary loans must be repaid by end of the current year and the term of the loan is four year.. 

 

Dianna Bastin asked since the Town keeps it local why isn’t there a quote from the I.U. Credit Union.  Ms. Hash replied she didn’t think about them because they’re more for individuals.  She can inquire as to whether or not they do commercial loans.  There is time because the truck will not beiin until December.  Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Hash to get quotes from financial institutions within the Town’s borders.

 due to the refinancing of the bonds which combines the total of the payments.  This year’s budget reflected the old payments so she had to ask the state for

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 20-2013. Dan Swafford made a motion to table Resolution 20-2013.3.Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-16 to Establish Rate Changes for Water

 

Christina Horan, CPA at H.J. Umbaugh & Associates (“Umbaugh”), presented the finalized rate study they are proposing to file with the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”).  It is basically the same as was presented at the October 28, 2013, Town Council meeting with the exception they removed the outside of town rates.  There was a minimal change in the revenue requirements with the exception of a slight change to allow for enough dollars to pay the utilities receipts tax.  This amounted to an increase of 30¢ since the last report.  Inside Town rates would increase $4.73 and outside of Town would increase 42¢ on the 4,000 gallon average user.  Everyone would then be paying a $22.49 rate for 4,000 gallons. 

 

Dan Swafford asked if the across board increase in percentage is 26.68%.  Ms. Horan replied that was correct.  Ms. Bastin asked if the minimum is being changed from 3,000 to 4,000.  Ms. Horan answered no, the minimum will stay the same andbut will increase from $13.65 to $17.28.  Ms. Horan proceeded with a presentation of the Accounting Report on Proposed Project and Increase in Rates and Charges.  Doug Baldessari of Umbaugh noted the rates are proposed and when the Town goes before the IURC it could end up with something less.  After the IURC reviews it, they will come up with a settlement as to what the actual rates will be. 

 

Scott Oldham asked Ms. Horan to explain why the across the board rate when presented as a percentage looks pretty staggering.  Ms. Horan explained it is only $4.73 per 4,000 gallon user.  Percentages are very misleading.  Sometimes there can be a 100% rate increase but it can actually be a small amount.  Mr. Oldham stated most of the Town’s smaller users tend to be below 4,000 gallons.  Mr. Swafford asked where the bulk of the increase is.  Is it going more toward capital improvement?  Mr. Oldham answered this also pays for the new water line.  Ms. Horan added primarily the adjustments are for capital improvements.  The Town has spent more on capital improvements in prior periods of time.  The other big portion is under debt service.  It’s the new connection line to Bloomington and it encompasses adjustments of $101,618 and $29,162. Doug Baldessari added the last rate increase was in

2008.  The reason there is such a small capital improvement amount is because there weren’t available revenues due to expenses going up over the five or six years.  It has eaten away at the ability of Utilities to pay for the capital improvements.  Mr. Oldham commented this is a major improvement.  Mr. Swafford asked if for some reason the Town did not do the

proposed capital improvement where would this stand.  Ms. Horan replied the Town is looking at adding $130,000 and is needing $376,000 and is looking at half of the increase if it doesn’t do the project.  If operating costs go up then you usually have to cut back on capital projects.  Mr. Oldham commented if the Town was to not do this project and something occurs because of the one waterline servicing this Town, there is eight hours of water before it would have to be shut down to preserve it for firefighting.  It is unconscionable for the Town not to go forward with this because there are too many people depending on this.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, suggested this be an informational meeting because the ordinance wasn’t available last week to allow the public to ask questions of Umbaugh.   Then it will be set for first reading again at the next meeting.  This will push back the IURC filing and IURC counsel says that’s not going to cause any problems.  Basically, there will be three readings of this ordinance.

 

Tom Mathison noticed the ordinance, as now presented, sets the overall rates with a decreasing charge for more and more usage.  This is contrary to the recommendation made by Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Water in the Indiana Water Shortage Plan.  They recommend charging more for water and sewer service per unit as use increases to ensure utility rate structure encourages water efficiency or at least does not discourage it.  The City of Bloomington Utilities Water Conservation Plan says “When a flat rate is charged uses not metered or rates decreased with increased use there is not incentive to conserve water.  He is proposing the Town consider changing the rate schedule so that the charges for lower usage are lower and they increase as the usage goes up.  The rates as published on the website last week are different from the rates in the ordinance.  This makes him concerned.  Ms. Brown advised the ordinance provided this date is the most recent.  Mr. Mathison continued.  The way it is presented to the public is quite confusing.  The Utilities section of the Town’s website states a different amount then what is in the Town Code.  It would be advisable to get all the forms in some order.  The way it is being presented is awkward and confusing.  He hopes the Town will consider a revision of the rate schedule so that the initial charges are lower and the larger uses will go up to be in accordance with the two conservation plans.

  confirmed the concenous of the Town Council is to move forward.  Ms. Brown advised the ordinance will be ready for the next Town Council meeting.

 

OOrdinance 2013-17 to Amend Chapter 152 of the Ellettsville Town Concerning Planning and Zoning Regulations

 

Scott Oldham announced the proposed ordinance will move no further than being available for public comment.  This will be set again for first reading at another meeting.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this received a positive recommendation from the Plan Commission. These are various changes to §152 regarding Planning and Zoning.  After the Town Council members made comments at the last meeting and some changes were made.  The Town Council does have the right by statute on amendments to zoning ordinances to accept the Plan Commission’s recommendation, reject it or make amendments.  There is no time crunch.  They do have 90 days to accept, reject or amend it. Then it goes back to the Plan Commission so they consider the Town Council recommendations.  At the last meeting, there were issues with site triangles, parking on the lawn and things of that nature.  The ordinance covers some miscellaneous things such as swimming pools and nuisances.

 

Dianna Bastin explained at the end of the last meeting, it caught her attention that anyone should be able to go to a site and read a proposed change to an ordinance.  The Town Council gets them and has plenty of time to read proposed ordinances.  This is very important.  The minute you step over the curb onto someone’s property and call it land use, you have to be very careful that people understand.  If even one person hasn’t had a chance to read and understand the proposed ordinances then she is not ready to vote on them.

 

 Gus Matthias verified this was the first reading of the ordinance because he hasdn’t had a chance to read it.  Is §96 going to be moved to §152?  Mr. Oldham replied it is further down on the agenda. They haven’t decided whether or not to move it to one section or the other.

 

Ordinance 2013-19 Version No. 2 to Amend Chapter 94 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Abandoned, Salvaged and Scraped Vehicles

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is a proposal to take the Planning Director out of the enforcement provisions of the ordinance entirely and leave it to the Town Marshal.  There were some thoughts after the last meeting that some Town Council members wanted to leave the Planning Director in Chapter 94 but give her some enforcement capabilities.  Her suggestion is if they want to leave the Planning Director in the ordinance it would allow her to fine persons who have abandoned vehicle or parts on their property.  It’s not her thought or intent that Council would pass both.  If they’re both on the agenda for the next Town Council meeting then the Council can take a look at both side by side and decide which they like best.  Mr. Oldham advised the Planning Director and Town Marshal were to meet to hash out who does what but he doesn’t know if that has occurred.  Ms. Brown advised she has given the Marshal copies of the ordinance and hasn’t heard any negative comments. 

 

Dan Swafford made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-19 Version 2.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table Ordinance 2013-17.  Dianna Bastin made  a motion to table Ordinance 2013-17.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-12 Concerning Pawn Brokers

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained there were some changes the Town Council wanted to make.  There were some suggestions with regard to fines for various offenses and that this does not apply to dealer to dealer or internet purchases.  It applies only to walk-in clients.  These changes were made to all three ordinances.

 

Scott Oldham reiterated this ordinance does not apply to internet and/or dealer to dealer.  This applies to commercial traffic that takes place at the store front.  Ms. Brown noted she separated §111.06 into two different sections because there are penalties that apply to Sections A and B.  Mr. Oldham explained that is the requirement of reporting to a designated website and Ellettsville Police Department in hard copy or electronic form.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-12 as amended.  David Drake made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-12 as amended.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – no; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

Ordinance 2013-13 Concerning Second Hand Shops

 

David Drake made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-13 as amended.  After the motion, there was the following discussion:

 

Dan Swafford asked Ms. Brown to explain the changes to the ordinance.  Ms. Brown explained there were some suggestions theyo increase some of the penalties for Failure to Hold Purchases for the Time Required, Failure to Keep Records and Failure to Timely Complete and Submit a List Each Week to the Ellettsville Police Department.  The penalty for the third offense was up to $2,500 plus an automatic license revocation. 

 

Jim Mullekin, Owner of Old Towne Coins, thinks the intent of the ordinances are fine.  Not enough thought was put into how it affects each individual business.  The way it is written he will have to close his business.  He deals in precious metalsand offers the best price he can.  He goes by the market price which changes constantly.  If he has to hold an item he has purchased from a customer how is he to know what to pay when he’s not able to sell it or do something with it in seven or three days?  Normally, when someone comes to him he looks at the market price and bases it on what he will pay or sell it for based on that number.  The way the ordinance is written he is going to have to guess how he will do it.  He is a small business who doesn’t have a lot of capital.  If he has someone who comes in with 10 gold eagles at $1,500 a piece, how will he hold them for a seven day period?  He won’t have any control and a new business that comes in and replaces him will pay people nothing because they’ll be guessing what they’re going to be able to do with their products.  If he takes pictures of everything he collects and sends them to the police department, how are they going to prove whose coins they are because there are no markings on them?  Is he going to be wasting his time with the police because someone is going to say it’s their coin?  It will be confiscated when they have no way of proving it is their coin.  He would have to have 10 people to handle the paperwork because some collections entail 10,000 or 50,000 pieces.  He doesn’t know how to operate his business under the ordinance.  The state statute doesn’t affect anybody who handles bullion coins or numismatic coins because they feel it will create a lot of problems in that area.  At this time, the state doesn’t exempt precious metals.  The law for jewelry has changed effective January 2014.  He also handles antiques.  As the ordinance is written, a license is required for a business engaged in the business of operating a thrift store, consignment store, antique store or mall.  If it involves him he doesn’t care to do the work because antiques is a small part of his business.  The bullion part of it will close his business on the first day of January.  Everyone is welcome to come into his shop and he can show them how he operates. Maybe they could come up with something that helps them both. 

 

Dan Swafford asked Ms. Brown if there are things in the ordinance that were changed because it states “No license shall be required of a person or corporation engaged business operating a thrift, consignment store, antique store or mall.”  Ms. Brown said that was added before it was introduced the first time.  Mr. Swafford told Mr. Mullekin for that part of the business he wouldn’t be required to have a license.  Mr. Mullekin said he doesn’t care about the antiques.  He can’t operate by holding precious metals for a long period of time.

 

Scott Oldham asked if he’s making the assumption the price of precious metals goes down after he makes a purchase.  Mr. Mullekin said since April he has lost $250 in the price of gold.  He does this business every day and still buys and sells it.  He has been selling his silver at a loss.  He has to look at it that way but it could go the other way.  Mr. Oldham was concerned about this and had the Marshal check with other businesses in other locations with similar ordinances.  Some of them found the margins have to be set so that they can survive it.  Mr. Mullekin said when you’re in the business it’s how you’re competitive.  He works on a very small margin and people come to him because he pays a high amount.  Now, he will have to guess on what it’s going to be.  To be a good business man he will have to pay a customer less not knowing what the price will be seven days down the road and he doesn’t want to do that.  He reiterated the state law passed in June did exempt bullion and numismatic dealers for that reason.  He wants to do what he can to help the theft problem.  He presented a sheet he had developed for people who come into the store when he opened his business.

 

Dan Swafford clarified it states “When licenses are required under A, any person or corporation who desire to engage in buying, selling, trading or otherwise acquiring or purchasing used good items and merchandise for business purposes in the City shall first procure a license to do so from the Town Clerk’s office.”  Under Section B, no license is required for operating a thrift store, consignment store, antique mall, garage sales, trading and so forth.  It is contradictory.  What would Mr. Mullekin’s place be called?  Mr. Mullekin has looked at different ordinances and the Town’s is different but about the same  as Bloomington.  The state doesn’t look at it that way.  He’s actually called a precious metals dealer.  Precious metals doesn’t have anything to do with scrap metal.  The ordinance was made for precious metals.  He isn’t aware of one for second hand dealers. 

 

Darla Brown suggests taking another look at it.  Pawn shops are different and they are found under the title of the code that discusses financial institutions because it’s a type of financial institution.  Second hand dealers are a little different.  Perhaps they would want to amend it to exempt coin dealers.  Maybe the concerns are covered with the pawn broker and valuable metals ordinances.  Mr. Swafford asked what if someone brings in a five pound bag of wheat pennies and someone says they belong to them, could it be proven in a court of law.  Mr. Drake added it would depend on who pawned it.  Mr. Oldham said the ordinance gives the judicial system a couple of days to catch up with everything else in the circumstances.  If someone buys the bag of wheat pennies and deals in them the same day then they’re gone and there is no evidentiary value whatsoever.  The delay is to give law enforcement the opportunity to do due diligence.  Ms. Brown asked Mr. Mullekin’s average turnover.  Mr. Mullekin said it depends on what it is.  They have a sheet they fill out with a description and they have a video of people who are selling the items.  Mr. Oldham noted it doesn’t allow the recovery of the product.  Mr. Mullekin said the way the ordinance is written he has to write down every single coin in that bag.  He’s trying to say even if he had the bag of wheat pennies in his store and they’re confiscated, is a person going to be able to say they’re positive it belongs to them.  It’s not the police department or business owner who should be punished.  What needs to happen is to redo the law to keep the people who are stealing in jail.  As for the average turnover time in coins, he sells gold and silver every seven days or every Monday.  If he has a bag of wheat pennies come in he will deal with them at that time.  Mr. Oldham said the ordinance does not affect his dealer to dealer wholesale.  Most of the things he buys isare very expensive.  He doesn’t know from one day to the next if it will be three coins that are $150 or items worth $100,000.  He can’t hold $100,000 for seven days.

 

David Drake withdrew his motion. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table Ordinance2013-13.  Dan Swafford made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-13.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

 

Ordinance 2013-14 Concerning Scrap Metal Dealers

 

Dianna Bastin thought the ordinance pertained to copper or steel and not jewelry, precious metals or coins.  Ms. Brown stated it was the intent.  Mr. Drake doesn’t know how Indiana code defines valuable metals.  Ms. Brown doesn’t believe it includes jewelry.  Ms. Bastin thought it was to prevent copper or steel from being pawned.  Mr. Drake commented the definition of a valuable metal will have to fit with the intent.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table Ordinance 2013-14 concerning scrap dealers and define the metal.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-14 concerning scrap metal dealers and define the metal.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Ordinance 2013-19 Version No. 1 to Amend Chapter 94 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Abandoned, Salvaged and Scrapped Vehicles

 

Scott Oldham suggested based on the absence of an employee as well as some concerns with the ordinance on the first reading perhaps it would be appropriate to table this pending the outcome as discussed.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table Ordinance 2013-19 concerning abandoned, salvaged or scrapped vehicles.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-19 concerning abandoned, salvaged or scrapped vehicles.  David drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Old Business

 

Ordinance 2013-18 to Amend Chapter 96 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Animals

 

 Darla Brown, Town Attorney, is requesting more direction from the Town Council onhow  to proceed.  She understands about incorporating different things and not spelling out certain definitions.  She doesn’t have a sense as to the consensus from the Council as to allowing animals in Town or not.  She walked away from the last meeting with the impression if chickens are allowed they were to be limited to five or less and kept in runs or hutches with sides, a roof and cover.  There are to be no ducks or turkeys. 

 

David Drake received an email from someone who said they were initially going to buy a house in Ellettsville but if chickensaren’t allowed they are going to buy a house in Bloomington.  What they are failing to realize, is there are certain areas in Bloomington with certain zoning designationsin which chickens are permitted. 

 

Scott Oldham asked Gus Matthias if he had a problem with chickens getting out of their shelter.  Mr. Matthias replied never.  His pen is 12 x 12’ and 6’ high with a roof.  It’s a chain link fence with piping on the bottom and sides so it’s a solid steel structure all the way around.

 

Dianna Bastin clarified at the last meeting when she said food she meant eggs.  She was not saying it’s okay to slaughter chickens in the Town limits.  She doesn’t think this needs to be under land usage and the Town doesn’t have animal control.  The Town is careful with what it does with animals in Ellettsville.  She still wants the Town Attorney to meet with the Monroe County Attorney to see if this is going to interfere or cost a lot more money. 

 

Scott Oldham commented none of them want this under land usage.  However, is it an appropriate way to deal with it in using the land for purposes of “X”.  Since the Town doesn’t have animal control, how can it be managed so it is allowed?  If it is allowed, it has to go under land usage.  Ms. Brown said under land usage it could be regulated because people could be fined for having chickens in an area not allowed.  Mr. Oldham can’t envision wanting to tell someone they can have chickens anywhere in their back yard.  Ms. Bastin said they saw pictures of Mr. Matthias’ chickens and saw another picture of another place that was intrusive.  She doesn’t want the person whose property is being intruded on to think that she thinks it’sits okay because she does not.  Ms. Brown noted Bloomington allows chickens in two zoning areas:  Residential Estate and Residential Single Family.  The Town could do something similar wherein the chickens would be allowed in certain areas.  If they want to amend §152 to allow animals and regulate it then it will have to originate with the Plan Commission. 

 

Dan Swafford clarified if it was put under §152 there would be fines.  Does it mean the Town would continually fine people and never go in and collect the animals?  Ms. Brown said that’s the Council’s decision but what she heard last time was they didn’t want it under both §96 and§152.  If fining doesn’t work the Town can always file a petition in court for an injunction.  If they want it under animal control the issue is if the Town’s animal regulations differ dramatically from Monroe County then the agreement does not provide for enforcement of those regulations.  Mr. Oldham confirmed they couldn’t be under both sections because they would conflict with each other.  Ms. Brown replied that was correct.  Either they will or will not be allowed.  Ms. Bastin stated if someone builds a coop and doesn’t cover it then they would be penalized and then an animal control officer would come over and get the chicken and they would have to pay for that also.  Ms. Brown said §96 could say people can have chickens and state how many.  They can be permitted and regulated under §96.  Ms. Bastin asked how it will work if the Town fines them and Monroe County Animal Control takes care of them.  Mr. Swafford replied under §152 they would be fined and the animal wouldn’t be collected.  If it’s left where it’s at then they would have to work something with Monroe County on collecting the animals.  Mr. Oldham asked if the owner doesn’t pay the fines and the Town gets a court order to enforce the ordinance, wouldn’t they also seek a court order to get the person to remove the chickens.  Ms. Brown answered a complaint for a preliminary injunction would be filed requesting an order to refrain or to do something.  There is a provision to recoup reasonable costs. 

 

Dianna Bastin said if animals are suffering then she doesn’t want the people to keep being fined.  Ms. Brown said that was the Planning Director’s concern.  She would feel an obligation to remove the animals if they weren’t being cared for.  This was her concern for having it under §152.  Mr. Drake said if someone wants to have a few chickens and they take care of them he doesn’t have a problem.  The rights to do what people want on their property ends when they’re affecting someone else.  He’s not opposed to allowing people in a Residential 1 to have chickens as long as their properly cared for.  Mr. Oldham spoke with people whose children have dog and cat allergies and they asked why they are prohibited from having rabbits being kept as a pet.  Ms. Brown suggested this issue could be referred back to the Plan Commission to get an opinion about whether or not the regulation of chickens and rabbits should be under §152.  Mr. Oldham asked what the recommendation was from the Plan Commission.  Ms. Hash replied the animal discussion did not happen at the Plan Commission.  The Planning Director wanted the fowl running at large deleted. 

 

Gus Matthias said the newspaper article written by the Planning Director on October 9, 2013, states the public who lives around you can take you to court to have the chickens removed.  He checked with all of his neighbors about having chickens and nobody cares.  Chapter 96 is clear in that the chickens can’t run at large.  His are show chickens for his grandson.

 

Dianna Bastin noted no matter where this ends up in the code the term “Ellettsville Animal Control” should not be used.

 

Joe Allender said in 2008 his neighbor said he not could have chickens and he called Phil Smith.  Mr. Smith didn’t think it was a good idea but he couldn’t find anything in the code.  He got fined $150 which he paid.  He was accused of having 14 chickens and the Planning Director called animal control.  He had four chickens for three days which were in a 16’ x 20’ covered dog kennel and were given a clean bill of health by animal control.  He loves chickens and the kids wanted them for 4-H.  If you have neighbors who are nasty then you have a problem.  He hopes the Town lets people have chickens. 

 

Dianna Bastin said if the Plan Commission looked at an enclosed coop, the size of the coop, the area they want it in, a reasonable amount of chickens and a couple of rabbits and came up with something she would look at it.  Ms. Brown asked if there was a consensus of the Town Council to allow chickens under §152.  Mr. Oldham would be in favor of indoor rabbits as pets and four chickens with an enclosed place to get out of the weather.

 

Russ Ryle has no farming background and questions whether the Plan Commission has the expertise to deal with a chicken ordinance.  From listening to the comments the key is two things.  First, people being reasonable with each other.  When you have two people who are unreasonable it is not a question of how the ordinance is written the conflict is there.  Second, for small animals they need to be enclosed at all times.  He is concerned with health issues because chickens are not the cleanest animals.  They can be managed and they’re like kids that never grow up.

 

Scott Oldham thinks the consensus is they give the Plan Commission a chance to write the ordinance.  It should go under §152.  Mr. Drake doesn’t want to mess with the animal control ordinance.  Ms. Bastin agreed. 

 

Roger Daniels is not anti-chicken.  He is anti-free range chicken in a residential neighborhood.  He doesn’t have a problem with a few chickens being kept in a coop.  Mr. Oldham asked if the Town was to go ahead with a 12’ x 12’ covered coop does he have an issue with this.  Mr. Daniels replied not at all if they’re contained.  The next door property was recently fined for chickens and a dog at large by animal control.  There does need to be some type of regulation.  The size of coop isimportant.

 

Scott Oldham asked if there isn’t a way to co-exist as long as they’re confined.  If they become free range then it goes under animal control.  Mr. Drake said they’re already covered by animal control once they get loose and running at large.  Mr. Oldham asked if there couldn’t be something moved to §152 to allow it.  Ms. Brown thinks it can be drafted so that if someone has animals and they go past the scope of what §152 anticipates then yes it might end up being an animal control issue.  The question is where to draw the line and is it done so it doesn’t interfere with the Monroe County contract.  In summary, there is a way for them to co-exist.

 

 

Dianna Bastin was contacted by two people and there is an organization for tame rabbitsa– a rabbit rescue.  Apparently, they have rescued rabbits from the property Mr. Daniels spoke about. 

 

Darla Brown will draft something for §96 and will put it on the next Plan Commission agenda to discuss land use. Ms. Bastin doesn’t think you have to be an expert on chickens if you set on the Plan Commission to decide this.  It can be sent back to the Plan Commission.  Mr. Swafford concurs.  Ms. Hash remembers the Allenders’ chickens and the fine.  It was all established because of a neighbor’s complaint and then there was the goat issue at Eagles Landing which was established because of a customer’s complaint.  At that time, it was declared livestock was not allowed.  The people who have chickens now have been good with them and have kept under the radar because no one has complained about them.  They’re being good stewards of their chicken flock.  When it becomes a problem there has to be something in place to help rectify it.  Mr. Oldham agrees but there also needs to be some protection under the law if it’s going to be allowed.  Pet rabbits inside should be discussed. 

 

New Business

 

Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Monroe County Public Library to Provide Community Access Television Service for 2014

 

Michael White, Manager, Community Access Television (“CATS”), presented the annual funding agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Monroe County Public Library (“Library”).  CATS is a department of the Library.  This represents a 2.6% increase over 2013 and they have requested the same with the City of Bloomington and Monroe County Government.  This is the assessed value growth quotient which is a six year average of non-farm income in the State of Indiana. 

 

Dan Swafford gave kudos to CATS for doing a wonderful job.  He enjoyed the additional Plan Commission meetings.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the CATS Agreement for 2014.  David Drake made a motion to approve the CATS Agreement for 2014.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes and David Drake – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Council Comments

 

Dianna Bastin announced leaves are being picked up in Ellettsville.  As a reminder, ordinance and Town Code says the leaves must be on the edge of the yard and not in the storm gutters.

 

Scott Oldham mentioned there are some employees who are sick or injured.  The Council’s thoughts and prayers go with those concerned.

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Sandra Hash, on behalf of Jim Ragle, Street Commissioner, who could not be present, announced Bill Ludlow called from the Masonic Lodge and the statues have been completed.  They will be set in place on Friday, November 15, 2013, and the shed should be removed by the end of the year.  Ms. Bastin added if they’re being set on Friday morning there will be a crane on Sale Street.  Please note this and drive accordingly.Town Marshal Tony Bowlen plained the two part-time officers he hired four months ago have obtained full time employment at other police departments.  He will be looking for new e t

Privilege of the Floor

 

 Tom Mathison appreciated Ms. Bastin’s comment about the ordinance being available to the public ahead of time.  He reiterated these things really need to be on the website before they are taken up by the Town Council.  It isn’t enough to say they’re on the Planning website.  The Town currently has a link for ordinances to be considered.  There are certain ordinances but not all of them.  The public shouldn’t have to look for ordinances.

 

Adjournment

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 8:35 p.m.

                                                                                                                                         

David Drake                                             Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, IAMC, MMC