November 24, 1997

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session at 7:30 p.m., Monday, November 24, 1997. Member's present were Michael Cornman, President, Geraldine McIntyre, Vice President, Donald Ashley, and Patrick Stoffers. Mr. Cornman called the meeting to order.  Donald Ashley gave the prayer and lead the Pledge of Alliance.

 

COMMENTS:

 

Sandy Hash, Deputy Clerk informed the Council of a request from, Governor O’Bannon’s wife, for a Christmas ornament from each City and Town in Indiana to decorate a Christmas tree in the Governor’s home.  She displayed the ornament donated by Lori Ann’s flower shop.  To be representative of our Town the ornament is Limestone.  It is in the shape the State of Indiana. It included a name plate with the location of Ellettsville, and a Christmas poinsettia on the top.

 

MINUTES AND CLAIMS:

 

Mike Cornman asked if there was a motion to approve minutes and claims?  Don Ashley said I so move.  Geraldine ask about a claim payable to Steve Bartlett from the Fire Station.  Steve told the Council he had put in a bid for a paint job.  He was able to give them better materials for the same money on the squad 7 truck for the  Fire department  vehicle.  Geraldine McIntyre seconded.  Motion passed 4-0.

 

Mike Cornman read an SRF claim presented for payment. 

            Request #51    H.J. Umbaugh & Associated              $ 3,250.00

            Request #52   Culley Communications, Inc.              $ 1,064.00

            Request #53    R.W. Armstrong                                 $55,236.00

            Request #54    Bynum Fanyo & Associates               $11,943.00

 

            Total request for payment                                           $71,493.00

            Previous amount requested                                    $8,611,025.00

 

            STF Loan Amount $9,425,000.00      Balance        $ 742,482.00

 

Mike said is there a motion for this SRF claim?  Geraldine McIntyre said so moved.  Pat Stoffers seconded.  Mike Cornman asked what the Culley Communication request was.  Jeff Farmer said it was for the installation of four phone lines and into the plant and the phones.  Mike asked why four lines?  Jeff said two for modems and two for phones.   

Motion carried, 3-1 with Don Ashley voting nay.

 

COBRA COMPLIANCE - CHERYL TERRY:

 

Cheryl started off by telling the Council that this has an informative presentation.  She nor ISU The May Agency sell a plan to cover COBRA compliance, or make any money from it.   It is a Federal regulation between the employer and the employee, and it is the Town’s responsible to comply.  She is presenting the information so the Town can understand and make a decision on how to handle it.  COBRA is an abbreviation for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.  The Health Insurance Company nor the Agent are responsible for complying with the COBRA regulations.  She has attended COBRA compliance seminars for the last few years.  She has become aware that, although it does not happen to every employer, the penalties can be very stiff if the COBRA compliance is not met.  I normally left that in the hands of the Insurance carried, but surprisingly to me  the insurance companies do not comply.  If you count on your insurance to comply and they do not, then you are the ones who pays the penalty.   Blue Cross has an administrator for COBRA but their paper work is not in compliance.  The new insurance company will not administrate it, because they know they can not comply.  Therefore the Council should decide how to handle the COBRA compliance.  There are three ways to do it.  The first would be through the Insurance Carrier, which our Insurance (Starmark) will not do.  The Second way would be on your own,  by attending a COBRA Compliance Seminar at a cost of $199.  After you attend a seminar you are considered trained.  They furnish you with a booklet containing documents the IRS considers to be appropriate so there would be less liability to the employer.  The third choice is using COBRA Compliance Systems, Incorporated and for a fee they will comply for you. You might be able to use them for one year and after everything is set up you could maintain it.  Since 1985 there have been thirteen updates and revisions to COBRA.   If you do it on your own you need to keep up on the law and its changes.  I might be able to take Diana or Sandy with me to a Seminar for $99, since I go so often I can get reductions for my accounts.  The Seminar is seven hours on one day.   Cheryl ask if there were any questions.  Mike Cornman said this is for the people who take our Health Insurance not the ones who do not wish to take it correct?  Cheryl replied right.  They have to have Health Insurance prior to qualifying for this.  Sandy asked what the fee was for COBRA Compliance Systems, Inc.  Cheryl thinks the fee is about $700.  Cheryl said we must maintain a COBRA file and notify new employees rather than when an employee leaves employment.   Mike Cornman said they need to look into this further.  Cheryl gave a toll free number to the COBRA Compliance Systems, Ins. 1-800-300-3838.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

BID DECISION FOR THE SEWER DEPARTMENT:

 

Mike Cornman said Rick Coppock informed him they were not quite ready to make a decision on the truck.  Mike talked to Charles from Best Equipment and told him there would not be a decision tonight.  Mike asked if there were any comments.  Rick Coppock spoke.  He has called three different companies who have used both the Vactor and the Vac-con.  He talked with Greg Nunn of the City of Owensboro Kentucky, Cat Contracting, and Mike Young of the City of Bloomington.  They all preferred the Vactor over the Vac-con.  Mr. Nunn said the Vac-con was in the shop more often and the Vactor has a better resale value and warranty work.  The Cat Contracting said they used their equipment more in three months than a Town would in a year.  They had 7 Vac-cons.  They had so much down time with them, through an out in their contract, they turned the Vac-cons back into the company they bought them from and bought 4 Vactors.  They had a few small problems with the Vactors that were taken care of under the warranty.   Mr. Young said they have not have any trouble with the Vactor and have a good resale value.  They also said they experienced some warranty problems with other prices of equipment they purchased from the company that sell the Vac-con.  Mike Cornman asked if it was on the unit itself of on the chassis?  Rick said the unit itself the chassis would be covered by Ford or Chevrolet.  Jeff Farmer said he talked with people at a trade show and everyone preferred Vactor.  Jeff also ask the Council if they were still interested in a side by side demonstration.   Each Council member responded they would go with the testimonies of experience and not have the demonstration.  Mike requested this be tabled until the next meeting.

 

ORDINANCE 97-15 TO AMEND ORDINANCE 96-11 FIXING OF SALARIES:

 

Mike Cornman ask Sandy Hash to brief the Council  on this.   Sandy said Diana wanted to remove the yearly salaries from the Ordinance leaving only biweekly and hourly totals.  This is to allow for years that have 27 pays instead of 26 pays.  Therefore you would not exceed your salary ordinance on 27 pay years.  Our employees our paid by the hour except for the elected officials, and with the biweekly amounts the employees will be paid for the actual hours they work.  With the annual salary divided by 27 pays the employees would lose actual hours worked at the end of the year.  Mike Cornman said we fixed Ordinance 96-11.  It was based on the budget we had passed for 1997 and there was just so much money in there.  Is this money going above and beyond the money that was budgeted.   Sandy replied, yes.  Mike asked how are we going to do that, are we going to do additional appropriations for each personal service.  Sandy said no.  We will have to

do transfers within the departments.  Mike ask where is the money coming from.  Sandy said there is money appropriated that is left in the appropriations.  Mike ask is the cash there to back it?   Sandy stated she could show the Council the balance in the General account at the end of October and the balance today, and they can make their own decision.  Mike asked will there be another pay before this comes around.  Sandy answered there would be two more pays before this one.  This would be the third pay in December.  Mike ask would that be 97 money or 98 money.  Sandy said if you transfer appropriations it would be 97 money.  Sandy said any further questions should be referred to Diana.  Geraldine made a suggestion to table this.  Don Ashley seconded.  Mike Cornman ask for questions, being none Ordinance 97-15 was tabled until the next meeting.

 

LETTER WATER AVAILABILTY-RICHLAND SQUARE:

 

This issue was tabled until the next meeting.  The Council needed more information and Mike Cornman said at this time there was no water available.  Mike suggested a letter to be sent to say that at the present time there is no water available for any further development until after the December 8th meeting.  At that time they can come back and explain exactly what they need.  Rick Coppock said since the initial request we have connected to an additional water line on Curry Pike, but they need to tell us their amount and intent of usage. 

 

EASTERN RICHLAND SEWER CORPORATION REQUEST FOR SEWER HOOK ON TRANSFER:

 

We granted the Catholic Church two hook-ons, after the construction started they realized they only needed one for the building itself.  Easter Richland obtained their fee but they need the Town’s blessing to transfer at this point.  They want to transfer to Steve Rumple who is going to build a house on Woodland Drive in Forest Park Farms that does have a sewer main available.  It is an empty lot they are building a house on in the subdivision.  Mike Cornman suggest to the Council we grant the transfer for a residential hook-on.  Don Ashley asked if we were going to start swapping the Town’s hook-ons again.  Mike said in the next month or so we will be getting an agreement with Eastern and Northern for hook-ons with our new plant to satisfy the bond requirement.  In that agreement they will receive so many hook-ons.  On January 1, 1998 the sewer ban will be lifted.  Geraldine said do they already have some that they are not using?  Mike said yes, this is one of them, and it is paid for.  They Town already has the money.  Mike asked is there a motion to allow this transfer?   Pat Stoffers made the motion.  Mike Cornman seconded.  The vote was 2-2 with Geraldine and Don voting nay.  The motion did not pass.

 

RESOLUTION 15-97 TRANSFERS:

 

Mike Cornman requested the Council be furnished with a copy of the transfers before the meetings.  Mike read the Resolution 15-97.  Mike asked is there a motion to approve Resolution 15-97?  Pat Stoffers said so moved.  Geraldine seconded.  Mike ask for questions.  Being none the voted was taken.  Motion passed 4-0.

 

TCI FRANCHISE FEE AGREEMENT:

 

Mike Cornman ask Sandy Hash to explain the TCI request.  Sandy explained, last week we received a letter from TCI.  They are requesting an increase to the Franchise fee from 3% to 3.09%.  This is due to a Federal Court ruling that cable companies must pay gross income tax on all their collections.  Before the ruling they had been able to exclude their franchise fees from the gross income tax.  So in order for them not to take a loss on the additional payment of taxes they want to increase their franchise to compensate for that.  I looked at our original agreement and I talked to Bill Steger the Monroe County lawyer who takes care of the franchise fees with the cable company.  He talked with the County Commissioners and the City of Bloomington.  We all received this mailing.   If we do not mind the change in the franchise fee there is no response needed.  If we do mind we must respond by returning the signed letter before November 28, 1997.    Both the County and the City have decided not to respond.  Which will let the cable company do what they need to compensate for those extra taxes.   Mike stated this has nothing to do with contract with TCI?  Sandy said no.  Mike ask when the contract expired.  Sandy replied in the year 2000.  This will not affect the amount of money we receive in franchise fees.  Mr. Steger informed Sandy that Monroe County receive 5% franchise fee and we receive 3%, this is something we need to remember at our contract renewal time.  Mike said he say no problem with this small amount.

 

CHANGE ORDERS FOR ELLETTSVILLE WWTP FACILITY:

 

Gary Miller was not available to present the Change Order.

 

ANNEXATION STUDY:

 

Ty Conner from H.J. Umbaugh addressed  the Council on their quote for an annexation study.    The quote includes reviewing properties to be annexed, the tax value of the properties, how it will effect the Town and the additional taxes from those properties.  Also the services that the Town will need to provide as to statue before you can annex those properties and how to pay for those services.  They have put together a proposal.  They have done studies for other Cities, Vincennes, Petersburg, and Princeton.  Mike Cornman ask what time frame they would have.  Ty said they would try to meet the Town’s needs.  Mike said it needs to be done as soon as possible.  We have a time frame with the City of Bloomington.  This area is east of Ellettsville Town limits and we had to comply with the law of getting a second class city's permission to annex within three miles of their corporate boundaries.  We did obtain permission.  We have a three year window that started in mid August to come up with the plans, submit them, and some other requirement that we had to do above and beyond the annexation requirements.  In the over all plan we have a very large area to annex.  It will almost double the acreage of the Town of Ellettsville.  There is a lot of empty land too.  We want to be done as soon as possible.  It has taken almost six months to get this far.  Ty asked if the engineering was done as far as the plats?  Ty said they should be able to meet any time table the Town requires.  Don Ashley ask how long it would take to get this done.  Ty was unsure. He could consult with John Seever and get back with the Council.  Rick Coppock said once you advertise the annexation in the paper there is a sixty day remonstrance period.  You could do a parcel in sixty days as long as no one has a remonstrance against it.  Don asked if you could do more than one at a time.  Rick answered we could do more than one at a time as long as they are not dependent upon one another.  The ones along 46 will be dependent upon each other.  Mike Cornman recommended to the Council that we hire H.J. Umbaugh to do the annexation study.  Don Ashley said I have no objection to it.  Mike Cornman said could I have a motion to that effect.  Don said I make a motion to that effect.  Pat Stoffers seconded.  Mike then asked for questions.  Geraldine said what is the price?  Mike answered the quote said not less than $3,500 and not to exceed $5,500.  Additional meetings or services not outlined in the quote would be billed at time and expense using their firm’s standard billing rates.  Mike made a few comments on a past attempt to annex hoping for better results this time.  Motion passed 4-0.

 

 COMMENTS:

 

TY CONNER - WATER UTILITY:

 

Ty Conner also talked about the water utility.  This is on the new water tower.  They have filed with the IURC.  The next part of the process is to occur on November 25th.  They will have a settlement hearing with the Office of Utility Consumer Council. They represent the public.  They come down and do field work seminar  to what   H. J. Umbaugh did, to check our work and come up with a rate change lower than what we proposed.  They asked to delay the final hearing until December the 8th.  The Town will then issue a bond anticipation note or BAN.  The tower is to be finished between December 20th and 30th.  Once the tower is complete we have 30 days from that date to pay Cook or they will impose an 8 ˝ % interest to the Town.  With a BAN it will be 4 ˝ % interest.  The BAN will be for a one year term with a ninety day call.  Once we get the approval from the IURC we will call the BAN and sell the bond issue.  We will repay the BAN with the bond. 

 

SANDY STEVENS - DRUG, ALCOHOL, AND TOBACCO PREVENTION GRANT:

 

Sandy Stevens informed the Council about a grant through Monroe County for $90,000 to prevent alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse.  She would like someone from the Town to apply for this grant.  She would propose that the Endwright Center should be used for the children in the evening, and through this grant have the personnel available to do this.  She took day care children to play at the Center one day.  They turned her away saying it was not for that use.  She said she was sorry that is what she was lead to believe was its purpose.  She would like for someone to organize and staff the Endwright Center to make this available to the youth in our community.  Mike Cornman said he had talked to Eleanor Norton at Area 10 and she is willing to help with the grant writing.  Sandy also invited everyone to the community Thanksgiving dinner through the Brotherhood Interfaith Ladies.   Steve Bartlett said there had been some mention of building a skate board park with the grant money.

 

STEVE BARTLETT - FREE POLICE CAR:

 

Steve Bartlett, Police Chief, told the Council that the 1987 Police car has a serious electrical problem that is going to cost a lot of money to repair.  Through the Department of Defense Utilization program he has located a 1992 Ford Crown Victoria.  We can have this car completely free, but we have to go pick it up in Biloxi Mississippi.  It would take two officers' one and one half days to go down and get the car.  Steve said he would continue to surf the Internet for another one closer.  He wondered how the Council felt about doing this.  Mike ask how much it would cost to go get the car.  Steve said it be one night lodging, fuel, and it would depend on whether or not the Officers were on duty.   Geraldine and Mike would like Steve to continue looking for one a little closer.

 

OPEN HOUSE AT WASTE WATER TREATMENT FACILITY:

 

Jeff Farmer agreed to have the open house and ribbon cutting at the new Sewer Plant on Saturday, December 13, 1997.  R.W. Armstrong should provide the refreshments.      

 

REQUESTING VOLUNTERARY SEWER BAN BE LIFTED:

 

Mike Cornman wrote a letter requesting the sewer ban be lifted.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Pat Stoffers made the motion to adjourn.  Geraldine McIntyre seconded.  Motion passed 4-0.