November 24, 2014
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.
Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President; David Drake, Vice President; Dianna Bastin and Scott Thomas. Dan Swafford was absent. Amber Ragle Wright, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer, Jim Davis, Town Manager, Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, and Darla Brown, Town Attorney, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Danny Stalcup, Tony Bowlen, Jeff Farmer and Mike Farmer. Denise Line also represented the Planning Department.
Approval of Minutes
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on November 10, 2014 and the Executive Session on November 19, 2014. Dianna Bastin so moved. David Drake seconded. Motion carried.
Accounts Payable Vouchers
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. David Drake so moved. Dianna Bastin seconded. Motion carried.
Resolution 15-2014 to Disclaim the Town of Ellettsville’s Interest in the Coffey Cemetery
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Richland Township Trustee, Marty Stephens, filed a Complaint to Quiet Title naming the Town of Ellettsville as a defendant to answer as to the Town’s interest. She entered her appearance and a request for extension of time to answer the complaint in order to preserve the Town’s interest in the event the Town Council wants to pursue this. In the event the Council does not want to pursue this she has prepared a resolution which disclaims the Town’s interest in Coffey Cemetery and authorizes her to file a disclaimer in the quiet title action. A report on the title search of the property was prepared by Bledsoe Riggert and Guerretaz. There is a deed that purports to deed Coffey Cemetery to the Town but upon research it is for a different piece of property. It is not clear who owns the Coffee Cemetery which is the basis for the quiet title action. She is seeking instructions on how the Council wants to handle this.
Scott Oldham asked if the Township Trustee is responsible for the care and maintenance of all cemeteries within the Township unless they are cared for by someone else. Ms. Brown replied that is correct. She is authorized to tell that Bethel Church is interested in maintaining the cemetery. If the church does not maintain it the Trustee will. Mr. Oldham asked if she has talked to the Trustee about the Bethel Church taking care of the cemetery. Ms. Brown answered she has not participated in any discussions. Mr. Drake asked where Coffey Cemetery is located. Mr. Davis replied it is at the end of Ratliff Road almost to Owen County.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion on Resolution 15-2014 to disclaim the Town of Ellettsville’s interest in the Coffey Cemetery. Scott Thomas made a motion on Resolution 15-2014 to disclaim the Town of Ellettsville’s interest in the Coffey Cemetery. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 16-2014 to Purchase Real Estate for a New Municipal Building
Jim Davis, Town Manager, explained this resolution pertains to the purchase of real estate for a new municipal building. For the past several weeks they have been working on what to do with the current Town Hall or where to move to, if possible. When they first met with Town Council they asked what is it they want to accomplish. What are their needs for the present and future, what will it cost and can the Town afford it? They narrowed it to three options: Rent or remodel the existing property; purchase enough property to build Town Hall and the Utilities offices or build to accommodate Town Hall, the Utilities office and have enough property to build buildings for the Utilities and Street Departments with land left over for future needs. It will take more ground to accommodate both the Utilities and Street Departments. After much discussion and looking at fourteen properties they decided on option three above. A summary of each of the fourteen properties was presented. The list was narrowed down to two properties: Mangus and Burgess. It was decided to pursue a property consisting of 47.5 acres for sale on the east side of the Ellettsville Police Department owned by Burgess. Approximately 10 to 12 acres are in a cleared area and approximately 20 acres is close to the same elevation which has timber in it that could probably be sold. There is a gradual slope to the north that is very navigable and a stream at the bottom of the property that adjoins Maple Grove Road so a bridge would have to be built. The property isn’t very visible from the road. It does have an east-west traffic entrance and exit.
Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, presented a chart of the proposed financing prepared by H.J. Umbaugh and Associates. Water and Sewer will split paying $75,000 a year which will be interest only at the front end of the bond. The funding mechanism will not raise taxes or water and sewer rates. Beginning in 2024, the tax rate will decrease. If for some reason Utilities could not pay their portion in the first eight to ten years then there would be a tax increase. There is a water rate increase which will be discussed later but it will not be used for this purpose. A bond will be paid off at the end of 2016 which will free up money for their side of it.
Jim Davis advised the Police and Fire Stations were both built on $2,000,000 bonds and they’re fifty percent paid off. The theory is they’re paying interest only and the last ten years they will pay interest and principal. This will have a $2,000,000 bond cap. One of the requirements by a Town Council member is they will only go along with this if it does not raise taxes or utility rates. If they move their location, what do they do with the old Town Hall? He met with the Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) and Ellettsville Main Street about moving from downtown. Main Street and the Chamber have advised they support Town government relocating near the Police Station. He proposed to Town Council that the Chamber and/or Main Street move into the old Town Hall after it has been renovated.
Ed Pence, Smithville Communications, is a board member of the Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce. When Mr. Davis approached him about Town Hall moving to a new location the Chamber had some people look at the old Town Hall as well as two other buildings downtown. They were positive about the potential re-use of the old Town Hall and downtown.
Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, recently toured the old Town Hall with several other entities including Moore Restoration who did the water remediation after the flood on December 21, 2013. They met with them to ensure there were no mold problems. The price to do the remodeling or renovations to the building and bring it back to where it was is $13,500. They were assured the mold will not grow back. Moore Restoration said the Town can proceed with remodeling the building. What it will cost to remodel the building will depend on the use. Immediately, they are looking at insulating the outside walls, spraying the wood, use batting insulation and putting a water resistant siding on the walls from the flood line and down to the floor. They will put down tile or vinyl flooring or paint the concrete floors. The stairs are fine. They want to do the remodeling with Town employees during inclement weather in the winter which will save money. The materials will cost $5,000 to $6,000.
Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, presented a summary of the Mangus property on west State Road 46. There are two one-acre lots not included in the purchase. There is about 60 feet of difference from the front of the property to the back. It makes the property more challenging to develop because terracing would have to be done to set the building, parking lots and Utilities and Street Department buildings. There are cedar trees to the north of lot which is sometimes an indication of rock close to the surface. This is a site that does have good visibility. Water, sewer and electric are readily available.
The site next to the Police Station is approximately 47.5 acres. At one time, they discussed relocating with some new buildings by the Richland Senior Citizens housing project. There could be a wooded park area for residents and a walking trail to tie back into the downtown trail. A roadway could be put in that would tie back to Maple Grove Road. The ground is flatter than the Mangus property which would be less costly to develop. There is not much vegetation in the areas to be developed. All amenities are readily available.
Jim Davis contacted Richland Senior Citizens Center because they had made an offer on the Burgess property which didn’t go through. He asked them if they would be interested in partnering with the Town but they need additional information. The only way they can get more information is to get appraisals done on the property which will dictate whether or not the Town can afford it.
David Drake asked if the resolution allows the Town to get appraisals for the property so it will know where to go next. Mr. Davis said that’s correct. Mr. Drake asked why is one of the proposals not to repair the old Town Hall and move back into it. Mr. Davis answered the building consists of 1,600 square feet so there isn’t enough room for adding another department. They couldn’t accommodate Utilities who is in need of replacing their building due to age and they’re in a floodplain. Mr. Drake said since the Town had to move out because of flooding this brought the Town the opportunity to do something different. Mr. Drake thinks the area by the Police Department is the best choice and value for the money. It is bigger and leaves the opportunity for expansion and a nice park. The possible opportunity to partner with the Senior Citizens Center to help purchase part of the land is also positive. One of the things about redeveloping a property in Town would mean taking a property off of the tax rolls.
Dianna Bastin thinks the Burgess property is the best location. The Mangus property was her first choice because she wanted to stay as close as possible to downtown. After listening to the Town Manager it was determined there would be more headaches doing the construction. She likes the Burgess property and thinks they can get use to it. It is important to her that it is done once and done right. The Town has Utilities and Street Department buildings that flood. Those two departments need to be brought together so all of the equipment will be in one place. This is the chance to have everything in one area. Mr. Davis remarked the Street and Utilities buildings will not be part of the $2,000,000 bond issue. Purchasing the land and building Town Hall will consume the bond. It is land for future use. Mr. Drake noted those buildings will come out of the Utilities budget. It is important that they not get rid of the old Town Hall. Mr. Davis came up with a great idea to use it in another way and still have them involved in that part of Town.
Scott Thomas said his thought for a long time was to rebuild Town Hall. Through research he has heard how much the Town is expected to grow with I-69 and the 46 expansion through Indiana. They’re also looking at multiple departments that could flood again which the Town is working to abate. This will give the Town the ability to grow. He isn’t for this if it will cost people money. He doesn’t think they need nice new buildings if it costs people more money. They’ve come up with a way not to cost people more money and he has been assured by Utilities that they are very comfortable with their numbers and that rates will not have to be increased. He thinks this will be good for the Town long term.
Scott Oldham looked at this more as an exercise in making sure the Town didn’t waste money. Going back downtown is cheaper but then it may flood in a few years and it’s still too small. Fiscally, it was clear they had to seek another alternative. Despite the flooding problems they’re trying to abate he doesn’t see them having a big footprint downtown without displacing long term Ellettsville businesses. When they started looking at tracts of land there were several that came to mind. The problem is what happens in 10, 15 or 20 years. This is a bond that does not increase the debt to landowners from year to year. It will remain consistent or decrease in the long term. The money in 2015 to 2016 will be cheaper than the money in 2030. This piece of property offers everything they’re looking for in a safe area. To pass up this opportunity would not only be tragically wrong but irresponsible.
David Drake explained there are many more steps the Town will have to take between this meeting and building Town Hall. Tonight they’re adopting a resolution to start the appraisal process.
Scott Thomas spoke with Dan Swafford because he was unable to attend the meeting. Mr. Swafford asked him to present his request that this be tabled until the next meeting for fear of rushing into something and causing undue additional costs and to allow for public feedback. It’s Mr. Thomas’ understanding that all they are doing is a resolution to seek appraisals so they can find out how to move forward. Ms. Brown noted by passing the resolution they’re authorizing two appraisers to appraise the property and then it will come back to the Town Council.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 16-2014. David Drake made a motion to adopt Resolution 16-2014. Dianna Bastin seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Darla Brown asked if Town Council wants her to find two appraisers. After a discussion it was decided Ms. Brown could find two appraisers.
Ordinances on First Reading
Ordinance 2014-18 to Amend Title VII, Chapters 73 and 74 of the Ellettsville Town Code Adding Streets
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the purpose of this ordinance is to add streets with speed limits of 20 miles per hour, to change the schedule of thru and stop streets and to change the no parking areas.
Dianna Bastin noted on Hartstraight Road from Temperance to Campbell’s Park Drive the speed limit is 35 but 30 miles per hour is printed on the side margin. Is the speed limit 35 or 30 miles per hour? Mr. Stalcup advised the speed limit is posted 30 miles per hour. Kip Headdy added the speed limit starts at the church.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion that Ordinance 2014-18 as amended be submitted for first reading. David Drake made a motion that Ordinance 2014-18 as amended be submitted for first reading. Scott Oldham seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – no; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 3-1.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion that Ordinance 2014-18 as amended be adopted on the same day at which it is introduced. David Drake made a motion that Ordinance 2014-18 as amended be adopted on the same day at which it is introduced. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – no; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion failed 3-1.
Ordinance 2014-19 to Amend Ordinance 2014-08 to Correct the Legal Description
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained earlier this year the Town Council approved the Arbuckle Annexation and the auditor’s office said the Town has the wrong legal description and a phrase needs to be added. The new language is “Beginning at a point 187.80 feet South and 100 feet North 69 degrees 41 minutes 56 seconds East . . . “
After a discussion it was decided Ms. Brown would take the deed to the auditor’s office to ascertain out how the mistake came to be.
Heritage Trail Update
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained when the accounts payable vouchers for this meeting were approved it included three more checks to property owners. There is one more easement to do which should be done by the next meeting. Mr. Oldham asked if all the property will be acquired by the next Town Council meeting. Ms. Brown replied yes. Mr. Oldham asked when all property is acquired if there is anything else they need to do prior to construction. Ms. Brown answered not that she knows of.
Scott Thomas asked if they choose to do a bridge do they have the ability to do so. Ms. Brown answered yes. Mr. Thomas has been speaking with the Executive Director of the Boy Scouts of America for this area about the possibility of building some type of suspension bridge wide enough for buggies or people that would tie in to motif of the Heritage Trail. The Boy Scouts could work on their Eagle projects. The Town may have to provide supplies or equipment. It could be a unique bridge rather than a concrete type of bridge. The Boy Scouts said they would like to work on it. It would be cheaper than hiring someone to build it. Mr. Oldham remarked as long as the legalities come into alignment he doesn’t see why they shouldn’t pursue it at some point.
Department Annual Reports
Jim Davis, Town Manager, said there was a question about departments doing annual reports. Prior reports from departments were distributed to Town Council for their review. Most departments do annual reports. The reports are specific to each department. He thinks the report format should stay as they are because they are unique to each department. The Clerk-Treasurer’s report is printed from Gateway. Gateway is a state sponsored website for government entities who collect and disburse tax revenue to report cash investments, detailed receipts and disbursements and grants by March 1st of each year. In addition, the budgets are uploaded to Gateway which is also mandatory. Anyone can go to https://gateway.ifionline.org to view Ellettsville financial reports. He proposed that the financial report for the Town be the report the Clerk-Treasurer provides to the State of Indiana.
Scott Thomas asked if the annual reports are supplied every year for review. Mr. Davis thinks a department did miss one year. Mr. Thomas asked if going forward the departments could do the annual reports. Mr. Davis answered yes. Mr. Thomas will review the annual reports to find out whether they’re sufficiently specific. Ms. Bastin noted in the last two or three years departments started adding photos and stats to their reports. She thinks it’s a work in progress and they’re doing really well with the reports.
Appointment of New Director of Planning Services
Jim Davis, Town Manager, introduced Kevin Tolloty of Indianapolis. Mr. Tolloty received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University, a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of Akron and is a Certified Planner.
Kevin Tolloty thinks this is a fantastic opportunity and looks forward to getting started.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion that Kevin Tolloty be hired as the Director of the Ellettsville Planning Department. David Drake made a motion that Kevin Tolloty be hired as the Director of the Ellettsville Planning Department. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Supplemental Fire Service Agreement
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the Supplemental Fire Service Agreement is between the Town and Richland Township (“Township”). The Township agrees to pay $621,400.50 in exchange for fire protection services. The Township will pay $564,171.86 in two equal payments in July and December and $57,228.64 shall be paid in two equal installments in February and August. It represents an increase of approximately $15,000. Paragraph 3(c) has been added and states “The Town agrees to indemnify and defend the Township from any and all claims and liability arising out of the fire protection services provided pursuant to this Agreement.” The Town may want to ask the Township to add a phrase stating “only to the extent that the claim or loss is caused in whole or part by the negligent acts or omissions of the Town of Ellettsville.” Council members agreed to add the phrase to paragraph 3(c).
Fire Chief Mike Cornman agrees with Ms. Brown. There is a new advisory board in the Township beginning at the first of the year. The current advisory board already had their final meeting for the year so they can work on this at the beginning of the year.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the supplemental Fire Service Agreement with the wording provided by the Town Attorney added into the appropriate paragraph. Dianna Bastin made a motion to approve the supplemental Fire Service Agreement with the wording provided by the Town Attorney added into the appropriate paragraph. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Communication Tower Agreement/Renewal
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained there is a lease between Mid-America Radio of Indiana (“Mid-America”) and the Town of Ellettsville. Mid-America has leased a communication tower from the Town for 10 years which will end on July 14, 2015. The lease agreement allows Mid-America to extend the lease for four additional ten year terms by giving the Town a 90 day notice which they have done. If the contract is to be extended, it is extended on the same terms as the original contract. Mid-America has asked to extend the lease for at least one additional term. Mr. Oldham asked if the original lease guaranteed the Town would approve the extension. Ms. Brown replied the contract says they have the right to extend the lease by giving written notice of the extension.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the communications tower agreement renewal. Dianna Bastin made a motion to approve the communications tower agreement renewal. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Petition to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for Water Rate Increase
Christina DeWitt, H.J. Umbaugh Certified Public Accountants (“Umbaugh”), distributed their Accounting Report on Proposed Project and Increase in Rates and Changes to Town Council members. One part of the report relates to a secondary extension to the City of Bloomington. The report covers August 31, 2013 to August 31, 2014. They found expenses went up and for the most part the Town is still in need of an increase. A summary of the Pro Forma Annual Revenue Requirements and Available Revenues was presented. It takes nine to twelve months for a whole case to go through the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”). It is projected additional revenues of $388,150 are needed which would result in a $4.84 increase for an average 4,000 gallon user. There are inside and outside Town rates. The study takes into consideration that everyone would be rolled into the same rate structure. Currently, the Sewer and Water Utilities are paying rent which is what would be paid to make the payments mentioned earlier in the discussion about acquiring property for Town Hall.
David Drake clarified that the rate increase does not have anything to do with building a new Town Hall. Ms. DeWitt stated that was correct. Mr. Oldham asked if the entire rate increase is granted they’re looking at a $4.84 increase per customer per month. Ms. DeWitt replied that was correct for inside of Town customers. The outside of Town customers will have an increase of 53˘ because they are currently paying more. Mr. Drake commented they are doing that because the IURC doesn’t look very favorably at differences in rates with customers. Ms. DeWitt stated there can be no more than a 15% differential between inside and outside Town rates. If the IURC grants everything, $4.84 would be the maximum increase. The IURC usually grants increases of approximately 70% to 75% of what is requested. The plan is to draft a petition and rate ordinance for the next Town Council meeting. Then they will file the petition with the IURC to start the process. Ms. Brown advised the bond and rate ordinance will be ready for the next Town Council meeting. IURC counsel, Pete King, is preparing the petition.
Scott Thomas stated there was a rate increase prior to his joining Town Council. Is this the same thing or is it an additional rate increase? Ms. Brown advised there was one passed but
the petition was not filed because IURC counsel suggested since bond costs are so high to combine projects such as building a new Town Hall with the rate increase. After consulting with bond counsel it was determined it was not a good idea to combine projects. Mr. Thomas summarized this is not a second rate increase but an update to the report. Mr. Thomas asked if 4,000 gallons is the average user. Ms. DeWitt replied it is the average user in the state. For Ellettsville the average user is 3,000 gallons. Mr. Drake stated the primary purpose of the rate increase is to acquire the funds to build a second waterline.
Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, is seeking permission for two employees, Becky Wines and Amber Ragle Wright to go for IURC training in Indianapolis. They will get reimbursed for mileage and one meal. There were no objections.
Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, explained Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are on Wednesdays followed by the holiday on Thursday. He has talked to the Clerk-Treasurer, Street, Utilities and Planning Offices and he is asking on their behalf if they can transfer the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve holiday pay to Friday which means offices will be closed. The offices will be open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve until noon. Employees will leave at noon and they will use their PTO hours which they all have. It will not cost the Town additional money and all services will still be available. There were no objections.
Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, previously sent an email to Town Council about purchasing automated valve actuators for approximately $68,620 for the Waste Water Treatment Plant. They’ll enhance the operation of the plant. Currently, they have manual valve actuators and four out of eight are inoperable. It will tie to the system control and data acquisition. He will be able to change the valves from his cell phone in high float conditions. They will have to remove phosphorus in about 13 months from their waste stream and he hopes to do it biologically instead of chemically with these valves. Although, they will have to have chemical backup which he will bring before Town Council at a later date. He received two quotes from two companies they do business with. He is happy with both companies but B.L. Anderson was $2,400 cheaper. His recommendation is to go with B.L. Anderson.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to allow Utilities to purchase the valve actuators from B.L. Anderson. Dianna Bastin made a motion to allow Utilities to purchase the valve actuators from B.L. Anderson. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Privilege of the Floor
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn. Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn. Scott Thomas seconded. Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 8:07 p.m.