November 25, 2013

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 25, 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 by Phillip SmithPhillip Smithyra..

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Scott Oldham, President; Dan Swafford, Vice President; Dianna Bastin,, David Drake and Phillip Smith.  Dan Swafford 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:  Mike Cornman, Jim Ragle, Tony BowlenJ and Jeff Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the  regular meeting on November 12, 2013.  Phillip Smith so moved. Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  DDavid Drake so moved.  PDianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Resolution

 

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

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, ewent to the IU Credit Union and their interest rate was 4.5%.  There are three other quotes which are as follow:  Indiana Bond Bank itat 2.18%, Peoples State Bank at 2.5% and Old National Bank at 2.75%. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution20-2013.  David Drake made a motion to adopt Resolution20-2013 and obtain financing through Peoples State Bank.3Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-16 to Establish Rate Changes for Water

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this was discussed briefly at the last meeting.  This is a proposed ordinance that sets forth the proposed rate changes for water. 

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, asked if the Town establishes the rate and it is a proposed rate will it go into place after the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) hearing.  Ms. Brown replied that is correct. anThe current water rates are still in effect until the IURC approves the rate increase. 

 

Scott Thomas commented that compared to other places he has lived the water and sewer portion is exceptionally high.  It is inline?  Mr. Oldham replied there is a graph and the Town falls in the middle of it and is in line with other towns the same size.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-13 Concerning Second Hand Shops

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is the same as the ordinance reviewed at the last meeting with the exception of §112.03.  It asked individuals to hold items for seven business days before making a sale.  It has been changed to five business days.  Mr. Drake asked if it previously stated it was for walk-in clients.  Ms. Brown replied yes in the prior version.  Ms. Bastin confirmed this applies to walk-ins only.  Ms. Brown replied it is for individuals as walk-in clients.  It does not apply to dealer-to-dealer purchases or internet purchases

 

Phillip Smith has received telephone calls from people wanting to know what a second hand shop is.  Ms. Brown answered it is everything that is not included in §§A or B.  It applies to anybody who is going to sell jewelry, pottery, dishes, musical instruments, collectibles, coins and anything not excluded under §112.01(b) will be considered a second hand dealer.  A pawn shop is completely different.  Ms. Bastin asked if these are previously owned items.  Ms. Brown replied yes.  Mr. Drake confirmed this section does not apply to an estate sale.  Ms. Brown answered that was correct.  Mr. Drake noted the only thing that will be regulated is someone who walks in and sells something.  Mr. Smith said people want to know why it is held for five days.  Mr. Oldham replied if there have been various pieces of property stolen then a police department gets a report and it is gone before it can be recovered.  There are some things that do not have serial numbers but other things going on would lead the police officers to believe someone took it.  The five day waiting period gives the dealer time to get the list with the item to the police department for evidence.  Mr. Smith asked if photos of the items wouldn’t work.  Mr. Oldham answered the problem would be the property couldn’t be recovered.  Mr. Smith is trying to decide if the Town is putting a big burden on the people who own the shops and if it is stricter than the state code.  Mr. Oldham replied the state code doesn’t allow for the opportunity to adjust as the Town can.  The state code creates some issues for different items.  However, the state doesn’t look every year at every law.  There is a lot of computer web sites where police departments at the northern end of the state can track what got sold in Ellettsville.  Mr. Smith thinks the ordinance is too broad.  Mr. Oldham said millions of dollars of property trade hands and move on and there has been a niche created where the second hand dealers don’t have to do it.  It is burdensome but it mimics the pawn shop laws which have been in effect for some time. 

 

Tony Bowlen, Town Marshal, doesn’t see much difference the way criminals have used second hand stores versus pawn shops.  The only difference is the pawn shops have been regulated so much longer.  By giving them the open door to sell items quickly those items could turn around and move very fast out the door before they ever have an opportunity to find the existence of a second hand item.  The ordinance is similar to state law and in-line with the pawnbroker ordinance. 

 

Jim Mullikin, Old Towne Coins, is against the ordinance.  He’s the only business the ordinance will effect.  He’s a coin dealer and buys antiques and scrap jewelry.  The police have a hard job of helping people retrieve their stolen property.  He thinks they’re throwing a blanket on everybody by thinking they arbitrarily buy everything that comes through their door with no regard to whether or not it is stolen.  They always worry about buying stolen property because they don’t want to lose it.  If they buy stolen property it will be confiscated.  They have always assisted the police department.  Eighty percent of his clientele are 50 years of age or older.  He has had four people with stolen property in twelve years and they assisted the police department to find the items but it was three to six months later.  This ordinance is putting a burden on him because he owns a coin shop.  Nobody realizes how he does business.  They pay people on a “spot melt” price which keeps him competitive.  When it comes to buying gold and silver they’re putting an undue burden on his business.  When the ordinance is passed he will have to close his shop and four people will lose their jobs.  He’s not saying he doesn’t appreciate what the ordinance is trying to do but his business has to be looked at differently.  He’ll give up buying antiques if he has to.  He appreciates the hold on metals being lowered to five days.  If he has to hold anything at all because he has to lock a price within three days.  How can he buy gold when he doesn’t know what the price is going to in five days? He doesn’t understand why it is stricter than the State of Indiana.  The law looks at precious metal dealers differently and not has second hand shops.

 

David Drake asked if Bloomington or Monroe County has an ordinance on second hand shops.  Ms. Brown replied Bloomington does.  Mr. Drake asked how the Town compares to Bloomington’s.  Mr. Oldham replied it is very similar but Bloomington requires a seven day waiting period.  Ms. Brown added the penalties are different.  Mr. Drake asked if the proposed ordinance is typical throughout the state.  Mr. Oldham answered it is becoming so.  The driving force behind it is the mass amount of property that is moving through the dealers.   Monroe County is considering a similar ordinance.  He asked Bloomington about coin dedealers and none expressed any problems with it and they’re not exempted.  He understands the concerns.  Mr. Drake thinks if this works in Bloomington and other communities there has to be a way to make it work and make it profitable orare they wouldn’t be doing the same thing.  We can’t have Bloomington and Monroe County having the ordinances and not Ellettsville.  If this is the way things are going then Ellettsville should go ahead and do it too. 

 

Dianna Bastin, having been a victim of a theft and had this law been in effect, she might have been able to find her grandmother’s ring that was stolen.  She just wanted the item back and didn’t care about prosecution.  Anyone who has been a victim of a theft feels the same way.  She’s struggled with this but had the law been into effect she could’ve gotten the ring back.  She’s not voting based on what happened to her but there is a second side to this. 

 

Phillip Smith confirmed the ordinance doesn’t cover internet transactions.  Ms. Brown agreed.  Mr. Smith asked what’s to keep a business from setting up a terminal and someone photographing it and selling it on line.  Ms. Brown reiterated it doesn’t apply to internet purchases.  It applies to people who walk into the store and sell something.  Mr. Smith doesn’t think the ordinance has been thought out enough to pass.  There are too many holes.  Mr. Oldham noted the original ordinance prohibited internet purchases but they made it less to take the burden off of the businesses.  They were making an attempt to find a middle ground for the person who steals and sells the property.  Mr. Smith retorted it doesn’t prevent someone from selling it on line and then going to the store to deliver it and collect the money.   Someone needs to come up with a fresh idea on how to fix this. 

 

Jim Mullikin, Old Towne Coins, advised there is only one other coin dealer in the area. The owner has contacted the Bloomington City Attorney and talked to them about this ordinance.  There is also a state representative getting involved.  They’re looking at coin dealers as different.  There are no other coin dealers in the area and the closest one is in Terre Haute.  Terre Haute was the first to pass this and they covered the coin dealer in the beginning.  The dealer attended a town meeting with the police chief and explained his business.  They are now allowing him to be exempt other than jewelry.

 

David Drake asked Mr. Oldham if he checked with Terre Haute.  Mr. Oldham replied he did not.  He checked with Bloomington and Monroe County.  The state doesn’t exempt coin dealers specific to buying or purchasing.  Is it just holding?  Ms. Brown replied the state ordinance with regard to valuable metals excludes jewelry and coins from that definition.  As far as the information people are required to keep in pawn shops or valuable metal dealers is the same.  Ms. Bastin asked if this is necessary in part because second hand dealers and antiques are very vogue right now.  She would like it not to exempt antique dealers.  Aren’t offenders now taking them to the second hand stores and don’t we need to protect people with this ordinance?  Mr. Drakes thinks it does.  His concern is if in fact Terre Haute really did change their ordinance because it caused too many problems or if Bloomington is considering modifying theirs because there is a problem.  He would really like to know if these things are true.  Mr. Oldham said he spoke to Bloomington legal last week and they have no intention of introducing anything in the near future to modify this ordinance.  Mr. Drake asked what the effect would be to exempt coin dealers from the second hand shops.  Mr. Oldham said the question becomes where do they draw the line.  This ordinance is similar to Bloomington.  Mr. Smith agrees the ordinance is needed but doesn’t agree with how it is written.  He would like to have some other towns look at it.  Mr. Drake would like to see if there is any validity to the statement about Terre Haute before voting on this ordinance. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 2013-13.  David Drake made a motion to table 2013-13.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – no; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

Darla Brown asked direction other than calling Terre Haute.  Mr. Drake said if there is only one coin dealer in Bloomington it isn’t a big group of people to know how it is effecting them.  What about Indianapolis where they have more coin dealers and more crime?  If the dealers there are making it then why can’t they here.  Mr. Smith added he’s thinking about Indianapolis, Vincennes or Evansville for comparisons. 

 

Ordinance 2013-14 Concerning Scrap Metal Dealers

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance has not changed since the last reading at the last Town Council meeting.  She forwarded the state statute to Town Council members which their ordinance is based on.  Mr. Oldham asked Dan Swafford if he had any questions or concerns and he didn’t.  Ms. Brown advised Mr. Swafford’s concerns were precious metals versus valuable metals and the definition of the same. The definition includes metal that may be resold.  It does not include beverage cans, used jewelry or precious metals.  A precious metal means used jewelry, items made out of gold, silver or platinum.  It does not include mint issued coins or industrial residue or by products that contain gold, silver or platinum. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-14.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to pass Ordinance 2013-14 concerning scrap metal dealers.David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

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

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance was tabled at the last meeting because Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, wasn’t present.  The Plan Commission sent it to the Town Council with a favorable recommendation on October 3, 2013.  There are two more meetings in December to consider the ordinance.  By statute, if it is amended or rejected the proposal goes back to the Plan Commission and they have to make a decision within 45 days.  This ordinance pertains to general planning and zoning changes.

 

Mr. Oldham asked if this should be tabled until Ms. Griffin could be present.  Mr. Drake said he would rather have Ms. Griffin present.  Mr. Oldham concurred and advised Mr. Swafford has some comments. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table Resolution 2013-17.  David Drake made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-17.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – no; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

Sandra Hash asked Ms. Bastin if all of her questions have been answered since this was introduced.  Ms. Bastin answered no.

 

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

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this particular ordinance keeps in the Planning Director as a person who can enforce the sections of the code.  This sets forth penalties and states the Director of Planning can enforce the code by issuing notices of violation.  Mr. Drake asked if it is only the police who can remove a vehicle.  Ms. Brown replied that is correct.  If this ordinance is enacted the Planning Director would still have that responsibility, theoretically.  It would be the Town Marshal who will be responsible for removing the vehicle or the notice of ordinance violation can be given.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 2013-19, Version 2, as amended.  Phillip Smith made a motion to approve Ordinance 2013-19, Version 2, as amended.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

New Business

 

Animal Shelter Interlocal Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville, City of Bloomington and Monroe County for 2014

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is exactly the same as last year’s agreement with the exception of the amount.  The City of Bloomington Animal Control Department is now the City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control Department.  Mr. Oldham asked if they found out why the Town got charged for removal of the opossum because it is a wild animal.  Ms. Hash and Ms. Brown stated they did not call and ask about the opossums.  Ms. Hash said they’re working a year or two behind on their agreement.  Mr. Drake asked about the amount last year.  Ms. Brown answered it was $19,741.53.  Mr. Oldham asked what the cost is this year.  Ms. Brown replied it is $25,031.  Mr. Smith asked if it is $25,031 plus additional costs for the animals that are removed.  Ms. Hash answered no.  They took the figures from the last full fiscal year and calculated the percentage that came from Ellettsville.  Their fee is based on that percentage. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the Animal Shelter Interlocal Agreement for Fiscal Year 2014.  David Drake made a motion to approve the Animal Shelter Interlocal Agreement for Fiscal Year 2014.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham –      yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Council Comments

 

Dianna Bastin stated it is not her intent to try and force anybody out of business.  They gave the gentleman ample opportunity and access to their attorney to help with this.  She does think it is a good idea to check with bigger cities to find out how they’re dealing with coins.  She thinks an ordinance for second hand shops is definitely needed and now is the time.

 

Scott Oldham wants to make everyone aware that a business he owns has been contracted by a third party to provide some equipment, trauma packs, to the Town Police Department.  While they’re not being paid by the Town he wanted to make the Town Council aware of it.  They’re filing a conflict of interest statement through the Town Attorney with the state.  No Town funds were used.  It was a third party who asked them not only to provide these for Ellettsville but for several cities and counties in the area.

 

Phillip Smith announced on December 31, 2013, he will no longer be on the Town Council.  He is building a new house in Van Buren Township and will be moving in during the first part of next year.  It has been a pleasure to serve on the Town Council.  He has learned a lot.

 

Dianna Bastin asked the date of the next meeting.  Ms. Hash replied it will be December 9, 2013.  Ms. Bastin announced Breakfast with Santa will be on December 14, 2013.

Dianna Bastin explained it is not that she doesn’t want any codes or ordinances on land use.  She thinks they need to be careful.  The more they pass the

Supervisors Comments

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen is requesting permission to hire John Coleman as a part-time police officer and he will also be used in the front office.  Mr. Coleman is a 35 year retiree from the Bloomington Police Department.  He currently works at Bloomington Hospital and lives in Ellettsville.  Ms. Bastin asked if he will be responding to police calls.  Marshal Bowlen replied his primary duties will be in the office.  He will be called out of the office when they need assistance.

 

Scott Oldham made a motion to hire John Coleman as a part-time officer.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried.   4-0.

 

Sandra Hash administered the Oath of Office to John Coleman.

 

Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, advised they have had an opening for some time in the Utility billing office for a regular part-time clerk.  They have chosen Kim Weddle to fill the position.  Ms. Weddle will start inoDecember.  She is well qualified for the position.

   

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to hire Kim Weddle for the regular part-time billing clerk. Dianna Bastin made a motion to hire Kim Weddle for the regular part-time billing clerk.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

Adjournmentt

   

SScott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn. Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:35 p.m.Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, IAMC, MMC