Roll Call: Members present were Dan Swafford, President; Dianna Bastin, Vice-President, David Drake, Scott Oldham and Phillip Smith. Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer; Mike Spencer, Attorney and Rick Coppock, Town Engineer were also present.
Approval of the Minutes
Swafford entertained a motion for approval of regular minutes for the Regular
Action to Pay Accounts Payable Vouchers
Phillip Smith made a motion we pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. David Drake seconded. Motion carried.
Pre-adoption Public Hearing for the 2009 Budget
Sandra Hash read a brief summary.
Autumn Ridge –Status update per owner’s point of view
Jason Walls, representing Autumn Ridge Holding Company and Bearcos Construction stated they have the same goals as the residents. They would like to complete this project; unfortunately with the current market conditions, their five to six year goal has been prolonged. Bearcos Construction has always tried to address issues quickly. All IDEM issues have been met. In 2007, Autumn Ridge received a good report on erosion control for the entire project. Erosion issues are ongoing and will always exist with weather. It is the goal, now and in the future, to work with IDEM on any and all erosion issues.
Walls addressed the green space, known as “the pit” and how it came to be. Before
the property was purchased, a proposed development was discussed with then
Planner, Jeff York; twelve acres were zoned for commercial/high density
residential, allowing for 10 -12 units per acre. Four units per acre fit the surrounding area
better. The original plan showed a stub
at the end of, which is now, the cul-de-sac
Scott Oldham asked if the list of improvements, erosion control and safety has been completed. Jason Walls received an email, copied from Rick Coppock, stating the list of items were complete.
Dan Swafford asked Rick Coppock if the list was complete by the date. Rick Coppock said yes. Everything was completed on the list except for the planting of ivy behind Unit 20. Rick requested, to Jason Walls, for this to be complete by the end of the month. The “pit” was filled to prevent any hazard; it was not filled as originally planned. It was filled in to eliminate the vertical hazard, seeded and has straw. Dan Swafford asked what percentage of the project is complete. Jason Walls stated there are still 14 lots left to be built on and an additional 3 units in the process of being built.
Scott Oldham asked if the top coat on the roads will be done before or after the 17 units are complete. Jason Walls said the base coat is there and has been repaired three times. The top coat is installed after all the units are complete. IDEM had Bearcos close off a stub at the end of one of the streets so now all construction trucks will be running through the front of the neighborhood. Dan Swafford clarified the Town has a current bond for the top coat. The bond runs out May 2009.
Dan Swafford appreciates Jason Walls working with the Town when asked.
David Drake stated the erosion and code violations have been completed. David asked what legal authority the Town has to make the developer fill the “pit” in completely or can the “pit” be fixed to where it is safe and not an erosion problem. Rick Coppock stated this is an ongoing construction project and not completed. A final plat approval is still needed on a unit, west of the “pit”, and at that time the Town can require the developer to grade the area to what the original plan showed.
Schneider thanked the Council for the time and effort. He wanted Jason Walls to stay for his
presentation. Mr. Schneider showed a
recent picture of
Mr. Schneider gave an outline of the many items on Frank and Rick’s list for Mr. Walls to complete that was not done.
Schneider presented an email between Frank and Rick, before September 10, and a
picture from September 22nd of 5042 W. September Drive. The address was on the list and needed the
slope on the west side of this property to be stabilized and a plan provided to
the Planning Department for approval.
Frank stated he did not receive a plan, per se, but he did look at the
property with the developer on site. Mr.
Schneider showed a photo of an air conditioning unit sitting on a steep slope
that is not 3 to 1 required by code. He showed other photos of different angles
of the slope and how there was no top soil for grass to grow, it is clumpy and
how could it be mowed if grass did ever grow.
A photo was shown of the creek eroding (taken
A photo was shown of a buried down spout, coming off the west slope, not running into any rip rap. This will cause large ruts and erosion. No plans were submitted, nothing was fixed on this western slope.
photo of Unit 5036 showed rip rap constructed five feet from the front of the
end of the storm sewer pipe. There was
supposed to be a dam constructed five feet in front of the sewer. The rip rap has been moved from the area
towards the sewer outlet then additional rip rap was installed. They took away existing structure that would
help slow water and stall erosion and just moved it. He does not feel this was done
correctly. New stone was not brought
in. It was previously requested 12” rip
rap be used instead of 6” for the dam.
The rip rap slope was supposed to be extended from the east porch
support an additional 15’ across the top of the slope with a width of 4’. The picture showed it only went 8’ with no
cloth underneath. The list specifically
told the developer what to do, by
The next photo was of pipe installation. The pipes were not fastened so it disconnects when a surge of water comes down.
The next photo shows the house further east. The pipe was extended down to the bottom, 2’ from the rip rap but they left the old erosion, why didn’t they cover it? The developer is supposed to put things back to stop the erosion.
Address 5024 was left off the original list. Rip rap has not been brought up to the deck, where it meets the river rock, to slow erosion. They stopped three to four feet short. If they were there to fix this, why wasn’t it fixed?
Mr. Schneider stated the storm sewer dam was built but no fabric was put under the rip rap. He asked the contractor why fabric was not put under the rip rap and the contractor’s response was “he doesn’t have any and doesn’t want to buy it”.
He showed photos of 5018 W September Drive. The first photo showed “prior to fixture”. Relay rip rap and fabric in swell between buildings. He pointed out the roads drain into the low spot between two condos. The water is channeled to drain down through the rip rap. The next photo shows the “after fixture”. There was a small rain storm and because fabric was not placed under the rip rap; the rain ran the erosion right down. The photo showed the problem is still there.
Mr. Schneider was disappointed Jason Walls left because a lot of these questions could have been answered this evening. The home owners of Autumn Ridge would like to meet with Jason Walls and the Town Council. The “pit” is not corrected or completed. He asked Rick Coppock if he still feels the items on the list of things to be fixed are completed after seeing Mr. Schneider’s photos. Rick Coppock said “most of them are completed”. Rick went on to say erosion is an on going problem. Mr. Schneider pointed out that the slope on the west side; Jason Walls was supposed to have a plan for the erosion by September 10th. Dan Swafford and Mr. Schneider discussed the pictures. The excavator on this project told many of the residents that this development is a “nightmare and disaster”. Rick Baugh is the current excavator. Another excavator informed the residents he would not be returning to the development because he is afraid he will not be paid.
The residents asked to be on the agenda tonight to get an update on where they stood with the “pit”. Mr. Schneider’s impression is the “pit” will stay the way it is. Everyone is saying “it is slowing erosion and everything is fine”. He asked “what if a child rolls down there and twists his leg”. The face rock is covered. The Council and residents have spent too much time on this. The residents have sent many letters to Jason Walls. Mr. Schneider was disappointed to hear Rick Coppock and Frank feel Mr. Walls has completed the list of problems. The residents of Autumn Ridge appreciate the time and help the Town Council has given them but they still need help. This is not complete.
Dan Swafford understands what they are going through. The “pit” may not be “exactly” where the residents want it but as a safety and erosion hazard; if the Town Engineer says it is fine, for erosion and safety, there is nothing more the Town Council can do. Dan has looked at the area several times. He has seen more than one area with a safety hazard for kids. The creek area is worse than the “pit”. The Town Council’s hands are “tied” for anything other than safety and erosion. The project is not complete (as a whole project). Our Town Engineer and Planner have checked off all the items that were required to be completed at this time. Erosion is ongoing; Frank will need to keep an eye on erosion until the project is complete. Dan stated once the grass grows, it will be stabilized. Dan also noticed the 2’ to 8’ drops behind some of the retaining walls. Dan feels the contractor has shown an interest in working with the Town. Mr. Schneider stated “only when he has been forced to by the Council”. Dan feels if we can stay on top of the erosion we can accomplish, something, together.
Mr. Schneider asked how they can get the things completed that Mr. Walls was supposed to have done but are not complete.
Dan will speak with Rick and Frank because everything on the letter has been completed except for the planting of the ivy. He did not have the letter with him when he looked around the development but did see an attempt to get things done. Dan’s personal opinion on the hillside is that it could have been graded out a little better or different, but if it stops the erosion and the safety issue is gone, he believes vegetation will grow around the rip rap and take care of itself. Dan and Mr. Schneider discussed more photos.
Scott Oldham asked if there is any legal basis to address any of the issues that were brought up. Mike Spencer said “not if our Engineer says there’s nothing”.
Bastin learned from Rick Coppock the “pit” will never be as it originally was because
Mr. Walls “flexed” two units. In order
for it to be exactly like it was; two existing units would need to be
moved. It will always be different. If Mr. Walls does not build on the “pit”
there is a way to improve it. Mr.
Schneider would like for Frank to review the building and excavation
permits. He went on to explain he saw a
Mr. Schneider showed copies of emails from Rick and Frank; information, in writing that was in Rick Coppock’s hands, a list of items that are not completed. Mr. Schneider showed photos of the items not completed and he keeps being told it is complete. When can these items be complete?
Rick Coppock does not know what Mr. Schneider is looking at. Mr. Schneider stated the correction of the slope on the west side. How many times does the photo of the incomplete work need to be shown? How can drain pipes come off two homes and run into a ravine? This was supposed to be fixed by September 10th. He would like a date when these items will be fixed. Mr. Schneider is frustrated because things are supposed to be done, in the Town Engineer’s handwriting, and it didn’t happen. There are no fines. This has been going on since June 10th.
Brooke Winders’ mother owns the lot next to the “pit”. He did not feel Jason Walls deserved a compliment. Jason Walls has done the “least amount of work necessary”. Mr. Winders understood Jason Walls was not asked to fill in the hole because of safety or erosion; the way the Council was enforcing the situation was because there was no permit and it needed to be put back. Edging in the side does not fill it in. Mr. Winders suggested a method on how to properly fill in the “pit” and explained using the photos on the screen. Mr. Winders does not expect more out of Jason Walls, he expects more from the Council. Jason Walls was told to “fix it” and it should be fixed.
Lynn Winders is sorry this has gone all this long. She feels Jason Walls got by with what he has because no one punishes him for what he does. It is “criminal” what he has done to the people. Jason Walls is not a responsible developer and does not take care of his property. The residents are retired and want to live peacefully. Ms. Winders is counting on the Council to stick to their word and back up the residents of Autumn Ridge. The neighbors are not giving up. She still has a hole in her backyard, does not have a yard and can still fall off her porch. Nothing has been solved. She ended with “you can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig”.
Willis Ziese commented on the quote “engineering acceptance”. He pointed out on a photo a gully still exists. Mr. Ziese asked Rick if his letter stated the rip rap was to be carried farther down the slope. Rick replied from the top of the slope to the tree. Mr. Ziese pointed out the rip rap was not there and then asked if IDEM requires fabric to be placed under rip rap when it is a drainage way. Rick answered that is the best building practice. Mr. Ziese stated there was no fabric because he has photos of rock being placed with no fabric. Mr. Ziese “mentioned” this to the men working and was told to “mind your own business”. Mr. Ziese pointed out in the after photos the seed and straw are gone leaving behind a gully.
Schneider read a quote from
Mr. Winders stated the fines should not end tonight. They should continue while they all meet. He has not complied with anything to get the fines removed.
Rick Coppock clarified when he said 50 feet from the top, he meant from the top of the swell between the two buildings. He looked at it and there was 20 feet where rip rap was placed with black fabric underneath it. He looked around the tree with the rip rap and in his opinion was stable. The other area (he pointed out on the screen) had been filled with soil, flat with seed and straw. The rain will continue to wash it out.
Dan Swafford asked Frank to get a meeting set up and in the mean time Dan will go over the list.
Discuss Purchasing Options of Property Adjacent to Town Hall
Frank Nierzwicki presented a memo reviewing the potential property
purchase in the downtown area. Dan
Swafford and Frank met with Kenny Mobley in June. They discussed the purchase of the old
Kenny’s Tavern and the Sale Street Apartments for approximately $140,000. The cost would be for the apartments and
there would be a swap of the Town Parking Lot, on
Director of Planning and Development, Frank recommends protecting the current
Town Hall building by acquiring the old tavern.
If the Town acquires the old tavern with the swap of the Town parking
lot on Vine Street then the Town needs to have “first right of refusal” for
that property if it ever comes up for sale again. If funds are available, the Town should
consider a consultant study to first see if a new or expanded Town Hall is
required. If there is a need for such an
expansion then the consultant could come up with three potential sites/plans
for expansion or construction in a new location within the downtown area. The estimated cost for such a consultant
study is $30,000 - $50,000. There are
possible grant opportunities for a consultant study through the Indiana Office
of Community and Rural Affairs. If the
construction of a new Town Hall is being considered, discussion should include
questioned one of the recommendations Frank omitted during his
presentation. Frank was asked to look
into the possible purchase of the property at 409 W. Vine to extend the current
Town parking lot on
David Drake is not a “fan” of hiring a consultant for $30,000 - $50,000 when we could do it ourselves, unless we receive a grant to pay for it. David does not want to use town money to pay for a consultant. He is not for using the “Rainy Day” fund on any of this; there will not be any money left for a “rainy day” if we keep spending it for everything else. David Drake was on the Town Council when the new fire and police stations were built; a new Town Hall should have been a part of that. He does not see, in the near future, how we can take on any more debt, in the form of bonds to build another building. David would not be opposed to obtaining property if it might be useful at some point in the future. Frank clarified he was asked to identify funds that could be used, it does not mean they necessarily have to be used.
Swafford asked Frank to look into this because the tavern came open and it is
located right next to Town Hall. Trading
the parking lot on
Dianna Bastin would not mind trading; if the Council all agreed. She does not want to spend the money to hire consultants. Frank stated there are pros and cons to hiring an outside consultant. Consultants are outside the political influence.
Sandra Hash stated the Town is interested in the land Kenny’s Tavern sits on; not the building. The land is .028 of an acre and our parking lot is .1820; both are on the same plat. The Town is giving more than we will receive. Dianna is not interested in 409 Vine or the apartment building.
David Drake wants the Council to make sure this will be a good trade off. Frank stated the tavern was included in the appraisal. Sandra clarified the Town owns only what the building sits on. They do not own anything behind the building. It would be nice to own the tavern and the parking lot behind Town Hall. Dianna asked Mike Farmer to clarify that when State Road 46 was being put in, the utilities were buried in the back of Town Hall; can anything be built on the parking lot area? Mike Farmer stated there are utilities buried in the back and they could be moved.
Russ Ryle is concerned the town is giving up a lot of land for a small place. He is also against consultants; they are very expensive. He is also concerned if buying Kenny’s Tavern would be big enough to accommodate all the needs of Town Hall. Russ Ryle clarified the Utilities Department owns “Town Hall”; technically, the town has a Utility Office with a Town Hall sign on it. Are we better off leaving Utilities in the Town Hall building and finding something different for Town Hall? Russ Ryle requested the Town not give away the land we have now.
Agreement between the Town of
Jim Davis, Ellettsville Fire presented the annual agreement
between the ambulance service and the Town where the Fire Department provides
backup ambulance service to
Dan Swafford entertained a motion to approve the contract between Ellettsville and the Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Services. David Drake so moved. Dianna Bastin and Scott Oldham seconded. Roll call vote: Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities acknowledged four Utility employees having anniversaries with the Town; Tom Cornman and Brian Miller – ten years, Danny Joe Edwards – 15 years and Joe Bowman – 20 years. They are all in good standing and excellent people. Mike appreciates the Council support to make sure the employees are taken care of.
Mike Farmer presented a form from the Indiana Regulatory Commission. The purpose of these forms is to provide the IURC with general information required to assist in the processing of the water rate case. Mike Farmer read the last page, “to adopt capital improvement program certified by professional consultants to accept responsibility for providing this commission, the IURC, with annual reports on constricting progress, expenditures, working documents for subsequent year and program changes; it being understood that any program changes must receive concurrences by the engineering division of this commission”. This is a standard form.
Dianna Bastin made the motion we all sign it. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
The following discussion took place before the vote
Dan Swafford asked Mike Spencer if he reviewed it. Mike Spencer said no. Phillip Smith wants Mike Spencer to review it before he signs. Mike Farmer stated this form has already been sent in and suggested voting on it with Mike Spencer’s approval. Mike Spencer looked over the forms. Mike Spencer stated these forms need to be completed for the rate approval which this Council has already approved. The majority of the documents are accounting information completed by the Town Accountants. Mike Spencer does not see a problem with the Council approving this.
Sandra Hash stated she and Amber will be attending the IACT
Privilege of the Floor
Larry Barker, Executive Director for Monroe County Solid Waste Management District announced “Bulky Item Days”. Monroe County Solid Waste Management District, Hoosier Disposal Recycling Services, Monroe County Fair Board and Monroe County Highway Department will be sponsoring this Friday and Saturday, October 24th & 25th at the fairgrounds.
Dianna Bastin recognized the employees Mike Farmer noted and all the Ellettsville employees for the excellent work they did before, during and after the Fall Festival.
Dan Swafford thanked the Fall Festival Board and all the members for the great job on the festival.
Mike Spencer stated the Town is in litigation with
Phillip Smith made the motion you (Dan Swafford) sign the documentation for Mr. Spencer. Mike Spencer added “this information has been provided by the various people from the Utilities Department and that they represented to him that this is true and accurate”. David Drake seconded. Motion carried.
Dianna Bastin made a motion we adjourn. David Drake seconded. Motion carried. Dan Swafford adjourned the meeting at