September 26, 2011
The Ellettsville, Indiana,
Roll Call: Members present were David Drake, President; Scott Oldham, Vice President, Phillip Smith and Dan Swafford. Dianna Bastin was absent. Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer; Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Town Engineer, were also present.
Approval of Minutes
David Drake entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting on September 12, 2011. Phillip Smith so moved. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried.
Accounts Payable Vouchers
David Drake entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. Phillip Smith so moved. Scott Oldham seconded. Motion carried.
Adoption of the 2012 Budget
Sandra Hash – Provided the following summary of the 2012 Budget:
budget is $2,185,568 that is $126,767 more than in 2011. The General Fund includes the Administration,
Planning, Fire and
v Park and Recreation budget is $12,253, which is $7,000 less than 2011.
v Local Roads and Streets and the Cumulative Funds equal $246,776 for a reduction of $4,898 from this year.
v The debt service fund for the Police and Fire equal $313,000.
v The total budget for the civil portion of the town for 2012 is $3,201,379.
v The Maximum Levy Growth Quotient for 2012 remains the same as 2011, 2.9%.
v The Water Utility budget is $1,526,480 an increase of $145,380.
v The Waste Water budget is $1,921,780 an increase of $41,100.
v The Stormwater budget is $147,550 an increase of $6,460.
Dan Swafford – Requested a copy of the 2012 Budget Summary. Sandra Hash replied she will forward it to him by email.
David Drake entertained a motion that the budgets as enumerated for 2012 be approved. Scott Oldham made a motion that the budgets as enumerated for 2012 be approved. Phillip Smith seconded. Roll Call Vote: David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes and Dan Swafford – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 14-2011 Accounts Receivable Write-off Procedures for Uncollectible Accounts and Establishing a Minimum Amount for a Refund of Utility Bill or Deposit.
Sandra Hash – This came about through the audit process. The Town has receivables in the billing for Utilities that date back to 1995 and are uncollectible. In order to clean up the accounts receivable for the Utilities, the auditor suggested that the Town needed to establish a policy and procedures to write-off the old uncollectible debts. The ordinance was prepared from a template provided by the auditor. The Resolution was reviewed by Becky Wines, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer. They also want to make a rule that if there is a refund of less than $2.00 in water, stormwater or wastewater, it will not be issued. It costs more than that to make a check. For example, if they have an outstanding check for 88¢ they can’t void it for seven years.
Phillip Smith – In the resolution it states, “Accounts that have had a write-off will be flagged . . . Any future transactions for those account holders will be denied until the uncollectible balance is paid in full.” Mr. Smith asked if this is by address or by name. Sandra Hash responded it is by name and address. Mr. Smith stated if there are three people in a household and they have an account in each person’s name and it gets shut off, then another person does the same thing, does this happen often. Ms. Hash responded this is not her area of expertise. Mike Farmer or Becky Wines would be better to answer the question. There is quite a bit of history per address. If it’s water they can turn it off. When people move away without leaving a forwarding address and then come back they wouldn’t hook them on to new service until their old debt was paid. Mr. Smith repeated his question to Mike Farmer. Mike Farmer stated it does not happen often. If they’re renters they have to pay a deposit which keeps them from attempting to do what Mr. Smith described. If they are owners of the house they have to prove ownership before they can get service. Mr. Smith asked if it couldn’t be connected back to the owner if it’s a rental. Mr. Farmer replied it can be. If the renters don’t pay their bill and skip town then it’s up to the landlord to pay the bill. This is why they implemented a renter’s deposit and the amount of the deposit for the water is ruled by the IURC. This is why the deposit is a lot less than the sewer. Most landlords interact with the billing office to ensure that everything is current. Unless they’re a new landlord, they all know the rules. Utilities pay attention to people selling their house and if there is a transfer, they try to collect before the closing on the house. Once the house is closed, then they can’t collect on past debtors. They pay attention to the paper and they make attempts to collect the debt. Also, they contact the banks if it’s a foreclosure. Ms. Hash stated there were some rules established with a red flag policy the Town created a few years ago. This makes home purchasers bring proof that they were buying the house before they could get the water turned on. There are precautions in other areas to establish paper trails so you avoid multiple people in one household. They have to provide leases for renters. Mr. Farmer said that is correct. Between the safeguards and effort, this is not a big problem. Plus, the water can be shut off if they don’t pay. Ms. Hash commented a lien can be filed for wastewater. However, all collection possibilities have to be exhausted before the debt can be written off.
David Drake entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 14-2011. Dan Swafford made a motion to adopt Resolution 14-2011. Phillip Smith seconded. Roll Call Vote: David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes and Dan Swafford – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
White, Community Access Television Services, Agreement between the Town of
Michael White, General Manager of Community Access Television Services (“CATS”) – Is also in attendance on behalf of the public library, of which they are a
copy of the proposed contract originated by the public library was provided to
the Town Council. The contract is for a
reduced amount than originally presented a few months ago. Since 2001 the library decided the most
equitable funding plan for the respective funding partners, the Town of
Dan Swafford – Asked what the reason is that CATS cannot televise
the Town Council meetings live. Mr.
White stated they learned this year with the courthouse closing down in
David Drake – Asked Sandra Hash if the new amount Mr. White is proposing is in the 2012 Budget. Ms. Hash replied it is less than what is in the budget. The original amount requested was $17,000+ and the new contract is $13,000+. Mr. White stated it is approximately $13,000. Mr. Drake commented although the Town did budget for CATS, they have been advised by their financial advisor that they should wait and not actually sign the contract until the real amount of money they’re going to receive is known. Mr. Drake asked Sandra Hash when this would take place. Ms. Hash replied they will know how badly they are affected by the tax caps when they receive their December settlements. The Town should receive its budget approvals for 2012 quite early and then they’ll see how the revenue is at the end of the year. The fee to CATS is paid quarterly. The Town should know how its cash flow is and if the 2012 Budget is approved by January.
Scott Oldham – In the contract there is a 60 day clause that either party can request leave. It’s unfair to leave CATS dangling and not knowing where the Town is going to be as long as they have an out assuming the circuit breakers just absolutely kill the Town. The amount of the contract is less than the budget amount. He doesn’t see the harm should the Town need to reserve the right to pull it back based on the circuit breaker.
Smith – The contract states, “The Library shall, by means of the
replied they do not receive money from RBBSC. Scott Oldham asked if CATS receives money from MCCSC. Mr. White answered they do not receive money from MCCSC.
Dan Swafford – Asked what CATS would need from the Town in order
for the Town Council meetings to be carried live. Mr. White replied basically the same piece of
gear that’s dedicated in the
Bill Schneider – Appreciates Scott Oldham’s comment and question and Sandra Hash and Town Council comments. It sounds for better community information and transparency to help the citizens participate more in the development of the Town, this is a no brainer. Hopes there will be live TV or at least archived sessions of the meetings for Planning and Town Council.
entertained a motion to approve the Agreement between the Town of
Cary Scott Project Engineer, JMC Engineers & Associates, Smithville cable project would like to coordinate with Town on Sale Street, Thomas and Reeves Roads
Project Engineer, JMC Engineers & Associates on behalf of Smithville
Telephone – Smithville is proposing
to redo some of their underground duct system on
David Drake – The Town will probably go along with whatever Jim Ragle says.
Dan Swafford – Asked how much the Town will have to pay for new
sidewalks. Mr. Scott replied they will be removing and
replacing approximately 400 feet of existing sidewalk. From where the existing sidewalk stops to
Scott Oldham – Asked Mr. Scott if this is going to benefit the
citizens of Ellettsville cable-wise or if it will improve services for another
community. Mr. Scott responded it is
strictly for the Town of
Dan Swafford made a motion to table the Smithville cable project until the next Town Council meeting. Phillip Smith seconded. Motion carried.
Tony Bowlen, Town Marshal – Deputy Town Marshal Mark Freeman was hired on a probationary wage for one year beginning October 1, 2010. He is requesting to bring Mark Freeman off of probationary pay effective October 1, 2011 and to make his base the same as the other deputy marshal. The base pay will be $38,831 plus any incentive pay. Dan Swafford asked if the money is in the budget. Town Marshal Bowlen said it will be funded out of his personnel line. Phillip Smith asked if this was taken into consideration when the budgets were done for 2012. Town Marshal Bowlen replied it is in the 2012 Budget. Sandra Hash asked the amount of the salary. Town Marshal Bowlen responded it is $38,831 and he has one or two certification pays.
David Drake entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 14-2011. Scott Oldham made a motion that Probationary Town Marshal Mark Freeman be elevated to the rank of Deputy Town Marshal with the raise concurrent to that. Dan Swafford seconded. Roll Call Vote: David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes and Dan Swafford – yes. Motion carried 4-0.
Dan Swafford – The Town had another successful Fall Festival. Thank you to all department heads and employees for the time they put in. A lot of it is volunteer time. Also thank you to all volunteers. They did a wonderful job and it was one of the Town’s best festival. Thank you.
Phillip Smith made a motion to adjourn. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried. David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:43 p.m.