September 27, 2010

 

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, September 27, 2010, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Phillip Smith called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Phillip Smith led the prayer following the Pledge of Allegiance. 

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Phillip Smith, President; Dianna Bastin; David Drake, and Dan Swafford.  Scott Oldham was absent.  Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Darla Brown were also present.   

 

Supervisors Present were:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Mike Farmer, Jeff Farmer and Connie Griffin.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting on September 13, 2010.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Final Adoption of the 2011 Budget

 

Phillip Smith confirmed everyone had reviewed the 2011 budget.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to adopt the 2011 budget.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – no.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

Presentation of Certificate – Indiana Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Ronald E. Burkhart, President

 

Jim Arnold read the Certificate on behalf of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  The Certificate of Commendation was presented to the Town of Ellettsville in recognition of exemplary patriotism and the display of the flag of the United States of America.  Signed:  September 7, 2010.

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 09-10 Petition to Appeal for an Increase to the Maximum Levy

 

Dan Swafford commented he feels it is the wrong time to request the levy.  He explained the Town is going through growing pains. However, he understands the difficult times people are experiencing.  The levy increase would make almost a .02% tax increase and he thinks this is an inappropriate time to increase the maximum levy.

 

David Drake explained every time the Town doesn’t appeal an increase to the maximum levy we lose out the next time.  Therefore, the Town cannot afford not to do the appeal.  It’s not as if the Town is taking extra money it is not entitled to.  The State put the process in place for a reason, and since the Town qualifies for the appeal, it is something that should be done.

 

Dianna Bastin asked what the actual cost would be to the individual tax payer.  Sandra Hash responded it is a .04% increase in the tax rate.

 

Phillip Smith asked if other appeals had resulted in such a significant increase.  Sandra Hash responded the Town has asked for $60,000 each time.  In the calculation, the growth has to be over 6% to qualify for the levy appeal.  The Town has a 6.79% increase.  This may be the Town’s last year to qualify for the levy appeal.  Last year, the Town was over 10% growth. 

 

Ed Bitner agrees with Dan Swafford’s comments regarding the levy appeal and disagrees with David Drake’s comments.   Mr. Bitner believes no matter what the increase is, eventually it does come back to the tax payers.  He asked the Council members to take the economy in consideration.

 

David Drake responded people still want the services their tax dollars pay for and the money has to come from somewhere.

 

Phillip Smith further explained because of the Town’s growth, it actually lowers the tax rate and, therefore, will not result in a complete tax increase. 

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to approve Resolution 09-10 Petition to Appeal for an Increase to the Maximum Levy.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – no.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 10-13 to add a new section to Chapter 93 to the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Leaf, Tree and Brush Removal – minor amendments

 

Jim Ragle, Street Department – explained the Ordinance has been reviewed and a few changes have been made.

 

Dianna Bastin asked if the scheduled dates are the first Monday and Tuesday of the month.  Mr. Ragle responded they are on the first full week of the month.   Ms. Bastin commented she liked that leaf pickup is October through November. 

 

Dan Swafford commented on the Town not doing the Christmas tree and wreath pickup.  There are other organizations who will pick up the trees and dispose of them. 

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 10-13 to add a new section to Chapter 93 to the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Leaf, Tree and Brush Removal.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – Yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Old Business

 

GRW Proposal for Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney – Two Town Council meetings ago, the Council voted on the proposal submitted by GRW.  The Council voted to approve and retain GRW to do an initial review pursuant to their proposal.  Ms. Brown suggested the Council now vote on the second half of the proposal which is the sanitary sewer evaluation survey.

 

Dan Swafford advised the Council spoke with the President of Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation who wants to partner with the Town.  The Council was to have a meeting with the President of Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation which has not yet taken place.  Mr. Swafford made a motion to table this matter for two weeks so he can meet with Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation.  The motion died for lack of a second.

 

Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – is uncertain as to the purpose of meeting with Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation.  Mr. Farmer questioned what a meeting will accomplish and how could it be productive to share information which the Town and Eastern might use against each other in court at a future date.  The intentions of Eastern and Northern are to merge and they are now officially on the IURC docket. Dan Swafford explained Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation would split the cost and a meeting was to be scheduled to discuss the same.  Phillip Smith explained the Town is going to do the survey and suggested we get the survey started and then we can share the information with Eastern.  Mr. Farmer explained we cannot televise the system now and get good data due to the dry weather.  Dan Swafford would like for all parties to know and understand why the Town is proceeding so there will be no legal ramifications.  Mr. Farmer responded the decision was already made to bring Northern Richland in to our sewer system a few months ago and this is part of the process of moving forward.  Dianna Bastin commented it is in our contract, that there are two other entities and we can inspect their lines.  Ms. Bastin does not believe entering in to a partnership with Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation is a good idea because of possible litigation and we are two separate entities. 

 

Further, Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation has the ability to conduct their own study and then the Town can compare notes.  David Drake stated he will follow the advice of the Town Attorney and the information could be shared with Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation at a later time. Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the first part of the survey is an initial review of the Town’s records.   The sanitary sewer evaluation survey is actually where various segments are televised and they come to an opinion as to what it is going to take to repair certain portions of Northern Richland.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to approve the GRW Proposal for Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey, Part II.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – no.  Motion carried 3-1.

 

New Business

 

409 West Vine Street

 

Connie Griffin, Planning Department – a proposal has been received from Roger Cohen of Patriot Engineering Environmental.  Since this is a traditional demolition we will not have to be concerned about lead because it would not become airborne unless it was burned.  A backhoe will be used to remove the lead.  The main objective of the survey is to ascertain if there are materials containing asbestos.  The total cost of the project is $720 with $580 being field services and $140 in project management.  The time frame is one day for the asbestos survey and two weeks for the laboratory results. 

 

Dianna Bastin does not want to send an employee to the premises not knowing whether or not there is asbestos present.  Before the Town agrees to spend this money, this is not one continuous piece of property.  Ms. Griffin stated there is a small parcel located in between the town parking lot and the property.  Ms. Bastin is not interested in purchasing this property.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney – has reviewed the contract and the scope of the project is very limited and they are not agreeing to remove anything at this time.  Ms. Griffin responded this is correct, the contract is for an inspection only.  Ms. Brown had previously forwarded copies of the Administrative Code to the Council which discusses the Town’s obligations if it purchases a property and if there is going to be a demolition it has to test for asbestos.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to have an asbestos inspection at 409 W. Vine Street.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Bloomington Hospital, Inc. for 2011

 

Jim Davis, Fire Chief – explained this is an annual agreement between the Town and Bloomington Hospital.  The fire department provides a backup ambulance that’s housed at the Curry Pike Fire Station and manned by Ellettsville personnel.  Bloomington Hospital pays a contract fee each year and this year there will be an increase of 5%.  In 2010, the contract fee was $49,436.78.  Other than the fee increase, the contract is the same as in 2010.  Dianna Bastin commented that the people in this district have no idea of how many runs this ambulance makes, how far it travels and the services it provides. 

 

Ed Bitner inquired as to how many runs the ambulance made in 2010.  Chief Davis responded it made between 150 and 200 runs.

 

Dan Swafford commented Monroe County cut $100,000 from the ambulance project and wanted to know if this would effect the contract between Bloomington Hospital and the Town.  Chief Davis responded it would not.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to approve the Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Bloomington Hospital, Inc. for 2011.  Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Darla Brown for legal services

 

Phillip Smith confirmed Council members had reviewed the Agreement with Darla Brown for legal services.

 

Dianna Bastin thanked Darla Brown for her services and commented she has learned a lot.

 

Dan Swafford thanked Darla Brown for a great job.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to approve the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Darla Brown for legal services.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Northern Richland Sewer Corporation concerning the cost of billing and collection

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney – it is her understanding that Ms. Elkins from Northern Richland Sewer Corporation brought a contract to the Clerk’s office for signature.  This is the second contract titled “Amendment to Sewage Treatment Purchase Contract” drafted by Northern Richland and signed in April 2009.  A copy of a previous contract drafted by Michael Spencer was provided to Council members.  Ms. Brown doesn’t recommend the Town Council accept Northern Richland’s contract because there is some language missing with regard to Northern Richland releasing the Town.  In addition, it doesn’t cover past due amounts owed by Northern Richland to the Town for postage and collection.  Ms. Brown would like an opportunity to meet with Mike Farmer to prepare another contract that might be acceptable and then forward it to Northern Richland’s attorney.  The language currently in the Northern Richland contract is unacceptable and she cannot recommend it be accepted at this time.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to table the Agreement between the Northern Richland Sewer Corporation concerning the cost of billing and collection.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Supervisor Comments

 

Replacement of part-time employees – Fire Department

 

Jim Davis, Fire Chief – last council meeting he explained the Fire Department needed to replace part-time personnel.  Interviews for replacements were conducted by David Drake, Council Representative, both officers and firefighters. Five people were chosen to move from volunteer status to part-time status and two people were placed on a waiting list for one year.  The volunteers who Chief Davis would like to move from volunteer to part-time status are as follows:

 

·        Tyler Andis:  Currently on the Fire Department and has firefighter 1, firefighter 2 and first responder qualifications.  He has been a volunteer with the Department for one year and three months.

·        Charles Belden, Jr.:  Has been with Van Buren and White River Township Fire Departments for two years.  He has firefighter 1, firefighter 2 and EMT qualifications.

·        Tania Daffron:  Has been employed by Bloomington City Fire Department for eight years and eight months.  Officer Daffron has worked for the Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service for 16 years.  She has firefighter 1, firefighter 2, paramedic and instructor qualifications.

·        Randy Roudebush:  Has been a Perry Clear Creek Fire Fighter for thirteen years.  Officer Roudebush has firefighter 1 and paramedic qualifications.

·        Josh Tapp:  Has been with the Van Buren Fire Department for seven months.  Officer Tapp has firefighter 1, firefighter 2 and EMT qualifications.

 

Currently, they are down to 15 part-time employees and they normally like to have 21 part-time employees.  David Drake stated moving the five individuals to part-time status does not result in a budget increase.  This allows the fire department to do more efficient scheduling of its personnel.  The Town is lucky they are able to find experienced firefighters.  Chief Davis advised this is correct.  Currently, they are having a difficult time getting day time help.  Dianna Bastin asked how many applications they received.  Chief Davis stated they had received 14 or 15 applications.  Dan Swafford asked how many volunteers they try to keep at the Department.  Chief Davis explained it is difficult to get volunteers.  One person is a part-time employee who works four different jobs and has been with the Fire Department for 13 years. 

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to hire Tyler Andis, Charles Belden, Jr., Tania Daffron, Randy Roudebush and Josh Tapp as part-time firefighters.  David Drake so moved.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Chief Davis noted Mike Davis and Deanna Henry have been placed on a waiting list for a period of one year should one or more of the five individuals previously mentioned leave the Fire Department.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to place Mike Davis and Deanna Henry on a waiting list of one year for a part-time position.  David Drake so moved.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Planning Department Update - Connie Griffin

 

Area 10 Rural Transit locations.  Ms. Griffin has two council members who have emailed suggestions or approval of the two proposed Town locations.  It was suggested that the Transit locations be spread out to possibly include Campbell Park or the Police Station.  Phillip Smith voiced his concern of placing a bus stop across from the Fitness Island because people would have to step out on to the highway to board the bus.  Doug Norton, with Area 10 Rural Transit, stated there are two to three locations throughout the Town which are ideal for a bus stop.  Having a bus stop in the parking lot across from Town Hall is a good location.  A majority of the riders, at this time, are picked up at Sale Street and Highway 46 East.  The location behind the gas station is not a good location because of the alley.  In front of Fitness Island is the ideal location.  They do not want to encroach on another person’s property.  They have a bus stop ready to be installed.  Transportation is becoming a vital service and their trips are up 25% over last year.  Dan Swafford stated there was a stop at Richland Plaza and asked if he needed a stop at the old carpet store.  Mr. Norton responded he did not need a stop at the old carpet store.  The management of IGA is okay with people waiting for a bus under their canopy and a bus stop sign is posted at the store.

 

Commercial annexations.  Ms. Griffin provided a worksheet which outlines the tax information for each of the eleven commercial properties.  Ms. Griffin would like to meet with supervisors for the comments before providing a draft of the letter to the property owners regarding annexation. 

 

Lenzy Hayes.  The Planning Department has been conducting inspections.  The health department does not enforce the conditions of the homes which are occupied.  The State has unsafe building structure laws and she has been in contact with the State Health Department and the City of Angola, who has been successful in cleaning up their trailer parks and/or closing them.  At this time, Lenzy Hayes is negligent in their license because it has not been renewed since 2004.  Ms. Griffin is requesting permission to submit her case file on this property to the Town Attorney.  Dan Swafford asked how often a permit has to be renewed.  Ms. Griffin stated a permit is good for four years.  Mr. Swafford asked why Lenzy Hayes isn’t able to get their permit renewed.  Ms. Griffin responded the State Board of Health is understaffed and is backlogged.  At this time, there are code enforcement issues that the State is working on such things as the trash.   At the local level, enforcement can be started in our jurisdiction.  Phillip Smith stated perhaps the Hayes needed to start enforcement with their renters.  Ms. Griffin stated the Hayes need to provide safe structures for occupation.  The Hayes have cleaned up a lot of the trash since the last inspection. However, there are structures that are unsafe.  Dan Swafford asked if enforcement will require a lot of time.  Darla Brown doesn’t think there will be a lot of hours but some time will be necessary to draft the complaint.  Dan Swafford confirmed the owners have been informed of the code violations.

 

Phillip Smith entertained a motion to turn the code violations and enforcement at Lenzy Hayes Trailer Court over to the Town Attorney for further action.  David Drake so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Ellettsville Utilities Update by Jeff Farmer

 

Ellettsville Utilities are back in Richland Manor working and Mr. Farmer thanked the residents for their patience.

 

Personally, Mr. Farmer wanted to thank his employees for helping with the parade and the Fall Festival.  In addition, he recognized the fire department and police department for their work during the Fall Festival.  Lastly, he thanked Jim Ragle and his employees for also working at the Fall Festival.  Mr. Farmer reminded people to volunteer for the Fall Festival and that it reflects highly on our Town.

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer.  A couple of months ago, a group wanted to audit the Town’s telephone bills.  Ms. Hash has looked at the telephone bills and has found some savings.  She was able to reduce the web domain fee for the Clerk from $25 to $15 a month.  In Planning, a dial up internet connection and an off premises line was removed saving $31 a month.  In the utilities billing office a dial up internet connection and email were removed along with a $60 monthly charge on the phone system.  The telephone company refunded $2,700 for the phone system.  The utilities billing office saved $82.95 a month.   This results in a savings of $1,487 annually.

 

Council Comments

 

Dan Swafford was at the Fall Festival most of the time in the commercial tent.  It’s amazing to see everyone, volunteers and Town people, to put on such an extravagant ordeal that does bring pleasure and a lot of fun.  Thanks to Jim Ragle, Amber Ragle, Town Marshal Tony Bowlen, Chief Jim Davis, Mike Farmer, Jeff Farmer, Sandy Hash and anyone he may have left out for all of their hard work.

 

Phillip Smith has been asked to remind everyone about the bulky item drop off days on October 8, 2010 and October 9, 2010, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Fair Grounds.  There are two groups also collecting decent furniture.

 

Privilege of the Floor

 

Ed Bitner noticed Dan Swafford, as well as other Council members, asking several questions and appreciated them doing so.  He further commented it is the duty and a responsibility of a Council member to find out all of the information they can before making a decision.  It is also a duty and a responsibility to answer questions of the public.  Mr. Bitner noted a lack of attendance for a League of Women Voters’ forum.  Dan Swafford noted point of order as the meeting was not a political forum. 

 

Adjournment

 

Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Phillip Smith adjourned the meeting at 8:41 p.m.