September 8, 2014

 

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, September 8, 2014, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Dan Swafford led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.

 

Roll Call:  Members present were David Drake, Vice President; Dan Swafford and Scott Thomas.  Scott Oldham and Dianna Bastin were absent.  Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, Jim Davis, Town Manager, Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present. 

 

Supervisors present were:  Mike Cornman, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin and Mike Farmer.  Danny Stalcup and Kip Headdy also attended the meeting to represent the Street Department.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

David Drake entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on August 25, 2014.  Dan Swafford so moved.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

David Drake entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Scott Thomas so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2014-13 to Amend Title XI of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Pawnbrokers

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained some minor changes were made to three ordinances passed by the Town Council last fall with regard to regulations for pawn brokers, secondhand dealers, and dealers in valuable metals.  The purpose of the change to this ordinance is to add a paragraph to §111.06(A) that requires the licensee to transfer information about the pawned articles to a law enforcement website within 24 hours of the licensee receiving the article pawned.  Old paragraph B was stricken and a new paragraph B was added to state the licensee has to transfer the same information electronically to the Ellettsville Police Department at the same time it transfers the information to the law enforcement website. 

 

Ordinance 2014-14 is amended with regards to regulations for secondhand dealers and the changes are identical to the one for pawnbrokers.  Section 112.05(A) was revised to add a paragraph requiring the licensee to transfer information to the law enforcement website within 24 hours of the licensee receiving the articles in question.  Old paragraph B was stricken and new paragraph B requires the licensee to transfer the information to the Ellettsville Police Department at the same time it goes to the law enforcement website.   

 

Ordinance 2014-15 provides regulations for dealers in valuable metals.  The ordinance as originally passed requires the licensee to provide that information within 48 hours which she didn’t change.  A sentence was added to say the licensee is responsible for maintaining all records and receipts showing information has been transferred so there is no dispute to whether or not it was transferred.  The burden is on the licensee to show the police officer or whoever questions it that the information was transferred.  Old paragraph B was stricken and new paragraph B requires the licensee to transfer the same information electronically to the Ellettsville Police Department at the same time the information is transferred to the law enforcement website. 

 

David Drake entertained a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-13 to amend Title XI of Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Pawnbrokers.  Dan Swafford made a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-13 to amend Title XI of Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Pawnbrokers.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

Ordinance 2014-14 to Amend Title XI of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Secondhand Dealers

 

David Drake entertained a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-14 to amend Title XI of Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Secondhand Dealers.  Scott Thomas made a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-14 to amend Title XI of Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Secondhand Dealers.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

Ordinance 2014-15 to Amend Title XI of the Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Dealers in Valuable Metals

 

David Drake entertained a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-15 to amend Title XI of Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Dealers in Valuable Metals.  Scott Thomas made a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-15 to amend Title XI of Ellettsville Town Code Regarding Regulations for Dealers in Valuable Metals.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

New Business

 

Heritage Trail

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, is requesting further instruction with regard to the trail.  The Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) has advised the Town cannot build the trail with its own workforce unless the Town reimburses $46,596.98 for the engineering costs.  The Town would have to pay back.  She talked to Brandi Fishvogt of INDOT about whether or not the Town could declare no-build and there was some confusion last time as to what that meant.  Ms. Fischvogt admitted it isn’t something that comes up a lot and it is her understanding that no-build is the equivalent to no trail.  No-build means the Town decides it doesn’t want to build a trail which means the Town can’t build one in the future.  INDOT is taking the position if the Town declares a no-build it still has to pay back the money.  If the Town wants to build it with its own workforce it has to pay back the money.  The third choice is if the Town wants to solicit bids from INDOT approved contractors and build the trail the Town doesn’t have to pay back the money but, obviously, that will add to the construction costs.  Mr. Swafford asked if there would be additional requirements if the Town used INDOT approved contractors.  Ms. Brown answered yes.  For example, if the Town was going to build the bridge a construction inspector would have to be hired.  Ms. Fischvogt has offered to meet with the Town on Friday, September 12, 2014, and bring someone else with her to answer questions if Town Council members are interested. 

 

David Drake asked Sandra Hash the amount of additional funding to finish the trail.  Ms. Hash replied the Town discussed an additional appropriation of $150,000.  The Town will receive $98,145 from selling property for the Matthews Bridge project and a judgment of approximately $10,000.  It was discussed designating those amounts toward the additional appropriation and trail.  The Town would have to pay $42,000 from the General Fund.  On August 26, 2014, there was a meeting and some of the numbers were changed at that point.  Mr. Drake commented if the Town builds it, it would have to come up with $1,712.69 in addition to the anticipated funds.  Ms. Hash said that’s correct and the labor costs were removed.  At a meeting it was decided the labor would be from the Street Department and not the Utility workers.  If it doesn’t exceed the costs in the estimates, then only $1,712.69 would be needed from the operating balance.  Mr. Drake stated the Town thought it had to come up with another $42,000 but instead has to come up with another $46,000 to reimburse INDOT.  They are not adding that much more money on top of what the Town already thought it had to have.  Ms. Hash would prefer to do the additional appropriation of $150,000 in case there are unanticipated overruns.  Any unspent funds will go back in to the operating balance.  Mr. Drake is for returning the money to INDOT, getting the trail done and moving forward. 

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, is looking for a consensus.  They will continue on the path they’ve been on.  The Town will be audited and will take place quickly.  The Town will receive an invoice shortly after the audit.  Ms. Fischvogt confirmed once the Town pays back the money to INDOT, the Town can build the trail to its own standards.  If the Town decides to build the bridge later, it is to the Town’s own standards.  Mr. Swafford thinks they should meet with Ms. Fischvogt on September 12th before they make a decision.  They met with her a couple of years ago and it seems a lot of things have changed and he wants to know if it’s policy changes or something that wasn’t clear to Ms. Fischvogt in previous meetings.   He would like this put on the agenda for next meeting.  Ms. Hash and Mr. Thomas will also attend the meeting.  It was decided the meeting on September 12th will be at 10:00 a.m. at the Department of Planning.

 

Raises/Promotions for Various Individuals in the Street Department

 

Scott Thomas has had multiple conversations with the Street Department, Bynum Fanyo and other Council members. He would like to make a motion to increase the pay of Danny Stalcup and Kip Headdy retroactive to July 14, 2014.  They have already assumed the duties and are doing the job whether or not the Town moves forward with consolidation.  It isn’t right to make them sit and wait longer for pay increases.

 

Scott Thomas made a motion to increase the pay of Danny Stalcup and Kip Headdy retroactive to July 14, 2014.  Dan Swafford seconded. 

 

David Drake agrees.  They’ve both been doing their jobs for a couple of months without additional pay.  They not only deserve the pay but retroactively to when they started doing the jobs. 

 

Scott Thomas amended his motion as follows:  To increase the pay of Danny Stalcup and Kip Headdy retroactive to July 14, 2014, as listed in the 2014 Salary Ordinance for the position of supervisor and foreman.

 

Dan Swafford asked if their titles will also change.  Mr. Drake answered their titles will be whatever goes with the salary.  Mr. Stalcup’s title will be supervisor and Mr. Headdy’s title will be foreman.

 

Roll call vote on the amended motion:  David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford - yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

Discussion on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan

 

Scott Thomas is looking at where they’re going as a Town and it is with the intent of providing better transparency to Town Council, constituents and employees.  The Town needs to have a plan of where they’re going and what they want to do.  He wants to update the plan and get the Council involved.  There is a lot of talk about what they would like to do such as the Heritage Trail, retention of ponds, building a new Town Hall and moving departments into a larger structure.  They have a lot of opportunities and great ideas but a lot of them exceed their finances.   If you don’t have a plan how can they get from A to B if you don’t prioritize what they want to do?  They want the Town Manager to be the point person on projects such as this.  He wants to put together a plan to move forward as a Town. 

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, explained the Comprehensive Plan was adopted on February 25, 2002 and updated on May 29, 2007.  The Plan Commission has been working on a new plan.  A proposed table of contents was presented.  After the Comprehensive Plan has been drafted they will hold public hearings.  Some of the sections will be Legislative Body, Mission and Vision Statement, Core Values, Plan Commission Duties, History, Geography, Natural Landscapes, Limestone, Water Resources, Planning Policies, Town Departments, Public Facilities, Street Signs, MPO, Subdivision Control Ordinance, Municipal Codes, Growth, ADA Policy, Park System and Inventory, and Annexations.  They are looking at a 20 year plan that will include local organizations and schools. 

 

David Drake stated the Town Council can offer guidance in this process and they give final approval.  Under state law this is really the Plan Commission’s province to draft the Comprehensive Plan.  Ms. Brown agreed.  The Plan Commission will prepare the Plan and hold a public hearing.  A draft of the proposed Comprehensive Plan has to be on file for the public to view at least 10 days before the hearing.  Once the Plan Commission approves the Plan, it is certified and sent to the Town Council.  The Town Council can either adopt, reject or amend it.  If the Town Council does anything other than adopting it, it goes back to the Plan Commission and they have 60 days to address any changes.

 

Scott Thomas asked if the property the Town purchased and the retention area go through Planning.  Ms. Brown replied the Comprehensive Plan is an overview or a map of their vision for the Town of Ellettsville.  It is not a specific plan but more of a policy statement.  Those topics can be discussed in the vision for the future. 

 

Connie Griffin advised the draft of the Comprehensive Plan is on ellettsvilleplanning.org.  They will be mimicking the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan.

 

Council Comments

 

Scott Thomas read in the newspaper there was a recent retirement in the Police Department.  He asked Marshal Bowlen where they were at on filling that position and moving forward. 

 

Marshal Tony Bowlen inquired with the Town Manager about filling the position and he advised the Town Council was not wanting to move forward with it at this time.  Mr. Swafford asked how long the position has been vacant.  Marshal Bowlen replied it has been vacant since August 31, 2014.  Mr. Drake remarked it has been vacant longer than that because the officer had been on vacation.  Marshal Bowlen advised he has qualified internal applicants who would like to apply for the job if the vacancy will be filled.  Mr. Drake thinks it needs to be filled.  Mr. Swafford asked if it is in the budget.  Marshal Bowlen answered it is in the budget.  Mr. Drake thinks they can advertise the position internally.  If there are internal applicants who have already paid their dues and are doing a good job, it is silly to try to go outside of the department and through the whole process.  Mr. Thomas agrees and thinks they set a precedent with the creation of the Town Manager.  Mr. Drake added if none of the internal applicants work out then they can go outside of the department.

 

Scott Thomas made a motion to start the process of advertising initially internally for a replacement for the recent retired officer.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Scott Thomas thinks there have been some problems with things falling through cracks.  Now that they have a Town Manager they can greatly improve on some processes.  Recently, there have been some changes to the Personnel Policy.  He would like for the Town to do as the state does.  To make changes and enact them on certain dates so there is not the constant reprint and the cost associated with disseminating the information.  He has heard from supervisors that they may or may not have the updates or know they have a Personnel Policy.  He would like to see the Town Manager take the lead in going around to the departments, making sure they have a Personnel Policy and that it is up-to-date.  Ms. Hash explained the previous update on the Town Code was in 2012.  The 2014 update just came in last week and the online updates should be current.  When they have a code revision and it affects the Personnel Policy they make copies of the pages to be inserted and sometime the entire Personnel Policy is copied.  When a person is hired they have to sign a paper stating they have received their Personnel Policy.  Each department head has a Town Code book available in their offices.  They don’t have the updates yet because they’re just getting started on distributing them.  There is one kept in the conference room in case Town Council needs it for reference during a public meeting.  Anytime there is a finalized update they either give replacement pages to the employees or they are given a new policy book which will have the date it is distributed on the front.  Any changes after that date it is in ordinance form.  The responsibility really falls on the supervisor to get ordinances with these changes to their employees.  A log is kept of all copies that have been distributed so the departments can’t say they haven’t received them.  They have tried very hard to make sure when there is a code update that the information is given to the employees.  She knows supervisors can’t find them or lose them because her office receives a lot of calls with questions on the Personnel Policy. 

 

Scott Thomas asked if there is a code book in each location and are they certain it is updated.  Ms. Hash replied this is why she has the supervisors sign they’ve received the copies.  For 2012, she has forms showing updates were given to each department and it is their responsibility to make sure it the code book is updated.  She sends someone to update the book in the conference room and she makes sure the book at the Library is updated.  She reiterated they are very careful to make sure all departments receive the updates. 

 

Jim Davis, Town Manager, commented after being Fire Chief for many years, he has never failed to receive a Code book and has never failed to put the updates in the Code book.  The Code book is in his office as are the new updates which are ready to be replaced.  Ms. Hash has done an excellent job seeing to it that the supervisors got their code books. Whether or not the supervisors use their code book or know where it is is a totally different issue.  She has always provided the documentation.  Mr. Thomas asked Mr. Davis to put this on his agenda for the next supervisor’s meeting.  Mr. Davis commented an update is only done once a year, however, it is current on the website.  Ms. Hash noted after this current update, there was a change to the Personnel Policy for adding the Town Manager and sick leave.  Mr. Thomas asked when the next update will be.  Ms. Hash answered hopefully, it will be in 2015.  The budget for this is $4,200. 

 

David Drake mentioned at places he has worked they handed out changes to the Personnel Policy and employees had to sign they received it each time there was a new addition. 

 

Scott Thomas would like to see a weekly email report from the Town Manager on what has been worked on that week and if there have been interactions.  He is requesting this for a couple of reasons.  For one, to keep Town Council in the loop as to what is going on.  Secondly, it is a part-time position with flexibility and he is concerned with running over on hours because of the implications of the Affordable Health Care Act.  He would like for the whole Council to see what has been worked on that week.  Is this something that can be done?  Mr. Davis answered he can probably put something together but it may not be too detailed.  Mr. Thomas said that’s fine.  It can be what he’s worked on for the week and how many hours he worked.  There are different things going on that some people and not others know about.  This is a new position but they’re increasing the amount of things they’re asking him to do.  Mr. Swafford remarked with a new position there is going to be change. 

 

Supervisor’s Comments

 

Jim Davis, Town Manager, advised the Turning Point Church on Vine Street is requesting a street closing from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on September 28, 2014, for an annual event. 

 

David Drake entertained a motion to approve the street closing from 1:00 pm. To 3:00 p.m. on September 28, 2014.  Dan Swafford so moved.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Adjournment

 

David Drake entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford made a motion to adjourn.  Scott Thomas seconded.  David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:16 p.m.