April 13, 2009




The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, April 13, 2009, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Dianna Bastin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Scott Oldham led the Pledge of Allegiance and Phillip Smith led in prayer. 


Roll Call:  Members present were Dianna Bastin, President; David Drake, Vice-President; Scott Oldham, Phillip Smith and Dan Swafford.  Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer; Mike Spencer, Town Attorney and Rick Coppock, Town Engineer were present. 


Supervisors Present:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer were present.  Frank Nierzwicki was also present.




Proclamation proclaiming April 25, 2009 as Parental Alienation Awareness Day


Dianna Bastin read the proclamation in its entirety.  Alienating behaviors are often found in high conflict divorce and custody situations.  Parental Alienation takes advantage of the suggestibility and dependency of children.  It deprives children of their right to love and be loved by both parents and is considered harmful to children as the alienating tactics used on children are confusing, frightening and rob children of their sense of security.  Professionals agree that the problem of Parental Alienation exists, is damaging to children and can affect them into adulthood.  With awareness comes education, understanding and the power to stop the abuse of innocent children caught in the crossfire of the people they love.  The Ellettsville Town Council proclaims April 25, 2009 as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. 


Proclamation proclaiming April 25, 2009 as Ellettsville Lodge #245 Free and Accepted Mason Day


Dianna Bastin read the proclamation in its entirety.  The Ellettsville Lodge #245 Free and Accepted Masons have existed in Ellettsville since 1857.  The Lodge and Masonry teaches the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.  They encourage members to live by the virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice.  Masonry encourages its members to be charitable to its fellow members as well as the world at large and teaches Charity extends beyond the grave to the boundless realms of eternity.  The Ellettsville Town Council proclaims April 25, 2009 as Ellettsville Lodge #245 Free and Accepted Masons Day. 


Approval of Minutes


Dianna Bastin entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting March 23, 2009, the Special Session March 26, 2009 and the Executive Session April 6, 2009.   David Drake so moved.   Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.


Accounts Payable Vouchers


Phillip Smith made a motion we pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.




Resolution 08-09 Temporary Loan


Sandra Hash explained due to insufficient funds in the General Fund, there is a need to transfer money from the Government Center Fund for $80,000 and The Rainy Day Fund for $100,000 to Fund 1, General Fund for $180,000.  This temporary loan was also made the last half of last year and repaid with our January tax distribution.  Unfortunately, we need to borrow the money again until our next tax payout (anticipated by the end of June). 


David Drake made a motion we adopt Resolution 08-09 Temporary Loan.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


The following discussion took place before the vote


David Drake asked if this loan is needed because we did not receive the tax pay out.  Sandra answered no and stated our General Fund has taken a hit in the last few years.  The Town has hired several people and depleted the fund.  The supervisors have been asked to reduce their spending.  The loan is needed because there is “no operating balance” in the General Fund. 


Scott Oldham asked “if this is due to the short fall of the projected tax base income”.  Sandra stated there was a reduction in the assessed valuation but we were still within fifteen dollars of our maximum levy; we just budgeted for more than we are bringing in.  The projections show a decrease in “COIT” for this year but the Town is currently receiving the projected amount.  After the budgets are certified, that could drop dramatically.  There is a chance of loss of some projected revenue.  Even though the assessed valuation went down and the General Fund was advertised high enough to catch all the levy plus we received the levy appeal.


Resolution 09-09 Transfer of Funds


Sandra Hash stated there will be an ordinance presented later in the meeting to eliminate the Redevelopment Commission. Redevelopment Commission has money for an intern but there is no appropriation for an intern in the Planning Budget.  This Transfer of Funds would transfer some of the money received from the I-69 Grant reimbursed back into Planning Director Salary and then moved to the Code Inspection Officer.  Sandra is requesting to move $1,250 from Code Inspection Officer to the Intern line so the Planning Department will still be able to have an intern. 


The MVH Budget was cut by almost $30,000.  Jim Ragle, Dianna Bastin and Sandra went over the budgets available and worked things out.  Appropriations need to be moved from the Stormwater Collections & Systems Maintenance Materials & Supplies to the Collections & Systems Maintenance Salaries & Wages in the amount of $15,000.  Last year an employee was hired and his salary was split between MVH and Stormwater.  In order to reduce the MVH budget, by the amount the State is requiring, the appropriations needed to be found elsewhere. 


David Drake made a motion we adopt Resolution 09-09.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Ordinances on First Reading


Ordinance 09-13 to amend Ordinance 08-11 Fixing of Salaries for Budget Year 2009


Sandra Hash explained this does not change any salaries.  Earlier in the year, the Council changed a title in the Planning Department from Administrative Assistant to Assistant Planning Director. 


Ordinance 09-14 to delete Chapter 154 from the Ellettsville Town Code eliminating the Department of Redevelopment


Dianna Bastin met with Sandra Hash to discuss to Town’s “shortfalls”; what could be done and how?  In lieu of the fact there are no people interested in the two vacant Redevelopment positions and Ellettsville can not afford to do “matching grants” Dianna is proposing to dissolve the Redevelopment Commission.   Redevelopment has some issues that can be absorbed into Planning.  Dianna spoke with Frank Nierzwicki and he is in agreement with it.


New Business


Agreement between Northern Richland Sewer Corporation and the Town of Ellettsville


Mike Spencer sent Mike Carmin, Attorney for NRSC, two contracts that dealt with the issue of the flow rate and postage raise.  Mr. Carmin has combined those into one contract and sent the new proposal for Mike Spencer to review.  Mike Spencer found some changes to the contract that will create some difficulties.  The original contract sent to Mr. Carmin, there was an indication that NRSC would file, within the next week, the documents necessary to pursue a tracking factor approval for the flow rate amount.  This information was not included in the contract received by Mr. Carmin.  The contract provides they will proceed with due diligent to obtain approval from the IURC at the set rate.  Mike Spencer explained the rate increases are going to be done in steps the first one in May and then January 2010.  NRSC tied the January 2010 increase to their general rate increase to the IURC.  Mike Spencer feels this is a problem because it can take longer than a year to pass.  Mike Spencer suggests this should be tied to a tracking factor and not the general rate increase.  NRSC tied the new billing rates, for approval by the IURC in their application, as a general rate increase.  Mike Spencer explained the contract with Eastern did not tie it into any IURC approval.  At the meeting with the wholesale customers, NRSC asked Eastern if they were going to agree to the rate increase without IURC approval and Eastern said yes.  NRSC stated Eastern will be paying for it before they can bill their customers.  Mike Spencer believes billing and collection charges need to be tied to the general rate increase.  Mike spoke with Doug Baldessari who does not think there is a tracking mechanism to address the postage issue. 


Mike Spencer stated NRSC agreed to the rates on the contract.  It is how the rates become effective that there is a disagreement with.  He is proposing the Council look at this again and make a firm decision one way or another at the next meeting.   Mike Spencer needs to discuss his concerns with Mike Carmin regarding the contract.  If the issues with the contract can not be resolved or an agreement met, the Board will need to make a decision at that time.  Sandra Hash stated NRSC signed the contract their attorney sent over. 


David Drake does not think we need to wait until the next meeting.  Mike Spencer needs the time to go back to them and say “change the terms of the contract”.  There needs to be a time frame for NRSC to make the application unless Mike Carmin informs Mike Spencer the application for the tracking factor has been filed.  Mike Spencer feels the critical issue is tying the increase in January to the general rate increase; that should be a tracking factor.  According to Doug Baldessari, there is no reason NRSC can not do that because that is what Eastern is doing.  NRSC was going to “mirror” the Eastern contract but they wanted time to discuss it with their attorney. 


Mike Spencer brought up another issue; the billing and collection charges.  Those charges are a total of $150 a month difference.  If the Council insists the billing and collection charges “mirror” Eastern, which starts May 1st, then it would mean NRSC would have to take it out of their cash reserves.  Scott Oldham, after the special meeting, was under the impression there was a clear offer from the Council on the table.  NRSC has countered.  Mike Spencer feels the Town needs to try one more time and if we can not come to terms, then we can’t come to terms.  Dan Swafford asked if this could be expedited if the Council agreed to the changes on the contract.  Mike Spencer went over the changes:

  • Paragraph 1:  Mike Spencer proposes there be a sentence added stating (unless they have already filed) “they would file within one week from the date of signing to file a petition for a tracking factor increase for the May increase and the January increase”.  Council agrees.
  • Paragraph 3C:  Mike Spencer proposes “effective January 1, 2010, a flow rate of $2.45 per 1,000 gallons of water per month used by Northern’s customers shall be charged”.  Mike Spencer would like to delete “or the first billing period after the IURC approval of Northern’s application for general rate increase”.  Council agrees.
  • Paragraph 4 Billing and Collection Charges:  Effective for the first full billing period after the IURC approval of Northern’s application for general rate increase and monthly thereafter.  Mike Spencer would propose “effective June 1st billing”.  Mirror Eastern’s contract.  David Drake does not believe it is fair to Eastern for it to be more expensive for them and not Northern.   Council agrees.
  • Paragraph E:  Mike Spencer added the last sentence of the paragraph after the contract was sent to NRSC and it should not be an issue.  It references changing the billing methodology and to outsource some or all of the billing procedures that appeared in Paragraph F. 


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement – Bynum Fanyo & Associates, Bynum Fanyo Utilities and Bynum Fanyo Environmental


Sandra Hash explained this is a standard form provided by the State Board of Accounts for companies that do business with the Town.  After the Council approves this form it will go to the State Board of Accounts for filing and be on record to show the “Conflict of Interest” has been declared publicly. 


Dianna Bastin entertained a motion that we accept the Conflict of Interest.  Scott Oldham so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.


Supervisors Comments


Sandra Hash presented and explained a spreadsheet to the Council on the I-69 Community Planning Program Grant. 


Tony Bowlen, Town Marshal asked the Council to approve three new Reserve Officers:    Joseph Hinton, Amber Mullis and Nathan Callahan.  Dianna Bastin asked if they completed their requirements and training.  Tony said yes.  There will be eleven Reserve Officers. 


Scott Oldham moved that we appoint three new Reserves for the Ellettsville Police Department (Joseph Hinton, Amber Mullis and Nathan Callahan).  David Drake seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Sandra Hash swore in Joseph Hinton and Nathan Callahan. 


Council Comments


Scott Oldham announced this is National 911 Center Dispatch Week.  All the dispatchers are much appreciated.  Dianna Bastin stated Bloomington, IU, Indiana State police and DNR all have dispatchers. 




David Drake made a motion we adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Dianna Bastin adjourned the meeting at 8:09 p.m.