April 11, 2011





The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, April 11, 2011, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  David Drake called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Dan Swafford led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer led by Phillip Smith. 


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


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


Approval of Minutes


David Drake entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting on March 28, 2011.  Dan Swafford so moved.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Motion carried.


Accounts Payable Vouchers


David Drake entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Scott Oldham made a motion to pay the vouchers.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.




Resolution 09-11 Temporary Loan between Funds


Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer – This is a loan of $100,000 from the rainy day fund to the general fund.  Dan Swafford asked if the Town was waiting on a payment or draw.  Ms. Hash responded the operating balance is not built up enough to last until the Town gets its next tax payment.  The Town receives a payment of approximately $33,000 every month for County Option Income Tax.  At the beginning of the month the general fund had a balance of $88,000 and after payroll it was $44,000.


David Drake entertained a motion to approve Resolution 09-11 Temporary Loan Between funds of $100,000 from the Rainy Day to General Fund.  Phillip Smith made a motion to approve Resolution 09-11 Temporary Loan from the Rainy Day Fund, $100,000, to General Fund.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Phillip Smith - yes and Dan Swafford - yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Ordinances on First Reading


Ordinance 11-04 to Amend Chapter 51 of the Ellettsville Town Code Adjusting Water Rates to Reflect the Wholesale Water Cost Tracking Factor of Twenty Five Cents Per 1,000 Gallons of Water Used


Darla Brown, Town Attorney – This Ordinance is to account for the water tracking rates approved by the IURC at its March 17, 2011, meeting.


Old Business


Restatement of the 457 Governmental Plan Document – The Purpose of This Restated Document is to Incorporate Recent Legislative and Regulatory Changes Into the Plan.


David Drake – Asked if the supervisors talked to their employees about the document.  Sandra Hash stated she gave a copy of the 457 Governmental Plan Document to the supervisors.


Darla Brown, Town Attorney – Reviewed the 457 Governmental Plan Document.  This document sets forth recent changes to the Plan.  The changes are summarized on pages 1, 2 and 3 of the Plan.  The changes are self-explanatory and there is nothing in the changes of any concern.  By signing the document, the Town is agreeing to adopt the changes.  David Drake asked if it didn’t change how employees participate in the plan or the amount of money they put in.  Ms. Brown responded no, it looks like most of the changes were benefits.  Mr. Drake stated either the employees accept the changes the federal government says has to be made or they get out of the plan. 


David Drake entertained a motion for the Restatement of the 457 Governmental Plan Document.  Dianna Bastin made a motion for the Reinstatement of the 457 Government Plan Document.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Phillip Smith - yes and Dan Swafford - yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


New Business


Utility Easement Request from Smithville Telephone


Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – Smithville Telephone is requesting an easement on the property the Town owns for the McNeely water tank.  They would like to put in a panel for some of their gear.  Smithville has walked the easement with Mr. Farmer and everything appears in order.  Smithville will pay $3,000 for the easement which will go into the tank maintenance fund.  Phillip Smith asked if the panel will be next to the road.  Mr. Farmers stated it will be on the back corner against the curb.  Mr. Swafford asked if there was a fence around the tank.  Mr. Farmer answered a fence has not been installed. 


David Drake entertained a motion to approve the Utility Easement Request from Smithville Telephone.  Dianna Bastin made a motion for the Utility Easement Request from Smithville Telephone to be approved.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Phillip Smith - yes and Dan Swafford - yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Supervisor Comments


Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – Provided the following updates:


Safe Routes to School Project:  The contractor, JBI, is in need of a place to park their equipment during construction.  They have asked to use the closest lot on Sycamore Drive but the school and other contractors are using it.  The only place for JBI to park is on the street.  She talked with Town Marshal Tony Bowlen and relayed the following:  The contractor will have to park on the street for approximately three weeks.  The school’s gravel parking lot is being used; JBI will have to make sure they allow enough room for the largest fire truck to go through; they will park on one side of the road; they are not to obstruct citizen driveways or mailboxes and to pay attention to the tight 90° turn on Sycamore Drive.  If everything goes as planned JBI should be finished in three weeks.   Dan Swafford asked that JBI repair any streets they may damage.


Heritage Trail Hike:  Ellettsville Main Street would like to invite everyone to participate in the Second Annual Heritage Hike this Saturday, April 16, 2011.  There will be a 10K hike starting at Flatwoods Park with registration from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and a 5K hike starting by the Primary School on Reeves Road with registration from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The hike is non-competitive and free.  The 10K and 5K hikes will end Downtown where some of the historic buildings will be open from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  The Masonic Lodge will host its breakfast buffet from 8:00 to noon and the cost is $5 for all you can eat.  Heritage Trail patches and t-shirts and Downtown route maps will be available at the red brick building at the corner of Sale and Vine.  The museum at Eagles Landing, Room 212, will be open from 10:00 a.m. to noon.  David Drake stated he and Scott Oldham will be doing the Little 500 hike this weekend so they will be unable to attend the Heritage Trail Hike.


Chad’s Recycle and Refuse LLC:  Has received a cease and desist order that was mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the enforcement attorney for the Secretary of State on April 5, 2011.  The property will be re-inspected in the very near future.  If the salvage yard is still operating there will be an administrative cease and desist order that will come from the Securities Commissioner of the Secretary of State’s office.  At that point, civil monetary fines and penalties may occur if the salvage business continues.


Code Enforcement Officer:  There is currently $6,000 in the budget line for the code enforcement position.  If this person were to work two days a week, 16 hours a week, from mid-May to Mid-November, the hourly rate would be $10.00 an hour.  This is to introduce filling the position.  She would like to discuss this more at the next Town Council meeting.


Ms. Griffin will be taking some PTO hours in the near future.  Denise Jenkins works Monday, Thursday and half day on Friday.  On the remaining days, there will be no one else to cover the office so it will be closed.  If she is unable to attend the Town Council meeting on April 25, 2011, Rick Coppock will handle the second reading for the Smithville rezone at 820 W. Temperance Street.  The petitioner has parking available at the property adjacent to the foundation and the overflow parking would go on to the church parking lot south of the property.  The legal acreage is .02 acres.  No code violations have been noted.  All zoning paperwork and fees have been filed as required by the petitioner.  The Planning Department recommended a zoning change from Residential 1 to Commercial 2 at the Plan Commission meeting on April 7, 2011.  The Comprehensive Plan has been reviewed and the proposed zoning use has been completed.  The proposed zoning is consistent with the land use policies contained in the comprehensive plan.  Additional properties along that area are all zoned from Commercial 1, 2 and 3.  The new use of the property is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  This is considered a positive use in the Downtown area and compatible with surrounding uses.


ADA Transition Plan:  The Plan will be presented at the May 9, 2011 Town Council meeting.  One of the key elements in the development of public awareness is the Town will have to show it has tried to get this information out.  Public hearing notices and presentations would become a part of the ADA Transition Plan. 


Sandra Hash stated she has received questions due to the 2011 tax bills.  There was a large tax increase due to the school’s new debt.  In August 2009, they did the paperwork to incur two $10 Million bond issues to cover the renovations at the high school and the junior high.  The Town’s increase was modest.  An example of a tax statement was provided to council.  On this tax statement the property tax was at the 1% maximum due to the tax cap or new circuit breaker laws from the referendum that was on the ballot last year.  The reduction was $187.68.  That reduction will be divided by all the taxing units in our tax district.  Ellettsville’s tax rate is 32% of the district total.  For this one house the Town will lose $60 worth of tax revenue.  That doesn’t sound like much, but when you multiply that by all the homes in Ellettsville it could be massive.  Last week the County sent a summary of the circuit breaker credits that could affect the Town of Ellettsville. The amount could be as much as $76,000.  That will have a big impact on the Town of Ellettsville.  Her own home’s assessed value is about half of the one presented and it did not reach the 1% cap.   While she knew the town would eventually feel the impact of the circuit breaker she didn’t think it would come so quickly.  David Drake added it was interesting that Ellettsville’s amount would be $76,000 and Bloomington’s is only $67,000.  Sandra explained the debt incurred by Richland Bean Blossom School Corporation would only affect Richland and Bean Blossom Townships.  The voters in the Monroe County School Corporation districts passed a referendum to increase the tax for the schools.  Since it was a referendum it was out side the tax levy.  It raised the taxes to the tax payers, but isn’t included in the tax caps.  Sandra ask the Council to check their own tax statements and let her know if they received a tax cap savings.  Phillip Smith questioned the loss of the state homestead credit.  Sandra explained the homestead deduction is still allowed but the state subsidy was abolished in 2010. 


Council Comments


Dianna BastinCongratulated Butler University for their run in the NCAA tournament.  While we were cheering their team on, someone was quietly setting a record from Ellettsville.  That person is Garret Butcher.  He is the first Monroe County player to play in back to back Final 4s.  Ellettsville is very proud of him.


Privilege of the Floor


Barbara Davidson – Asked when the remainder of the 15.45% increase that Bloomington is going to assess to the water customers go into effect.  David Drake responded when Bloomington assesses the higher fee to Ellettsville it will then be assessed to the customers.  Ms. Davidson was advised to check with the City of Bloomington.  Ms. Davidson stated the IURC approved it on March 2, 2011 and she was told it would be 30, 60 or 90 days before it would be assessed.  The Town’s increase is going into effect in May.  She asked if the other part of the increase be about the same time.  Mr. Drake responded he thought the increases were phased in over time.  Ms. Davidson responded the next increase will be 30.23% in two phases.  She observed an outside septic tank cleaner at the service center on Matthews Drive.  She called the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office to find out if they had a contract to dump sewer into their service center.  Ms. Davidson was told no one had seen a contract for this kind of service being dumped into their sewer system.  She asked why they don’t have a contract when Northern Richland and Eastern are still paying for the construction of the plant.  She also asked if it was outside sewage being dumped out of Monroe County into our service center.  David Drake suggested she pass her questions onto the Utilities Department for an answer.  Mike Farmer called her after she had called the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office.  He told her they charge a fee for sewage being dumped.  Her question, however, is why there isn’t a contract with the septic cleaning company.  David Drake said he didn’t believe it was mentioned in the contract the Town has with Eastern or Northern in regards to the operation of the sewer plants.  Ms. Davidson responded they have to have a contract to dump sewage and would like to know why the septic cleaner doesn’t have a contract.  Mr. Drake responded they would check on it.




Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Motion carried.  David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:31 p.m.