April 27, 2015
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, April 27, 2015, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.
Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President; Scott Thomas, Vice President; Dianna Bastin, David Drake and Kevin Farris. Sandra Hash, Clerk - Treasurer. Jim Davis, Town Manager, and Darla Brown, Town Attorney, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Tony Bowlen, Danny Stalcup, Kevin Tolloty, Mike Farmer and Jeff Farmer.
Proclamation for Huntington Disease Awareness Month
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained the Town has issued this Proclamation for the past three years. There will be some activities during the month of May and the Proclamation declares it Huntington Disease Awareness Month.
Scott Oldham thinks this a very worthy cause that has come to the Town in years past. The month of May is proclaimed as Huntington Disease Awareness Month.
Approval of Minutes
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting and Executive Session on April 13, 2015. Dianna Bastin so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Motion carried.
Accounts Payable Vouchers
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. David Drake so moved. Dianna Bastin seconded. Motion carried.
Ordinances on First Reading
Ordinance 2015-05 to Amend Various Sections of the Town of Ellettsville Personnel Policy
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this ordinance adds a grievance procedure for employee complaints which will go to the department head first, then the Town Manager and lastly Town Council. It makes it clear that the Utility office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Supervisors shall not deny paid time off (“PTO”) requests as a disciplinary measure or rescind them for disciplinary reasons. Sick leave can accumulate forever but when an employee leaves the Town’s employment, the employee will not get a check for unused sick leave. It makes the firefighter personnel policies for sick leave parallel those for the rest of the Town employees. The Police Department’s sick leave policies will parallel those for the rest of the Town employees. For the Police Department, it defines the shifts for a full time officer in two categories: Six shifts on and three days off or a forty hour shift employee. It discusses overtime pay for police as well as PTO hours.
Jim Davis, Town Manager, advised discussion on the changes had taken place at the supervisors meeting over the last five months which were drafted and presented to Ms. Brown. It is before the Town Council for consideration. Mr. Farris asked if all of the supervisors are in agreement. Mr. Davis answered yes and all supervisors were present at each meeting.
David Drake reviewed the portion that states “Employees shall not be allowed to use a combination of sick leave and PTO to reach a known or pending date of separation from employment.” What if they actually have a medical condition? Mr. Davis replied the intent is employees don’t get paid for sick time when they retire. Somewhere else in the policy may supersede this if the employee has a doctor’s statement. If an employee has a doctor’s statement that puts them on sick leave then they can take all the sick time they need until the doctor releases them to return to work. Mr. Drake is concerned if someone was smart they would not tell the supervisor they’re going to leave until they have used up all of their sick time. Mr. Davis reiterated they would have to have a doctor provide a statement.
Scott Oldham said sick leave is unlimited and an employee can continue to accrue it over the years. What reward is there for being a good employee who doesn’t call in sick for “X” years instead of “use it or lose it” at the end of their employment? Should they consider some type of stipend at the end? Mr. Davis answered this has been broached by many council members in the past and no Town Council has ever wanted to have a sick leave payout when an employee leaves. Mr. Oldham doesn’t agree with paying it out, hour for hour, but perhaps a maximum amount. Mr. Davis advised the Town does do a PTO pay out. Mr. Oldham stated the Town gets into a situation where they are not making it advantageous to come to work after an employee has banked a certain number of days. Then an employee decides to use their sick days every year which hurts the Town financially in the long run. Mr. Davis advised what seemed to happen when employees accumulated hours was they started using them as extra days to take off. The forever clause was put in which states employees could accumulate all the sick hours they want but won’t get paid for them when they leave. Mr. Oldham asked if they saw employees began to take off once they were comfortable with the sick leave hours. Mr. Davis thinks there are people who use sick days as soon as they earn them which they couldn’t 100% eliminate. Mr. Farris understands Mr. Oldham’s concerns and would like to think about it. Mr. Thomas concurred.
Dianna Bastin asked if the supervisors could make suggestions because all of them have a decent sick bank. Perhaps it could be a percentage or another figure they think would be fair. She doesn’t want to encourage employees to start using up their sick time. If they use a percentage of the total accumulation it may be helpful. Mr. Davis remarked one of the largest employers in the county does pay for some sick time. When an employee retires it is reduced by 50%, then two-thirds and so forth and the amount they receive is next to nothing. Ms. Bastin does not want this. Mr. Oldham thinks it would be better than walking away with nothing.
Kevin Farris asked how sick time is handled in a course of a year once an employee has earned the right to use it. Are there so many days in a row an employee can take sick leave without a doctor’s note? Mr. Davis replied 40 hour week employees can only take two sick days in a row, a firefighter can only use one 24 shift and police officers can use two sick days without a doctor’s statement. Mr. Oldham ask if they accrue one day a month. Mr. Davis said that is correct.
David Drake thinks what Mr. Davis is saying is when a limit is set then employees will start burning their sick days. If there is not a limit, it won’t completely solve the problem but it will give employees the opportunity to bank as many sick days as they can because they don’t know when they may need them. Mr. Oldham understands but they’re desensitizing some of it by the “use it or lose it” policy. At some point, they have to look at an employee calling in sick one day per month in the “use it or lose it” plan while knowing they’re leaving in three years. The Town has to start paying out overtime to cover shifts for those people. Ms. Bastin suggested telling employees the Town will pay a percentage of the total which would be an incentive to bank a few sick days. Mr. Davis said employees can carry over half of their PTO each year and after June 30th they can get a full years PTO plus the previous year’s PTO which they can get paid upon leaving the Town. Ms. Bastin thinks it is worth looking into. Ms. Hash requests if they do set up a payout system for sick time that they consider the cost. Now, when there is a PTO payout they can’t fill the position until the time lapses because there is not a cash reserve to cover that type of benefit. If there is a sick leave payout there needs to be a way to finance it by perhaps setting up a reserve fund that won’t be used for other expenses.
Scott Oldham asked Ms. Hash to prepare a synopsis of how many sick days are used per year. Utilities is a separate budget. He wants to know the total number of sick days used in the Police, Fire and Street Departments and any other employee in Town per year. This can be discussed the next time it comes up. Ms. Hash mentioned the good thing about the sick leave policy is when an employee is off, even for a long term illness, they can be paid their full wages. Mr. Davis added employees can transfer sick time to other employees if they’re off for a serious illness and run out of sick time. Ms. Hash noted in the private sector employees have to pay for short or long term disability policies which pay 60% of their wages when they have to be off. The sick leave bank is a wonderful benefit for the wages being ensured while they’re working.
Scott Thomas wants to make certain they keep in mind of having funds available to pay out the sick time because it has cost the Town in the past for not being able to replace employees and cover overtime. He would like to prevent this in the future. Mr. Oldham would like the ordinance put on the website.
Ordinances on Second Reading
Ordinance 2015-04 to Correct Ordinance 2014-23 Regarding the St. John Church Annexation
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained in the ordinance passed by the Town Council in late 2014 with regard to the St. John Church Annexation a small parcel of .49 acres was omitted from the legal description. It should have been included in the legal description to be annexed which is what this ordinance corrects.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2015-04. David Drake made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2015-04. Dianna Bastin seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Resolution 05-2015 to Dispose of Surplus Property
Jim Davis, Town Manager, explained the Town Council previously approved the resolution to sell five pieces of equipment the Town no longer needs. Originally, they proposed to sell it with the City of Bloomington’s auction in July. At the time, there was confusion as to whether or not Ellettsville could join with Bloomington’s auction. Ms. Brown was notified from Bloomington’s attorneys that the Town would have to do an interlocal agreement. The other possibility is for the Town to sell its equipment after Bloomington’s auction on a different contract and advertisement. The auctioneer looked at the Town’s equipment and determined it would be a good addition to follow Bloomington’s sale. The cost isn’t much different than eBay versus this auctioneer.
Scott Thomas asked if the Town has the ability to set a reserve. Mr. Davis hasn’t been to a municipal auction where a reserve is set. Mr. Farris agreed. Mr. Davis previously provided an estimated value of the items provided by the auctioneer to the Town Council. The Town will sign a separate contract with the auctioneer.
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, advised at the last meeting Town Council passed a resolution authorizing the property to be sold at the City of Bloomington’s auction. She suggested the Town Council make a motion to amend the resolution to say “the surplus shall be sold at public auction.”
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to amend Resolution 05-2015 to what the Town Attorney said. Dianna Bastin made a motion to amend Resolution 05-2015 to what the Town Attorney said. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Mass Gathering Permit, Opening Day at the Ball Park-Richland Bean Blossom Youth League Sports
Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained the Town Council had previously approved April 24, 2015, for the permit contingent that he and the Town Marshal went through safety and emergency evacuation plans as well as a security site plan. They met with Amy Slabaugh and they’re satisfied they’re meeting the requirements for the day of the event only. They will do due diligence to make certain all of their concerns are met. He and Deputy Chief Jay Humphrey will check the ball park on opening day. He is comfortable with moving ahead with this.
Scott Oldham asked Marshal Bowlen if they’re inclined to close streets he is uncertain were closed the last time. Marshal Bowlen stated Park Street, at the curve past Turtleback, should be closed because there is a lot of foot traffic. Mr. Oldham stated at the last Town Council meeting they gave the Marshal and Fire Chief the ability to move the date and execute other public safety functions. Marshal Bowlen thinks the streets should be closed from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on May 1. 2015. Amy Slabaugh advised there will be vendors present on May 2, 2015. Mr. Oldham is concerned about children running in traffic going to concession stands. Marshal Bowlen suggested closing from Turtleback Street to the three way stop at Ritter Street from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 2, 2015. Marshal Bowlen stated at the last Town Council there was discussion on security needs. They have their own volunteers to be at the barricades so nobody moves them and there are others to help out with any security concerns. According to the ordinance, for the 1,000 people they expect on May 1, 2015, it would require four law enforcement officers to be present. He doesn’t think based on years past, the type of activity it is and with their volunteers that four officers or needed. One or two officers would be adequate. On May 2, 2015, he doesn’t think there needs to be two officers present throughout the day. Mr. Oldham asked how many officers they need on May 1, 2015. Marshal Bowlen answered two officers, with one on each end of the ball park for the parking issues. The main issue is always parking in the neighborhood yards. To leave Turtleback open someone is needed there to keep people from parking on both sides of the road and blocking traffic. Mr. Oldham asked how many officers are needed on May 2, 2015. Marshal Bowlen will need one officer throughout the day on Saturday. The ball park officials have obtained a Stinesville Police Officer to help out on May 2, 2015.
Dianna Bastin had a couple of non-friendly conversations with people over this issue. No, she doesn’t have children and yes, she is glad police officers will be at the ball park. She thinks the people organizing it this year really care, want to make changes and work with the community. She hopes the ball club does not use police officers as glorified parking attendants. She finds it hard to believe they don’t want a police officer in the crowd for the people they care about the most, the children.
David Drake asked what this means for the regular night games. Chief Cornman answered as far as the safety and weather emergency evacuation plans, he strongly reiterated to Ms. Slabaugh that they be in place all year long. The biggest point was that they have somebody of a recognizable authority so they can activate the plan in case something emergent happens. The coaches and assistant coaches really have to be the leaders on disaster coordination. Mr. Drake definitely sees the merit for having plans and knowing what to do. He takes issue with having a police officer present every night they play baseball and thinks it is ridiculous. Marshal Bowlen advised police officers will only be present for the opening event because with 500 children there may be more than 1,000 people. It is always the Jamboree that causes the big issue because there are more cars than places to park. Ms. Bastin asked if he steps up extra patrols during the ball games. Marshal Bowlen answered yes. Mr. Drake added there are usually off duty officers in the crowd. Mr. Oldham asked Chief Cornman if the plans are similar to the Fall Festival’s evacuation plans. Chief Cornman replied they are similar. The little league is more spread out than the Fall Festival. He explained not to use smartphones to watch radar. He will be watching the weather and will be in communication with Ms. Slabaugh.
Dianna Bastin commends Ms. Slabaugh and the organization. This is the first time while being on Town Council that she has seen this type of concern and organization.
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, thinks because the regulations under the ordinance allow the Town Council to waive certain conditions it would be helpful if there is a motion with regard to waiving the requirement for the security officers. The ordinance says the Town Council may require, at their discretion, two officers present for each 500 and one security officer present for each 500.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to waive the requirement for security and allow the Marshal to set the limits for opening day at the ball park and to close the streets as mentioned. Dianna Bastin made a motion to waive the requirement for security and allow the Marshal to set the limits for opening day at the ball park and to close the streets as mentioned. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Energy Audit Report for Town Owned Buildings – Mike Farmer, Bynum Fanyo Utilities
Jim Davis advised he would like this matter tabled until the next meeting.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table the Energy Audit Report for Town Owned Building by Mike Farmer. Dianna Bastin made a motion to table the Energy Audit Report for Town Owned Building by Mike Farmer. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Proposed Lease Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville and the Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) to Rent the Town Hall
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, made changes to the proposed lease agreement based on comments from Town Council at the last meeting. Under paragraph 1, Term, a Town Council member asked for an evergreen clause so she put language in the contract which states the term automatically renews for a year unless either party gives the other written notice of termination at least thirty (30) days prior to expiration of the term. One of the Council members wanted a time limit on the events of one week in length so this language was inserted under paragraph 3, Purposes. There was language in the original contract with regard to charging a janitorial fee and a Town Council member wanted the language changed to allow the Chamber to charge a refundable deposit for events instead of the fee. Another suggestion was to put in language making it clear the Town still had sole access to the upstairs vault for storage of Town documents until the Town Council deems it unnecessary for its storage and needs. She added a paragraph on Utilities to make it clear the Chamber is responsible for all utilities. She had a short discussion with the Town’s insurance agent and $1,000,000 for public liability and property damage was considered acceptable and has been added to paragraph 9, Liability. Paragraph 13, Termination by Lessor, was added and it allows the Town Council to terminate the lease at any time it finds that public necessity and convenience require it to do so. She talked with Ed Pence and he has reviewed the Agreement but the Chamber has not had a chance to do so. If there is a consensus this is acceptable, she suggests it be tabled so she can send this version to Mr. Pence and allow him to share it with the Chamber for their comments and suggestions.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to table the lease as requested by Ms. Brown. Kevin Farris made the motion. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Heritage Trail Update
Jim Davis, Town Manager, advised they are working on it as weather permits.
Jim Davis, Town Manager, advised there is not an update on the flood abatement.
Lease Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville and Tod Wesemann for Pasture on State Road 46
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Mr. Wesemann would like to graze his cattle on a portion of the Stewart property purchased by the Town and this Lease Agreement permits the same. He would like to graze his cattle from May 1st through October of each year. He can extend it through November 1st if he gives notice to the Town Council. Mr. Wesemann will pay $10 per head for adult cattle. She left the payment due date in paragraph 5 open because she wasn’t sure of what the Town Council wanted to do. It is Mr. Wesemann’s responsibility to maintain the fence. He agrees in no event shall the Town be liable for injuries to his cattle and to indemnity and hold the Town harmless from any and all liability claims from his use of the property. The parties can renew the contract from year to year and can cancel by giving the other party 30 days notice.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the Lease Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Tod Wesemann. David Drake made a motion to approve the Lease Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Tod Wesemann. Dianna Bastin seconded.
Before the vote on the motion was taken, Scott Oldham asked what they wanted to do about the date of payment. After a discussion, it was decided the payment date will be December 15th.
Roll call vote on the aforementioned motion: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Kevin Farris announced on Saturday, May 9, 2015, the mail carriers are initiating their annual food drive in conjunction with United Way.
Danny Stalcup, Street Commissioner, has reviewed applications for part-time help and would like to hire Dallas Owens. Mr. Owens is a graduate of Edgewood High School and is 20 years old. He has discussed this with Jim Davis and is requesting permission to hire Mr. Owens. Mr. Oldham asked if they budgeted for a part-time spot. Mr. Stalcup replied yes, they did. Mr. Thomas asked if this position is for mowing. Mr. Stalcup answered he would like to use him where needed but he will be busy mowing.
Dianna Bastin asked if Mr. Owens is CDL certified. Mr. Stalcup answered no. Mr. Owens will be temporary part-time. He will be attending school this fall. Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Hash the pay rate. Ms. Hash replied the salary range is $10.00 to $15.00 an hour. Mr. Stalcup advised the pay rate will be $12.00 an hour for 26 weeks.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the hiring of the Dallas Owens for the use as outlined for that time period. Scott Thomas made a motion to approve the hiring of the Dallas Owens for the use as outlined for that time period. Kevin Farris seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Marshal Tony Bowlen is requesting approval to purchase two new vehicles for which he has received bids. The vehicles are 2016 Ford Interceptor utility vehicles. The individual cost from Bloomington Ford, who had the lowest bid, is $25,647.94 each. The second bid from Andy Mohr Ford was for $27,216.33.
David Drake thinks the purchase makes sense. The utility vehicles have a lot more room in them and a lot of police departments are going to them. The previous problem with these types of vehicles was they weren’t typically made to police standards. The Ford vehicles are the same price as the Dodges. It also makes sense to get two vehicles now because it takes a little time to get the vehicles and it is in the budget.
Dianna Bastin asked why they went from one vehicle to two vehicles. Marshal Bowlen replied they budgeted for two vehicles. Normally, at the first part of the year he asks for a car and the second part he does the same. The Fords are on an ordering cycle starting in May and they won’t come in until the end of the summer. The next ordering cycle doesn’t start until November. Ms. Bastin appreciates that he shopped around and stayed local.
Kevin Farris asked how the price of the vehicles compared to the Dodge Chargers. Marshal Bowlen replied the cost of the 2015 Charger AWD was $25,311. The Ford Interceptor cost $25,647.94. Ford are approximately $300 more but it is a lot more vehicle for the money.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the purchase of the two vehicles as requested by the Town Marshal. Scott Thomas made a motion to approve the purchase of the two vehicles as requested by the Town Marshal. David Drake seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn. Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn. Scott Thomas seconded. Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:24 p.m.