February 25, 2008




The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met in regular session on Monday, February 25, 2008, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Dan Swafford called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  David Drake led the Pledge of Allegiance and Phillip Smith led in prayer. 


Roll Call:  Members present were Dan Swafford, President; Dianna S. Bastin, Vice-President; David Drake, Brian Mobley and Phillip Smith.  Sandra Hash, Clerk Treasurer and Mike Spencer, Attorney were also present. 


Supervisors Present:    Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Gary Darland, Mike Farmer, Jeff Farmer and Frank Nierzwicki were present.  


Approval of the minutes


Dan Swafford asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of February 11, 2008.  Dianna Bastin made the motion we approve the minutes for the regular meeting.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.


Action to Pay Accounts Payable Vouchers


David Drake made a motion that we approve the Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Phillip Smith seconded.   Motion carried.


Proclamation to proclaim March as American Red Cross Month


Dianna Bastin read the Proclamation in its entirety stating The Monroe County Chapter of the American Red Cross has served the Citizens of Ellettsville with compassion and integrity since inception in 1917 therefore, The Ellettsville Town Council do hereby proclaim the month of March 2008 as American Red Cross Month. 


Dan Swafford asked for a motion to proclaim American Red Cross month of March.  Dianna Bastin made the motion.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.




Resolution 03-08 Transfer of Funds


Sandra Hash explained Wal-Mart donated $3,000 to the Ellettsville Police Department in October of 2006 to assist in purchasing a Canine.  No Canine was purchased.  An exercise room is being equipped to help the officers maintain their physical fitness and Wal-Mart has instructed, in writing, the grant be used by the Police Department for training, education or equipment.  The following transfers are hereby authorized:

From:  Fund 9              K-9 Fund                                                         $3,000.00

To:      Fund 12            Law Enforcement Continuing Education            $3,000.00


Brian Mobley made the motion for Resolution 03-08.  Phillip Smith seconded. Roll call vote:  Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Phillip Smith – yes.   Motion carried 5-0.


Brian Mobley stated he has seen the equipment room and it is coming along very nicely.  Gary Darland announced there will be a formal press announcement in the next few days. 


Supervisor Comments


Frank Nierzwicki, Director of Planning Services introduced a group of children who came to speak on behalf of the Wishing Well Park located near the School Corporation.  The Planning Department is applying for the I-69 grant to preserve green space and the nature area around the Wishing Well Park. 


Judy Morran brought students with her to the meeting; they are “the eyes of learners”.  They are some of the best and brightest in our community.  The children in attendance are past, present and future 5th grade students.  Ms. Morran would like the children to watch the Council and see what it means to work and build for the community.  Ms. Morran presented the Council with a study, conducted in 2001 by Indiana University, showing where the park is located and information they found out about it.  Ms. Morran has created an outdoor laboratory which won the state “Indiana Outdoor Lab of the Year” Award this

week.  The outdoor lab offers any XL class a curriculum combining outdoor education with regular standards.  The children held a map while Ms. Morran pointed out parts of the Wishing Well Park (nature trail, sink holes, butterfly garden) and the area they would like to have designated as a nature preserve.   Ms. Morran and the students put together and read a resolution to the Council.


Dear Town Council: 

We asked that you pass a resolution designating the Wishing Well site as a local nature preserve.  It is not large enough to be a State preserve.

  • Dana Wells - It is a natural Indiana woodland, wetland filtering system, which can impact water quality and deal with storm drain off
  • Marielle Delos Santos – It is the headwaters of McCormick’s Creek.  Any pollution in these waters could impact McCormick’s Creek State Park which is one of the most visited Indiana State parks, as well as affect the drinking water of the communities of Gosport, Stinesville, Spencer and other downstream communities that use White River as their drinking source. 
  • Elizabeth Van Allen – It is not a solid foundation for building on.
  • Jonas Carmichael – Its unique, natural area that is one of the last green spaces in Ellettsville
  • Justin Branam – It reflects the attitude and beliefs of the community.
  • Ben Meaden – It preserves a segment of life you may never see again
  • Ashton Gordon and Emily Maegerlein – It is beneficial to the growth and development of children.  It enhances the community’s beauty and value, encouraging growth.
  • Ms. Morran - This helps children and community members become “stake holders” in the community.  All the children have adopted a tree or done other nature studies.  The children firmly believe they would like to see this woodland continue on. 
  • Victoria Dillinger – Presently an 8th grader, was in XL during 4th and 5th grade and helped build the nature trail.  Outdoor studies help to build a stronger foundation in science. 

Ms. Morran received information from an Indianapolis conference on “nature disconnect”.  By not spending time outdoors, students are losing a very valuable part of themselves.  ISTEP scores and other standardized tests scores rise in science because of outdoor, hands on activities. 

·          James Dillinger – 6th grader at EJHS helped build the prairie in 5th grade and also adopted a tree.  Working outdoors has helped in math and literature.  He gave examples. 

Ms. Morran gave some closing quotes for the Council to think about while they thought about the nature preserve.  This will connect us to the future. 


Gary Darland, Town Marshal stated there has been a “plague” of larcenies to vehicles from August 2007 until January of 2008.  The Police Department did everything a Law Enforcement Agency could do with no avail.  Some arrests were finally made and Gary commended one of the officers for his outstanding police work.  This is the first “Full Commendation Award” Gary will be giving out during his time as Town Marshal.  Gary presented long time veteran Steve Bartlett with the certificate.  He read the certificate in its entirety and thanked Steve. 


Gary spoke to the children present quoting “his actions may have saved lives”; he shared an experience he had as an Indianapolis Police Officer. Ellettsville and the Police Department will not tolerate crimes by kids and he requested the children raise their right hands “Deputizing” them to spread the word.


Steve Bartlett thanked Marshal Darland, the Town Council and the citizens of Ellettsville for the award.  He thanked all the officers in the department because without their help and assistance in this he might not have gotten this done.   Mr. Bartlett accepted the award for the whole department. 


Jim Davis, Ellettsville Fire Department requested a 1970 Ford Econoline van be declared surplus.  He gave a brief history of the van.  It runs well but it is no longer needed.  Jim has sold surplus on e-bay in the past with success and plans to do the same with the van.  Mike


Spencer stated this will need to be in writing.  A resolution will be prepared for the next meeting. 


Dianna Bastin, Utilities Liaison explained during the last meeting there was a concern about billing practices and Mike Farmer was not present.  He will now answer those questions.


Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities explained a Town Utility customer had a concern about bills being higher than usual due to a long cycle between readings and requested an adjustment.  Mike stated last months reading cycle ran longer than the normal thirty days.  In the winter months, because of water in the meter pits, rain, snow and all other types of weather, the reading cycle went longer.  Also, there are many water leaks during winter which could go unnoticed for up to sixty day if the Utilities Department “estimates” water usage instead of reading.  The Utilities Department made adjustments to the bills of anyone who called in to best reflect what they should pay.  This only affects “minimum users” (users of 3,000 gallons or less) and the remainder of the bills will even out the next month.  Mike further explained the customer had a credit of $1.72 but if the bill had been estimated and the customer had a leak, then he could have been responsible for over $100.  Estimating water bills is a last resort.


Council comments


Dianna Bastin stated if anyone has a question about their water bills, call the Utilities’ Office and they will explain.


Dan Swafford thanked the children for attending the meeting this evening.




Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.  Dan Swafford adjourned the meeting at 8:06 p.m.