February 12, 2018
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, February 12, 2018, at the Ellettsville Town Hall Meeting Room located at 1150 W. Guy McCown Drive. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Kevin Farris led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Jimmie Durnil.
Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President; Brian Mobley, Vice President; Kevin Farris and Scott Thomas. Brice Teter was absent. Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer; Darla Brown, Town Attorney; and Mike Farmer, Interim Town Manager, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Danny Stalcup, Jimmie Durnil, Kevin Tolloty and Jeff Farmer.
Approval of Minutes
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes from the special meeting on January 22, 2018. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Motion carried.
Accounts Payable Vouchers
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. Mr. Mobley asked question on claims which were answered by the supervisors. Mr. Oldham asked if the Town received the Local Option Income Tax (“LOIT”) distribution for October 2017 to January 2018. He acknowledged he has ask repeatedly, but still feels the state has not provided a satisfactory answer. Ms. Hash contacted the person in charge at the Department of Local Government Finance (“DLGF”) and they explained the tax was started in the second half of 2016 so it will stay escrowed and the Town won’t collect it now. If a tax is voided in a year and that tax has already been certified to be paid it will stop being collected but the full distribution will continued to be paid for that year. The tax came in late so the Town isn’t going to receive it unless there is a surplus of funds and then the Town would receive it as a special distribution. Mr. Oldham asked how the tax could not be paid if it ended. Mr. Mobley spoke with Marty Hawk and she explained that the money is sitting there and won’t be released until it reaches a certain threshold. The county doesn’t have the money, it is with the state. Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Brown for assistance. Ms. Brown will get with Ms. Hash and review the ordinances. Mr. Oldham stated the tax has ended and being in escrow is not a good answer because they’re two separate taxes. Ms. Brown confirmed the DLGF stated because a new tax was passed they can’t make the distribution from the previous one. Ms. Hash responded that both taxes were established in the second half of the year. The tax will not be distributed from the partial year. If a tax were relieved mid-year and had already been scheduled for payment, they would continue to pay the tax for the entire year.
Brian Mobley made a motion to pay accounts payable. Kevin Farris seconded. Motion carried.
Tri Kappa Proclamation
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, recited the Proclamation for Tri Kappa Week as follows:
TRI KAPPA WEEK
WHEREAS, Kappa Kappa Kappa, Inc. more commonly known as Tri Kappa is celebrating 117 years of community and charity programs statewide during our, Tri Kappa Week Celebration, February 19-25, 2018.
WHEREAS, the unselfish service of the seven young women who founded Tri Kappa in 1901, of the nearly 12,000 female members in Tri Kappa today, and of all of the women who serviced in-between, has all combined to allow Tri Kappa to thrive and serve for 117 years, and
WHEREAS, Tri Kappa is a philanthropic organization located only in the State of Indiana; and
WHEREAS, The objective of Tri Kappa for the past 116 years, has been and continues to be, to bring women into close, unselfish relationships for the promotion of charity, culture and education throughout the State of Indiana; and
WHEREAS, Tri Kappa’s scholarship program, which began in 1913, has provided students with scholarships in the areas of academics, fine arts, and to those returning to school after an extended absence, in addition to supporting Gifted and Talented programs throughout the State in Indiana; and
WHEREAS, Tri Kappa’s charity program has been, and continues to be, actively involved with James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children since it opened in 1922, and also donates to charities
such as Ronald McDonald House, Camp Riley, Indiana Special Olympics, Mental Health Association of Indiana, Very Special Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Association of Retarded Citizens in addition to local charity programs throughout the State of Indiana; and
WHEREAS, Tri Kappa’s cultural program has been a strong supporter of the Hoosier Salon since its inception in 1926, and it maintains the Tri Kappa Art Collection, a collection of almost 100 paintings on permanent loan to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and supports Youth Art Month throughout the State of Indiana; and
WHEREAS, Tri Kappa returns to State and local communities more than $1.5 million every year to charitable, cultural and educational projects throughout the State of Indiana;
NOW THEREFORE We, Ellettsville Town Council, do hereby proclaim February 19-25, 2018, as TRI KAPPA WEEK (Kappa Kappa Kappa Epsilon Xi) in the Town of Ellettsville, in recognition of the contributions of the hardworking women who have and will continue to comprise this organization for the next 117 years, and invite all Hoosiers to take note of this special observance.
ADOPTED this 12th day of February in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Eighteen.
Ordinances on First Reading
Ordinances on Second Reading
Brian Mobley spoke with Rick Coppock and he is working on proposals.
Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville and T-Mobile
Mike Farmer, Interim Town Manager, spoke with Blackdot whom represents T-Mobile. The representative advised they do not represent AT & T so it cannot be bundled with T-Mobile’s agreement. Currently, the Town is receiving $1,913 monthly from T-Mobile with an increase of 3% every year. An option would be to decrease the renewal rate to 1.5% yearly and over six years it would total approximately $143,000. Blackdot made two offers of $129,000 guaranteed with increases or $154,000 guaranteed and a lump sum with no increases. Ms. Hash asked if the current T-Mobile contract is going to expire. Ms. Brown answered yes, at the end of 2018. Mr. Farris asked if T-Mobile pays monthly. Mr. Farmer answered yes. Mr. Oldham asked if Tower Maintenance is paid from the General Fund or Utilities. Ms. Hash explained a special fund was established for Tower Maintenance. 50% is paid to the previous landowners due to a deed restriction. Mr. Farmer commented the money is used to pay the contract with Utility Services to maintain the tank and paint it every 10 years. Mr. Oldham asked if they’re making more than the contract. Mr. Hash noted tank maintenance costs $26,000 a year. Mr. Farmer suggested another proposal which would be to continue with the contract as-is. Mr. Farris asked if they have the right to renew it every year or are they locked-in. Mr. Brown answered they’re locked in for five-year increments and it concludes at the end of this year. Mr. Farris asked if T-Mobile is wanting to negotiate for the next five years. Jeff Farmer answered yes, it currently pays $20,500 of their contract with Utility Services for water tank maintenance. Mr. Farris suggested waiting to renew with T-Mobile until after the Town has negotiated AT & T’s contract. Mike Farmer stated they may not renegotiate with AT & T because they did upgrades to their system. There’s a chance they’ll let their renewal proceed. AT & T’s contract will renew with a 7.65% increase or approximately $1,600. There was a discussion on various contract renewal options including a six-year guarantee. Ms. Hash asked why they don’t stay with the current plan. Mr. Oldham answered T-Mobile does not want to do so. Ms. Brown noted to stay with the current plan is taking a chance they will opt out. Mr. Oldham noted that although Option No. 1 is a lesser amount upfront it is guaranteed for eight years. There are a substantial number of households in the community whom have no landline and call 911 for emergencies from their cell phone. His vote is for Option No. 1. Mr. Farris concurs. Jeff Farmer commented Option No. 1 will put T-Mobile more in line with AT & T’s contract.
Kevin Farris made a motion to accept Option No. 1 for a total of eight years for $164,793.01. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes: Brian Mobley - yes; Kevin Farris – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
After a discussion on the various versions of proposals from Blackdot/T-Mobile, Ms. Brown will contact Blackdot and advise the Town is inclined to accept the $1,600/month proposal assuming it is for eight years starting in 2019.
Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and H.J. Umbaugh & Associates for the Annual Water Report
Mike Farmer, Interim Town Manager, explained this is done every year. There has not been an update on the contract for several years. The contract is for the same amount as the last one. It is for financial statements or reports on water as required by the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission. Mr. Mobley asked the amount of the contract. Ms. Hash answered $4,000.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion concerning this. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley - yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and A.J. Whitlow for Cleaning Services
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained Mr. Whitlow asked for an increase in his contract. Mike Farmer thinks the request is reasonable. Mr. Farris asked the amount of the increase. Ms. Hash answered the increase is from $490 to $660 per month for Town Hall. Mr. Farmer has asked Mr. Whitlow to provide liability insurance which he has done. Mr. Oldham asked the last time this was discussed. Ms. Hash replied Mr. Whitlow has never been asked to sign a contract. Town Council voted to have Mr. Whitlow clean Town Hall and he has been paid monthly. At the time, there were three proposals and one from an individual was reasonable but they went with Mr. Whitlow because of his experience with the Police Department.
Brian Mobley has an issue with giving Mr. Whitlow a substantial increase. They can’t give employees a raise. A 3% increase would be good. Just because he asked for it why do they have to give it to him? Therefore, he proposes a 3% increase. Mr. Farmer thinks this is an adjustment after Mr. Whitlow had time to find out what the job entailed. The increased amount is still lower than the other bids. Mr. Oldham asked who the other bids were from. Ms. Hash replied they were from Commercial Cleaning, Harris and an individual and all were more than $10,000 annually. There is also an issue with security. With a larger company there could be different cleaning people each week in Town Hall.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to approve the agreement. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley - no; Kevin Farris – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Proposal from H.J. Umbaugh & Associates for a Comprehensive Financial Plan
Mike Farmer, Interim Office Manager, explained the proposal from H.J. Umbaugh & Associates (“Umbaugh”) is for a comprehensive financial plan. With concern for plans in the future, it is important to know where the Town stands money-wise. Professionals are needed to help them understand the maze of rules and regulations and revenue streams that may be available to the Town. For planning purposes, and to improve how to serve the community, they need to know if the Town has money. Mr. Oldham discussed this with Jim Davis in 2017 and now Mike Farmer. This has nothing to do with current finances. This is to look at where they’ve been, where they are and where they’re going. There are a lot of variables and they’re going to need projections. For example, what’s involved with a fire district and LOIT versus LIT. Where did the money go? Someone needs to project these things including combining departments. Umbaugh has a vast array of knowledge and can provide a clearer picture of where the Town could be in 10 years. Previous Town Councils only thought two to three months ahead instead of five to ten years. It’s time to plan ten years out for the people of Ellettsville. Employees deserve raises and they have to identify what they need to do to make it happen. There is going to be a need for growth.
Kevin Farris remembers budget hearings in the past wherein they knew where the money was coming from. Now, it is down to the last three months and he knows it will affect the bottom line. Mr. Farmer thinks this will relieve some of the stress that comes with budget conversations because they will all have the same information. Mr. Farris asked if there was a list of towns and cities Umbaugh has worked for with in the past. Ms. Brown answered Umbaugh does a lot of work for cities, towns, utilities and libraries. Mr. Farris asked if this is the equivalent of a chief financial officer for a corporation. Mr. Farmer answered they will review and identify future revenue streams. Mr. Farris agrees it is something they need but he would like to hear Umbaugh present the proposal for their services. Mr. Oldham asked if they could be at the next meeting. Over the years they’ve faced challenges and everyone they’ve served with has done a good job of trying to solve those issues. They’ve built a good foundation but there are a lot of challenges ahead they need to look at. Mr. Farris receives calls asking how tax dollars are being spent. He thinks it would be best if Umbaugh presented it so taxpayers can understand it.
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, feels we have done a good job. When the inventory tax was removed and the tax based funds operating balances were at zero, we did temporary loans for three years. At the end of 2017, the Town had a balance of $750,000 in the General Fund. The Town is moving in the right direction. There have been funded but not balanced budgets but we also have good supervisors whom don’t spend every penny of their appropriations. That boosts the cash balance, which has gained over the last nine years. Her hope for the comprehensive financial plan is that it will examine the Town’s spending. The Town went in debt for the Fire and Police Departments and Umbaugh helped with the bonds but the Town didn’t ask if it was the best plan. Umbaugh also helped finance Town Hall. These are wonderful strides but it takes a toll on taxes. It takes years to grow back into it and build cash reserves. Ellettsville can’t compare with or pay what Bloomington pays its employees. Bloomington has over 70,000 citizens compared to approximately 7,000 in Ellettsville who are paying the taxes for everything the Town does. We are doing a good job. If there are additional revenue streams we don’t know about then yes, help the Town find them. If the Town can use Town funds more efficiently, help us understand how. We have a strong Town and she’s proud of her accomplishments over the past 20 years and the way the money has been handled. She doesn’t object to a comprehensive financial plan to help guide the Town. Mr. Farris suggested Umbaugh compare Ellettsville with municipalities of the same size. Mr. Oldham thinks a good example of their ability is that Town Hall was built with no increase in taxes. New buildings are 20, 40 or 50-year assets. Umbaugh has a proven track record with the Utilities Department and they have earned his respect. Yes, $15,000 is a lot of money but in the long run they will probably save 10 to 15 times that amount. Mr. Farmer commented he’s heard the arguments on how much money the Town has versus what it doesn’t have and that employees need a raise. Decisions shouldn’t be made out of fear but from knowledge. He will ask Umbaugh to present their proposal at the next meeting.
Scott Thomas agrees with most of the comments. His complaint is they tend to be reactive in nature because there hasn’t been a long-term vision or understanding on what would happen. Mr. Farris commented they have inherited problems from other Town Councils. Mr. Thomas commended Ms. Hash for the job she has done. Everyone needs to be on the same page and they have the best interest of Ellettsville in mind. Not everyone has the same understanding of Ellettsville’s financial situation. If they can come through this more knowledgeable with a better understanding of the numbers and people involved, $15,000 is a small amount to pay. Mr. Farmer advised the process will take 60 days and at the end of it most of the information will be sent electronically. Before they present their findings, they will interview the Clerk-Treasurer to make sure they didn’t miss anything, then there will be a work session for the Town Council and after that they will do a summary power point for the public. Mr. Oldham confirmed 60 days from the time they approve the contract Umbaugh would provide a report in May and then budgets will begin in June/July. Ms. Hash understands Umbaugh will outline revenue for the 2019 budget. Mr. Oldham asked what the source of funding will be to pay for the Umbaugh contract. Ms. Hash answered there was $17,000 left from Professional Services in 2017, so there should be fund available again this year. There was a discussion on questions to ask and the good customer service Umbaugh provides to the Town.
Scott Oldham asked if the consensus is a motion to table. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley - yes; Kevin Farris – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Pay Application No. 6 for the Chemical Phosphorus Removal Building
Scott Oldham asked the amount being requested. Ms. Hash answered $93,800.85. Mr. Oldham asked if this was the last payment. Jeff Farmer answered some retainage is leftover. They will have a final walk-thru on February 15, 2018. Everything has been completed and some grass will need sowed when the weather changes. All computers and controls will have to be synced. Ms. Hash stated there will be one more pay totaling $79,946.25. Mr. Farmer noted they’ve done more work than they’ve been paid for. In the end, they should’ve paid less than quoted because some change orders were not used.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley - yes; Kevin Farris – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Memorandum of Understanding Between the Town of Ellettsville and the Monroe County Public Library (“Library”)
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this agreement previously came before the Town Council in a different form. Previously, the Library had petitioned the Town to close an alley so the Library could expand. The Library will agree to reimburse the Town for materials to relocate the sanitary sewer line and the Library will make a contribution to light Memorial Park.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley - yes; Kevin Farris – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Town Council Comments
Brian Mobley congratulated the cloggers. Two groups were National Grand Champions. They are very good.
Brian Mobley asked if the generator is up and running. Mike Farmer answered it is not running. A converter was not installed as well as some rewiring. They will come back on February 19, 2018, to again do the startup. The last attempt was intrusive with no results. Ms. Hash stated it was a good exercise as they learned they needed some battery backups for computers and the phone system.
Marshal Jimmie Durnil advised a new telephone system is being installed at the Police Department by Smithville Telephone Company. Original bid was $5,800 but increased to $6,500 because of three additional telephones. Mr. Mobley asked if this included the intercom. Marshal Durnil answered yes.
Mike Farmer, Interim Town Manager, witnessed an accident at Union Valley Road and State Road 46. First responders and police responded quickly. It’s nice to be protected.
Mike Farmer, Interim Town Manager, attended a meeting of the Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (“Chamber”). Topics were paving markers and reflectors on State Road 46, paved trail behind Kenny Edwards’ place and the waste transfer station rumor that it would be moved to Ellettsville. Today, he learned the Indiana Department of Environmental Management application for the transfer station has been withdrawn. The Chamber has requested he attend meetings. He will send a report on how they followed-up as a Town. There was further discussion on the Chamber.
Privilege of the Floor
Carl Thurman wants to know what is currently going on with the floodplain. Mr. Oldham suggested he speak with Mr. Mobley. Mr. Thurman asked if there are any immediate plans. Mr. Mobley answered Mr. Coppock is putting proposals together for review. Mr. Thurman asked if the Indiana Department of Resources (“DNR”) has put together a hydraulic model. Mr. Mobley stated the DNR report has a working model with work the Town has to do. Mr. Farris stated there is no flood model at this time. Mr. Oldham stated there are a couple of concepts and the flood model will be determined with what they’re doing on the formulation. Mr. Mobley added once it is all put together they will seek approval from the DNR. It will take eight months to get a permit.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:53 p.m.