June 26, 2017
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, June 26, 2017, at the Town Hall located at 1150 W. Guy McCown Drive. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m. Brian Mobley led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Scott Thomas.
Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President, Brian Mobley, Vice President, Kevin Farris, Brice Teter and Scott Thomas. Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer; Jim Davis, Town Manager; Darla Brown, Town Attorney; and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Danny Stalcup, Jimmie Durnil, Kevin Tolloty, and Mike Farmer.
Approval of Minutes
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on June 12, 2017. 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 questions on claims which were answered by the supervisors. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Motion carried.
2018 Budget Meeting Schedule
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, presented the 2018 Budget Meeting Schedule. Mr. Mobley will be on vacation for the meeting on July 19, 2017. Each department presents their budget to the Town Council on July 19, 2017, July 26, 2017, is the roundtable discussion with the supervisors and the budget will not be finalized until September. Budget meeting dates will be posted on June 30, 2017.
Resolution 13-2017 Local Income Tax for Public Safety Additional Appropriation
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained this resolution is for the public safety money the Town has received pursuant to the Tax Council directive in 2015. The resolution requests permission from the state to spend the money. After the resolution is approved she will forward it to the Department of Local Government Finance for final approval. Chief Cornman added a majority of the funds will go into the part-time line to replace a shortfall from Richland Township.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to adopt Resolution 13-2017 Local Income Tax for Public Safety Additional Appropriation. Brian Mobley seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Brice Teter – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Ordinance on Second Reading
Ordinance 2017-09 to Amend the Floodplain Overlay District
Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, explained the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) had a few issues with the way the ordinance was adopted. The DNR wants the entire ordinance adopted as a whole with a few minor changes. The DNR removed the definitions for flood boundary and floodway map and changed the wording of the title to include Ellettsville. The Plan Commission heard it on June 8, 2017, and gave a favorable recommendation
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Brice Teter made a motion to pass Ordinance 2017-09 to amend the Floodplain Overlay District. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Brian Mobley had Rick Coppock price the culverts to go under the McNeely Street Bridge. The estimate for this project is approximately $600,000. The berm on Vine Street behind Thurman’s Body Shop is estimated to cost $40,000. When the income starts to come in they will determine what work can be done in-house and within the budget. He will contact state representatives for possible grants to assist with the floodplain projects. Mr. Oldham asked Mr. Tolloty if this is something the Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”) would be interested in. Mr. Tolloty doesn’t think so because it isn’t directly transportation related; however, he will ask the MPO.
Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville and H.J. Umbaugh (“Umbaugh”) Concerning the City of Bloomington’s Rate Increase for Water
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained the City of Bloomington Utilities (“CBU”) has petitioned the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) to increase its water rates under Petition No. 44855. Being a CBU wholesale customers the Town can do a tracker so its rates would follow along with CBU’s increase. Umbaugh’s contract for $2,000 is to work with the Town to get the tracker to the IURC. Mr. Teter requested clarification as to what the contract entails. Ms. Brown explained the Town is hiring Umbaugh to calculate the cost of purchased water at CBU’s new wholesale rates and charges. Umbaugh will review the Town’s billing data to calculate the water tracking factor required, summarize the billings and assist the Town with the 30 day IURC filing. She will have fees for assisting with the IURC filing.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Scott Thomas made a motion to approve the contract with H.J. Umbaugh concerning the tracker and rate increase for water. Brian Mobley seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Thomas – yes; Brice Teter – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; and Scott Oldham – yes. Motion carried.
Municipal Vehicle Excise/Wheel Tax Collection
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained this is a possibility for the Town of Ellettsville. It would generate revenue for MVH which currently has a property tax rate along with the wheel tax and other distributions to the Town. If revenue came in from a new wheel tax it would reduce the property tax rate for MVH and move it over to the General Fund. It would help compensate for the circuit breaker losses. This year the legislature emphasized road improvements and made several changes which include an additional 10¢ per gallon for gasoline tax. The Town is to use 50% of the MVH distributions for the remainder of this year to assist with the matching revenue so the Town can apply for the Community Crossings Grant (“CCG”). Ellettsville has a population under 10,000 so the match required under the CCG is only 25% and the Town can apply for the remaining 75%. The legislature has put other things in place to help municipalities raise money to repair streets. The maximum tax we can add is a one-time fee of $40 in addition to the county’s wheel tax. That would come to the Town. She has discussed this with Paige at Umbaugh whom said it would reduce the tax rate for MVH to help the General Fund. Paige had reviewed the Town’s information, during discussions with the Town Manager and Fire Chief about a fire territory, and thinks the Town could use the help in the General Fund. The deadline is September 1, 2017.
Brice Teter clarified the additional fee would be charged every year the license plates are renewed for each vehicle. Ms. Hash said that’s correct, it will be an additional fee. Paige told her by charging $40 it would raise $140,000 for Ellettsville. Mr. Farris is against it. Mr. Oldham thinks Indiana has the highest taxes and fees for registering vehicles as compared to neighboring states. It puts an extra burden on people who are registering a car to go back and forth to work, reduce their income or move about their families. He thinks there is a potential need for it but if the state is going to give the Town more money he is in favor of waiting to find out if their needs are meant without putting this burden on the taxpayers. Ms. Hash thinks it will be an annual option. Mr. Teter agrees with Mr. Oldham. He’s for generating revenue for the Town but not through an increase on vehicle registrations. Mr. Thomas is against the tax. Mr. Oldham requested this be put on the agenda to discuss next year at budget time. Mr. Mobley thinks they need to take a hard look at budgets this year. He wants to know what the Street Department can do to take care of streets. There are a lot of stormwater jobs that need completed. He wants to find out if there is someone to move around to help the Street Department because they’re strapped for money. Ms. Hash noted every department is strapped for money. The state is trying to make it so there is money for streets. The Fire Department hasn’t increased full time for years and there are lots of needs. Every little raise given to employees takes up the full tax increase every year. The vehicle excise/wheel tax is a way to get a little boost. Mr. Oldham commented employees in Ellettsville are working for less than most other municipalities and have to also feed families. It’s incumbent on the Town Council to try and give them what they can while still maintaining fiscal responsibility. It is unfair to put the tax on the employees. They do a fantastic job for what they can earn somewhere else. Ms. Hash advised in June the operating balance was low in the General Fund but the Town has now received the tax distribution. In June and December, the General Fund gets tight but they’re in better shape than they were a few years prior when they had to get short term loans.
Street Department Request to Hire a Part-Time Laborer
Danny Stalcup, Street Commissioner, is seeking approval to hire Jeremy Tyler (“Ty”) Robinson. Mr. Robinson is local and graduated from Edgewood High School. He has worked for a lawn care service which is similar to the work he will do for the Street Department.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to accept Danny Stalcup’s recommendation to hire Jeremy Tyler Robinson as a part-time laborer for the Street Department. Scott Thomas seconded. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Transfer of Ownership – Stoneview Lift Station
Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, was contacted by Don Baxter, President of the Stoneview Condominiums Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”), about taking over their lift station. The lift station takes sewer from the complex and pumps it into the Town’s system. It is in good working order and was built to Town specifications. A year ago, it had a new pump installed. Bynum Fanyo Utilities has regularly maintained it. Currently, they have 59 paying sewer customers. Mr. Baxter thinks Utilities is better situated to own and maintain the lift station and he agrees. There are three other lift stations in Town. There are 17 acres nearby that are on sewer and there has been discussion for development of the property. If they own the lift station they would be better suited and able to sewer that property. There will be an electric bill that will have to be paid monthly which will be covered by the 59 sewer customers. The Town will conduct weekly visits to the lift station and it will be cleaned yearly. For protection of the environment and the good of the lift station they think they should own the lift station. It was designed and reviewed by the Town Engineer and meets all requirements. Mr. Oldham asked if this makes economic sense for the Town. Mr. Farmer doesn’t foresee a problem with owning it. In 20 years the costs incurred for maintaining the lift station will be covered by the 59 current customers. It is not a burden for the Town.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Brice Teter made a motion to allow the transfer of ownership of the Stoneview Lift Station to the Town of Ellettsville. Kevin Farris seconded. Roll call vote: Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; Scott Thomas – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; and Brian Mobley – yes. Motion carried.
Mike Farmer advised the HOA will have to provide an easement and other documents necessary to the transfer of ownership at their expense.
Town Council Comments
Brian Mobley asked if Fire Chief Mike Cornman can start the process for a full-time employee since the Town has received a portion of the Public Safety Income Tax. Ms. Hash explained the money is in a fund but cannot be used because they’re waiting on approval of the additional appropriation. There is enough in the General Fund to cover it if he wants to start the process. Chief Cornman commented it has been tabled until the August meeting. Mr. Mobley asked Chief Cornman when he will be meeting with Richland Township regarding their fire contract. Chief Cornman answered it will be in one to two weeks.
Town Manager’s Comments
Jim Davis, Town Manager, will be ordering the sound absorbing boards for the Town Council meeting room. Mr. Teter asked what they will cost. Mr. Davis answered approximately $6,000 to $7,000.
Scott Oldham advised there have been complaints about the color of green on the wall behind the Town Council table. Mr. Davis replied the color was requested for the background by CATS TV.
Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, announced the Planning Department will be holding an informal workshop for the Comprehensive Plan on July 6, 2017, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Town Council meeting room. This will be the last chance for the public to have any input on the Comprehensive Plan. Current documents will be available online. He hopes to have something in draft form by August or September. The workshop will build on the survey conducted at the end of 2015.
Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, advised during the recent warm temperatures they had several days over 1 million gallons of water usage. There were a few days with over 1.1 million gallons being used. Current capacity of the existing 12” main is 1.2 million gallons and they do have tanks to back it up. This is a good reason to have the secondary waterline. Flows continue to go up and it is only June. Normally, these kinds of flows are seen in August and September. The secondary waterline is 50% complete. The water main is energized and they have tested water in it from Thomas Road to Hartstrait Road. It’s about complete from Hartstrait Road to Woodyard Road. The worst part of the project will be from Woodyard Road to Loesch Road.
Danny Stalcup, Street Commissioner, thanked the Assembly of God Youth Minister and youth group for cleaning up and planting flowers the gateways.
Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained their current part-time system is fluent with part-time personnel. With the recent hiring of additional personnel at Northern Monroe Fire Territory they have taken away firefighters from other departments. The position was advertised in May but no one applied so they recruited people. Testing has been conducted and they will be starting interviews. He requested the following individuals be hired at the listed pay rate pending the outcome of the interviews: Walker Crane ($11.27), Billy DeWitt ($11.27), Tanner Waldrip ($10.27), Brandon Monday ($9.50), Tyler Mauder ($9.50), Ethan Cornwell ($9.50) and Katey Heishman ($9.50).
Scott Oldham entertained a motion. Kevin Farris made a motion to authorize Fire Chief Cornman’s to hire the seven part-time firefighters pending interviews.
Brian Mobley asked if DeWitt and Crane are Firefighter I and II’s. Fire Chief Cornman answered all of them already Firefighters I and II, some are EMTs and the remaining are EMS responders.
Scott Thomas seconded the aforementioned motion. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Fire Chief Mike Cornman announced the Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting their 21st year of fireworks at the Edgewood High School property on July 4th and the rain date is July 8th. This is a community event put together by volunteers. Donations received pay for the fireworks. They appreciate the help received by the Police Department, Edgewood High School Band Boosters, Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation and other vendors.
Brian Mobley appreciated the Ellettsville Fire Department assisting the City of Bloomington with the fire at Bounds and McPike.
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil introduced Dianna Choate who will request approval for street closures during the Monroe County Fall Festival (“Fall Festival”). Mr. Oldham suggested Town Council give permission to the Fire Chief, Town Marshal and Town Manager to close streets where appropriate as they deem fit during for public safety at the Fall Festival.
Scott Oldham made a motion to give the Chiefs and Town Manager the ability to close the streets where they need, when they need and for as long as they need to make sure this event is safe.
Town Marshal Jimmie Durnil asked if this will roll-over every year. Chief Cornman thinks as the Fall Festival is an annual event and so well put together, that unless there is a major change, then they do not need to come back to the Town Council.
Kevin Farris seconded the aforementioned motion. Roll call vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brice Teter – yes; and Scott Thomas – yes. Motion carried.
Diana Choate thanked the Town Council for the use of the Street and Utilities Departments and city employees throughout the Fall Festival. Without their support, it wouldn’t be possible.
Privilege of the Floor
Hanna Fagen, Constituent Liaison for the Honorable Trey Hollingsworth, Representative of the 9th District, introduced herself to the Town Council. Ms. Fagen advised they have a staff member who writes letters of support for grants.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn. Kevin Farris so moved. Scott Thomas seconded. Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:19 p.m.