May 10, 2010




The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, May 10, 2010 at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Dan Swafford led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Sandra Hash led in prayer. 

Roll Call:  Members present were Scott Oldham, Vice-President; Dianna Bastin; David Drake, and Dan Swafford.  Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer and Darla Brown, Attorney were also present.  Phillip Smith was absent due to personal reasons.  Supervisors Present were:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin, Jeff Farmer, Mike Farmer and Rick Coppock..


Approval of Minutes

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting April 26, 2010.  David Drake so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


Accounts Payable Vouchers

Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


Ordinances on First Reading


Ordinance 10-06 to amend Section 94.02 of the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Abandoned, Salvaged and Scrapped Vehicles


Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – commented this was just a minor change we need to make in our code.  It currently states in 94.02 “…the unincorporated areas of the Town of Ellettsville…” and we want it to state “…the incorporated areas…”  This code is asking to make this change.


Ordinance 10-07 to amend the Ellettsville Town Code concerning Signs


Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – stated several town and city sign ordinances were reviewed prior to making the changes to the current sign code as well as listening to Plan Commission and local business owners comments.  She presented the Commissioners with a handout with those changes.

  • The purpose statement increased and were combined and/or modified from the very beginning.
  • The sign application required as part of the permit process for permanent and temporary signs has been included now and is more thorough.
  • We had one sign permit, now, we have added Temporary signs which will have a sticker attached for the duration of the sign display time; temporary signs have a two week display period
  • Sign permit incomplete notice, to assist with documentation and tracking
  • Sign completion; the sign has been inspected and is as applied for
  • Other additions; sign inspected
  • Failure to comply with regulations may cause your permit to be revoked
  • An appeal process has been added
  • License requirements for installers; especially with the added Light Emitting Diode signage now proposed (LED)
  • Additional definitions were added for clarification purposes
  • Removal of off premise advertising
  • Political signs, no longer will violate civil liberties
  • Special promotional signs/banners/inflatable signs added, for two week periods to promote businesses
  • Changeable copy signs and electronic message signs added; not permitted in residential districts added, NOTE, they require Plan Commission review and approval with a completed sign application
  • No signs allowed on microwave, radio, transmission or receiving towers or on satellite dishes
  • Roof signs are allowed, but will require a certified structural engineering report to verify wind shear and safety
  • Legally non-conforming signage – page 10
  • Sign enforcement procedures and fines added and maintenance, repair and removal improved section written; especially for immediate danger


Connie Griffin added this has been something that has been worked on off and on for about a year.


Old Business


Appointment to the Ellettsville Building Corporation Board of Directors

Scott Oldham announced that Jeanna Kapczynski was willing to serve on the Board of Directors.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to accept Jeanna Kapczynski for appointment to the Ellettsville Building Corporation Board of Directors.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


New Business

Scott Oldham stated as a matter of public record, the Board has accepted the findings of the Board of Officers of the Ellettsville Police Department in regards to the police action shooting which occurred on the 2nd of May, 2010 at 867 Meadowlands Drive. 


Supervisor Comments


Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – along with Mike Farmer introduced a video of an inflow/infiltration problem.  This problem was discovered because of a backup in the sewer line.  As we cleaned it, we noticed we were getting some serious infiltration more than 48 hours after a significant rain.  The video shows an 8” sewer main that is in Northern Richland’s sewer district.  This is an 8” clay pipe that every five feet is a gasketed joint.  This line is currently running about half full.  At half full, that pipe will carry 225K gallons per day.  At ¾ full, it will carry about 360K gallons per day.  This was televised on April 27.  There was about 1 ½ inches of rain over the weekend before.  The rain ended on Sunday and this was shot on a Tuesday.  Mike Farmer pointed out this is a significant infiltration problem and noted he doesn’t believe he has seen one any bigger since he’s been here.  Jeff Farmer added this is located behind Cook North.  He went on to emphasize Northern Richland has five miles of sewer lines and this problem is just in 200 feet of their line.  Dan Swafford asked what material is used for pipe now rather than clay.  Jeff Farmer answered everything now is plastic.  Clay was used back in the ‘50’s and 60’s.  Mike Farmer added the joints dry and crack and basically separate.  Dan Swafford asked how it is fixed.  Jeff Farmer stated in this situation, his suggestion would be to go from manhole to manhole and replace it.  If you tried to spot repair it, you would spend as much money spot repairing it as you would replacing all of it.  David Drake asked if he had a guess as to how much.  Jeff Farmer replied they did a cost estimate on three manholes and 260 feet of pipe.  The cost of materials would be $20-25,000 if done in-house with our men who are already paid for through the budget.  If you did it outside, it could be anywhere from $50-70,000.  Jeff Farmer stated the reason for showing this is not to embarrass anyone, but to show the extent of the problem and point out the need to fix it.  Mike Farmer added that repairing an inflow/infiltration such as this would have a great impact on sewer plant and the customers it serves.  David Drake asked who pays to fix this – the Town or Northern Richland.  He went on to say the point is – does Northern Richland ask Ellettsville to fix this and then pay Ellettsville or, if we take over Northern Richland, then we have to pay to fix this.  Jeff Farmer responded that was correct, but the cost of repairing it, if we take it over, is a lot less than the cost if we don’t do anything about it.  When he came in 1995, the Town was on a self-imposed sewer ban and facing the possibility of fines.  There were overflows in the street and the Town chose to build a new sewer plant which is what drove the sewer rates up.  This recent rate increase is the only rate increase we’ve had since 1997.  He added he didn’t want to get five years down the road and us keep ignoring problems like that and the sewer plant not being big enough to serve the community again.  David Drake remarked that was exactly his point, if we don’t do something about this now, we’re going to be stuck with a completely collapsed system in five or ten years that we’re still going to have to fix because they are going to want us to take it over.  Scott Oldham asked if Northern has plans to fix it.  Jeff Farmer answered that he knows they know about it.  Their operator was there and he saw the video, but he doesn’t know what their plans are.  David Drake added the problem with the contract is Northern Richland pays the same whether they send us 250K gallons or 5M gallons.  There’s no incentive to fix the problem that way.  Jeff Farmer stated that at this point the plant is at 58% capacity and at 80% the state is going to require you to talking about what you are going to do to expand your plant.  He added that the Town replaces clay pipe with plastic only if there is a problem.  Dan Swafford asked if Northern Richland is all clay and how do they repair it.  Jeff Farmer replied he did not know.  Mike Farmer showed a picture of an overflow at a manhole on Maple Grove Road which caused them to suspect there was a problem.  The manhole was blown off due to the high pressure from the water flow of the infiltration.  Dianna Bastin asked how heavy the manhole is and Jeff Farmer responded it weighs 40 to 50 pounds.  Northern Richland hired Ellettsville Utilities to repair and clean up the manhole which they did.  Mike Farmer stated it is very important that Northern and Eastern work together with the Town of Ellettsville to come to some kind of agreement that allows us to move forward and repair our collection system so it does not impact our sewer plant to the point where we have to build on to or build another sewer plant and create another rate increase.  Work needs to be done every day and it needs to be done in a coordinated fashion working together to preserve the plant.  You need to clean and root cut every year.  Dan Swafford asked how you charge for something like this.  Mike Farmer answered they bill Eastern and Northern based on metered flow from their water meter.  We do not get to bill for stormwater so it does cost the Ellettsville customer base to handle the storm overflow.  Dianna Bastin reiterated that we are careful never to say we have no problems.  Mike Farmer added all systems have problems.  That’s why they monitor the system every day and fix problems when we find them.  We will never eliminate inflow/infiltration completely.  Dianna Bastin thanked Jeff and Mike Farmer for the video.


Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – informed the Council she met earlier today with Jo Arthur from Southern Indiana Development Corporation to go over some projects submitted in February 2009.  She wanted to update the projects to see if these are still viable or if they are completed.  Connie Griffin added she also has a meeting tomorrow with Matthew Crouch from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).  He is the Southern Indiana liaison.  He is going to put us in contact with the documents they have already prepared to do an income survey for Ellettsville to see if we are a low to moderate income community.  If so, it will open us up for some potential grant funding.  She went on to say there is a meeting hosted by the NAACP called “Foreclosure Crisis, Impact on Communities” Tuesday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Second Baptist Church on Eighth and Rogers Streets.  Also, on Wednesday, May 12 at 9:00 a.m., there is a Safe Routes to School meeting on location at the west end of the site at the school service drive which is on Sycamore Drive.  Thursday, May 13, she will be out of the office from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for a FEMA Workshop.  Then, at 5:30 p.m. that same day, she will attend the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing in room 315 at the Monroe County Court House.  Next meeting will be the first reading for the Abbitt annexation as well as the Wireless Communication facilities.


Council Comments

Dan Swafford – stated he had a chance to ride with Jim Ragle last week and noticed the brush piles are larger than the trucks sometimes.  He went on to say the Town is not here to provide the service of disposing of trees that property owners cut down and drag to the street.  It’s a service for storm damage if you want to move brush to the street for pickup.  Property owners who have large brush piles will be contacted to inform them they will not be removed.



Dan Swafford made a motion to adjourn.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 8:22 p.m.