May 13, 2013






The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, May 13, 2013, 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 Phillip Smith.


Roll Call:  Members present were Scott Oldham,  President; Dianna Bastin, David Drake and Phillip Smith.  Dan Swafford was absent.  Sandra Hash, Clerk Treasurer, and Darla Brown, Town Attorney, were also present.


Supervisors Present were:  Bill Headley, Jim Ragle,Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin and Jeff Farmer.


Approval of Minutes


Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on April 22, 2013.  David Drake so moved.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.


Accounts Payable Vouchers


Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Phillip Smith so moved.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Motion carried.


Proclamation - Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month


Scott Oldham explained the 2nd Annual Tammy Laird Carroll Memorial Walk for Huntington’s Disease will take place on May 18, 2013, at McCormick’s Creek State Park.  The Proclamation for Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month was read as follows:




Town of Ellettsville, Monroe County, Indiana


WHEREAS, Huntington’s Disease is a strongly genetic, neurodegenerative disease that typically affects people in mid-life, and places each child of an affected parent at risk of inheriting the expanded gene responsible for causing the disease; and


WHEREAS, HD is a rare and orphan disease affecting 30,000 Americans while placing another 200,000 at-risk; and


WHEREAS, the average lifespan after onset of Huntington’s Disease is 10-20 years, and the younger the age of onset, the more rapid the progression of the disease, resulting in children who develop the juvenile form of the disease rarely living to adulthood; and


WHEREAS, Since 1993 when the gene that causes HD was discovered, research into the causes are currently exploring many new avenues and approaches including focus on way to delay onset of HD, development of effective therapies that may slow the progression of HD and ultimately, a cure for the disease; and


WHEREAS, there is at present no effective treatment or cure for Huntington’s disease, raising awareness about HD is critical to the advancement of vital research and support services; and


WHEREAS, Indiana has one of the highest incidences of Huntington's disease in the country:


NOW, THEREFORE be it Resolved, that the Ellettsville Town Council, Ellettsville, Indiana do hereby proclaim the month of May, 2013, as



Clerk-Treasurer’s Report


April 2013 Fund Balances on file




Resolution 05-2013 Refinancing of the Police and Fire Bonds, John Seever, CPA, H.J. Umbaugh & Associates


John Seever, CPA, H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, explained there are two outstanding bonds originally issued in 2004 which were to finance the construction of the Police Department and Fire Station.  They’re coming up on their first call date which is July 15, 2013.  To make it possible to call the bonds on July 15, 2013, the Town needs to be in a position to close on the new financing by June 15, 2013 because of a 30 day notice requirement.  The reason the Town would want to do this is to take advantage of much lower interest rates.  The annual average is approximately $20,000 per year and the present value is estimated to be approximately $200,000 which is what the Town would be saving.  There have been discussions with the Building Corporation about other alternatives and it was decided to do straight forward refunding to try and reduce the annual debt service payment by approximately $20,000 per year.  The interest rate is two and one-half percent. 


Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained one of the Building Corporation’s Board of Directors had a question about whether or not they could use the savings for other projects in the community.  The answer is no because there is a provision in the Indiana Code regarding the disposition and permissible uses of savings from refunding bonds. They can only be used to pay the principle or interest, or both, on the refunding bonds or other bonds if the issuing body approves the ordinance authorizing the use of the savings.  Mr. Oldham asked if the funds will be refunded to the General Fund.  Sandra Hash replied it doesn’t go back into the General Fund.  The Debt Services have their own tax rate and it will be reduced for the taxpayer.  Ms. Brown added this is property tax based so it falls under the statute.  Mr. Oldham summarized the tax payers are saving $200,000. 


John Seever added there was also a suggestion to look into the possibility of shortening the bond issue.  The most it could possibly be shortened, however, was six months and then they get into timing concerns.  A timetable prepared by Ice Miller was provided.  If they approve of everything discussed, the event for their consideration is the resolution.  Mr. Oldham asked when the taxpayers would see a reduction.  Ms. Hash replied it should be 2014.  


Darla Brown advised on June 10, 2013, the Council will meet to consider a resolution ratifying the sale.


Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 05-2013 refinancing of the Police and Fire Bonds.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to approve  Resolution 05-2013 refinancing of the Police and Fire Bonds.apDavid Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


John Seever announced they will be able to present the actual numbers from the sale on June 10, 2013.


Resolution 06-2013 to Dispose of Surplus Property


Town Marshal Tony Bowlen explained the Police Department has a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria they want to declare surplus to sell to the Monroe County Reserves. 


Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the sale of the 2006 Ford Crown Victoria in question to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Reserves.  David Drake made a motion to approve the sale of the 2006 Ford Crown Victoria in question to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Reserves.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


Marshal Bowlen advised they will turn the car over to the reserves within a week and the sale price is $4,500.  Mr. Oldham noted the Police Department intends to use the proceeds from this purchase with funds from the Cumulative Fund to purchase a new patrol car.


Ordinances on First Reading


Ordinance 2013-05 to Amend Section 93.17 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Removal of Excessive Weeds and Vegetation


Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, explained a new definition was added for clarification of weeds and rank vegetation which includes any undesirable and uncultivated plants.  This includes vegetation that has been abandoned, neglected, disregarded or not cut, mowed or otherwise removed and has attained a height of nine inches or more.   It also includes uncontrolled and uncultivated growth of annual and perennial plants but does not include shrubs, trees, cultivated plants, vegetation planted for ana useful or ornamental purpose, or agricultural crops such as hay.  In no event shall cultivated plants or crops include plants which have been defined by state statute or administrative rule as being noxious weeds or detrimental plants.  It was changed to a Class D ordinance violation which is a $100 per day fine.  The code for repeat offenders was passed at the state level which allows one notice to be posted after a repeat offense has happened.  That will blanket the particular property owner and resident for the remaining year.  These were code changes from last year.  This year they’re looking at right-of-ways that are not being cleared.  These areas are a nuisance.  They are wanting to add under §93 that “It shall be unlawful for any property owner, representative, tenant or other person with control, occupancy or possession of real property to permit, maintain or allow excessive growth or noxious weeds to exist on such real property within the Town, including the areas between the property lines of the real property and the centerline of any adjacent street or alleys, easements and right-of-ways.  No property owner, representative, tenant or other person with control, occupancy or possession of real property within the corporate limits of the town shall allow that real estate to become overgrown with grass, weeds or rank vegetation beyond the height of nine inches or to such an extent that the growth is detrimental to the public health and constitutes a nuisance.  Vegetation planted in a specific zoning classification, i.e., Agricultural zoning, is [exempted].”


The code has been changed to make sure the written notice shall be served as specified in §93.16.  The proposed changes are also used by other municipalities.  It will help with enforcement, appearance of resident areas and will reduce public nuisances.


Dianna Bastin asked what an uncontrolled perennial is.  Ms. Griffin replied it may be an uncontrolled height and create a visual issue.  Ms. Bastin asked who will decide this.  Ms. Griffin responded the Street Department decides when something is in the way of a visual triangle and her department does as well.  Ms. Bastin asked if it was from a street view and not between properties.  Ms. Griffin answered if it’s at a sidewalk and someone could hide behind it, it could be a safety issue. 


Scott Oldham asked how much of a problem this is every year.  Ms. Griffin answered they have a lot of problems.  A majority of the statistics on code enforcement is tall grass.  Mr. Oldham asked how much of a problem uncontrolled perennials are.  Ms. Griffin replied they received an ADA complaint about an obstruction for someone putting grass and brush debris in the sidewalk.  This will be a new code violation.


Dianna Bastin spoke to Ms. Griffin before the meeting about this subject.  Her neighbor came to her in tears.  She had a letter and the only thing nine inches were the dandelions.  The grass wasn’t nine inches tall.  Her yard was wet because it had been raining.  She is looking for a little leeway.  This yard has never been a problem.  Mr. Oldham commented the staff, being the common people they are, will make common sense decisions.  Ms. Griffin advised she has spoken with her code enforcement officer and mentioned they have to look at prior, current and future weather conditions. 


Phillip Smith commented he can see where the problem is.  He cut his grass and two days later he had dandelions that were tall.  Ms. Bastin said the weather needs to play into it.  She just doesn’t want the Town grasping at straws.  Mr. Oldham commented grass being 9” tall is a little excessive.  Ms. Griffin reiterated the code adopted last year states grass and weeds that are nine inches are non-compliant.


Council Comments


Dianna Bastin reminded everyone that the Street Department employees wear bright yellow shirts and their trucks are bright red.  When they are working in the roadway they are providing a service.  Speeding past them with inches to spare, not slowing down and not getting over is against the law.  These are Town workers.  Slow down, get over and stay in your own lane.  Give them the room they need to work.


Scott Oldham announced Ellettsville Main Street continues to have a series of fundraisers directed at improving downtown and raising money for the Heritage Trail.  They have posters around Town and the fundraisers are listed on their website.  They desperately need the help.


Supervisors Comments


Town Marshal Tony Bowlen is asking the Town Council’s approval to hire two new people.  They will be paid out of the part-time fund and the money is already appropriated.  Mat Lewis will be taking Officer Michael’s place in the front office as the desk officer.  He will work approximately 28 hours a week.  Bennett Anthony Dillon will be a part-time fill in officer to help with short shifts.  They both recently graduated from Indiana University and are certified police officers in the State of Indiana.


Dianna Bastin is concerned they are giving a person less hours that it doesn’t look like they didn’t want to pay someone benefits.  Ms. Brown replied it doesn’t.  Marshal Bowlen plans to keep the same office hours but he won’t have office hours on Wednesday.  The hours will be 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 


Scott Oldham entertained a motion to hire the two regular part-time officers, Mat Lewis and Bennett Dillon.  Phillip Smith made a motion to hire the two regular part-time officers, Mat Lewis and Bennett Dillon.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


Sandra Hash administered the oath of office to Mat Lewis and Bennett Dillon as Deputy Marshals.


Sandra Hash requested permission for Amber Ragle to travel with her to the state called meeting for Clerk-Treasurers from June 9, 2013 through June 13, 2013.


David Drake made a motion to approve Amber Ragle traveling to the Clerk-Treasurer’s meeting from June 9 – 13, 2013.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


Privilege of the Floor


Scott Oldham announced the annual meeting of the members of the Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation will be held at 7:00 p.m. on June 17, 2013, at the Ellettsville Fire Department.




Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:305 p.m.


David Drake                                             Sandra Hash, Clerk Treasurer, IAMC, MMC