November 9, 2009



The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, November 9, 2009, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Dianna Bastin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Phillip Smith led in prayer. 


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


Supervisors Present:  Jim Davis, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Jeff Farmer, Rick Coppock, and Connie Griffin were present.


Proclamation for the Edgewood Marching Mustangs


The Ellettsville Town Council congratulated a successful and prestigious season and proclaimed the month of November “Edgewood Marching Mustangs High School Band Month”.  The band, directed by Aaron Wells, finished seconded in Division C at the 2009 ISSMA State Finals.


Approval of Minutes


Dianna Bastin entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting and Executive Session October 26, 2009.   David Drake so moved.   Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.


Accounts Payable Vouchers


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


Meeting Schedule for 2010


Dan Swafford asked if there was a reason for changing the starting time for the Plan Commission meetings to 6:00 p.m. rather than keeping it at 7:00 p.m. as in years past.    Sandra explained it was discussed by the Plan Commission last year and so far this year no one has mentioned wanting to change it back.  Dan Swafford and Phillip Smith both felt like this was too early to start.  Dianna asked Connie to poll the Plan Commission members at their next meeting.  The meeting schedule for 2010 was tabled until November 23, 2009.


Old Business


Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Komputrol Software Upgrade


Jeff Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities wanted to clarify questions raised at the last council meeting regarding the direct debit and online bill pay.  Sandra and Becky Wines, utilities office manager, researched the questions and put together a memo regarding the options available.  Online bill pay is not available through the Komputrol program; the $1250 is for the direct debit program only and that amount has not changed.  In order to get the online bill pay option, a new software system would have to be purchased and would cost $40,000 - $60,000.  Dan Swafford wanted to clarify the question about the withdrawal date for those who sign up for the direct debit.  Originally, the utilities thought it would be taken out of the customer’s account at the beginning of the month when bills were printed.  But after some research, the utilities can actually designate the withdrawal date which would be at least ten days after bills are printed.  There is no fee to the customer for this option. 


David Drake made a motion to approve the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Komputrol Software for the upgrade.  Dan Swafford seconded. 


The following discussion took place before the vote:

Dianna clarified internet payments and telephone payments are not available without a third party company and fees charged to the customer.  So, you can set it up with your bank or you can you can set it up with utilities, but you can’t pay on the internet and you can’t call in to the utilities.  Dan added if we do provide internet and phone in service, there will be a convenience fee.  David stated if in the future we change our operating system, we can look into incorporating that into it, but it doesn’t seem feasible at this time.   Sandra reiterated that we could offer online bill pay through a third party for a convenience to the customer without a software upgrade.  Dianna added she was advised by a banker that the electronic transfer process is set up easily through your local bank.


Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


New Business


Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Richland Township Trustee for fire protection


Jim Davis, Fire Chief presented the agreement.  This is the same basic contract we’ve had for the past several years.  It is exact copies of the 2009 contract other than the dates are changed.  It was agreed the attorney did not need to review the contract. 


David Drake made a motion to approve the Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Richland Township Trustee for fire protection for the year 2010.  Dan seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.  Dianna requested a copy be forwarded to the attorney for her records.


Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service


Jim Davis, Fire Chief presented the agreement.  This agreement is for back-up ambulance service to Bloomington Hospital.  The attorney has reviewed this contract and made a few changes.  Bloomington Hospital has already approved it with the changes.  Scott asked what changes were made. 


Darla Brown wanted to make sure it was clear in the contract that whatever insurance Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service purchased for itself and its employees they would provide the same to Ellettsville.  She also requested a certificate of insurance from Bloomington Hospital showing that Ellettsville was an additional insured.  Jim Davis said there was one additional change.  “Agreement to provide at no cost to the Town any services required or to fund the necessary services to bring EFD personnel in compliance with Hospital regulatory requirements, policies, or procedures that would result in an increased financial burden on the Town.”  This was due to changes this year required by the hospital that would have cost the Town several dollars, but through negotiations, we were able to have the fees waived.  There is a 5% increase this year in the dollar amount of the contract.  The dates were also changed from October - October to January – December with the fees adjusted accordingly.


Scott Oldham made a motion we approve the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service.  Phil seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0. 


Potential volunteer efforts of the Ellettsville Boy Scout’s with the storm drain marking program


Connie Griffin, Interim Director of Planning.  The Town has its stormwater permit renewal inspection in February of 2010.  Part of the stormwater permit renewal is the evaluation of our public outreach program. Storm drain marking is a program used by communities, such as Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Fishers, as well as other communities throughout the United States to increase water quality awareness.  Part of the permit inspection will be to evaluate our stormwater program for six Minimum Control Measures:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation and Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff
  • Post Construction Runoff
  • Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping


Connie is very involved with Public Education and Outreach as well as Public Participation and Involvement.  She gave a stormwater presentation to the Ellettsville Boy Scout troop on September 21, 2009 that included the EPA/Weather Channel video “After the Storm”, gave them the stormwater survey and discussed the storm drain marking program.  Drafted documents were submitted to Mr. Spencer about starting a storm drain marking program.  Mr. Spencer expressed concerns about the liability of volunteer programs.  His letter also included research he conducted for the Town in 1996 concerning the Adopt a Road cleanup program.  She forwarded the volunteer information to Mrs. Brown and a copy of the letter from Mr. Spencer along with the documents prepared for the stormwater drain marking program.  Council was copied on the email from Mrs. Brown.  Connie welcomed Mrs. Brown to comment at any time on this discussion.  The packet of information given to Mrs. Brown consisted of:


  • A graphic showing the different storm drains in our community,
  • Safety Policies and Regulations, which consisted of:
    1. Always wear furnished yellow safety vests
    2. Stay off the traveled way wherever possible
    3. Keep fellow volunteers under supervision at all times
    4. Park vehicles away from area to be marked
    5. Observe all pedestrian laws and safety practices
    6. Notify the Sheriff’s department immediately in case of an emergency
    7. Please be courteous to drivers
    8. Dress appropriately for the weather and take necessary precautions
    9. Enjoy yourselves
  • Installation instructions, since the decal markers are put on with an adhesive, which is applied with a caulking tool.  This document discusses first aid and the dangers of using a product of this nature, such as vapors and flammability, and that this product should only be used in well ventilated areas.
  • Information about the program and storm drain marking.
  • A Volunteer Application
  • And a Waiver of Liability Form to be signed by everyone participating, and if they are under the age of 18, to be signed by a parent or guardian.


Mrs. Brown was in agreement and shared Mr. Spencer’s concerns, but she did include the word “however”.  The issues for the Town to consider are:


1.      Is this a worthwhile project for the Town and the community at large

2.      And, how does the Town reduce, as much as possible, the chance that someone will be injured?


Her letter stressed the importance of minimizing potential risks that someone could be hurt.  These additional safety measures will include:


·        Limiting the number of participants to allow all to wear safety vests

·        Additional adult supervision

·        Working on streets in subdivision areas and streets with no hills or curves

·        Making a formal announcement of the volunteer project date, time and location at Town Council, advertised in The Journal, and on the local radio station WCLS as a public announcement

·        As well as contacting the Ellettsville Police and Fire Departments to keep them aware of where volunteers are working


Dr. Ken Guzik works with the Scouts as a troop leader/assistant and has participated in volunteer efforts in the community and would like to speak as well as offer you the chance to ask him questions about the Scout’s insurance coverage.


Dr. Ken Guzik, Boy Scout Troop 119 commented that he had tried in the past to do volunteer work for the Town with the Scouts.  The Scouts have a nice umbrella insurance policy which will cover liability for the Scouts who volunteer in an official manner.  When we had this opportunity with Connie, it fits in well with our sea base experience which instructs us to go out into our communities and do something like this for run-off water and waste water which comes down then into our oceans.  We are willing to do that service for the Town at no charge.  All volunteers and scouts in this project would be covered by our liability insurance coverage.  They will also be doing work on areas between the sidewalk and the street, in co-partnership with Walmart who will provide the dirt.  We would like to donate everything to the Town.  It will be free work and no cost to the Town.  Dr. Guzik gave the insurance information to Darla Brown.  Phillip Smith asked if Randy Brown, District Representative in this area, knew about this project.  Dr. Guzik replied that he probably did not, but that certain paperwork was filled out and handled within the troop and not usually filed with the District.  Any official scouting effort, no matter where it’s held, is covered, insurance-wise from portal to portal.  David Drake remarked that what had scared some people with this particular event was the fact that the work is in or next to the street.  Ken replied the scouts have their own cones and flags and will always be directed by adults.  He went on to explain the dirt project.  Walmart is donating two pallets of dirt and employees to assist with building up areas between the sidewalk and the road that have settled and are below grade.  This will prevent liability to the Town in the event people step off into these areas and are injured, plus it adds to the beautification of the Town.  All Boy Scouts are troop led which means adult supervision at all times.


David Drake believes this is a great thing.  The Town just needed to check out the liabilities and make sure that it’s done during daylight hours with proper supervision.


Phillip Smith, a Boy Scout participant for many years, agrees that this is a great opportunity to show young boys how to appreciate and be a part of their community.


Dianna Bastin thanked them for their willingness to take on this project and cooperate with our legal concerns.


Phillip Smith made the motion that we work with the Ellettsville Boy Scouts Troop 119 with the storm drain marking program with Connie’s help.  Dan seconded. 


Darla Brown thanked Connie and Dr. Guzik for putting all the safety rules in place to keep the scouts safe.  She then referred back to a letter written by Michael Spencer in 1996 concerning the Adopt-A-Road cleaning program.  I don’t think he was saying not to do it; he was addressing a specific comment made to the Town Council then that if someone gets hurt you have immunity under the statutes. Michael was saying in his letter that it wasn’t true.  He wasn’t saying don’t do it, just be careful.


Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillipip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0. 


Supervisor’s Comments


Jim Ragle made a personal request to close Second Street between Oak and Ritter to accommodate for an auction on November 21, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to noon for public safety.  Scott Oldham asked the other supervisors if they had any objections.  There were no objections.  David Drake asked that Mr. Ragle put up the proper markers for a road closing.  Jim Ragle verified it would not disturb his neighbors since there were several alternate routes around the area.  The Council had no problem with the road closing.


Connie Griffin informed the Council a representative from Maximus would be meeting with the supervisors November 17th and 18th to start work on the Capital Improvement Plan per the I-69 grant requirements.    


Privilege of the Floor


Woodgate Request for Leaf Removal


Elaine Thomsen representing Woodgate subdivision told the Council they have a leaf problem.  They have no place to take them, can’t be burned, and garbage collectors will not take them.  She asked if the Town would consider contracting with the Woodgate Board to pick up leaves when city leaves are collected.  The Council said they will take it under advisement expressing concern with liability and available manpower.  Elaine expressed hope that this could be worked out by next year.  There was a discussion on the areas in Woodgate and the number of homes that would need the service.  Dianna suggested emailing the clerk and street department to continue conversation on the issue. 


Scouts Request Permission to Work on Grassy Area between Sidewalk and Street


Dr. Ken Guzik, representing Boy Scout Troop 119, asked permission to do the dirt placement and grass seeding as mentioned earlier in the meeting.  The project will begin on the south side of the east-bound lane of Highway 46 at the west limestone marker.  The Scouts will provide a “Men Working” sign, cones and wear orange vests.  Dianna asks that Ken touch base with the street department the day before the project is to begin in case there is an area of concern.  The date of the project is scheduled to be December 5, 2009.  Dan suggested the police department assist Ken with visibility by using squad car lights to alert oncoming traffic.


Citizen Comments on Community Forum and Plan Commission Meeting


Russ Ryle, Reeves Road resident commented the Community Forum was well attended.  The top three areas discussed were economic development, educational, and governance.  Under governance, the primary item was “Ellettsville needs a mayor.”  There was also some discussion about uniform enforcement of town codes and regulations.  He then moved to the Plan Commission meeting and the discussion of revising sign regulations expressing concerns whether or not Town officials could or could not enter onto private property to remove signs which are also private property.  Dianna said that before anything was adopted it would be reviewed by our town attorney.  Russ then implied due to lack of restrictions in Ellettsville, a Hookah pipe smoking bar has requested information about opening a facility in town.  He questioned whether Ellettsville will become the preferred area for businesses that are restricted in other parts of the county?  He then questioned the fairness of annexing businesses into the Town without holding them to the same paving standards as a new business building in the Town.


Dianna replied that the Council welcomed his remarks when these businesses come before the Council for a vote, but now we don’t know if they will.  Also, she asks that he wait until the people requesting the Hookah Bar are here so he can speak in front of them.  Russ closed with the admonition that Ellettsville is exposed because of the more restrictive zoning around us. 


Council Comments


Dianna Bastin announced that the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) report is out and has been emailed to her.  She forwarded it to the Council.  They will be here on December 14, 2009 to talk about it.  Dianna remarked that it included much more than the top three things people wanted out of Ellettsville.  She thought it was good, she heard some good comments and she enjoyed it.


Once again, the Council would like to do the Christmas Tree Lighting in the Park.  It is a Town sponsored event.  Ron Wayt will be helping again.  The program will be held on November 28th.  People are making donations through the Park Board and it looks like that will pay for what is needed and the Town will not be out any money.  Santa will be there again this year on a fire truck.


Phillip Smith made the motion to have the Christmas Lighting Ceremony on November 28th.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Phillip Smith – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0. Dianna wanted to thank Sam Baker for coming two years ago, first to the clerk’s office and then before Council to request this.



Dianna Bastin entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford so moved. Scott Oldham seconded.  Motion carried.  Dianna Bastin adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m.