November 8, 2010






The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, November 8, 2010, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Phillip Smith called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Phillip Smith led the prayer following the Pledge of Allegiance. 


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


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


Approval of Minutes


Phillip Smith entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting on October 25, 2010.  Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Accounts Payable Vouchers


Phillip Smith entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Scott Oldham so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Public Hearing for the Floodplain Overlay District


Connie Griffin, Planning Department – This is a mandatory procedural code update for the floodplain ordinance.  All of the public hearing notices have been advertised.  A letter was mailed to the Town Council on June 17, 2010, and the subject of the letter was FEMA map updates.  The Town is ready to adopt the standards of paragraph 60.3(D) to bring this into our code.  This is the first reading and the second reading is scheduled for November 22, 2010.  Upon reading the ordinance, there are a lot of responsibilities for the floodplain administrator who is also the director of the Planning Department.  A checklist pertaining to the code update has been drafted.  Darla Brown advised it would be appropriate to invite members of the public for comments on the proposed ordinance changes.  Phillip Smith then asked for public comments.  There were none.  Dan Swafford asked where the public hearing notice was advertised.  Connie Griffin responded it was advertised in the Ellettsville Journal. 




Resolution 10-10 to declare surplus property for Fire Department.


Chief Jim Davis, Ellettsville Fire Department – They have a 1972 Ford F-250 truck, 4 wheel drive, 4 speed manual transmission, and it is no longer used.  All other departments within the Town were notified to find out if they had a need for the truck and no one responded.  The Fire Department would like to list the truck on Ebay. 


Phillip Smith entertained a motion to declare the 1972 Ford F-250 as surplus property.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Ordinances on First Reading


Ordinance 10-18 to amend Title VII, Chapters 73 and 74 of the Ellettsville Town Code adding streets.


Jim Ragle, Ellettsville Street Department – The purpose of this ordinance is to get the streets in Autumn Ridge on the Town’s road inventory.   Dianna Bastin stated there is a 20 mph speed limit and no parking on both sides of the street.


Ordinance 10-19 to amend Ordinance 10-14 Concerning the Adjacent and Contiguous Territory to the Town of Ellettsville.


Darla Brown, Town Attorney – The purpose of this ordinance is to correct the legal description.  When the ordinance was prepared and sent to the Monroe County Auditor’s office they advised there had been a survey completed which didn’t mesh with our description.  The surveyor had surveyed the property and had described two tracts of land in one description and there was another tract of land described in another description.  This ordinance is drafted to delete the previous description and add the correct description for the Grimes’ property.  The description will also match the Grimes’ application filed with the Plan Commission.


Ordinance 10-20 to amend Section 152 of the Ellettsville Town Code regarding Floodplain Overlay District.


Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer – The public hearing was announced at the beginning of the meeting and grouped with the Floodplain Overlay District.


New Business


Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Monroe County Library concerning Community Access Television.


Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer – This is a standard agreement which is done from year to year.  The agreement from last year was updated and reviewed by the Town Attorney and Community Access Television.  The Town has budgeted $5,000 for 2011 and it will be paid in four quarterly installments. 


Phillip Smith entertained a motion to approve the agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and the Monroe County Library Community Access Television.  Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – no; Dianna Bastin – no; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 3-2.


Supervisor Comments


Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities – More than two weeks ago they received a resignation in the Ellettsville billing office.   The job opening was posted internally.  Ellettsville Utilities proposed promoting Lori Collier, who now works as temporary full-time, to a regular full-time position.  Interviews of the staff were conducted on November 8, 2010.  Ms. Collier has been employed with Ellettsville Utilities for eight weeks.  Therefore, it was an eight week interview.  Ms. Collier has been trained and is ready to become a full-time employee.  Dan Swafford asked how many full-time employees are currently at the Ellettsville Utilities office.  Mike Farmer responded there are five full-time employees.  Due to illnesses, family leave, injuries and vacations there was a week when they got down to two people and Amber Ragle from the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, had to help in the department.  When Ms. Collier came to work for them she was filling in for an employee on family medical leave.  She will be their fifth employee so there will no longer be any part-time or temporary employees.  The range of pay for Lori Collier is $14.50 to $17.58 and she will start at $14.50. There will be a six month review of her work performance which may result in an increase in pay, if warranted.  As a temporary employee she was making $12.50.  


Phillip Smith entertained a motion to move Lori Collier from temporary full time to permanent full time in Ellettsville Utilities.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Town Marshal Tony Bowlen, Ellettsville Police Department thanked the Richland Township Trustee and Advisory Board for their purchase of a GPS based lidar system for the Ellettsville Police Department.


Jim Ragle, Street Department – The Street Department needs to purchase two snow plows to replace two 15 year old plows which are no longer repairable.  The plows are approximately $8,400 and the money is in the budget.


Connie Griffin, Planning Department, has requested legal counsel be present at the December 2, 2010, Plan Commission meeting.  There is a potential land use violation and the Planning Department has requested legal representation.  Dianna Bastin stated the attorney for Ellettsville is the Town Council’s attorney. The Plan Commission makes recommendations to the Council and they make the final decision.  She cannot understand why they should send an attorney to the meeting. If the Town Attorney is asked any questions and she is not prepared to answer them it will be like two attorneys talking.  She is not sure she understands sending their attorney to Plan Commission meetings when they’re just presenting evidence.  She understands it’s intimidating when someone brings an attorney but they’re pleading their side, the Plan Commission will make a decision and then it will come to the Council.  Dan Swafford stated it would probably be good for the Town Attorney to be at the Plan Commission meeting in case it went further and for knowledge of what is happening in the case.  The Town Attorney could be there just to observe.  It would be in the Town’s interest to have an attorney attend this meeting.  Dianna Bastin commented she thinks it sends a message when the Town Attorney sits at a meeting.  Phillip Smith noted, if anything, the Town Attorney could be present for procedural questions.  Darla Brown said she was happy to attend the Plan Commission meeting if they wanted her to.  She thinks if she keeps her role to answering questions about procedural issues, not substantive issues, and not give advice to the Plan Commission, it will address the concerns.  Dianna Bastin stated once the Town Attorney starts going to the Plan Commission meetings, it will be a never ending battle and she thinks when someone wants to come to a meeting, they will bring their attorney and expect the Town Attorney to be there.  She hates to set a precedent.  Phillip Smith noted it could be looked at on a case by case basis.  Dan Swafford stated as Ellettsville is growing, there is going to be different situations presented and an attorney will be needed to attend the Plan Commission meetings.  Monroe County Planning Commission always has their attorney attend the meetings.  Dianna Bastin noted their attorney is a county attorney and our attorney is the Council’s attorney.   Dan Swafford further noted the Town Attorney is to look after the Town’s best interest.  This matter was tabled until the next Town Council meeting.


Connie Griffin, Planning Department, had contacted INDOT for the notice to proceed on the environmental review of the Heritage Trail contract.  The contract that Kevin Foster with Schneider, Inc. had put together is actually not the contract INDOT uses for the local public agencies.  Therefore, the Town has received a new contract from Schneider which is definitely designed for the local public agencies benefit and protection.  The scope did not change except the reimbursable amount has increased by $2,000. This is because INDOT requires that all reimbursable amounts be added in the total figure not to exceed that amount.  Therefore, the total contract cost would increase to $59,585. The $2,000 would not be used in extra reimbursable expenses unless necessary.  The new contract adds eighteen different benefits to the contract which is summarized as follows:


·        Auditing of their books. They are the consultant or the authority to enter the contract which protects the Town.

·        There are no lobbying activities.

·        They have a Certificate of Insurance.

·        They will hold harmless the local public agency (“LPA”).

·        Any disputes would be resolved in a timely matter between the consultant and the LPA.

·        Liability insurance will be maintained.

·        All payments made at the end and in conformance with the LPA.  If there is an issue with the final product, payment can be held or the project can be terminated.

·        They will be the experts in the INDOT design manual.

·        If there are delays or extensions, the consultant agrees no charges or claims for damages shall be made.

·        All data materials and information are protected and will not be disclosed to others and will be maintained in our ownership as part of the contract.


Darla Brown, Town Attorney, did not have a chance to review the revised contract and asked that it be tabled until the next Town Council meeting which was agreed to by the Council.


Connie Griffin, Planning Department – Area 10 Transit is still looking at shelter locations.  The location along State Road 46 down from Dr. Guzik’s office, near the apartments, has a concrete slab.  She contacted INDOT to find out if it is in their right-of-way.  INDOT replied the right-of-way is 30 feet from the center line.  The week of November 15 – 19, 2010, INDOT will measure the area and let us know if we have to ask INDOT or the property owner for permission to put a bus shelter there.  Mr. Norton of Area 10 Transit has agreed to produce a document from their attorney to the property owner that INDOT would not hold them liable if there was an accident that took place at that bus transit location.  Scott Oldham asked if it would be more feasible to place the bus shelter near the library where there is already a traffic signal.  Connie Griffin responded the bus has to have a right hand load area and near the library would be left hand loading.  Other areas discussed were the parking lot across from Town Hall, Fire Station, Richland Plaza or Dollar Store.  Mr. Norton has requested that the Town consider purchasing two additional shelters which cost approximately $2,300 to $2,500 per shelter.


Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer – At the last council meeting she had asked about employee raises to prepare the salary ordinance.  In response, she was asked to prepare an insurance comparison which was provided to Council.  Three percent has been budgeted for the raises.  David Drake stated the reasoning was to wait and see if the Town had enough money to proceed with the raises.  If there is enough money for the raises then the Town should go ahead and give them.  Dan Swafford asked if there was a question from the quote and the actual price.  Sandra Hash responded there were four discrepancies when we were quoted the insurance.  When insurance rates were quoted, there were four employees who have adult children over age 20 who became age rated, resulting in an increase in two of the four employees.  Dan Swafford asked with the three percent raise and the difference with the insurance, if the Town is still going to have enough to cover the raises in the budget?  Sandra Hash responded the budget was worked with a three percent raise.  The only variable was the insurance.  The Town budgeted more in every department for health insurance than the actual cost.  Therefore, there is a surplus in each department’s insurance appropriation.  All insurance expenses will be covered.  Dan Swafford asked when the Town will know if the levy appeal was granted.  Scott Oldham responded the levy appeal was not factored in the budget.  Mr. Oldham asked if the budget was based on real figures.  Ms. Hash responded that was correct.  Dan Swafford asked if the levy appeal was not included on the budget.  Ms. Hash stated the levy appeal was advertised but it was not included in the Town’s budget.  Phillip Smith commented at that time, the Town didn’t know if it was going to do the levy appeal.  David Drake stated the Town budgeted for the raises and should go ahead and do so.  It was the Town’s intent as long as the figures came in to give the raises.  Things may be worse next year and the Town may not be able to give raises.  Ms. Hash requested permission to prepare the salary ordinance as budgeted.


Phillip Smith entertained a motion to proceed with a three percent increase in employees’ salaries for 2011.  Scott Oldham so moved.  Dianna Bastin seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, received a call from an employee to inquire about the vacation schedule for the holidays.  The Town closes on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.   This year the holidays fall on Friday and Saturday.  The personnel policy states if the holiday falls on a Saturday, then you take it off on Friday.  This year, however, the Town is already scheduled to be off on Friday before the holidays.  The question is, do employees take Thursday for Christmas Eve and Friday for Christmas and then repeat it the next week for the New Year holiday?  Scott Oldham suggested letting the supervisors of each department decide on when to close for the holidays.  Mike Farmer, Ellettsville Utilities, stated if the supervisor’s decide on the days off for the holidays, it will not create any chaos.  Ellettsville Utilities will give at least two weeks notice for the days it is closed due to the holidays.


Dianna Bastin made a motion to leave the Christmas and New Year’s holiday schedule to the decision of department supervisors.  Scott Oldham seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Phillip


Smith – yes; Scott Oldham – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 5-0.


Council Comments


Dianna Bastin announced the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 27, 2010, at 6:30 p.m.  All departments will be involved in preparing for the ceremony.


Privilege of the Floor


Verbia Sutherlin, resident of the Town of Ellettsville, addressed a barking dog problem.  About 200 feet from her bedroom window was a barking dog.  She called the police earlier in the year and nothing was done.  Then approximately five weeks ago, she called the police department and Officer Harris came to her home.  Officer Harris made a report and sent it to the animal control office.  Animal control then came out and talked to the people with the barking dog.  The dog barking has stopped.  Animal control told her to make a log  and if the dogs start barking again, call them and they will take care of it.  Then, animal control will write a ticket to the owners of the barking dog and they will receive a fine.  Ms. Sutherlin understands there are a lot of barking dogs in Ellettsville.  She wants everyone to know how to take care of the problem.  The police officer has to make and file a report and send it to animal control.  An animal control officer will talk to the complainant and the owner of the dog.  If the barking does not stop, a ticket is issued and the owner of the dog is fined.


Wilma Hogan, Arrowhead Addition – the Arrowhead Addition is loud and it is the same people who also have barking dogs.  There are owners who have four and five dogs and there are breeders with several dogs who bark.  Then, there are vehicles with subwoofers.   She thinks the police department needs help and guidelines.  There should be reports made for these incidents so there are consequences such as fines.




Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Phillip Smith adjourned the meeting at 8:18 p.m.