September 12, 2011





The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a Regular Meeting on Monday, September 12, 2011, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  David Drake called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer led by Phillip Smith. 


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


Supervisors Present were:  Connie Griffin and Mike Farmer.


Pre-Adoption Hearing for the 2012 Budget


Sandra Hash – The 2012 Proposed Budget was published in the newspaper.  The concept is if people read anything they objected to in the newspaper this is their time to speak.


David Drake – Asked if anyone would like to address the Council in regards to the 2012 Proposed Budget.  There were no comments from the public.


Clerk-Treasurer’s Report


Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer – Presented the Clerk-Treasurer’s Report for the month of August.


General Fund:


§         August revenue was $79,291.06

§         August expenses were $135,097.70.

§         This leaves a balance of $416,493.46.


Motor Vehicle Highway:


§         August revenue was $47,678.60.

§         August expenses were $27,334.82.

§         Ending balance of $95,056.11.


Water Operating Account:


§         August revenue was $144,245.78.

§         August expenses were $179,684.95.

§         Ending balance of $170,622.14.


Sewer Operating Account:


§         August revenue was $164,642.82.

§         August expenses were $155,084.67.

§         Ending balance of $165,022.38.


Approval of Minutes


David Drake entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes for the Regular Meeting on August 22, 2011 and the Executive Session on September 7, 2011.  Dianna Bastin so moved.  Phillip Smith seconded.  Motion carried.


Accounts Payable Vouchers


David Drake entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  Dianna Bastin so moved.   Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.




Plan Commission Democrat Position, Terry Baker to replace Clayton Sullivan – term ending December 31, 2014.


David Drake – Terry Baker has been nominated to replace Clayton Sullivan for the term ending December 31, 2014.  Mr. Baker is a long time member of the Plan Commission and is more than qualified to serve on it.  Mr. Drake appointed Terry Baker to the Plan Commission.


David Drake – There is still a vacancy for a Democrat on the Parks and Recreation Board. 




Resolution 13-2011 Hoosier Eye Doctor Annexation Fiscal Plan and Hoosier Eye Doctor Request for Tax Abatement


Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – The Plan Commission has met with Hoosier Eye Doctor and they have received a favorable recommendation to move forward on the annexation.  There has been discussion on a tax abatement.  They are taking an old building next to Swifty Gas Station and across from Old National Bank and that will be the site of the annexation.  They are requesting that this Resolution be tabled until after Ms. Griffin returns from vacation which will be the October 12, 2011 Town Council meeting. 


David Drake – Is thrilled to see that someone is interested in doing something with that building even though it is not yet in the Town limits.  It has been an eye sore for a long time and they don’t want vacant buildings setting along the highway.  It is already looking better than it has looked in years. 


Phillip Smith made a motion that Resolution 13-2011 be tabled until the meeting on October 12, 2011.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; Phillip Smith – yes and Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.


Old Business


Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation.


Darla Brown, Town Attorney ­– The Town Council members participated in mediation with some of the Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation board members last week.  The goal was to come up with an agreement that would encourage the parties to communicate with each other about their system and yet provide a way for disputes, if any, to be resolved without going to court.  Before the Town Council is an agreement which encourages the parties to share information with each other about their systems and permits each party to inspect each other’s system with reasonable notice to the other.  In the event one party thinks the other party is not repairing or maintaining their system as per industry standards for waste water treatment or waste water collection, the parties can talk about it and if they can’t resolve it the agreement provides for a third party being called in.  That would be an engineer who has knowledge and is familiar with waste water treatment standards and industry standards.  That person would act as a one person arbitration board.  That person will decide the dispute and the loser pays the costs.  As part of this agreement, the loser agrees to have the costs entered against him on the judgment docket. 


Dan Swafford – Thanked everyone involved in all of the boards.  This has been a long, hard road and he looks forward to working together.  This is a step in the right direction.


David Drake – Obviously, they all appreciate the hard work that Darla Brown and Pete King put into this matter.  This is not a perfect situation.  When this whole group was put together, it was really messed up from the beginning and they’re trying to take that situation and make it work a lot better than it has worked in the past.  Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.  What they were looking for was an easily enforceable agreement that would ensure that the sewage treatment plant was properly taken care of by not being overtaxed.  Hopefully, everyone can move down the road and get things working a lot better.


David Drake entertained a motion to approve the Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation.  Phillip Smith made a motion that the Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Eastern Richland Sewer Corporation be approved.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  David Drake – yes; Dianna Bastin – no; Phillip Smith – yes and Dan Swafford – yes.  Motion carried 3-1.  Scott Oldham was absent.


New Business


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement for Pete Hodge and Pete’s Economy Muffler


Dianna Bastin – Pete Hodge is a firefighter in a paid position for the Town of Ellettsville and he owns a business.  They have been lucky to have him work on a couple of the Town’s pieces of equipment.  This is just a formality because he is working for a government entity he filed a disclosure statement.


Phillip Smith – Asked if this was Pete’s Economy Muffler in Spencer.  Ms. Bastin replied that was correct.


Dan Swafford – Asked if this is to protect Pete Hodge if he does work for the Town.  Darla Brown responded it is to comply with the code section that deals with public servants who have a pecuniary interest or derive profit from a contract or purchase connected with a governmental entity. 


David Drake – Typically, in the past with things like this, the Town would actually be getting a better deal from an employee doing the work rather than having someone else do it.  This is really a benefit to the Town as long as they keep on top of it and things are going like they should. 


Sandra Hash – Forwards the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement to the State Board of Accounts and they will stamp it filed, return it to her and she keeps it on file in case there are any questions in the future.


Supervisor Comments


Darla Brown, Town Attorney – They executed on the Autumn Ridge Letter of Credit and the money is now in the Town’s bank account.  She will get with Rick Coppock and ask him to do a request for quotes so the Town can get sidewalks done at Autumn Ridge.  Dan Swafford asked if sidewalks are the only pending issue.  Ms. Brown replied as far as she knows that is the last one.  Rick Coppock stated the sidewalks were done last week.  Phillip Smith asked when the sidewalks were completed. 


Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo – A gentleman called him on either September 8th or 9th and asked him a question about placement of the sidewalk.  He went and looked and the part along Harvest Lane was formed and poured and the other portion on the stub street was formed on the west side.  The gentleman asked about forming it on the east side and he was probably done by now.  Dan Swafford asked Mr. Coppock if he would inspect it and make sure everything is done according to code before they issue a refund.  Mr. Swafford asked if all of the Town’s improvements have been completed.  Ms. Brown responded they were holding on to the last of it for the trees and sidewalks.  The trees were paid separately and not out of the Letter of Credit.  Mr. Swafford asked if it’s the Town’s responsibility to replace the trees that had died.  Ms. Brown replied she did not think it was the Town’s responsibility to replace the dead trees.  Philip Smith said when he drove through there on September 7th, there was one dead tree.  Dianna Bastin stated landscapers typically replace their dead trees.  Mr. Coppock stated if you have someone put them in there is typically a year warranty on the trees.  Mr. Swafford asked if the entire amount will be refunded or does the Town hold an amount back.  Ms. Brown stated she didn’t think so but she would take a look at it.


Council Comments


Dan Swafford – Serves on the MPO and I-69 was tabled until the October meeting.  If anyone has any questions, they can submit them to Dan by September 19, 2011, he can get them to Josh by September 20, 2011 and INDOT will try to address any concerns anyone may have.  Sandra Hash asked how he would like the information submitted.  Mr. Swafford replied people can drop their requests off at Town Hall.


David Drake – Made a motion that the Town allow Park Street from Temperance to Ritter to be closed from Thursday, September 15, 2011, at 3:30 p.m. until Saturday, September 17, 2011, at 12:00 a.m. for the Monroe County Fall Festival.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.


Dianna Bastin – Stated she didn’t have any problems with the closure.  However, she wanted to point out they will probably hear about the street closure.  Although, the street closure is done every year, this is the last minute and it won’t be published in any papers before the festival.


Dan Swafford – Bulky item days are October 28th and 29th.  He will leave flyers at Town Hall.


Privilege of the Floor


Russ Ryle – This evening, a request for a tax abatement was tabled.  Seeing this on the agenda got him doing a little research.  He found no set policies or procedures in Town Code for when the Town does or does not issue tax abatements or under what circumstances you allow an abatement.  He is concerned that in the future the Town will be exposed to a question of fairness if certain people are allowed to have abatements and certain people are not.  Also, Sandra Hash gave him a quick course on the crunching of the numbers and what effect the tax abatement has on the other tax payers in the community.  The short answer was it really doesn’t impact the tax payer.  He is asking that the Town consider, before it gets too involved in future growth as the economy improves, establishing some criteria or published guidelines for applying and granting tax abatements so it is not a case by case basis. 




Phillip Smith made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  David Drake adjourned the meeting at 7:25 p.m.