Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AGENDA- May 31- County Council Meeting

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
6:30 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana


SUPERIOR COURT II – Judge McLaughlin 
Overtime pay
Public defender

Legal services
Lawsuits/Settlement Funds

DOC Grant Fund
Salary corrections

SURVEYOR – Dennis Kraus, Jr
New equipment
Plan review 

PARK BOARD – Jim Red Elk
Park restrooms
Park security improvements

HIGHWAY – Todd Listerman
Bridge #43 – Platt Rd
Bridge #88 – Johnson Fork Rd
Bridge #87 – Johnson Fork Rd
Transportation assessment
Bridge #77

Mileage & travel account

AUDITOR – Gayle Pennington


Monday, May 23, 2016

23 May 2016 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

23 May 2016 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Dennis Kraus, Jr., Chairman, Russell Beiersdorfer, Mark Lehman, Art Little, Jake Hoog, Jim Thatcher, and Eric Lang

ABSENT: Mike Hornbach and Dan Lansing
Also Present: Mark McCormack, Plan Director, Nicole Daily, Ass’t Planner, and Andy Baudendistel, Attorney.

ACTION ON MINUTES- Monday Dec 21, 2015 approved with corrections for the attendance of Dan Lansing. March 28, 2016 minutes were approved.  

OLD BUSINESS SCHEDULED TO BE RE-OPENED 1. Request: To address the Plan Commission to discuss modifications to both the concept development plan and written commitments associated with the ‘White Pines’ Zone Map Amendment Applicant: JDJ Surveying & Engineering / Owner: White Farm Development, LLC Site Location: North Dearborn Road Legal: Sec. 20, T7, R1, Map #01-20, Parcel #013 Township: Logan Size: 56 Acres Zoning: Residential-DP 
This item had to be tabled  until next month because several of the letters to adjoiners were returned as not being delivered. The Plan Commission just found out today when they were returned in the mail. Only one other couple was here- the others had been notified via the neighbors. Even the applicant did not come. The attorney recommended that it be tabled as 4 notices had wrong addresses or zip codes. He said he had notified Stenger also and that is why he is not here to present. Lehman motioned and Beiersdorfer 2nded- all approved tabling until June meeting. 


Proposed changes to the Dearborn County Plan Commission Fee Schedule. Modifications to variance requests or conditions of approval are now happening so they have added these to the fee schedule and it’s about 2/3 of the base fee for the original request. This is because some of the work may not have to be repeated. There are sometimes multiple requests and some are inter-related for requests- so they are trying not to overcharge for those. Administrative requests- such as direct access to arterials or collectors- he uses $150 as that charge. Now they are documenting that fee. These reflect alternatives for situations they have run up against in the last few years. Certified survey split fees is $60 for each lot splitting off. Major revisions- for plats that are so deficient occasionally necessitates a increased fee of additional $25 instead of the $10 as current. This is mostly to discourage a bad habit that is developing. There were several amendments to this fee schedule to deal with deficient applications or repeated trips to tech review and time waste. Most of these rates have been in effect since 2006. We are higher than IN neighbors, but lower than OH and KY. The Mills project went OK when in review, except that they built more than they were approved for and so they built something without a permit at first. There are also some review issues on Skally’s set up now coming in. Drainage issues need to have a beefed up drainage ordinance- MS-4 - Multiple storm sewer system - requirements from the state are impending on part of the county perhaps. That MS-4 status is holding up the drainage ordinance revision. Hidden Valley is in the OKI urbanized area - so it has an MS-4 status. Bright has been added to  the OKI map now and so it will have this to contend with also. EPA and IDEM figure in this decision. PC hopes to not put the whole county in an MS-4 as it would put a burden on highway dept. clearing drainage ditches etc in rural areas that don’t need that much. Dennis Kraus Jr. said he’d put in for some money to get this drainage ordinance set up better. Jim Thatcher was pressing hard to get them to see if they could get this set up and maybe compensate the individuals on the board who would be working on this. Kraus Jr. said that he can’t be paid as he is an elected official. They will set up a drainage committee and maybe estimate what it will take to get this ordinance for drainage done by the years end. Report at the next meeting on progress. Printing fees were discussed also especially for the color ink copies. Postal rates will be whatever the current rates are. Lehman motioned and Beiersdorfer 2nd to approve with the exception of the postal rates changing to current rates- effective June 2. The PC approved the fee schedule changes.

Proposed changes to the Dearborn County Zoning & Subdivision Control Ordinances - sign ordinance will be at a later, hopefully less congested, meeting this summer - but the stopping site distance table etc will be reviewed at the next meeting in June. 

Financial Guarantee Report - passed out to the board on May 4. Maxwell has till end of May for Harvest Ridge and he doesn’t have that in yet. He will probably call him to remind him before Mark leaves for his annual fishing trip. 

Comprehensive Plan Update and 911 Project Discussions - The June 30 deadline is to get the testing done by the ed of Aug. They may need to keep the existing vendor on if they can’t get this done in time for 911.  Jamie works staggered hours into the evening to work on these projects with less interruptions. Jim Thatcher wants to know about whether there is a month- to- month cost to keep this 911 contract in place should we need that. Nicole Daily said that they are about 30% in the computer on this work so far. They think they can get this done but it will be tight per Mark McCormack. 911 won’t fail- as they already have the address points - this is the backup system for when there is an address that is not in the system or made up per Daily. Andrea ( GIS) is working with Jared (911)

Discussion of Inter-local Agreement Updates (Aurora, St. Leon, West Harrison)  - Mark gave the update on the Aurora agreement for $5000 more and it does not buy any more time- this is to cover what his staff are currently doing. Commissioners already signed it and Aurora signed it. Just need the Plan Commission to approve and sign. SBOA will require different contracts after this and the county attorney will be updating those interlocal agreements that take in any money. He will then forward it to Council at their meeting. 

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

Full Packet for Plan Commission on White Pines Amendment Request 23 May 2016

To see the entire packet of material (43 pages) regarding White Pines previous Plan Commission meetings from 9 years ago to current request click on this link:


Plan Commission to Discuss White Pines- Short Road and Gaynor Ridge Area Tonight

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 
7:00 P.M. 



C. OLD BUSINESS SCHEDULED TO BE RE-OPENED 1. Request: To address the Plan Commission to discuss modifications to both the concept development plan and written commitments associated with the ‘White Pines’ Zone Map Amendment Applicant: JDJ Surveying & Engineering / Owner: White Farm Development, LLC Site Location: North Dearborn Road Legal: Sec. 20, T7, R1, Map #01-20, Parcel #013 Township: Logan Size: 56 Acres Zoning: Residential-DP D. NEW 

 Proposed changes to the Dearborn County Plan Commission Fee Schedule. 
 Proposed changes to the Dearborn County Zoning & Subdivision Control Ordinances 
 Financial Guarantee Report 
 Comprehensive Plan Update and 911 Project Discussions 
 Discussion of Inter-local Agreement Updates (Aurora, St. Leon, West Harrison) 

DEARBORN COUNTY PLAN COMMISSION 215B West High Street, Suite 300  

TIF- Chasing Economic Devolpment

TIF: Chasing Economic Development

by Martina Webster

In my county we have an issue with tax increment financing (TIF). As of 2014, almost 20 percent of our property taxes go into multiple TIF funds instead of the appropriate taxing units. Our school districts, libraries and general funds lose millions every year to the specially carved out TIF districts, which are supposedly “creating” economic development.

In general, though, our county's method is not to create but to chase economic development. If an area looks as if it will grow, the local municipalities rush to install a TIF for the area so they don’t have to share any newly generated property taxes with other taxing units.

The original idea of TIF was development wouldn't happen but for it. In our county that's not the case. Rather, they create a TIF because: 1) the municipality gets all the revenue; and 2) there is less oversight of spending. State and local politicians have convinced the public that it is not real taxpayer money being spent, it’s only TIF money. I fear they’ve convinced themselves as well.

I am confident if more people understood how our taxes were determined, they’d pay more attention to the rampant TIF abuse in this state.

The tax rate you and I pay is wholly dependent upon the total of the net assessed value of a taxing unit. What a TIF does is carve out that net assessed value to go into a different pot. However, it does not reduce the amount of money needed to fund essential services. In fact, most often all it does is increase the burden on essential services without an offsetting increase in assessed values to balance the tax rate.

The gross assessed value of the county is total market value of all parcels. Net assessed values are the gross assessed value minus TIF, exemptions and credits. So when the levy goes up and net assessed values go down, the tax rate goes up. This is why TIF is a big deal. It is why circuit breakers, an accounting correction for all of that, have become a big deal.

My pet peeve is to hear an elected official or lobbyist call the circuit breaker a loss in revenue. It is not, and to consider it as such means that he or she considers your pockets infinitely deep. “If not for those blasted circuit breakers, we could do X, Y and Z,” they might say.

But that money should never have been theirs in the first place. The circuit breaker merely alerts us to the fact that someone is overspending by such-and-such an amount. That should cause government to reevaluate its wants and needs (I'm being serious here; no laughing).

In any case, there will soon be wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Legislature to relax the circuit breakers. Don’t fall for it.

Martina Webster, a real estate agent in Clark County, represents District 1 on the Sellersburg City Council. She wrote this at the request of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.


The Indiana Policy Review Foundation exists solely to conduct and distribute research on Indiana issues. Nothing written here is to be construed as reflecting the views of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before the legislature or to further any political campaign.

follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook

Copyright © 2016 Indiana Policy Review Foundation, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this message because you subscribe to the journal or the web site.

Our mailing address is:

Indiana Policy Review Foundation
PO Box 5166Fort Wayne, IN 46895
Add us to your address book

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

17 May 2016 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

17 May 2016 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Shane McHenry, President, Art Little, and Kevin Lynch

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Andy Baudendistel, Attorney, and Terri Randall, Administrator

Councilman Alan Goodman was in attendance.

Title VI Plan- Randall said they had to add a section in on environmental justice- to make sure it doesn’t disproportionately affect certain income groups. Baudendistel had reviewed. Approved the revised Title VI Plan.


Scott Carnegie, DLZ and Brad Rullman, Maxwell Construction- Documents and Request to Release for Bids Annex Project- Scott Carnegie said he had been working extensively over the last several months with Maxwell on the plans. Two stories lis the basement were shown on the blueprints. Basement is mostly unfinished except for the corner for inmate holding and intake. Public entrance on south side for staff only on first floor. Public will access on the west main entrance. Elevator is on first floor entry to access the ads building also- a two sided elevator. Carnegie also showed the inmate elevator access to the courtrooms.Circuit court jury room is relocated to avoid the steep stair access that currently exists. Elevated boxes over the two other courts to get natural lighting in them. Building facade will be limestone to mimic the courthouse. Alternate bid items are included to decide whether or not to add certain items to the plans for stain or paint to paint to have the ads building match the other two. 
Brad Rullman- Maxwell -  talked about the timeline. If they get approval to proceed. They have 10 different bid packages for the 10 different contracts. There will be the Construction mgr,, site work and paving, masonry, structural steel, drywall and acoustics, flooring, mechanical trades, plumbing, HVAC,  electrical. Bids will be back by June 28. July 5- Maxwell will have bids reviewed and present to Commissioners. Construction start July 11. Phase 1 is prep of site so access points will be affected on the 2 existing buildings. Phase 2 will be actual dirt moving etc. for Sept 17, and then Phase 3 for renovating some courthouse areas and Jan 2018 for completion.
Lynch immediately motioned to approve them to proceed. Little 2nd and all ayes. 
Carnegie asked for McHenry to sign the standard form for state release. Approved.

Updating Interlocal Agreement with Aurora- Mark McCormack- Planning and Zoning- after a year they assessed and they needed some changes. The city proposed increasing from $25,000 to $30,000 to cover what they are CURRENTLY doing. The county can’t afford to do extra hours. The city manager for Aurora wanted this done in advance of preparing their budgets. McCormack presented the memo showing the minor changes in the existing contract. Fee collection issues will have to be revised and discussed later. Aurora’s mayor already signed this. McHenry said he is always in favor of combining governmental services when possible- but wants to be sure McCormack’s staff is able to do all this. McCormack said they are hammering out the changes needed and are aware of their time constraints. If it doesn't work in the future they will have to move on. Lynch concurred with McHenry on the collaboration aspects. He sees it expanding into other areas in the future. It helps build relations. Approved the revised updated Aurora agreement. McCormack said they will funnel the funds to a part time spot of sorts. 

Moores Hill EMS Contract- 2 units at $20,000 each- approved.

Bright Fire and EMS Contract- 2 units for $20,000 each- approved.

ADMINISTRATOR- Terri Randall- couple updates- Title VI training has been well received.

A whole set of plans is in her office on the Annex for  the public to view. Thanks for getting us this far. Everyone that was involved behind the scenes did really well. We’ll see how we do on bid day. Lynch said that he recognizes and appreciates all the work that people did to bring this project forward. This will provide efficiencies and such a professional environment for the county.  I thank you again for heading up that project. 

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington
Claims and Minutes from April 19th and May 4th approved. 

Request for Grant Application Approval for Veteran’s Office- Pennington presented for Mike Burgess- it passes thru the county for annual support from Lawrenceburg to the county for $6,000 for their transportation. There is no match for it. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel- agreement for American Dental LLC and the sheriff for the inmates. Dr Alan Wilhere( sp?) It is for 24 months and automatically renews annually with a 30 day notice to discontinue. American Dental LLC is located at an address in Indy. Commissioners approved the agreement. 

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- Lynch said he received several calls on the SR 1 road work in Bright. Listerman was consulted as to better signage etc or flashers. There is a pretty big trench or ditch. So he thinks at night they could have issues. They will work thru it. Project will be over in 6 weeks. Little sad the problem there is speed. Lynch agreed. 35 mph is too fast for it now. Little said people need to be patient. 
Lynch said to keep troops and veterans etc in mind for Memorial Day. Little agreed. 
McHenry said he received an email from Tim Grieve for big slip on East Laughery. He consulted with Listerman also and GSI can do this as a emergency and can do it an amount that I will not publish as Grieve needs to get another bid out on this. McHenry will have to meet with Tim and Todd and Council. We’ll have to do less paving this year based on these slips. Pennington said they can just move the money since it is already there if this is an emergency. There is a 5 year warranty with this. Baudendistel said it is definitely a hazard. The section of road is West Laughery road slip as 2 ft of road- 65 ft long and very deep. Approved to proceed. 

PUBLIC COMMENT- Richard Johnson- Whites Hill Road- pet peeve project on State St bridge to Harrison- the top rail is sticking out 4 ft and is dangerous. Little said- he saw it and he agrees it is dangerous. 

LATE ARRIVAL - Randall said they need to read the statement for a voluntary survey to show they are in compliance with Title VI. She read it.

Meeting Adjourned at 6 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, May 13, 2016

AGENDA May 17th Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting

May 17, 2016
5:00 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

I.          CALL TO ORDER

            Title VI Plan

            1.  Scott Carnegie, DLZ & Brad Rullman, Maxwell
                        Construction Documents & Request to Release for Bids

            2.  Updating Interlocal Agreement with Aurora – Planning & Zoning

            3.  Moores Hill EMS Contract

            4.  Bright Fire & EMS Contract

V.        ADMINISTRATOR – Terri Randall

VI.        AUDITOR Gayle Pennington
            1.  Claims/Minutes
            2.  Request for Grant Application Approval for Veteran’s Office

VII.       ATTORNEY – Andy Baudendistel



XI.        ADJOURN

Thursday, May 12, 2016

12 May 2016 Dearborn County Redevelopment Meeting Notes

12 May 2016 Dearborn County Redevelopment Meeting Notes

Present: Jim Deaton, Chairman, Dave Deddens (arrived at 8:35), Jim Helms, John Rahe, Alan Goodman, and Jamie Graf (non- voting school board member)

Also present: Terri Randall, county administrator and economic development director, Andrea Ewan, attorney, Sue Hayden, minute taker, Gayle Pennington, Auditor and DCRC treasurer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- March 10th minutes approved.

Randall Avenue Property- Mrs. Taylor had called Terri Randall to meet somewhere off I-71 between here and her home in KY. They want to set a time that Andrea Ewan can be there. She said Mrs.Taylor is eager to help and we’ll see if she will donate or need payment for and easement or what. We should not take a quorum of people obviously. May 20 or 25th. Rahe is available as a board member to go. They selected Friday the 20th of May to meet. She lives in Simpsonsville, KY
Regular claims- $5476.00   Pennington asked how many had attended the REDI- Commercial Real estate developers event for $550- 2 seats free and 10 others attended. Only 3 were board member, Lynch, Randall and people from Whitewater Mills. Pennington said only 4 could be paid for per State Board of accounts. Tabled that item as Randall wants to go to SBOA to try to get that changed.

Visioning Grant claim account-approved. 

Claim for Tax Increment Return to Whitewater Mills- Pennington explained that the TIF captured has to be reimbursed to Whitewater Mills (via the bank) for the bond as part of their incentive. The check goes to the bank- FCN-for the bonds. Approved as long as they clarify that FCN is the bank- and if not it should go to the appropriate bank. 

Financials Review-handed out so all board members could review. Rate want dot be sure the West Aurora TIF was in the Washington Township coffers.

Title VI Compliance Statement- Randall said that because they receive federal dollars they have to comply with Title VI- non- discrimination rules. INDOT will monitor this. Data needs to be gathered at meetings to show we are meeting needs of people requiring equal access. The data gathered includes race, nationality and even household income which seems over the top. This is supposedly to be sure that if INDOT projects are opposed by affluent neighborhoods for example and then is set to be built in a poor neighborhood- that is possibly considered discrimination.

Letter of support- Bridge #108 on Harrison Brookville Road- Johnson Fork. Deaton read the letter to the board. This bridge serves as access to businesses in the TIF district. The board ratified Deaton’s signature on the letter. I asked if the TIF money could be used to help with that project. The answer was YES- but Rahe said we are not volunteering to pay for it! [NOTE:Perhaps Council should ask :-)]

Resolution- Determination of Need to Capture Tax Increment Revenue- and NOT to send any back to the taxing districts. The letter was prepared this way. No one wanted to change that to send any back to the taxing districts as they have plans for all that money. Passed. Deddens said that in the next 5 years this may change in St. Leon.

Letter to be Sent to Political Subdivisions sent annually to report the capture tax increment money- this was approved as this is a required letter as prepared above to  be sent to schools, townships, etc.

Whitewater Mill was selected over 190 projects in Cincinnati area as it was unique s a good match for the community and had state of the art technology in it’s plant. There were 10 finalists and 4 awards. They were in the top 10- but not the final 4 for awards. This was a huge thing for the Convention Center and a huge plus for Dearborn County to be recognized with site selectors present there. Whitewater Mill lets them use their meeting room up there to show other companies the are up there. It was something to squeeze in and it was not an absolute necessity for my job- but it was important to go to this. 

Skally’s had slowed some things down until they had all their items ready. They have to split the parcel as they are getting a portion and not all of it now. (Financing issues?) 

There is another project not public yet in Aurora- they will be closing on property later this month. They had one site and are now looking at a different site. She wants to get a press release out but they want to lock everything up first. (In deference to this prospect, I am not naming it here) Their new site is not in the TIF- but next door to it. They want to get the incentives as committed to the first site. The incentive was rather small- infrastructure actually. So they may have to have another discussion about that at a future meeting. they will improve the existing building and that will improve the TIF we have next doc in terms of marketability also. Rate said that if we expand the TIF we should consider taking the land behind it also. 

New lead from the state that is targeted to Dearborn, Ohio, or Franklin County. This is a complicated application and this is a distribution center targeting the area.

In discussing with mayors, McHenry, and economic development and the port authority entities. They want to have larger regional discussions. She thinks $45 million has been pumped in as matching funds to the 4 areas with ports. She said we ( who is we?) have had informal discussions with neighboring counties and cities.
SE IN Growth Alliance exists and tagline is the affordable Cincinnati address. We haven't paid dues in 2 years.We are starting to meet again. The I-74 Corridor group also is reinvigorating under new leaders. They also want to meet more. Site selectors in Cincinnati need large acreage spots and the city has very little of that. 

Survey completed for Skally’s with 36.296 acres plus the 5 acre piece. (These were needed to get the assessed valuations done on time.) Ewan used the survey descriptions to do the deeds. Two deeds were presented and signed in the meeting under the Attorney’s section.  The survey was finally approved for the split of the parcel they are giving Skally’s and new deeds have to be done in order for the two parcels to have separate numbers.
There is an easement that was retained on the Hirlinger property that is on this for Skally’s and another easement there. There is a 5 acre piece that is closer to Stone Property and there is a billboard element there that she retained. 
Skally’s wants to take down another sign and Norton’s wants to have it moved somewhere else. Randall said that they haven’t been able to do much with the moving idea. These deeds are from the DCRC to the DCRC. Then when Skally’s is ready they can transfer to them. 
Deaton’s signature on the survey was ratified. Then the board approved executing the two deeds. 
Randall thanked Andrea because she prepared this yesterday on very short notice, as Randall hadn’t connected the dots realizing this deed needed to be done. 

Randall keeps in touch with the Aurora project biweekly.

If Skally’s moves forward we will have to have a special meeting. Otherwise we meet again July 14 at 8:30 AM.



Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

REVISED Agenda for May 12th DC Redevelopment Commission Meeting

May 12, 2016
8:30 a.m., 3rd Floor Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

  1. Call to order

  1. Approval of Minutes
March 10, 2016 Meeting 

  1. Claims & Financials
1.  Approval of Claims 
A. Regular Claims
B. Visioning Grant Claim
C. Claim for Tax Increment Return to Whitewater Mill

2.  Review of Financials

  1. Unfinished Business
1.  Randall Avenue Property

  1. New Business
1.  Title VI Compliance Statement  
2.  Letter of Support – Bridge #108 / Harrison Brookville Road
3.  Resolution - Determination of Need to Capture Tax Increment Revenue
4.  Letter to be sent to Political Subdivisions

  1. Economic Development Officer’s Report

  1. Attorney’s Report
  1. Other Business

  1. Adjournment

Monday, May 09, 2016

AGENDA May 12 DC Redevelopment Commission Meeting

May 12, 2016
8:30 a.m., 3rd Floor Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

I.              Call to order

II.             Approval of Minutes
March 10, 2016 Meeting

III.            Claims & Financials
      1.  Approval of Claims
      2.  Review of Financials

IV.          Unfinished Business
      1.  Randall Avenue Property

V.           New Business
      1.  Letter of Support – Bridge #108 / Harrison Brookville Road
      2.  Resolution - Determination of Need to Capture Tax Increment Revenue
      3.  Letter to be send to Political Subdivisions

VI.          Economic Development Officer’s Report

VII.         Attorney’s Report
VIII.        Other Business

IX.          Adjournment

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Economic Development and Annexation

Annexation: The Motive Matters

reprinted with permission of IPR

by Jason Arp

My constituents are scratching their heads. They don’t remember annexation being a topic of discussion during last year’s municipal elections. There was discussion of riverfront development. There were whispers about an arena. But not a word about annexation. It’s difficult, then, for a councilman to gauge citywide sentiment on the issue.

Many of my neighbors in the Aboite area of Fort Wayne still cringe at the word. For annexation is a big deal. It is incorporating people and property into much more than just a geographical area. And its impact is not just financial. It is extending authority over people.

It changes ordinances and laws under which people and property are subject. Places where smoking was permitted become places where smoking is prohibited. Places where people could burn leaves, discharge firearms, keep chickens and grow gardens suddenly become places where those things are forbidden. This new authority has the ability to plan, zone and use eminent domain.

And in the case of the annexation currently before the Fort Wayne City Council, this is all achieved without the input of those affected. Remonstrance was taken off the table by a waver in the sewer-connection agreements of many neighborhoods. There will be no real consent, therefore. Indeed, we can be fairly certain this annexation could not be achieved voluntarily.

The financial aspects are pretty clear. Annexed residents will have to pay more in taxes to maintain the desired funding for the things being funded now. The majority of their property taxes will be redirected from their school corporations, libraries, township fire departments and county services to the city of Fort Wayne. Eventually, the school districts will have to schedule referendum votes in hopes of making up the difference.

What has not been openly discussed is the motive for this annexation. The current plan appears to raise $5 million in net new money for the city’s general fund, and that is after the expense of extending the promised city services to the annexed area.

The city has not explained why it needs that additional $5 million. If the reason is related to basic city services, then this plan is untenable because we are extending those same services to a new area. If the problem is a backlog of road repairs in Aboite or Georgetown, it doesn’t make sense to annex a new area that will someday have its own backlog of roads to repair. 

The unstated motive is to pay for economic "development” (that’s code for enriching well-connected people). Nobody was shocked reading last Sunday's letters column to see the huzzahs for annexation from the Chamber of Commerce set. This is the same crowd pushing an unpopular arena and other publicly subsidized buildings downtown. Could the $5 million a year in net new revenue be used to pay the coupons on the bonds issued to finance vacant properties there? 

Why these folks are asking the city to subsidize adding supply to a market with inadequate demand is a mystery unless you assume the goal is to crush the prices of existing properties. If that is the goal, there is evidence of success. The eight-story Wells Fargo Indiana Building at Wayne and Calhoun sold for over $28 million in 2005. It was assessed at $11 million in 2013. It transferred to U.S. Bank in bankruptcy procedures at $6.5 million in December 2015. 

So instead of doubling down and dragging additional residents into to this speculative morass, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our strategy for economic "development." Perhaps we should explore utilizing the free enterprise system. It would be less expensive to the taxpayer, and the results surely couldn’t be any worse.

Jason Arp represents the 4th District on the Fort Wayne City Council. He wrote this for the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.

Twitter Digg Facebook Delicious Reddit StumbleUpon DZone GoogleLinkedIn MisterWong MySpace Netvouz NewsVine Slashdot Technorati YahooMyWebBlinkList Design Float Webnews.de
The Indiana Policy Review Foundation exists solely to conduct and distribute research on Indiana issues. Nothing written here is to be construed as reflecting the views of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before the legislature or to further any political campaign.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

4 May 2016 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

4 May 2016 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Shane McHenry, President, Art Little, and Kevin Lynch

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Andy Baudendistel, Attorney, and Terri Randall, Administrator


Election Update- Rick Probst, Clerk of Courts- 13,030 votes cast of 33% turnout. Internet was down all day and they had to clarify voter registrations with Indiana election division. They did get some hotspot access later in the day via sheriff dept. Highway dept helped also. Also had Boys Scouts helping out for a civics project. They had provisional ballots to that will have a minor affect on final official vote count. 

Litter Update- Celeste Calvitto- Editor, Bright Beacon- Major cleanup last weekend. Bright Fire Dept did a great job clearing in the rain. Some of the high schools have kids signing up for this. Mollie at Recycling Center has the bins almost al placed. Community Corrections has a cleanup scheduled later this month. 

Greendale EMS Contract- $40,000 for 2 units at $20,000 each. Approved. 

Fire and EMS Website- Jason Sulivan- EMS- demonstrated the website - he said they will tweet the text to make it bolder in sections and easier to read. There will be videos for recruitment to show current volunteers etc. There is also a page for questions. It is live right now. Mobile phones can pick it up but it doesn’t display everything correctly but that is being worked on now. Lynch wanted to see the hit counts on the page to see how much interest it has. Bill Beinkamper- Creative Services in Aurora did the website design. The address is 

HIGHWAY DEPT. Todd, Listerman, County Engineer- Request to approach Council $550,000 funding requested for Bridge #43 Platt Road Some funding is available from savings on one bridge.
$1,125,000 for Wolfing Road old arch bridge that is very narrow. They would like to look at this as an applicant for the new state program for funds. The cost to us would be less if we do that.
Johnson Fork Road Bridge- bad scour problem on a pier. Meeting with DNR. Needing $25,000 for design funds from the bridge  rehab account. It needs an overly etc. 
Baudendistel is still working on some of the owners for ROW for these projects.They are optimistic they will get them all. Lynch said he’s glad he is aggressive on these state funds as the competition is going to be great for these funds. Approved for all four bridges to be done.

Maintenance assessment plan is needed for roads and bridges. Our bridge date will be available from our bridge review program done every two years. Will also do this for small structures book too. Some of those will be $250,000 each to fix. The assessment of the paved roads - 490 miles- using 1 mile max segments on longer roads and smaller roads will be also done. A true unbiased look at our roads will be done. It also has a program to analyze the system based on the budget we have to spend. Tim and he have talked to some people- he wants to ask for $75,000 MAX - he thinks it will be less than that- but he wants to be sure to have enough. He will get a program  tied to our GIS system. This assessment is necessary to get to the program for state funds under these two state programs that have been enacted. Slurry seal, chip seal, and micro-pave will all see looked at. The treatments will be assessed and the typical life of the process is shown. So if it lasts 2 years or 5 years or more is also figured in the system.Commissioners approved going to council for $75,000. This gives us a long term look and the means to do it ourselves after it is set up.

Tim Grieve- Highway Superintendent- Request to approach Council- there is a nasty slide on North Hogan- 1700 cars a day. Between Soap Hill and Possum Ridge. There is already a section closed. Needs to approach Council for $103,600 in his account  - and he needs another $129,000 plus to finish it. It’s dangerous there and needs attention ASAP. McHenry said they have worked it out so they can move money around to get this done. He has to see Liz Morris today about it. They will have to shut it down 10 days or so to do the work. Baudendistel said if they declare it an emergency they can invite quotes from at least 2 people and get this done. 36-1-12-9 allows this. This bypasses the bid advertising requirement. They have 2 quotes already. Commissioners declared Hogan Slip as an emergency and they can proceed with the 2 quotes to decide and begin work. Slow Mill ( now called Geo Stabilization Inc) $233,550 and United Consulting $493,074. are the 2 quotes. Pennington said the funds are there and he can go to Leah to transfer the amount needed. 

Internal Controls Ordinance- to be covered by Baudendistel- (Randall is hoarse again) 5-11-1-27-  to promote accounting and transparency. This 10.17 section of the County Ordinances will be created to have this enacted here. Each county sets its own “materiality threshold”- to require notifying State Board of Accounts. So if perhaps $100 is missing is that the threshold or is it a different number? That will be decided by the board. They also need to train personnel. Randall said they have some guidelines from insurance company on tightening some procedures via the dept. heads. They need to have controls about every penny that is coming into the county. Pennington said by June 30 they have to have this finished. We need all these forms signed by debts etc to be filed with the annual report. It will be noted in the audit if we don’t have this. Otherwise there will be penalties per Randall. Each dept will be asked for their internal controls.  The ordinance was passed and signed.

Title VI Plan Update- INDOT reviewed the plans and just needs one thing to be fixed in the highway dept. Employees will be trained. Assurances have to be separately signed for this document. TABLED. 

Request to Approach Council- for legal fees for law suits against the county- all filed in 2014- and deductible is $25,000. Requesting $35,000 for this and the future ones. Lynch said maybe Council should fund this accordingly- Randall said its often hard to predict. She said we have now moved to a $10,000 deductible. There have been an increase in law enforcement jail claims- she attributed to overcrowding and said we have prevailed in all of those claims though. [NOTE: That's interesting- the previously overcrowded jail was supposed to cause lawsuits and Randall says it has and the county has not lost any of them yet.] Approved to approach Council for these fees.
$17,290 also need to be put back into the county attorney’s account for his work on these same cases. Approved to go to Council. 

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- Claims approved. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel- nothing more- but wanted to briefly reiterate that all political subdivisions have to adhere to the Internal Controls ordinance- and they can be given ours and invited to training if that helps them.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- Lynch- thanks to Celeste for her Litter Work and raising awareness. Also thanked those who signed up to run for public office. 
Little- agreed with Lynch- restating some of it and especially thanking those who didn’t make it. It’s hard to be in that spot, he knows.
McHenry- thanked Celeste and congratulated his fellow officeholders who got passed the primary. 
Unrestricted grant from Perdue Pharma for prevention of meth labs presented by McHenry for $5000 MAX is being applied for. Approved to go to Council- and there is no County match. THIS WAS NOT ON THE AGENDA.


LATE ARRIVAL- Sulivan EMA- reminded this was a soft launch and will be set for public in 2 weeks.
Randall reminded Lynch to talk about the- Greater Cinti Real Estate Power Breakfast with 700 people in attendance yesterday morning. Whitewater Mill was a finalist recognizing businesses new to the are among 190 others. There were 7 finalists. Dearborn County mentioned several times in the room. REDI CINTI was the major sponsor of this- showing the prominence of that organization. Press release on this should be released per Randall. 

Meeting Adjourned at 9:33 AM

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township