Wednesday, March 24, 2004

County Council March 23,2004 Meeting Report

Present members: Mark Mitter, Aaron Negangard, Charlie Fehrman (Chairman), Bill Ullrich, and Tom Cheek. Absent: Dennis Kraus and Bo Lansing.
Cary Pickens, Auditor also present.
Denise Freitag, Register reporter, also covered this meeting.

1. North Dearborn Road realignment. Mike Davis introduced Dick Robertson (also a former hwy director from Boone Cty Indiana) and Matt Taylor, engineering consultants, who gave an update and recommendations on the North Dearborn Road realignment project (estimated cost $1.8 million) that they have worked on since November 2002. This is the area of North Dearborn near McCann Road.
They recommend doing a federal aid project to get more accomplished with less county dollars involved. The downside is that it takes 4-5 years on average to complete a federal project. They intend to have three meetings with the local residents to garner support for the grant and get them involved in the final project design. Larry Smith, a local landowner, has been conferring with them and with the commissioners regarding the alignment and right of way (ROW) around his land.
(NOTE: I recall that nearly two years ago Larry Smith was the owner who originally approached the commissioners about donating some land to realign the roadway there before he does anything more with the land.)

Engineering, surveys and ROW can be included as part of the county match for the federal aid project. Per Mark Seiler, North Dearborn Rd. is the top road needing to be fixed according to the list devised by the Transportation Assessment Study.
Charlie Fehrman encouraged Council to ask questions at this point while he went over to have a private conference (approximately 5 minutes) with Mark, Seiler, Mike Davis, and Lorie Howard at a side table.
Charlie then stated that without going into any details but based on conversation he had with Karen Shell about an hour ago, he wanted to delay it a month. Wanted to know if that would hurt the grant cycle.
Matt Taylor told him that would give them one day to get the grant papers done and submitted.
They agreed to compromise- with the following motion:
Negangard and Ullrich motioned for $30,000 from Fund 203- Special Projects to cover survey work and three public meetings (probably at North Dearborn Library) with the understanding that NO PHYSICAL WORK would start until the commissioners sign off on it. All ayes.

2. Barb Kaffenberger – not present- had requested to be tabled till next month. Charlie substituted Andrea Thalheimer from Dearborn Community Foundation. She presented a check for $74,579.84, which was the county’s investment return from the Dearborn County Quality of Life Endowment Fund (matched by Eli Lilly funds originally) County can spend this as they see fit.

3. BJ Ault- Solid Waste – Needs a $150,000 loan from county to cover the tax revenue they normally receive and haven’t gotten because of reassessment issues and taxes not being collected. They will pay it back in Jan 2005 if taxes get paid out this year. She reported that they received $64,000 in grants last year also.
Tom Cheek reported that he’d called Gayle Snyder at the state to see what the tax problems were and was informed that they were waiting on the Auditor’s certification of assessment. Cary replied that it was the TIF (Tax incremental financing) areas that weren’t adding up and they were working on it.
Charlie said it was permissible to loan money to Solid Waste.
Ullrich and Cheek motioned to table it till next meeting, when Doug Gardiner, Solid Waste Att’y, could draw up the papers leaving the loan amount blank. Cary referenced IC 13-21-3-18 as the basis for the paperwork. All ayes.
BJ Ault also needs to get $165,000 to purchase 10-12 bins to replace Rumpke’s. Ours will be sorted bins. Projected revenue is $36,000 per year to sell our own recyclables. Without paying Rumpke this reduces their costs by $72,000 per year. IDEM grant won’t come in until Jan 2005.
Since out of special projects fund- there is no need to advertise per Cary.
Cheek and Mitter motioned for $165,000 from Fund 203 – Sp. Proj. County will own the bins and lease them to Solid Waste for $1 per month until grant comes in. Then Solid Waste will buy them from the county. Because it’s over $50,000 they will have to get bids. BJ will approach commissioners to get that accomplished. All ayes.
(NOTE : Per Cary $865,000 left in special projects fund.)

4. Council Benevolent Fund:
Daryl Caldwell- Executive Director of Safe Passage (812-933-1910): Batesville shelter for domestic abuse victims (in 5 counties) will be completed in July- 30 + beds and 15,500 sq ft.
Requesting funding as seed money to get a full time presence in Dearborn County to advocate case management, law enforcement, etc. Since there were 490 domestic violence runs in 2003 in our county they are requesting 54% of the seed cost from us - $20,000. Division of Family and Children, SEIOC, Lifetime Resources, Sally Blankenship, Sheriff Lusby, etc are supporters and will use the services. Benevolent Fund is at 0 till the May draw comes in per Cary.
Negangard and Cheek motioned to take the $74,000+ check from the Dearborn County Foundation received earlier this evening and deposit that into the Fund. Then appropriate $20,000 for safe Passages. All ayes.

5. Chris McHenry- County Cemetery Commission-
Lois Harper and Milton Masing accompanied her- request was for $2000 to purchase signs for cemeteries in the county. They selected one per township so far and most were on main roads for easy access for people researching ancestry. The Dearborn County Historical Society will handle the Funds for this officially. Lois Harper will do all the paperwork for free to get the special signage.
Cheek and Ullrich motioned to use the Benevolent Fund for $2,000. All ayes.

6. Cathy Plummer- Aurora Little League- Aurora gave them the land for a baseball/soccer/football field area. They are going to have a removable fence and removable mound. Aurora donated the land and $5,000. Aurora Little League requests $29,700 or at least $18,138. Discussion that this was too much for a predominately municipal league totaling 185 kids. Cheek and Ullrich motioned for $20,000 and then amended it to $15,000. Still not passed. Mitter and Cheek motioned for $10,000 and that passed. Note: they haven’t been to the Community Foundation yet.

7. Mike Davis- County Highway Dept. - Mark Seiler gave out the Transportation Study’s most deficient roadway list. Tom Cheek talked about how much was wasted before on roads when the paving projects didn’t properly prepare the roadbeds etc.
Charlie Fehrman stated that Lorie Howard (cty adm) has a spreadsheet on bridges and roads- and that she’s done a good job on it.
Mike Davis discussed Jim Brickner’s ability to get bridges fixed quickly – in house. Needed some “emergency” funds for this. They said it wasn’t an emergency. Davis replied that “it was a quickie.” They agreed to advertise for $11,000 from cum bridge and put it on April’s agenda. Davis stated that Hwy was $10,000 in the hole for gravel so far and would need about $150,000 for the year total. They also need $32,000 for salt.
They agreed to advertise for $182,000 from the contingency fund to vote on in April’s meeting.
Davis reported that Paul Rohe paving claimed $55,000 in accounts payable for past four years that they never received. They only had about $22,000 in invoices though. They signed a letter of agreement to settle for $21,900. They have improved their invoicing process as a result and the county will do a walk through on each project per Davis.
O'Mara is starting on the work repairing Serenity Ridge. It will cost about $94,000 and the bond is for $85,000.
Cary reported that there was $11,000 in local road and street and the MVHA was out of funds.Thursday he and Lorie Howard are meeting with Prices on White’s hill to try and get the easements and ROW settled for that project.
Davis and others from the county are going to INDOT to present the Transportation Assessment Study on Tuesday next week. They hope to get more $$s added for the roads added to the list.
NOTE: This was supposed to be about 140 miles. It’s really 12 miles more. The consultant mistakenly added in the State highway miles and those don’t count for county road reimbursement. Mitter (who Chairs the Plan Commission) reported on this fact at the end of the meeting.

8. Lorie Howard- County Administrator – Requested consensus from Council that it intended to proceed when she lets out the RFP for computer services for the Adm Bldg.
Five people sit on the committee- Travis Miller, Mary Weseman, Jessica Tibbs, Shelly Moorman, and Stephanie Disbro. Plans to award by April 29th. Pricing and scope of work are separate.
Negangard won’t agree to anything- stated that Lorie’s good, but Commissioner’s have the ultimate control and they can ignore recommendations etc. Rehashed the Proware issues in detail and then said he though the RFP was overkill.
Lorie responded that she could discuss his concerns further off-line. She stated, “We need to take a multi-million dollar company (i.e. the county) into the 21st century.” We have to become much more computer savvy.
Charlie said she still needs our OK to proceed. They OK’d it with no commitment as to dollars.
Lorie wants to use the $5,000 that was appropriated for her job in January (before she was hired) and use it to pay Wanda Treadway for her Thursday and vacation coverage on the front desk. They will prepare a memo and look into that.

9. Clean up items: Charlie Fehrman NOTE: These items below were note on the agenda.

Exclude Solid Waste from COIT funds. Ullrich and Mitter motioned- all ayes

Health Dept. flu serum order- costs doubled $4493. Mitter and Ullrich motioned – all ayes.

Mental Health - $182,000 not paid in 2002 (Commissioner error per Cary). Cheek and Mitter motioned- all ayes.

Revote on GPS units from last month- needed a majority of the board – not a majority of the quorum. Mitter and Ullrich motioned for $1500 for 5 units. Cheek voted this month to make the 4 votes needed with Fehrman. Negangard still Nay. Passed.

Unencumbered Funds When they (Charlie and Cary) consolidated the unencumbered funds they put anything possible related to highway into 203 Special Projects. However he found the Impact fund with $640,000 in it and it now stands at $947,000 per Cary. He doesn’t know where to move that- and wants them to think about it for April’s meeting. Tabled till then.

10. Emergency Services Funding- (on the agenda)
There is $70,395 in this fund.
Bright EMS wants $40,000, Dillsboro EMS wants $10,000, and Hogan VFD wants $10,000. Water Rescue answer on the underwater cameras still not back to Charlie from L-bg and Argosy.
Mitter suggested that they table these items until they find out what each entity has gotten so far – to be fair.

11. Minutes were OK’d from February- Cheek abstained because he was absent last month.

12. Negangard reported that he attended the L-bg School Foundation meeting and found out that in their reorganization last year they eliminated the county council representative. He is therefore NOT on that Board.

Meeting adjourned 11:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Meeting of the Manchester Area Civic Assn.

The next meeting of the Manchester Area Civic Association will be Thursday, March 25, at 7:00 p.m., in the basement of the Zion Lutheran Church of Manchester.

Our agenda includes discussion of:

  • 2004 Candidate Night - an opportunity to meet the candidates and learn the issues that will drive the primary elections in May.

  • MACA sponsored Manchester Scholarship Program - consideration of a local area scholarship award.

  • Spring Clean up Day - how MACA can help create an opportunity to clean up our neighborhood.

  • Update on Alternate Highway 101 - still in the works or a dead issue?

  • Sewer Board Update by Pat Hanlon - how will Manchester be affected? Sewers in our future?

Please come join us.
Manchester Area Civic Association

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Future Sewer District Areas Detailed

Dearborn County citizens be aware. Now that the Sewer District is in place, per a Dearborn County commissioner the process for the next areas can be accomplished much more quickly, in approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

There are four other areas already indicated in the GRW study. They are as follows:

1. New Alsace

The area is along North Dearborn Road from St. Leon west to Lawrenceville Road, north on Lawrenceville Road to above State Highway 46 at Lawrenceville, south on Lawrenceville Road to and including Weisburg and south on York Ridge Road from North Dearborn Road to Yorkville. The areas form a corridor along the highways widening at the village areas.

2. Wrights Corner, Kyle and Manchester

This area starts on State Route 48 at Lawrenceburg and extends northwest along State Route 48 to Manchester, through Wrights Corner and Kyle. It also extends up Greenbrier Road into Wrights Corner.

3. Wilmington, Mt. Sinai and Sparta

This area starts on State Route 350 at Aurora and extends northwest to Moores Hill. It is also a corridor along SR 350 only.

4. Guilford

This area starts at Greendale/Hidden Valley Lake area and extends along State Route 1 up into Guilford.

The original fourth area is now the current Dearborn County Sewer district along US 50 from Aurora to Dillsboro.

Most of the corridors pick up the main roads from town to town along the main highways where years previously the zoning has been changed to residential. They do not infill either areas in the county. In Dearborn County residential zoning permits up to 4 houses per acre with adequate sewage facilities. The addition of sewer systems in these corridors would greatly enhance the ability of these areas to be developed with high density residential subdivisions.

A copy of the GRW study and 20 year plan map were available at the Lawrenceburg Public Library.

If you are concerned about this issue, you need to look into it now or you may not have a chance.

Ralph Thompson
Citizen in the newly formed Dearborn County Sewer District.

Dearborn County Regional Sewer District Meeting 16 March 2004

DC Regional Sewer Board Meeting
16 March 2004 7PM
Register reporter Denise Freitag was present- watch the paper for her story in the next week or so .

Present: Mike Hankins Chairman (Left for about half the meeting to deliver a baby at the hospital and then returned to Chair meeting), Pat Hanlon (Chaired meeting during Hankins absence), Pat Holland, Rodney Dennerline, and Brett Fehrman. Lisa Lehner, Att’y and Doug Baer, Health Dept. Absent: Barry Pruss and Greg Vollmer.

No printed agenda prepared.

Waived the reading of the previous meting minutes- they were verbatim transcribed and were nearly 3 inches thick in a binder! It was decided to do abbreviated minutes with a tape for all future meetings. Minute taker was absent and there was no tape for this meeting. Hankins even went so far as to ask me to take their minutes- I declined and told them they needed an unbiased minute taker in THEIR employ and that I wouldn’t necessarily be at all their meetings.
Vera Benning, Special Advisor, took minutes.

Joe Tierney of GRW told them the engineering and environmental reports were completed. He gave a draft copy of 10 FAQ (frequently asked questions) and the draft responses to them. (Newspaper has a copy of these) Of the homes in the district 82% were 150 ft. or less to the ROW, 13% were 150-400 ft. and 5% were greater than 400 ft. Grinder pumps and pipe are at the district’s expense- it is prorated into the cost of the sewer bill. Homeowner’s costs will include: electric service and outside disconnect switch, abandoning the septic tank, annual electric costs ($15-24/yr), any pipe greater than150 ft., and $500-$1000 connection fee. The sewer district will maintain the grinder pump. Easements are required and they want them DONATED to save costs to the district. Whatever has to be paid for will be passed to the sewer users. If a pump station is installed on a person’s property - they WILL pay for that easement. If a septic system is 5 yrs old or less you can delay hook-up for up to 3 yrs, but then costs will increase. Monthly bills for all are estimated to be $55-65 per month. Electric setup for grinders $500-1500.

Tierney spent a large amount of time responding to the comment letters on the Dearborn County Public Forum site. In dissecting the numbers he refuted the costs and talked about why some of the solutions proposed are infeasible. He then discussed the hookup costs for each of the three sections of the district.
NOTE: For some reason the costs are LOWER on Cole Lane than on Stewart Lane or the main district area. The other two areas cost $7,700 and $7,800 respectively and Cole Lane is $4500! If grant money is being evenly distributed and the owner pays costs of extra pipeline, why is this number different?

At the end of the meeting Dennerline told me that his trailer park on Cole Lane is already on Aurora sewer, but that he's switching it to the County District lines and it'll COST him $4500. I asked why switch? He said so that he wouldn't have to maintain the lines. I reiterated that he needed to fill out a conflict of interest statement.

Dennerline stated that he hated for the public to be mislead by this engineer on the website who obviously hasn’t studied Indiana law… At his request, Doug Baer quoted IC 13-18-12-9 – the law on discharge permits. Also quoted were the costs of drip systems and recirculated media filters running $15-20,000 for residential, which is equal to the sewer costs.

Pat Hanlon played devil’s advocate and led the discussion regarding the alternatives for sewers such as treatment after the lagoon at High Ridge. Apparently the NPDES permit has been revoked from High Ridge’s private plant. The sewer district operates under an IDEM permit because they are incorporated. Lynne Newlon from IDEM joined in this discussion.

Also discussed was that the sewer board should have a maintenance program and see that all private and cluster systems are checked. Hanlon stated that he wants to investigate every potential to have a cost effective and well-engineered system.

GRW presented a draft letter to Randy Turner at Aurora to see if the district can go thru Aurora. They are also checking with Dillsboro as an option or the final option is building their own plant. A proposed site choice would be at Walston Mobile Home Park’s existing site, which is the low cost option per Joe Tierney of GRW.
NOTE: Does GRW get the contract to design and/or build the new plant?
Costs to consider are the number of miles of transport to the plants (pipe and pump stations) and the treatment cost that is quoted from Aurora and/or Dillsboro.

As to easements: of 107 questioned, 30 said yes, 47 said no, 5 didn’t know, and 19 didn’t answer.

Lynne Newlon talked about the volunteers who were going to go door to door to get the free easements so that would benefit all the users. She recommended that they get Connie Stevens (sp?) the mgr. of South Henry Regional Sewer District to come talk to them and give them some by-laws to help jump-start the board. They can’t get a DOC (Dept. of Commerce) loan until all the easements are in place. But she recommends getting in line for the loan anyway- because money is tighter this year. DOC got less than they’d hoped for.

Rural Development is the other funding source – pre applications are in Jan and July. Formal apps are in April and September.
Joe Tierney wants to pursue the Rural Dev. Application and get things done as quickly as possible. Board response was that they want to take the time to try to do it right.

A citizen in the audience- Dave ??? last name expressed a problem with the open easements that they were given. Two lawyers told him NOT to sign it - it gave away too many rights. Lisa Lehner was going to discuss it after the meeting with him - but the board wanted to do it in public, since it was an issue that many people had and the easements were a necessary step to the timeline. Since they were trying to get a general easement for everyone, surveys couldn’t be done- plus expensive. The thought was that they could put statements in as to the actual purpose and restrict the easement only to the owner’s specific service line. Lisa and Joe Tierney are going to “fix” the easement language.

Vera Benning, the special advisor, gave a report on her 6PM meeting with her special advisory board of 10 people that she asked to have accepted by the Sewer board. Last names were: Elliot, Hegge (official minute taker), Weatherford, Manford (Fehrman Realty), Fisher, Maxfield, Lawrence, Phister )sp?), Zeton )sp?) and Fehr. Their MISSION is to each take a road and get the necessary easements. They raised lots of concerns and questions and got some answers. Lisa Lehner stated that this adv. Board has to adhere to the Sunshine Law and publicize their meetings and make them open to the public.

Gene Rogers of Umbaugh and Assoc. is handling the Sewer finances. He commented that the Rural Dev Loan is better because you get 40 years to pay it back.

Vera and Doug Baer reported that L-bg Council was open to their request for money and advised them to seek out help with the Community Foundation and the Bond Bank as well. They are to come back with more info next meeting.

Doug Baer reported on the current financial situation of the board:
1. $125,000 loan from County Council of which about $50,000 will be “forgiven” is being used up – they need to be aware of this. (lawyers, consultants, meeting costs, transcription, new phone line, letterhead, etc. etc)
2. Lisa Lehner and Joe Tierney are paid up to 3/16.
3. Need to talk about staffing to hire for their district.
4. Purchase of liability and bond insurance from Seitz approved that night. The sewer board is an individual gov’t unit and can’t be covered under the health dept. or county’s umbrella.
Dennerline stated that the county was sued for not aggressively pursuing sewage problems and won, but now it’s in appellate court??????

Tom Kent and Bill Yelton are being considered for the excavation contracts per Dennerline. Kent was present.

Brett Fehrman and Pat Hanlon met with Scott Fortner and the President of Dillsboro Town Council to discuss cost estimates of hooking on to their service. Dillsboro plans to have a grant in June and bids by Aug to Sept on the expanded plant that will hold 500,000 gal flow design as opposed to the 170,000 they now have.
Base fee was $11.75 per month and with an estimated 4,000 gal user the cost would be $29.47 per month. Approx. 3 miles to their new pump station for county access.

Per Lisa Lehner: Be aware that Gene Rogers of Umbaugh also works for Dillsboro so he shouldn’t be privy to our negotiations with them probably.

Pat Hanlon read the petitions and thought the comments were good. Many were about affordability and having currently working systems. He offered to give a Sewage Treatment 101 talk at the board’s request. He will give a 10-minute one at the next meeting.

Lisa Lehner provided sample by-laws to help the board adopt some soon. Additionally, she advised that the state atty general is being sought for an opinion in addition to the State Board of Acc’ts opinion on the conflict of interest statements.
Note: I called and only 2 are turned in so far- Mike Hankins and Pat Hanlon per Gayle Pennington at the Clerk’s Office on 3/16.

It was decided that the board will meet at least twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7PM. Next meeting April 6th.
Meeting adjourned at 10:15 PM

Christine Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

15 March 2004 Commissioners Meeting

Karen Shell was absent due to illness. Dan Batta arrived shortly after 8 PM. Vera Benning ran the meeting with reports only until Dan Batta arrived for a quorum to be present. Cary Pickens (Auditor) and Lisa Lehner (Cty Att’y) were present.

1. Emergency Management- Bill Black- CERT informational meeting Tues at Tate St. Adult Center. Attended Flood seminar in Indy, looking into the 800 MgHz radio system for the county emergency with part of a $50K grant. Weather tests from Nat’l Weather Service will be this Wednesday. Will get Karen Shell’s signature for the grant application he’s holding.

2. Transportation – Mike Davis – Reported on hwy crews doing hand patching, ditching, grading, guard rail replacements, and culvert replacements. New computer for GIS and transportation inventory is set up. DNR (John Hall) to come down and go over some of the creeks and flood issues this week. Settled up the back billing with Rohe Paving for around $21,000. Base coats being applied to Cole Lane, and some of the other roads in D-3. Tabled the Locust Road vacating issue until certified letters to the adjoiners with the complete legal description of the land vacated have been verified.

3. Health Dept. – Doug Baer- Regional Sewer District Report – 2/18 informational meeting and 2/26 (Aurora) easement meeting and 3/2 (Dillsboro) easement meetings were held. Dillsboro meeting was not as well attended as the Aurora one. Needed some money for the project so he and Vera Benning attended the Lawrenceburg Council meeting tonight and made their request for bond bank money or ... Lawb’g asked them to return with further information. Official Sewer Board meetings are the third Tues of every month at 7 PM. The “Sewer Advisory Board” will meet at 6PM. (This was questioned at the end of the meeting during public comment- I was told by Vera Benning that they were a 10 member board that will “help with easements,” report on their particular road, and support the sewer district concept. They have no vote. They are volunteers and then are “selected” to serve. It was unclear as to WHO selects or directs this advisory board. Commissioner Benning is a Special advisor to the sewer board and reported that she is a liaison between them and the commissioners.)

4. Prosperity Road Damage (Caesar Creek Township)- no one showed up

5. County Administrator – Lorie Howard – Insurance renewals for the county, Draft RFPs going out for Tech Review, Storage in the jail (went on a walk thru with Sheriff Lusby), Thursday 3/18 at 7PM the Transportation Study final report is being given at the Tate Street Adult Center.
Dan Stropes and Alan Cornelius were appointed to the Historic Hoosier Hills.
Snow Alert Ordinance was tabled.

6. County Att’y – Lisa Lehner – CMHC grant – looking to bond bank for $$s and a grant. Made notes on County Personnel policy proposal for commissioners to look over. GASB-34 reviewed - accounting rules on inventory of assets etc. for the Auditor to set up. Per Cary- another UNFUNDED state mandate. Required for bonding etc. Reviewed the rules on county projects- if over $100,000 they have to be bid out- can’t be performed in-house. (related to the Bridge 15 project over Laughery Creek near Bell’s Branch)

7. Auditor – Claims paid – none related to lobbyist yet- question raised by Dan Batta.

Meeting adjourned 8:35 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Comments on the Economics of the Proposed Sewer System

The sewer system as proposed by GRW for the area of the District west of Huesman Road has a projected price of 5.8 million dollars. For 303 houses that amounts to $19,140 per house. Even allowing for the 20% additional capacity to bring the total to 364 houses, the cost per house is $15,934. And if the top capacity number is exceeded the package treatment will require additional units and the piping will require up sizing.

A fully functional small treatment plant at each house, which produces virtually clean effluent can be installed for approximately$12,000 and the total project cost can be reduced by not replacing already up to date or functional systems.

The area of the current problem, Highridge estates per the GRW report has 45 houses. A medium size package treatment plant can be installed in the line to the existing lagoon with minimal disruption. Per the GRW report a package treatment plant for all 303 houses would cost $130,000. If a plant of that size were installed for Highridge Estates the average cost per house would be $2,889. Since the number of houses is less than one sixth of the total number (303) it would permit the use of a smaller plant. Even allowing that the plant would be half the cost in lieu of one sixth, the cost per house would $1,444.

These costs should give an idea of options to consider as opposed to just following the single option presented in the GRW report.

Ralph Thompson

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Open Letter to the Commissioners - Emergency Services

TO: Dearborn County Commissioners
SJ: Emergency Services

Dear Commissioners:

There is a situation in Dearborn County that I find extremely troubling. On Tuesday, Feb. 17 my son was hurt at the Manchester Elementary School. He fell against a brick wall. He was bleeding profusely and was unconscious. The school nurse began to administer aid and the school secretary dialed 911. There was a wait of 55 MINUTES before the ambulance arrived at the elementary school.

Response times of this magnitude are UNACCEPTABLE. This is not Hooterville anymore, the area needs some professional, paid, ambulance services. At the very least the schools need to have a contract with an ambulance service that operates during normal school hours. How can Dearborn County entertain the idea of being a major, metropolitan area in which families would like to reside and have this kind of emergency response system? Why would we even discuss homeland security and protection from terrorist attacks when we can't get an ambulance to an elementary school in under 55 minutes? Please provide some feedback on this most vital issue. Is anyone addressing the appalling situation?

Thank You.

Loretta Ferro Lipps

Monday, March 01, 2004

County Commissioners March 1st Meeting

The March 1 Commissioner meeting was over in 50 minutes- a record short meeting.
All three Commissioners were present along with the Auditor, County Attorney, and the new County Administrator (Lorie Howard).
Veteran’s Service Officer (Bill Ewbank) reported that the transportation service would be available up to three times a week beginning in March.
Planning and Zoning received approval for the member list for the Housing Assessment Study Steering Committee. Their first meeting is 3/10 at 6 PM in the Adm. Bldg.
Animal Control (Cheryl Lohmiller) turned in their annual report for 2003 – noting that 1042 dogs came in and 456 were rescued. 667 cats came in and about 20 were rescued. Currently there are 42 dogs and 22 cats at the shelter.
Emergency Management (Bill Black) noted that March 14-20 was Severe Weather Awareness Week. They received a $50,000 grant for Project Hoosier Safety and the Communications Board will probably serve as the committee to decide how it will be used. They are also getting a free automatic defibrillator for the “Sunman area” of the county.
Transportation (Mike Davis) reported that all three districts were working on pothole repair. The slips in the county are beginning to be addressed. Vandalism was reported at the D-3 site. Fences will be added to that and District 1 per County Zoning regulations. Council approved $80,000 for striping, but to do all the main roads about $136,000 is actually needed. Some in house work is being done by the bridge crew to save money. Pre- engineered bridges are being supplied by CPI, Inc.
Vacate Locust Road (David King (citizen) and Mike Davis)- Legal description obtained, need to get certified letter to adjoining property owners. Tabled till next meeting.
Lifetime Resources – release of lien and Safe Passages Advocacy program for abused spouses and families- no one showed for the meeting to present either issue.
County Administrator (Lorie Howard)- Art Exhibit will be at the Courthouse for 3 weeks. Working on delineating the computer services for just the Adm. Bldg. There are space issues in each department. Looking into the possibility of CD-rom and microfiche storage and putting it into next year’s budget to alleviate storage issues. Reviewing the Transportation Plan with Mike Davis and Mark Seiler to obtain a road priority list. Requested that she be given copies of all contracts that are out for the county, to oversee them.
Minutes were tabled to be reviewed.
Claims paid.
Lobbyist will be paid quarterly- no claims for lobbyist yet. Lobbyist reports will now be emailed to the commissioners- they have not been receiving any of them. The Jewell DuBonis lobbyist ( Lewis and Kappes) was the contract signed by commissioners. The second lobbyist contract was with County Council.
Personnel policy was revised. Per Cary Pickens it was pretty much a carbon copy of the one from Clinton County.
Vera Benning- reported on the Sewer Board Meeting that went from 7-10:30. Approximate attendance was 100-120 people. Major worries were the costs of the system. A group is going with Vera Benning to Lawrenceburg to request some aid from Lawrenceburg (Riverboat Revenue). Citizen petitions were presented at the sewer meeting.
Adjourned 10:20 AM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township