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.

No comments: