Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Highlights of 5 April 2004 County Commissioners Meeting

Present: Karen Shell, Vera Benning, Dan Batta (arrived at 10AM), Lorie Howard, County Administrator, Lisa Lehner, County Att’y, and Cary Pickens, Auditor.

Brief reports from Veteran’s Officer, Animal Control, Transportation Dept.

Randy Hillenbrand- Division of Family and Children received the OK to go to Council to request another loan – this one for $1.5 million due to lack of funds from assessments and taxes not being completed yet.

Health Dept.- Doug Baer gave update on YES home problems with their mound type septic system. Lorie Howard is approved to sign off on repairs for the commissioners. He also received the OK to use a portion of the Health Dept. space to set up a regional sewer district office with phone and computer. Eric Hartman may provide funding for this from maintenance funds or else it will come from Regional Sewer District funds that Council loaned them.

Gayle Pennington, Clerk of Courts- requested moving two voter precincts. Miller 4 at old firehouse in Bright will move to Miller 2, the new firehouse. Lawrenceburg 1 at Central Elementary will move to Lawrenceburg 2 at Tate Street Adult Center. OK’d.

Lorie Howard- County Adm.- reported that Animal Control is checking with the Dearborn County Farm Committee to use additional acreage for the Animal Shelter expansion. She met with Mike Kramer of Pinnacle regarding the Med Ben contract, which looks stable for 2004 and is on target with the budget at this time. They will be offering training on HIPPA (privacy) rules April 13th, which she and several others will be attending. Lorie is also looking through the insurance schedules to be sure coverage is appropriate and not duplicated. They are hiring an intern to help manage the GIS data collected as part of the transportation assessment study. A Computer Use Policy was adopted which she and Lisa Lehner developed. This will address internet issues that have arisen in the county buildings.

Lorie presented the 2004 highway priority list including bridges, road slip repair, guard rail installation, maintenance schedules, striping, and paving plans. North Dearborn realignment and White’s Hill top the list.

Lisa Lehner – County Att’y – presented the CMHC lease amendment. The Animal Control ordinance revision with penalties was approved and will be effective upon publication.
Conflict of interest statements were signed off on for Greg Vollmer and Pat Holland for the Sewer Board, though commissioners have not signed off on the other two that are in the clerk’s office (Pat Hanlon and Mike Hankins). All state that they have no conflicts.
Lisa reminded the commissioners that she wants to be involved in the jail expansion project and they are to notify her of meetings etc.
Snow alert ordinance was tabled till Bill Black could be present. Batta wants it coordinated with the tri-states definitions, because of the media announcing it.
Zoning book change tabled till next month. Med Ben agreements signed. Bridge 15 contract with Schneider Corp. needs a scope of services to be attached.

Long discussion on the the Locust Road vacating request- it was subsequently dropped by Mr. King- the applicant. Fire Dept. wants the road to stay open. (Wilmington area)

Batta brought up the Chamber of Commerce meeting on April 14th where the lobbyist the county council hired is presenting. Apparently there is a fee to go to the talk- and so the county will be in the position of having to pay to hear their own lobbyist. [my note] (already paid for by county tax dollars)
Commissioners are not getting the emailed updates from the lobbyist. Council members are though…
BIG PLANS TO EXPAND COUNTY JAIL!!! (Note- this project is expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars)
Earlier in the meeting Sheriff Lusby presented the commissioners with a proposed agreement with RQAW, the company that designed the original jail. The agreement is to do a study to figure out a scope of work for the jail expansion. The $43,500 fee for the study will be waived by RQAW, IF THEY GET THE DESIGN CONTRACT FOR THE PROJECT!!!
Commissioners discussed this further. Batta was opposed to meeting with just RQAW – wants it bid out. Lisa said that by law they are not required to bid contracts for services like this.
Batta was opposed to the arrangement, as it seems that RQAW will be given an unfair advantage over the other bidders ultimately, particularly with their fee waiving arrangement.
Benning stated that RQAW has more experience with our jail and understands the security system.
Shell thought that it would be best to have the meeting in the afternoon still at 2 PM, but to not have RQAW present.
Lorie Howard agreed that it might be CLEANER (fairer) to keep any contractors out of the meeting at this time. [my note –RQAW did not attend the meeting at 2PM.]
Meeting adjourned at 12:30 PM

Christine Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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