Present: Karen Shell, President, Vera Benning, and Dan Batta, Cary Pickens, Auditor, and Lisa Lehner, Attorney.
Lorie Howard, County Administrator was on vacation.
1. Economic Development Initiative – Bill Ritzmann- Gave a presentation outline the background and history of the group. They wish to form a public-private partnership for the purpose of promoting economic development in Dearborn County. Their projected annual budget is $250 to 300,000.
They have committed pledges from over thirty businesses for $135,000 a year for three years. The list includes banks, surveyors, realtors, the hospital, IVY Tech, homebuilders and construction related companies, Perfect North Slopes, telecommunication companies, road paving companies, electrical companies, engineering companies, computer companies, WSCH, developers, and a law office [Note: Wood Lamping, and Lehner Law Office- and Lisa Lehner ALSO functions as the County’s attorney. This could present some ethical issues and conflict of interest, if Lisa has to advise the commissioners regarding their agreements with the initiative and the money going from the county to that entity.]
They have committed public funding of $100,000 a year for three years from Lawrenceburg. This brings the annual total to $235,000. To meet a $300,000 annual budget requires an additional $65,000 to date. They intend to include all cities, towns and villages in the public sector.
Ritzmann asked the county to contribute the $25,000 that they have already earmarked from the Economic Development budget and also use the money they had in the chamber and the Visitor and Tourism Bureau earmarked for economic development, thus using no new money. [NOTE: It was unclear here if the $25,000 was the entire county share per year or if there was more under the chamber and CVTB budgets. It would seem that the other towns and cities should have something left to contribute if they want to be part of the initiative.]Discussion from the commissioners included:
Dan Batta: The bottom line is that progress requires change but that change isn’t always progress. Concerned that everyone will want THEIR proposal pushed. More details are needed so that everyone understands what it is that you will be doing. You need to create this entity so that it is safe to express your opinions. When you have a marketing effort like this you have to have something to market. I think you will be coming back to us for that- for infrastructure or other needs to get ready for businesses to come in. In order to promote something, we have to have something to promote. This will be the challenge.
Ritzmann – We understand and accept that challenge.
Karen Shell - Taxpayers need help – we can’t stay a bedroom community forever. The person you hire will have to know what to do- they will have the answers. It should be someone from outside the county so that it is not political.
Vera Benning – We need to make a motion today to show approval to amend the contracts with CVTB, Chamber, and the Economic Redevelopment Commission to transfer that money to this initiative.
Lisa Lehner restated Benning’s motion for the record and Dan Batta 2nded it. Motion passed.
Dan Batta- You need to make sure that the private dollars that are donated are for the community and not used as leverage to get their own way.
2. Animal Control- Cheryl Lohmiller – gave brief report on the shelter’s adoptions and current status of repairs to the trailer. Currently there are 57 dogs and 40 cats at the shelter.
3. Emergency Management- Bill Black – Starting the new Certification program with 14 people tomorrow night. They received a $50,000 check for the 800 MgHz system. Passed out the GIS information sheet and has $47,000 for a new flyover of the county that will cover 100% of the costs. Only 30 counties in the state have 100% coverage of these costs. He is communicating with Planning, assessors , Highway, and the Soil and Water district to coordinate needs to get the right pictures.
There was some discussion over the moving of recycle bins to heir lot- EMS doesn’t want there to be any dumping there. He will check with BJ Ault to see if it’s a temporary need due to L-bg’s construction.
4. Transportation- Mike Davis – Finishing up the slip on Pinhook Rd. this week. White’s Hill realignment – will work around the one property that has ROW issues because it’s in court till the fall. June 2 was to be start date for the project and closed to local traffic. Commissioners pushed to make someone ACCOUNTABLE for the work during this project. Davis decided that Tim Moore will be supervising all the work and HC Nutting will report to him. Per Cary Pickens- council earmarked $1.2 million for this project. There was a later problem brought out- Mark Seiler came in with the bad news- LMS won’t have their bond for 45-60 days, thus delaying their startup time. [Note: Bonds are supposed to be part of the bid process- so if their bid was accepted, it should mean a bond was in place.]
A meeting Wednesday night from 6:30-8:30 at the North Dearborn Library will cover the public inputr for the realignment of North Dearborn Rd. from McCann to Dover.
The slips on Wilson Creek and East Laughery are getting too severe to let go. He is trying to get funding from Council to fix these. More funding issues with the Triple Whipple Bridge and the Ohio Cty portions.
INDOT plans to redo the intersection with Georgetown and SR1 and also the Bridge near Salt Fork. Davis wants to coordinate with state work on Georgetown to fix the little bridge and the hill to HVL.
5. YES Home – Cathy Piche and Susan Craig – application approved for the county to be the pass through on a $30,000 grant for IHFA to get a feasibility study done on the uses besides just transitional apartments for the first floor. Karen Shell was authorized by the commissioners to sign off on this when it is ready.
6. Septic waste- Dan Goodman- has a septic tank cleaning company and nowhere in the county to dump the waste. SDRSD (Dennis Feichtner) said they can’t dump county waste there because the county doesn’t pay into the district as a user. Commissioners were of the opinion that it would be the responsibility of the septic owners to pay the $50 fee or whatever SDRSD assessed for the dumping. Goodman will check with the County Sewer Board.
7. County Att’y- Lisa Lehner- introduced Elaine Korb as the new law clerk in their office.
8. County Auditor – Cary Pickens- Minutes approved and claims paid.
9. County Commissioners – Karen Shell- Travis Miller requested an old Sheriff’s vehicle to use for the Planning Dept. Approved by commissioners.
The county engineer ad includes the concept that the engineer must be a PE with IN residency and and IN license in order to qualify for the $20,000 stipend from the state.
10. Public Comment – Chris Mueller- reported to the commissioners that the GIS issue and the transportation assessment information needed attention. Council funded the study, they funded the dedicated computer for the information, they funded the GPS equipment for the highway department to keep information up to date. BUT they did not approve a GIS intern to enter the data this summer. This means that the information stops at last June. Karen Shell will speak with Charlie Fehrman regarding this.
Meeting adjourned 11:15 AM
Christine Brauer Mueller