Wednesday, June 30, 2004

28 June 2004 Dearborn County Plan Commission Notes

Dearborn County Plan Commission meeting- 28 June 2004
Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Dave Schmidtgoesling, Dan Batta, Tarry Feiss, Rick Pope, Nick Held, and Mike Hall. Also present: Travis Miller, Plan Director and Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer and Arnie McGill, Attorney.
Absent: Patrick deMaynadier and Roger Woodfill.

1. Lonestar Estates- 1 lot subdivision on 4.503 acres in Clay Township on SR 62 owned by Mary Ridner and Carl Clift was tabled after much discussion. Key issues seem to be piecemeal development without an overall plan and curb cuts on a state road. This was the 5th or 6th split from a parent parcel of land over the last few years.

2. Fox Hole Estates - 2 lot subdivision on 16.036 acres in Kelso Township on North Dearborn and McCann Roads, owned by Roger Fox and presented with Carol Morman. Mike Hall abstained- surveyor for the land.
Batta motioned and Rick Pope 2nd to approve with variance requested. Approved.

3. Weldon's Acres- 2 lot subdivision on 15.029 acres in Manchester Township on Schaefer Road and North Manchester Road owned by Delmar Weldon. Mike Hall abstained again as surveyor and Carol Morman presented. Rick Pope motioned and Tarry Feiss 2nd to approve. Approved.

4. Carlee Acres - 10 lot AGRICULTURAL subdivision on 70.295 acres in Manchester Township on Burns Road and SR48 owned by Tom Kent. Burns Rd. is the Old SR48. Kent's plans include an INDOT approved realignment of Burns Rd. so that it meets SR 48 at a proper 90 degree angle. Variances were granted for the ponds on the property and a geotech expert will be on site to supervise using the pond fill and dam areas for the new subdivision roadway. Kent explained in detail the need for each variance as part of the overall design of the Agricultural subdivision.
Neighbor in attendance showed support. Covenants show a clear agricultural purpose for the lots. Rick Pope motioned and Tarry Feiss 2nd to approve. Approval included a 75 ft. variance of SR48, one lot being less than 5 acres, 100 ft allowance for the road segment to Carlee, Lot #10 MUST BE SOLD PRIOR TO THE SALE OF 5 and 6 so as not to be landlocked. It may be combined with 5 or 6 or sold to an adjoiner. All tech and staff requests will be met and a geotech expert will supervise the pond/road construction. Approved.

Enforcement report passed out.
Master Plan Draft passed out for review. Also a copy of slide presentation from HomeBuilders dinner meeting.

Meetings planned:

July 12- Working session on master plan
July 28 - Advisory Board meets and goes over the final draft of the plan before the Public Hearing.
August 2 Working session for Plan Commission to go over Advisory Board issues and comments.
August 30th Plan Commission may continue public hearing if necessary- final meeting before certifying plan to the commissioners.
Sept 20th - County Commissioners get the Master plan to consider for approval.Meeting adjourned 10:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

22 June 2004 County Council Meeting Notes

22 June 2004 County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Charlie Fehrman, President, Mark Mitter, Aaron Negangard, Bill Ullrich, Tom Cheek, and Dennis Kraus. Absent: Bo Lansing. Cary Pickens, Auditor, and Lorie Howard, County Administrator, also present.

1. Judge Jim Humphrey – Requested additional funds for pauper attorney funds. They had requested $64,000 and another $15,000 for related pauper expenses and the fund was down to $5,100 and $1700 respectively. Conservative estimate was that they would need another $50,000. Negangard motioned and Mitter 2nd. Passed.
Humphrey also noted that there is a state mandated change in court computer software for 2005 or 2006. State will pay for software, but they may need to upgrade the hardware to handle it. Plan for it in 2005 budget.

2. Kathy Nevels- Family Connections- Child Abuse prevention program and prenatal substance abuse and smoking cessation programs. Want to be in our budget for 2005 for $4,000. All offices except for Versailles are closing and their staff is working out of their homes and cars during the bulk of the week now. She will submit their budget to Cary Pickens for budget hearings. They cover 129 families out of 6 counties.

3. Lifetime Resources- Karen Anderson requested to be on 2005 budget for $5,000 and another $5,000 for Catch-a –Ride. Cary Pickens told her that they’d been given and extra $5,000 in 2004 and needed to refund that to the county. He’d questioned it back in February 2004 and it still wasn’t settled. They will submit their budget for consideration also.

4. Heart House- Craig Beckley- requested $5,000 for 2005 budget consideration. Gave a similar report to the one he gave commissioners Monday night. He did go into further detail about the rules of Heart House and how the residents there nicknamed him “warden”.
Tom Cheek asked about cleaning up the grounds around the facility and eliminating the outside burning of trash and junk cars. They are working on those issues. Also Beckley reported that they are using a grant to build a lock and store on site so that will provide some income for the facility. He also gave details on the fees that the residents pay for their programs and will submit a budget to Cary Pickens for consideration in the 2005 county budget.

5. Girl Scouts – Nancy Cross presenting for Becky Mitter. Mark Mitter abstains due to his wife’s’ involvement in the Girl Scout program. They requested $3,000 from the Youth Fund for 2005 budget to help fund their Day Camp program, specifically for equipment needed to run it. Kraus motioned, Negangard 2nd. Passed. Mitter abstained.

6. County Administrator – Lorie Howard – Needed approval to spend the $3200 from County General for Indy Shred to perform records destruction under the supervision of the clerk and the judge. Negangard motioned, Cheek 2nd. Passed.
Tabled from last month- the money requested to correct and error on the payments to Harrison EMS for $32,254 was passed with Ullrich motioning and Mitter 2nd.
Lorie advertised for $32,000 for consideration next month as an additional for shortfall on Social security.
The jail expansion BID – only one- came in from RQAW. Their original bid was for $46,000 with a rebate potentially if they got the job for the construction and this one was for $23,700. She noted that competition worked here- even though others did not bid in the end. Negangard motioned and Cheek 2nd. Passed - to allow Lusby to proceed if the technical review boards evaluation approves the proposal form RQAW. The money is already in the sheriff’s budget.
When asked why the others dropped out of the bidding- Lorie reported that they cited not enough face time in our county and that the expense of the proposal would not be worth it, if there was already another bidder with a track history here. (i.e. RQAW)
Lorie has a draft of the 2005 budget for commissioners and noted that she is moving some items to dept. budgets from the commissioner’s budget. (vehicles and copiers)
She and Charlie met with Med Ben and Pinnacle to project health care costs for next year. They are considering some creative ways to keep coverage but reduce costs through incentives.
The personnel policy is nearing its final draft for review.
Lorie will give copies of resumes for the professional engineer position to council for review.

7. Transportation Department- Mike Davis- requested and additional for $81,732 for vehicle insurance from Fund 146 Contingency money. Cheek motioned, Mitter 2nd. Passed.
Request for $10,000 to finish out the uniform allowances and supplies for 2004. Cheek motioned, Ullrich 2nd. Passed.
FYI- $60,000 budgeted for line striping so far.
Triple Whipple Bridge- history given by John Graf- engineer. 80/20 project and 16% of the 20% is Dearborn County. The cost total in 1994 was estimated at $843,000. In 1998 it was over a million to repair. If it falls in the river- we have to pay to extract it. It will be cheaper to repair than to demolish. Requesting $8,000 for engineering review from Cum Bridge Fund or Special Projects- 203. Cheek motioned and Mitter 2nd to use 204 Fund. Passed. Ultimately Dearborn County's share will probably be around $150,000 on this project. It will become incorporated into the bike trail also.
O’Mara was $99,000 lower than Rohe and will do Phase 1 road paving list. Council OK’d.
This leaves $1.1 million for Phase 2 work out of 147 head tax money. Significant discussion here regarding the derivation of this list on Phase 2 roads. Negangard was under the impression that since Vera Benning wasn’t at the meeting it looked like the other two commissioners railroaded her out of her money. Some comments about politics and lame ducks were further discussed. I (Christine Mueller) spoke at this point to explain the history of the road money and district expenses over the past few years. We further discussed the nearly $2million that D-2 has been shorted in the past and the foremen being told to do work in D-3 without the approval of at least 2 commissioners. Legality of that is questionable. [Note: Foremen should be able to do work based on communications from commissioners – but perhaps that communication should be coming from Davis directly and not a single commissioner. Davis should only be acting on legally voted work. This would prevent further money squabbles.]
Council decided to send the memo commending commissioners on the phase 1 work based on the transportation assessment study data. They further RESPECTFULLY requested that Commissioners review and re-evaluate the Phase 2 list in light of the same data. Cheek motioned, Mitter 2nd. Passed.
They voted to keep Phase 1 going, but to deny any release of 147 money for phase 2 pending reevaluation by the transportation assessment plan. Ullrich motioned, Cheek 2nd. Passed.

8. Charlie Fehrman reported that trailers will be used for the jail overload at $6/day cost rather than housing work release prisoners out of county.

9. Minutes approved.
Meeting adjourned 10 PM.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Who Will Pay for the Cost of Development?

Mr. Freemon' posting of June 4, 2004, is correct; but, does not go nearly far enough. The cost of $6,500 per pupil is correct; however, the average household has 2.3 children in school at an annual cost of approximately $15,000. This does not include any capital cost requirements for new school facilities to house the added students.

In addition, new hosing will add to the County's cost for police, fire departments, emergency life and rescue services. Some of these are presently volunteer; but, as the housing increases these will increasingly have to become funded out of taxes to provide more full time personnel.

Also, with each new house add two plus vehicles on the county roads, causing an increase in road maintenance and as subdivisions are added the roads in those subdivisions will be added to the County roads for maintenance.

Sewers will become another expense.

Also, while not paid for by taxes, other utilities will need to expand and while these are currently provided by private companies, the cost of the expansion will be covered by the public in the form of increased rates.

Each new house will add significantly more to the taxpayer cost and increase taxes, unless the cost of the house is well beyond the range of most prospective home owners.

The push for the development of Dearborn County will probably become stronger, since Butler, Hamilton and Clermont Counties in Ohio and Campbell, Kenton and eastern Boone Counties in Northern Kentucky are already significantly developed and Warren County in Ohio, currently experiencing the problems of burgeoning development (lagging utilities, increased public service costs, increased traffic, etc.) are declaring moratoriums on building. The next areas include western Boone County in Kentucky and Franklin and Dearborn Counties in Indiana. As we all know, Dearborn is the most readily accessible of the three areas.

We can look forward to Dearborn County to become the next County with the problems of development and the associated increase in taxes, traffic, etc.

Ralph Thompson, Jr., PE

21 June 2004 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Karen Shell, President, Dan Batta, and Vera Benning. Also present: Cary Pickens, Auditor, Lisa Lehner, County Attorney, and Lorie Howard, County Administrator.

[Note: I arrived after the road discussion]

1. Transportation Director- Mike Davis presented the Phase two road paving list that was discussed at the 4PM working meeting. Commissioners approved the list to go to Council for their approval prior to beginning. The list was weighted in favor of D-2 and D-1 because of the differences in their road money expenses over the past few years. The list included Sand Run, DeHill, Renier, East, Sneakville, Autumn Way, Gibson, Gabbard, and Sykes in D-1. In D-2 there were Legion, Asche, St. Peters, Martha Drive, Bess, Earl, Eugene, Shangri-La Blue Creek, and North Dearborn. D-3 had Old 350, Rice, and Akes.
[NOTE: This list went to Council on 22 June 2004 and they sent it back for review, wanting to see it looked at in relation to the Transportation Assessment Study- see notes under Council Meeting]

2. Regional Sewer District update included a request by Doug Baer and Mike Hankins to be considered in the 2005 budget. Commissioners seemed to think that they could perhaps consider staffing in the budget, but not capital improvements. Taxpayers were not supposed to have to subsidize growth, but commissioners felt that they should also help provide the necessary services for the safety and welfare of the public. Commissioners supported the concept of getting loans from the Lawrenceburg Bond bank. Sewer Board approved to go to Council to request $100,000 of the $420,000 they will ultimately need. Lisa Lehner reported that at the first easement meeting- they obtained about 60 properties ROW and approximately 120 people attended.

3. Heart House- Craig Beckley gave a report on the first 27 months of Heart House. 330 people were served, 80 from Dearborn County. This added up to nearly 6,000 night stays and saved the county nearly $200,000 as opposed to a hotel at $35/night. He noted that in this business there were more failures than successes, but that the successes made it worthwhile. They asked for $5,000 in the commissioner’s budget. Benning motioned, Batta 2nd. OK’d.

4. Emergency Management – Bill Black- Commissioner’s signed and Emergency Management Proclamation. Black reported that they have had grants of over $400,000 coming in this year to help out including $189,000 for Homeland security.

5. Lorie Howard- County Administrator reported. She and Charlie Fehrman met with Kramer of Pinnacle Advisory and noted that medical costs for the county are budgeted at $1.7 million and they are projected to be at $1.8 million this year. Currently we are still under budget.
They are moving some items out of the commissioner budget and putting them back into the dept. budgets- examples were vehicles, tires, copiers, etc. Budget due July 1.
Personnel Policy revisions are still going on, as is the Drug and workplace Safety Plans.
Bids on the Courthouse expansion were due by 4 PM Tues. for Council review. They anticipate 3-5 bids including RQAW, which was at $46,000 initially with a rebate on the actual construction management if they got that job as well.
6. Lisa Lehner reported that the coroner suit issue had received an opinion from the judge. Other suits regarding accidents on county roads were submitted to the insurance company for help with defense payment.
The Plan Commission ordinance for revising the Zone codes was prepared, but they will sign it in July prior to the 90 day deadline.
Lisa is looking into a Drainage Board and will seek Jennifer Hughes help from Soil and Water Board.

7. Claims and Minutes were approved.

8. Vera Benning wanted to know if Commissioner’s approved of her handling the sewer board issues so far. Commissioners stated that they had set the board up and trusted that they would do the right things.

9. Karen Shell stated that Moore’s Hill needed a letter of support to go to Council to obtain funding for Carnegie Hall repairs. OK’d.

Meeting adjourned 9:05 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, June 07, 2004

7 June 2004 Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Karen Shell, President, Vera Benning, and Dan Batta. Cary Pickens, Auditor, Lisa Lehner, Attorney, and Lorie Howard, County Administrator

1. Veteran’s Office- Bill Ewbank stated that the driver’s van program may be ‘dead in the water” due to drivers possible having to have near CDL certification. He’s still trying to get further information on this.

2. Animal Control – Cheryl Lohmiller reported that a new full timer was hired- Becky Foster. Two people were going out on calls now due to a dog bite that Cheryl received last month. She wants back up for potentially dangerous animal collections.
Mark Seiler did a survey for the expansion of the shelter and consulting with County Farm Board to be sure it fits their plans also. John Maxwell’s company has been out to see what type of building might be built there for the shelter. [NOTE: This probably has to go out for bid]
233 people visited the shelter last month.

3. Emergency Management – Bill Black reported that the FEMA certification class is completed and others are interested for the next class. Lisa Lehner is working with him on the Hazmat First Responders agreement. Commissioners have a disk and proclamation to be signed after they review it.

4. Highway Dept.- Mike Davis- gave the 2003 annual report to commissioners and it was signed to go on to INDOT etc.
Davis reported that there was a fair amount of work in D-3 to be done after last week’s storm damage. Also Bridge 16 in D-3 is being replaced.
There have been a rash of flat tires on county equipment lately.
They have a new engineer working on White’s Hill to work out a way to shorten the project and accommodate the problem of ROW that cannot be obtained.
Inspections on Sugar Ridge continue as excavating goes on. They will need to close Stateline just below HVL to get the sewer access also. Signs will be posted warning of this a few days in advance.
Zimmer Tractor will be selling them a new brush cutter (rotary style) to replace the scissors type one- this will cost about $10,000 and should save man-hours in clean up and removal from the old scissors style cutter.
Sunrise Estate is seeking road acceptance into the county and apparently have addressed the hwy dept. concerns. Commissioners will check this out further.

5. United Consulting- Jeff Larasen reported that the $40,000 to do 200 small structure inventory for the county hwy dept. is needing nearly $26,000 more to finish the project. There are about 120-150 more small structures than they thought. Extras go at $175 each approximately. July 12th is the estimated completion date. A draft plan will be submitted at the Thurs. meeting on the first 200 structures and they will also demonstrate HOW this report can be utilized to prioritize the maintenance of these small overpasses, culverts and bridges. (4-19 ft in span). [Note: Does Council need to be approached for more money?]

6. Planning and Zoning – Travis Miller presented the technical cleanup on the roadway sections of the ordinances. The plan is to make the language match up to the transportation study classification system. Jamison Road was added as an arterial.
They also addressed how the private streets would be handled in the county. Currently a private street can be 16-18 ft wide with a 50 ft. ROW and chip seal for 6 houses or less. Proposed is to make it 20 ft and asphalt for the same number of homes. The thought is that in the future- these streets may end up as public streets and need to match up to county specs.
Batta stated that in rural areas the private street might be a better road than the one it is accessing!
Lisa Lehner wanted to know who decides the roadway classification and the design. Travis stated that the hwy engineer and planning director can recommend but that the Plan Commission decides, by law.
Lisa and Travis reminded the commissioners that this was certified to them on April 30th and they have 90 days from then to act or it will be in effect automatically.
Vera wanted to know how it could be repealed. Lisa said the commissioners could send a request to the Plan Commission to review that, have a hearing, and then come back to the commissioners again with a recommendation for their approval.
Dan wanted to know how they would know what collectors might turn into arterials in 20 years.
I spoke at public comment time reminding them that the Plan Commission has typically required minimal access to collector roads with combined drives and unified accesses from the subdivisions they review, in anticipation of this potential issue.
Tabled this for further review.

7. Lifetime Resources – Karen Anderson gave report and requested to go to Council for $10,000 for both Lifetime resources and Catch – a – Ride combined. OK’d.
Julie Schaefer said they have 90 days to get Transit worked into the County Emergency Disaster plans. She was referred to Bill Black for that.

8. County Administrator- Lorie Howard- Requested $3200 to go to Council to fund records destruction- OK’d.
The Jail Expansion Board is on target to award a contract by July 2 for the planning phase.
She and Lisa, Cary, and Dennis Dunlap will present a final draft to dept. heads for the personnel policy in July. They may look into an EAP program (Employee Assistance program for alcohol and drug abuse so that an affected county employee may get help and retain his/her job. Grants possible.

9. County Auditor – Cary Pickens- Minutes and claims approved.
$1,000 signed for brucellossis and TB for cattle as mandated by law.
Paving bids were opened by Lorie Howard and Rohe was $273,132.40. O’Mara was $172,793.02. They will be reviewed in detail and decided at the June 21st meeting.

10. Vera Benning wanted to know if the buildings would be closed for Reagan’s funeral. Commissioners decided to have a memorial service at noon that day instead. Judge Humphrey will be asked to preside.

11. At Karen Shell’s request, Dan Batta motioned to have him replace her on the Plan Commission Board. Vera did not second it. Karen Shell 2nded and it passed 2-1.

Meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, June 04, 2004

What do you know about those you have elected?

This is a wonderful idea having homes representing 30% of an individuals income. Lovely subdivisions will be a joy to behold. The only problem is that these homes will not produce enough tax to pay for the schooling of the children. It costs about 6500 dollars a year
to school one child in Dearborn County.

The state, which pays a large part of the school costs, is near bankruptcy. Local property taxes will have to be raised. The state wants to raise the state income tax. Our seniors who are living on small fixed income pensions or simply Social Security will be taxed
off of their property. The developers will snap up those properties for more development.

It seems that we will be electing county commissioners that have a personal interest in development. Watch what happens to Dearborn County.

Alan Freemond Sr.