Monday, August 02, 2004

2 August 2004 County Commissioner Meeting Notes

County Commissioner Meeting

Present: Karen Shell, President, and Vera Benning.
Absent: Dan Batta (mother’s funeral)
Also present: Lorie Howard, Administrator, Lisa Lehner, Attorney, and Brenda Hensley for Cary Pickens, Auditor, who arrived at 10:10.

1. Mike Kramer- Pinnacle Advisory Group- gave a report to commissioners similar to the one he gave to Council last week regarding possible ways to bring down health care costs for the county without cutting into benefits for the employees. The county had 36 claims over $5,000 and 16 claims over $10,000, which he referred to as “shock claims.” Two primary ways that Med Ben recommends are setting up wellness care programs for employees who voluntarily want help in maintaining or achieving better health care for their particular conditions (diabetes, smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.) and using HRA (health care reimbursement accounts) that THE COUNTY pays for with part of the money they save for an employee who opts out of family or single plan coverage. This is provided with tax-free dollars and can only be spent on medically related expenses defined in the plan. Vera Benning asked about the plan that some Argosy employees have. They get a check when they opt out of the coverage that they can spend on anything. It was explained to her that this was taxable income and so the employee would pay tax on the benefit and the employer has to pay social security also on it. Karen Shell wanted to wait for Dan Batta to vote on this at Thursday’s Administrative Focus meeting. Vera Benning didn’t want to vote on it till all the employees could be gathered for a meeting to discuss it. [NOTE: Because this is a plus and nothing is being taken away from any employee, it seems a waste of time to make them sit through an extra meeting during their day.] NO DECISION.

2. Bill Ewbank – Veterans Officer- reported that there was still no resolution to the veterans transportation issue.

3. Animal Control- Lorie Howard reported that Cheryl Lohmiller was on vacation and that Cheryl was using her vacation to paint the animal shelter!!

4. Bill Black- Emergency Management- reported that Dearborn County fared well in the storm last week.
He also reported that PSEG donated $14,000 worth of fire hoses to them to be distributed to county fire departments.
The commissioners signed the paperwork for the grant he’d been holding until the Drug Ordinance was passed. (see note later in this meeting)

5. Susan Craig – SIRPC – Got papers signed for the $30,000 grant to do a feasibility study of the first floor of the YES Home. Stephanie Disbro was slated to attend the Startup meeting in INDY with Cathy Piche and Susan Craig as the county’s representative.

6. Lorie Howard- County Administrator – reported that:
Commissioners and Harrison’s elected officials were meeting Wednesday Aug 4 at 5 PM in the Harrison Community Center to discuss EMS services to be shared with the county. Supposedly there is some discussion over fire services. Apparently West Harrison township has to contract for that themselves.
Tentative meeting set for August 18 at 10 AM at the Chamber offices to discuss how to get our status revised on air quality. AEP, IDEM, our state representative, senator, and other large companies are trying to get together to solve this problem.
The Drug Free Workplace Ordinance (refers to drugs and alcohol) was approved and signed after Lisa Lehner explained that it did NOT apply to elected officials. Cary Pickens, in jest, wiped his brow in a sign of relief.
The credit card policy will be included in the next revision of the HR Plan.

7. Mike Davis – Transportation – stated that Yorkridge Bridge was approved by council to come out of cum bridge. Cary Pickens corrected this to state that he was to advertise out of cum bridge, but that it was not necessarily approved yet.
Roads are being prepared for paving.
White’s Hill Project Bids were opened:
Rohe- Total $828,236.94 plus additional for rock removal, Holton Excavating- $806,768.12 plus additional for rock removal, and O’Mara - $754,240 with no additional for rock removal.
Project awarded to O’Mara pending verification of bid documents and bonds.
Commissioners requested that Mike Davis have a written report for them at their meetings so they had something to work with when people called about projects going on in the county.

8. Lisa Lehner- Attorney- is preparing an ordinance reflecting all county departmental fees in one spot.
She is also preparing a draft agreement to deal with the liability issues for the bike path to be attached to the George St. Bridge. Discussion stated that Barker’s engineering report states that the bridge can handle more weight that it’s posted for. They did actual steel samples from the bridge to verify this. [Note: Am not sure if this covers the connections, bolts etc.] She also stated that if Charlie Fehrman signs off on it for county fiscal body, then they do not have to get the attorney general to do so.

9. Cary Pickens- Auditor- holding minutes, but corrected the Siemen’s section at Vera’s request. Karen Shell was not present for entire meeting, so they will approve minutes when Dan Batta is available.
Claims approved.

Meeting adjourned 10:20 AM

After the meeting I was informed that there has been “some talk” of letting elected officials retire with the county paying continual health coverage as a “reward for all their years of service.” [Note: Yikes!]

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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