Wednesday, September 29, 2004

28 September 2004 County Council Meeting Notes

28 September 2004 County Council Meeting Notes

All members present: Charlie Fehrman, President, Mark Mitter, Aaron Negangard, Bill Ullrich, Bo Lansing (welcomed back after a serious health problem), Tom Cheek, and Dennis Kraus.
Cary Pickens, Auditor, also present. Lorie Howard, County Administrator, was absent.

There was no agenda for this meeting.

An independent attorney, Doug Wilson, reviewed the interlocal loan agreement between Council and the Sewer District because Lisa Lehner, the county attorney is also the sewer board attorney. The agreement is for $357,000 to be loaned from riverboat revenue savings and will be paid back through grants and operational fees after the sewer district is up and running. Doug Baer and Rodney Dennerline presented for the sewer board and board member Pat Holland was present also. Ullrich motioned and Cheek 2nd. Motion passed. Agreement signed.

$20,000 was approved from county general (actually riverboat revenue that has been moved to county general) to cover increased veterans death costs. Negangard motioned and Mitter 2nd. Passed.

There was discussion that SBOA wanted Riverboat Revenue to land in County General first before it gets spent. Also mentioned by Cary Pickens was that there was more than $700,000 in the old contingency fund and that these dollars could not be moved from Riverboat Revenue to County General or vice versa. [Note: Perhaps it is the way things get worded, but it seems like funds are moving frequently at council meetings.]

Inmate medical expenses at the jail required another $80,000 from Riverboat Revenue. Cheek motioned and Negangard 2nd. Passed. All inmate insurance billing goes to county general so it is hard to determine how much this is really costing the county. Cary Pickens doesn’t want to create a bunch of accounts under county general to track these reimbursements. [Note: It would seem to be a good idea to place reimbursements back to the accounts that paid for them- one wonders why government “rules” don’t allow for this]

Lorie Patton from Juvenile Detention came personally to request $5,000 in overtime and $12,000 for part time youth attendants. Ullrich motioned and Kraus 2nd. Passed.
Lorie Patton
also expressed her disappointment with the budget passed for her department. She stated that she felt like they were the “red-headed stepchild” of the courthouse. She stated that less than $15,000 was requested to retain the good employees she has trained and didn’t want to lose. She commented on the 4 new jail employees and the 4 new police employees for the road. She was clearly unhappy with the outcome and felt the need to say her piece. Fehrman responded that there were no crosshairs on her dept. that he wanted her to look at the big picture and noted that the Building Department got cuts also of $4,000 similarly.

Charlie Fehrman also brought up oversights in the budget that he needed to correct before getting it certified.
Reimbursed money amounting to $18,000 in victim advocate and adult advocate services were corrected. Ullrich motioned and Cheek 2nd. Negangard abstained because it involved the prosecutor’s office. Passed.
Maintenance Budget for Eric Hartman left out $500 car repair and $990 equipment repair. Cheek motioned and Lansing 2nd. Passed.

Charlie Fehrman met with Phil Weaver, Gayle Pennington (future treasurer) Joan Seitz, Cary Pickens, Lorie Howard, and Frank Cummings (accountant) on the issues with tax revenues discussed at the last commissioners meeting and also in the newspaper. Hiring temps was discussed, the training period would slow the regulars down, so they decided to hire a temp stenographer for Carolyn in the auditor’s office and move her to help with the tax duties until February. The target times for taxes now are to have taxes that would have been collected in May and Nov of 2004 will be billed in February 2005 as one lump sum to be due on a target date of February 19. The May 2005 taxes will be collected in August 2005 and the November 2005 collection will be on time.
Frank Cummings looked for several things that would slow it down and Cary Pickens had already done them. Cummings said that was “really good.” Charlie Fehrman commented that was good to hear about a so-called “incompetent auditor.” (in reference to comments made at the commissioners meeting)
Pickens wants to close his office at lunch so they can keep working and not have to stop tax work to cross-cover employee lunch breaks. They will get commissioners blessing on this. Pickens also said he certified AV (assessed value) at 90% to get the job done ahead.
He said that there was a small error where Joan Seitz ran short $108,000 on reassessment that wasn’t encumbered… Apparently this was fixed.

Indiana had another state screw-up per Pickens where they are billing us $3271.70 for environmental taxes on our fuel pumps plus interest that wasn’t paid from 1991-1996. Because it is over 5 years old, the records were destroyed. The state hasn’t shown proof that we owe it, but they are holding homeland security and grants, if we don’t pay it!!! He asked for money to be approved now, in case we have to pay it. [Note: Discussion here included some political comments from Aaron Negangard which I am leaving out in the interest of preserving harmony between government offices.]
Mitter motioned and Cheek 2nd to approve an amount not to exceed $3300 if the state can prove the taxes are owed. Passed with Kraus and Negangard voting nay.

Minutes from the budget hearings were corrected. Bo abstains from voting, because he was absent due to illness. Cheek motioned and Kraus 2nd. Approved.
Next Council meeting will be in November to wrap up the year.
October is cancelled.

Meeting adjourned 8:30 PM.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

1 comment:

A Dearborn Citizen said...

Is it normal for a council meeting not to have an agenda?