Wednesday, November 24, 2004

23 November 2004 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

23 November 2004 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes
Present: Charlie Fehrman, Chairman, Aaron Negangard, Tom Cheek, Bill Ullrich, Bo Lansing, and Dennis Kraus. Absent: Mark Mitter (on vacation) Also present: Cary Pickens, Auditor, Vera Benning, County Commissioner, and Phil Weaver, Treasurer.

1. Travis Miller- Planning Director- requested an additional $2500 of the $6000 left tabled from April’s $12,000 request to finish out the year on legal fees. Ullrich motioned, Cheek 2nd. All ayes, APPROVED.
Miller also requested council’s blessing to enter into the previously discussed OKI contract to provide $9100 of GIS services at OKI’s cost.
Council had granted $51,000 in the budget for the match to the total $205,000 grant that will be decided in early December. If the grant is approved this $9100 will come form the grant dollars, if not it comes from the $51,000. Miller anticipates the grant being approved.
Per Cary Pickens- in 1998 the commissioners approved an ordinance where each dept. is it’s own purchasing agent, so Travis can do this anyway. Fehrman appreciated Travis coming in and sharing the info anyway- like a “a breath of fresh air.”
Vera Benning didn’t want there to be a contract that the new commissioners didn’t review. [NOTE: Fox and Hughes were in the audience observing this meeting. They raised no objections.]
Kraus didn’t want to disrespect the commissioners. Fehrman asked Vera if she was offended. She said no as long as it wouldn’t come back to haunt the commissioners. Cheek reiterated that this was not intended in any way to disrespect commissioners. Ullrich motioned and Cheek 2nd. 4 ayes. 2 nays (Negangard and Kraus) Approved. Negangard stated his nay was because he didn’t believe a vote was even needed.
Travis Miller advised Council that he’d advertise and in January he was requesting a fee schedule change in his office to cover printing fees for the master plan ($60 each or free on the internet) and a deposit of $20 for signs on properties requesting public hearings at the Plan Commission or BZA.

2. Youth Services Fund aka the County Benevolent Fund.
Marilyn Bauer of Dearborn Highland Arts Council requested a ONE TIME grant of $1000 to help fund scholarships to the Children’s Youth Choir ($60 each tuition), until they could get on the cycle with the DC Foundation grants.
She also requested $1000 for supplies for the arts classes for children.
Cheek motioned and Negangard 2nd All ayes. Approved.

Phil Kenton of the Panther’s Homeschooler Basketball team- 28-30 kids- needed a one-time grant of $1000 to help with uniforms. Negangard motioned and Cheek 2nd. All ayes. Approved.

Ruth Ann Batta
did not appear- her request was not heard.

3. Brett Dodd and Joe Mrak of RQAW gave a 30-minute presentation on the jail expansion and space study. (25-year study) They looked at each area in 3-4 ways to build a consensus of the needs. The juvenile center is still being analyzed- they didn’t have a full idea yet of their space needs.
Part projected population at 89,000 in 2029; they thought a more conservative estimate would be 64,000. [NOTE: in 1870 the census of Dearborn County was 24,100. In 2000 it is about 48,000.]
RQAW used 4 counties to compare our needs. Bartholomew, Grant, Morgan, and Warrick. If these counties did not add judges, they were surviving on extra staff, magistrates, and senior judges.
Space needs- projected as 137,000 sq ft. Currently we have 84,000. Our current 311 parking spaces are adequate!
They presented several options for space reallocations and included the Shumway/Fortune Mgmt Building.
In the jail there are about 200 beds (double bunked) with 26 jailers. With the new arrangements 200 beds would require just 16 jailers. (Projecting needs of 400 beds for 2029) Bartholomew County has 2 courts and 203 staffers. We need 3 courts and 250 staffers. 80% of jail is double bunked now. Women are not.

4. Sally Blankenship- Prosecutor- requested $13, 015.27 from the 4D account to pay to make a $7,000 part time clerk into a full timer. She has all covered except for the insurance. She said she’d find that in another account. Kraus motioned and Ullrich 2nd. All ayes. Negangard abstained (he’s ass’t prosecutor). Chair voted to get 5 ayes for a salary change. Approved.

5. Loans Discussion:
Randy Hillenbrand brought one of the Welfare Dept’s main creditors (Gibson from WITES (sp?) program for Residential and Family Services) who is owed about $400,000 currently. Currently Welfare Dept. is in the hole to the tune of $1.2 million again.
Tax collections are creating problems. Charlie will pursue 3 options: an extension of the UCB loan, the bond bank, or the 197 account, which requires 7 votes from council to spend. If they have to use 197, they will schedule an emergency meeting in December.
Solid Waste loan – BJ Ault was not present. $150,000 was to be paid back 2 months ago. (It was due whenever 03 taxes were collected)
The solid waste att’y’s contract had it for 04 collection. Apparently Batta signed the Solid Waste att’ys contract as pres of the Solid Waste Board, but that contract was NOT the one used for the final decision. They used Lisa Lehner’s version) [NOTE: Vera Benning stated that she had nothing to do with this, etc. etc. etc.] I mentioned at this point that when they entered into that agreement I had asked BJ after the meeting if it was with or without interest. She said it was WITHOUT interest. I wanted them to know that BJ Ault probably had a different understanding of the agreement than the one they were stating tonight. Kraus motioned and Negangard 2nd to call the note in as specified in the contract. All ayes. Approved. [NOTE: Council thinks this means $150,000 plus interest.]

6. Mike Davis- Hwy Director- found that the state budget cut $212,814.27 from the MVHA funds. In order to make that up they will use money from the $800,000 left in the bituminous account per Cary Pickens. Cheek motioned and Lansing 2nd to use $213,000 from the 147 account to finish out ’04. All ayes. Approved.
They also need $77,000 to improve 5 slips from the 147 account. Cheek motioned and Kraus 2nd to approve IF THE COMMISSIONER’S ARE OK WITH IT. All ayes. Approved.

7. 911 needed $25,000. (for what???) Cheek motioned and Ullrich 2nd All ayes approved.

8. Bill Black- Emergency Mgmt Director- gave a presentation on the 800 system. There will be 4 transmitters in the county. One will be built by the hwy garage on US 50. the other 3 will be co-located. All to be complete by March.
Lawrenceburg (Tom Steidel met with them) officially committed to helping as much as possible but wants token buy-ins by each entity involved. Dollar amounts not decided on that yet. In theory it will be a grant loan program so that nothing will be paid back till “06. Rough figure for the county is $700,000, not counting dispatch. Black stated that $200,000 in grant money is committed already. A couple years ago L-bg agreed to pay the county for dispatch services and nothing has been paid to us yet!!!
It takes 6 months to get equipment from Motorola. Ohio County is doing this system also and covering it for 300,000 (smaller county). Surrounding counties are all going to the 800 system.
Ullrich motioned and Cheek 2nd that the county commits to be an active participant in the 800 system for the good of law enforcement and EMS. All ayes. Approved. [NOTE: Charlie Fehrman voted on this also]

9. Dave Lusby- Sheriff- updated Council on the crowded conditions of the jail. We took 16 to Richmond to temporarily house them at $35/day. Four women were in a padded cell over the weekend also. Judges and prosecutor are working to alleviate the problem.

10. Courts needed $20,000 for a public defender. Council called Judge Witte to see if that was the figure. (Apparently less was advertised in county general). Used contingency fund so there was NO NEED TO ADVETISE this request. Lansing motioned and Cheek 2nd. All ayes Approved. Ullrich motioned and Cheek 2nd to deny it from county general.

11. Coroner- $5,000 for autopsies. Negangard motioned, Lansing 2nd All ayes. Approved.
Commissioners $6700 for workers comp. Ullrich motioned and Kraus 2nd. All ayes. Approved.
Chamber of Commerce $25,000 contract signed by all of Council also. (Commissioners already signed.

12. Crowe Cizek making ANOTHER effort to collect money ($29,000) from the county on their cancelled consultant work. Their total would then come to $46,000. They were charging $56,000 originally and RQAW is doing work for $23,000 per Fehrman. [NOTE: Background history- RQAW was going to charge approximately $46,000 and REBATE THE STUDY MONEY, if they got the contract to do the engineering also. Commissioners allowed Lorie Howard to put it out to bid with no rebates and got the figure to the current $23,000.]
Council is NOT going to pay this additional request because the last time they paid them was to be the final payment.
13. Charlie will be negotiating for the County Extension Office rental space with Aurora in January.
Sound system was fixed by Cary and Lorie and the headsets work, so we are now ADA accessible
again. There were still some issues at Plan Commission Monday night- but that may be due to 7 mics for 9 members and also the distance factor with all the plats on the front desks.
Software patch suggested by Gayle Pennington and hardware to cut down posting time for taxes will be installed for the treasurer to the tune of $11,000. $5,000 of this is hardware expense that would be needed anyway. The $6,000 is “extra” to speed things up. Auditor’s budget will pay for this. Cheek motioned and Kraus 2nd All ayes. Approved.

14. Vera Benning presented the 2 contracts for EMS services ($73,000) and fire services ($10,000) with Harrison to cover portions of Northeastern Dearborn County. She stated that Tracy McIntosh and Dino Schmaltz were upset that Harrison was getting all this money. She wanted to go with a per diem fee. Charlie stated that he “didn’t have a dog in this hunt.” He also stated that Bright had been offered the money and they refused to do the coverage. $80,000 –100,000 is budgeted for the EMS services in each of the townships. The $73,000 figure was in line. Trustee covers the fire portion. The three-year contract she was worried about has a 30-day notice cancellation clause, so Council had NO PROBLEM with the COMMISSIONERS entering into it. Negangard stated that it was “entirely up to the commissioners to decide this.” Vera and Charlie are both going to notify Lorie of this “decision.”
The IRS assessed a penalty because the taxes on over $100,000 of payroll were not paid the same day as required by law. Longevity put this figure over the $100,000 limit last month. Penalty is $2000. Negangard motioned and Ullrich 2nd to pay it. All ayes. Approved.
Penalty on the fuel taxes was worked out per Cary Pickens.
Minutes signed.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

No comments: