Wednesday, July 28, 2004

27 July 2004 County Council Notes

County Council

Present: Bill Ullrich, Acting Chairman, Mark Mitter, Dennis Kraus, Bo Lansing, and Aaron Negangard. Cary Pickens, Auditor, and Lorie Howard, County Administrator, also present.

1. Bob Gravogel – Harrison Soccer Ass’n located in West Harrison, IN with about 45% of their kids from Dearborn County requested money for a $16-21,000 playground to serve the needs of families attending the games. After a lengthy description of their history and program, Negangard motioned and Mitter 2nd to grant $10,500 out of youth services. Passed.

2. Mike Kraemer of Pinnacle Advisory Group reported on the current status of the medical benefits program. The county has about twice the normal rate of “shock claims.” Med Ben had some possible solutions to help cut this cost. Instituting a wellness programs with voluntary individualized care plans is one possibility.
The other is starting HRAs- Health reimbursement accounts for employees opting out of the family plan because a spouse already has it. This would give them some tax-free money to pay for their out of pocket medical expenses, such as copays, deductibles, eye care etc. This could save $7,000 per employee in county costs, while giving an additional benefit to the employee. [NOTE: Some of these HRA plans are a “use it or lose it” type plan. If you don’t use or submit the expenses for reimbursement from the account, it stays in the administrator’s account as “profit.” It was not clear from the discussion, what the details of this plan would be.]
3. Mike Hankins- Sewer Board Chairman came accompanied by Rodney Dennerline, Brett Fehrman, Vera Benning (advisory board chair), Lisa Lehner (attorney), and Joe Tierney (GRW consultant).
Requested $357,600 in a “forgivable loan” to cover them to the construction phase of the sewer district. They have applied for a rural development grant and also trying for a dept. of commerce grant. These will be used to pay back part of this loan. [NOTE:Included in this estimate are legal fees for possible condemnation proceedings for about 30 properties (10% of houses). IN law allows for group filings of these condemnations.]
Kraus motioned and Negangard 2nd to TABLE this until budget hearings pending a contract for a LOAN of this money. TABLED

4. Mike Davis- Highway Dept.- Updated Council on road repairs and on equipment repairs. Chuck- from the county garage gave a summary with examples of parts and costs of some of the vehicle repairs. It was decided to try to standardize vehicles so as to get parts they can keep in stock for rapid repairs. This will be phased in over the next several years as equipment is replaced. Gov’t gets a 35% discount on trucks.
Negangard motioned and Kraus 2nd to:
Deny for now with the intent to readvertize for the Cum Cap Fund for $1,003 for OSHA tank and $5,500 for furnace replacement.
PAY out of 203 account $45,000 for maintenance and repairs to the year’s end, $5,000 for Lexington Rd. slip repair,
TABLE $4,400 for GIS training until August.
All agreed.
Davis gave council a heads up on the Guilford deck replacement and also the triple whipple bridge.
The Phase 2 Road paving list was passed out and discussed. Lorie and Mike both detailed the process that was used to prioritize the roads and justify each as being placed on the list. Three foremen drove the roads TOGETHER to further clarify their status on the list. Negangard asked about whether the commissioners were all in agreement on this. He was told the vote was 2-0, Karen Shell was absent, but had indicated agreement throughout the process. Vera had stated that she likes money equally divided, but that she would vote for the list, and did.
Kraus motioned and Mitter 2nd to approve.
Negangard motioned and Krause2nd to delete the $$ estimates until after bids have arrived

5. Lorie Howard- Administrator – requested $28,161 to finish out social security for the year, and $3,000 for employee physicals.
Negangard motioned and Kraus 2nd to approve both out of county general and deny it from Riverboat Revenue. Approved

6. Sheriff Department- presented by Bill Ullrich- requested $20,000 to repair older vehicles. Negangard motioned and Mitter 2nd to approve from Riverboat revenue, but deny from county general. Approved.
7. Courthouse- copier- $8,000. Kraus motioned and Lansing 2nd to deny from cum cap. DENIED.
8. CMHC – requires $96,912 because the state didn’t set their levies properly. Kraus motioned and Lansing 2nd. Approved with Negangard NAY. (Didn’t want to vote on something he didn’t understand)
9. Minutes approved. Lansing abstained, because he was absent last month.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

26 July Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Plan Commission:

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Mike Hall, Nick Held, Dan Batta, and Roger Woodfill.
Absent: Patrick de Maynadier, Dave Schmidtgoesling, Tarry Feiss, and Rick Pope.
Also present: Travis Miller, Planning Director, Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.

Meeting began 10 minutes late waiting for a simple quorum to be present (5 members). Minutes were not approved because a quorum of members present at the last meeting was not available.

1. Old business tabled from last meeting:
Lonestar subdivision- 1 lot on SR62 Clay Township with Mary Ridner applicant- was approved with a variance to access SR62 because all other options were exhausted and a 10 ft variance on sight distance. Batta motioned and Woodfill 2nd. All ayes.

2. New business: Request for zone change Ag to Residential and a variance for house location by Steve and Carol Hapanowicz on North Dearborn Road adjoining Harley Springs Subdivision in Logan Township. Presented by Dennis Kraus, Jr. Applicant asked to be tabled when it became clear that there were not 5 votes to approve. (Woodfill was opposed for several reasons) Applicant will pursue other means of accessing North Dearborn Road for next meeting. Batta motioned and Held 2nd to TABLE till next meeting at applicant’s request.

3. Changes to the Subdivision ordinance clarifying language were approved Article 3 Section 305 M to go on to commissioners.

4. Amendments to subdivision ordinance from commissioners back to Plan Commission were approved. Held motioned and Batta 2nd. All ayes. This goes into effect now, because they approved what the commissioners sent back.

Enforcement reports were given out by Mark McCormack.
Ethics talk by Greg Dale on Aug 24th 5:30 – 8 PM was announced for those wishing to attend.
Correspondence from Vicki Reiter and congressman she contacted were presented regarding late meetings and making decisions when tired.
Members were reminded of the Aug 28 Advisory Board meeting to finalize the master plan before the public hearing. Advisory Board meets at Tate St. adult Center 7-9 this Wednesday.

Travis Miller also requested approval to pursue a grant application for GIS funding from special projects for the budget hearings. SIRDP has rural grant money available for creative solutions for economic development in rural areas. Digital parcel mapping ($300,000) and topographical mapping ($150,000) are being requested. It would require a 25% match from the county. Letters of support are being sought for the grant and include assessor, auditor, 911, farm bureau, redevelopment commissions, other municipalities, etc. All these departments can access and use the data ultimately. This is not something extra so much as it is positioning the county for what is needed in the near future. Plan Commission gave their blessing to go on to council with the request at the budget hearings. Application is due by August 31st.

Meeting adjourned 9:40 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Thursday, July 22, 2004

22 July 2004 County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Dan Batta, Acting Chairman, and Vera Benning. Karen Shell arrived at 11:30 after checking out a D-1 citizen complaint. Cary Pickens, Auditor, Lisa Lehner, County Attorney, and Lorie Howard, County Administrator, also present.

1. Transportation Dept.- Mike Davis – reported that highway crews were called out for storm damage issues last night in the Sparta area. The usual mowing, brush cutting, and maintenance issues are being handled in each district. They are getting some salt damage to oil pans and so they are being replaced with coated ones as needed.
The road-paving list has been summarized and justified using data from the Transportation Assessment study and then driving the actual roads to see what was the current condition. Batta asked that Mike Davis be sure to include the specific surface details, lengths, and sections of each road to be paved when he goes to Council for release of the money. Vera Benning stated that she wants equal dollars to go to each district, but she would vote for this set of roads. Ok’d to go to Council.
The Guilford Bridge on Main Street and SR1 needs to be repaired. The structure is intact but the decking is crumbling. Probable cost is $129,000 if they can close it for a month. To do it in 2 stages and keep the road open costs another $50,000. Painting is $40,000. Council will be advised of the cost estimates.
Triple Whipple still being pursued for repairs.
Whites Hill will start in August.
Chris Ogg from Schneider Consulting gave an update on the TEA applications and the George St. Bridge repairs as well as the bike path to be added to the side. James Barker Associates is assessing the capacity of the bridge for Aurora to be sure it can handle the bike path.

2. Planning and Zoning – Travis Miller- grammatical and clarification changes were added to the ordinance changes requested. Commissioners voted to send this back to the Plan Commission and if they approve of all the changes, it passes without having to come back to commissioners.
Travis Miller also explained the road classification process to Commissioner Benning.

3. Richard Lattire – discussed the problem with a curve on the lower end of Kaiser Drive and the need for guardrail. Several cars have left the road at that area due to slippery conditions and the road itself. Commissioners will have Mike Davis check it out.

4. County Administrator – Lorie Howard- gave a report on the courthouse dept.’s assessment of the problems with Siemens work. Eric Hartman concurred with these details. Discussion on whether or not a suit was needed was held. Decided to hold executive session July 29 at 11:30 AM. Statute of limitations is running out on this issue and Siemens has been unresponsive to letters requesting repairs. Joe Pesch is no longer with the company- apparently Gary Melke is. Cary Pickens is to check out if there is any money left in the bank account from this project and how much was repaid on the overpayment that Siemens repaid to county general and not to the bank.
Security for the adm. Building and courthouse has been proposed. Lorie will get memo to each dept. to see what they think will work best. $11,000 for thumbprints, $16,000 for cameras, and $1400 for panic buttons. An additional $9,000 would cover the courthouse.
Drug Plan for personnel policy will be a stand-alone document for Aug 2 vote.
Lisa Lehner completed a Memo of Understanding with Solid Waste on the leased container trailers. This was signed and approved.
OKI agreement for July 04 –June 05 was signed for $15,789.
Ken Ingram was reappointed to the Hospital Board.
Norman Gellert was reappointed to the Library Board.
5. County Attorney – Lisa Lehner – finishing the Harrassment Policy.
GASBY ordinance prepared and signed to be in compliance with state law on County Inventory and Asset Evaluation.
Still working on the ROW with Irwins for the bridge on Shortridge Road.
Lisa checked O’Mara’s bonding and commissioners signed off on Phase 1 paving to proceed.
Lisa contacted IDEM regarding the clean air act rulings on Lawrenceburg and clarifying the details of AEP’s current status. Lorie Howard is to follow up on this with Mark Geisler- one of the county’s lobbyists. Lorie will try to get the state implementation plan to see what they are saying will be done to be in compliance with the EPA.
6. County Auditor – Cary Pickens- signed off on minutes and claims.

7. Connie Sizemore presented complaints regarding dust issues with the Sugar Ridge subdivision construction. Karen Shell had checked it out and has IDEM sending a letter to be sure the excavators spray water to keep the dust down. Also some Health Dept. issues with mosquitoes in the holding ponds.
Driveway distance to the entrance was also remeasured to be 150 ft.

8. Jim Bloomfield had questions regarding the ROW for sewer district work. After several minutes of discussion he was referred to the sewer board. Lisa answered some of his questions at this time.

Meeting adjourned 12:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, July 09, 2004

6 July 2004 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

6 July 2004 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Dan Batta and Vera Benning, acting president. Absent: Karen Shell
Also present: Cary Pickens, auditor, Lisa Lehner, attorney, and Lorie Howard, county administrator.

1. Planning and Zoning: Travis Miller – gave a short update on the abandonment of the CSX rail lines and answered potential ownership questions regarding liabilities and the need for uses that can revert to the railroad should they need it back. Trails are the most frequent uses, apparently. The park board has also been advised of this potential.
Commissioners want to know how many trestles we would own. Travis stated they could use 10-15,000 in special projects and that Council would need to approve it for this proposal.

2. Veterans – Bill Ewbank- reported that he passed his reserve office training again and that they are still having problems with the van drivers and the need for national standards for volunteer drivers for the veterans.

3. Emergency Management – Bill Black – reported that Dearborn County has been included in the disaster declaration 1520 for storm and flood damage between May 27 and June 25.
Test of the emergency system went well.
He is still working on the mutual aid agreement with the tri-state area. Lisa advised that they need to remember the statute on interlocal agreements when setting this up.
The grant for the 800 system and some GIS is not here yet.

4. Transportation- Mike Davis- Council approved $8,000 to study the Tripple Whipple Bridge repairs after being advised by John Graf of Barth and Associates that they would have to clean it up if it fell into the Creek - and it would be more expensive.
He is going to get with Jewell DuBonis- one of the county’s lobbyists- to help push the TEA grants to help pay for the bike path along the George St. Bridge.
Wilson Creek is still closed for slip repairs etc.
Report included tire and hydraulic repairs, brush cutting and culvert replacements that are proceeding in each district.

5. County Administrator – Lorie Howard – set the date as Thurs July 15 at 1PM to have executive session to interview for county engineer.
RQAW received the signed contract to study the jail expansion from Sheriff Lusby.
Lorie is renegotiating the Harrison EMS contract for the end of this year.
Still working on the impaired workers policy.
Questions involving the security in the administration building surfaced- looking for a way to improve this. [NOTE: County may be able to use a system similar to the schools with cameras etc. particularly in light of the openness of the building during meetings etc.]
Anti-harassment policy for personnel is being written.
Lorie is developing a property policy governing how vehicles, etc. are bought, sold, and transferred.
Commissioners scrapped two vehicles for auction ( 96 Chevy Caprice- canine vehicle and a 96 Jeep Cherokee with 178,000 miles needing rotors replaced) and transferred or retained 4 others.

6. County Attorney – Lisa Lehner- advised commissioners of the impending 90-day deadline to approve or deny the zoning code ordinance changes according to IC 36-7-4-607. This was tabled till the next meeting when Karen Shell could be available. (rescheduled from July 19 to July 22 9:30 AM)
Lisa is trying to keep the Siemens HVAC issue alive. If the statute of limitations runs out before the HVAC is fixed suitably, they county won’t be able to sue. [NOTE: This has been an issue for over a year. Vera Benning reported that the judges have NO PROBLEM AT ALL with the HVAC. They don’t know what the issue is. This makes little sense in light of previous history of those problems. Perhaps a check of each department or office in the Courthouse is in order to see if the HVAC problems are adequately resolved.]
The new software can accommodate the GASB rule so that every department can tag their inventory. Cary Pickens stated this was the case and also noted that it was another UNFUNDED mandate from the state.
Lisa is researching the drainage board at her hourly rate. Commissioners instructed her to limit her scope to the legals of how it is set up. They want Lorie to do the legwork, as their paid employee, thus a cheaper rate.
Lisa advised that they need to think about next year’s holiday schedule so that the courts can set up their calendar.

7. County Auditor – Cary Pickens- signed claims. Held minutes till Karen Shell returns.

8. Joan Seitz – Assessor appeared to ask permission to use commissioner room for overflow on assessment hearings. Approved.

9. Vera Benning – Piper Landing Road and strip mall area questions surrounding its acceptance as a road. There is a condo association and detention ponds etc. there. Commissioners are going to get info from the Planning files from Travis Miller before deciding this.
Vera Benning discussed issues surrounding not getting minutes from their administrative focus meetings and being concerned about decisions made during these meetings. [NOTE: These meetings were NOT to be for major decisions, but for administrative ones.]
Vera Benning elaborated on the acceptance of the roads into the county inventory from Sunrise Estates, Dan Fugate’s subdivision. This was apparently done at the administrative focus meeting and not at a regular commissioner’s meeting.
She stated, “Dan (Batta) was upset and that it was a very unpleasant experience for me.” She further stated that she has issues with these meetings being held in the Transportation Department, out of the public eye. [NOTE: This seemed odd and when I researched it further after the meeting, there were only 2 commissioners at that meeting also- Dan Batta and Vera Benning. There apparently was no agenda, but Fugate was there to get his subdivision roads approved. Questions were related to the actual proof for the highway dept. that the roads were ready to be accepted. Bonds must have lapsed etc.]
At this point I questioned the commissioners about the purpose of the meetings and also reminded them that the minutes were the official legal record of any decisions. If minutes do not exist- it’s as if it didn’t happen.
Vera Benning became quite upset at this point. She terminated my time at the podium.
Lisa Lehner, however, stated that she would check into it.
Before leaving the podium I stated that I was questioning the procedure only- NOT the Sunrise Estates issue specifically.

10. Commissioner Meeting for July 19 at 7 PM is changed to July 22 at 9:30 AM due to a seminar conflict.

Adjourned 11:20 AM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township