Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Present: Mark Mitter,Chairman, Jeff Hughes, Mike Hall, Tarry Feiss, Jane Ohlmansiek, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Patrick deMaynadier and Nick Held
Also Present: Travis Miller, Planning Director and Arnie McGill, Attorney. Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer, was not present (he is out of the country)
Mitter publicly thanked Travis Miller for his outstanding service to Dearborn County for the past three years. The board concurred. Travis Miller stated that his working relationship with this board has been superb. He stated there was no negativity there. Then he asked Mitter to stop before he would get all choked up about leaving. [NOTE: Travis Miller has had the unique ability to be able to bring together many different perspectives from politicians, citizens, and activists. He worked to create public processes that produced plans that most county residents can live with. For someone who is so young he possesses maturity beyond his years. Dearborn County has been fortunate to gain his experience and work ethic for 3 years. Our loss is Yorkville’s gain.]
Primary approval for a 2-lot subdivision- Pires Subdivision in Jackson Township on County Line Road on 7.350 acres of AGRICULTURALLY ZONED LAND. Bob Koester, a local realtor was representing the Pires, who are out of town owners of the land.
Dennis Kraus, Jr. stepped down for this item, though he did serve on the technical review committee that had previously denied it twice (Sept and Oct) before approving it in November.
Neighbors were notified by certified mail that the tech review had approved the split. The Reders who adjoin the property appealed the decision of the tech review board within the 10-day time limit. The Plan Commission was to decide whether to uphold or overturn the tech review decision.
Tim Reder presented the opposing view that he purchased and was using 17 acres of Ag land to perform agriculturally approved activities (landscape plant farm) and did not think it was appropriate to have the area turn into a subdivision piecemeal around him. He noted that there were many splits going on in the past few years on this original parcel of Ag land.
I (Chris Mueller)asked the plan commission if the total acreage was 7.350 acres, meaning that the splits would be less than 4 acres each. Then I asked if that was the case, and the smallest acreage that Ag uses could be considered legal was 5 acres, how could they split this and still have it as Ag zone? [NOTE: I do not know why tech review did not see this problem.]
A nearly hour long discussion ensued among the plan Commission members while new plan commission members were shown the rules relating to Ag subdivisions and how they could be allowed. Jeff Hughes argued about property rights and how a landowner should be able to do whatever he wanted with his property. He was asked if he would like a dump next to his property. He said that would be OK, but that it would be a “taking” and that he would be entitled to compensation for the value lost in his land. [NOTE: Hughes clearly does not understand how zoning works. He states his personal philosophy on property rights, but he fails to see that he is at the head of a county that has elected to have zoning and a comprehensive plan. When a commissioner is elected they swear that they will uphold the laws of the county. Serving on the plan Commission requires that you adhere to the zoning and subdivision ordinances. This does not mean that that land cannot be divided at some point. It does mean that if the landowner wishes to create something that is not based on Ag uses in an Ag zone, they need to request a zone change to Residential. Looking at the area in question, that should have occurred earlier. This is an area developing without a plan (as in a subdivision request) and the result is turning into a hodge-podge of potentially conflicting uses. Zoning helps protect the investments that people make in their homes and in their land. It helps people with different desires in their choices of lifestyle decide where to live.]
Ohlmansiek motioned to OVERTURN the tech review decision based on the Ag use definition in section 27 and the fact that these lots were less than 5 acres each. Feiss 2nd. 5 ayes and one nay (Hughes).
The intergovernmental agreement between the town of West Harrison and The Dearborn County Plan Commission was signed. This agreement cleans up and legalizes the duties that the Planning staff is already providing for West Harrison. Hughes motioned and Hall 2nd to approve this. All ayes.
It was noted by Laws that West Harrison is all B-2 and that would preclude and residential building there. They will have a non- voting member on our Plan Commission. The county PC will hear any zone change requests and they will make recommendations to the West Harrison Town Board, who will have final say on the matter.
Mitter will serve as a rep to OKI for the Plan Commission.
Laws completed his Plan Commission training.
Hamilton County Plan Commission’s annual report was passed out for their information.
Travis Miller has posted the plan director job on the APA site also, at www.apa.org.
Deadline for applications is 2/1/06. The 5-member selection committee will narrow down applicants to interview. Committee is: Jim Deaton, Jane Ohlmansiek, Jeff Hughes, Dennis Kraus, Jr., and Patty Baker.
Meeting adjourned at 9 PM after which time members and citizens took time to wish Travis Miller good lick on his new job. Miller leaves Jan 2 for Yorkville, IL outside Chicago.
Christine Brauer Mueller
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Present: Benning, Chairman, Fox and Hughes.
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Messmore, Administrator, and Ewbank, Att’y
1. Messmore asked for a moment of silence for some employees who were sick and or hospitalized.
2. Annual bids were awarded with respective departments making recommendations for approvals.
Jail Food: Ellenbee Leggett and Garden Food Service were both approved.
Highway: Rohe and O’Mara both approved for asphalt, CPI for guardrail and pipe, gravel- Harrison Sand and Gravel, Newpoint Stone, and Hanson Aggregates all approved. Fuel: Johnny Resner and Laughery Valley approved. Petroleum Traders deleted for incomplete bid.
3. Todd Listerman and Mark Seiler presented a request to revert the overtime pay rules for highway workers back to the original rules that were in effect pre 2005. These rules would allow sick and vacation time to figure into overtime calculations due to the sporadic nature of highway worker’s overtime. Approved pending Ewbank’s review.
Listerman also presented an ordinance regulating parking on the county right of way, exceptions being made for government workers. Farmers may also be exempt per Ewbank. Ewbank will review this and the fine for January meeting. No decision.
4. INDOT land acquisition from last meeting was signed. The pipe work is already finished with Listerman review.
Lewis and Kappes lobbyist contract renewed and signed by commissioners. This lobbyist is shared with other county entities.
Minutes for Oct 18, Nov 1, and Nov 15 approved.
Claims approved except for one Pickens held on Health seminar catering that can’t come out of travel expense fund.
Ewbank advised commissioners of suit by Carlton vs. Sheriff’s Dept. He also is reviewing documents for Comcast buyout of Suscom. He is sending a letter requesting info on services and rates etc.
Hughes wants to put the GIS under the commissioner’s supervision with the County Administrator functioning as the supervisor. He felt that GIS affects all county offices and should be under their review rather than just the planning Dept. They were also concerned that Planning is in transition now that Travis Miller has resigned effective the end of December and a new Director has to be selected by the Plan Commission. It was thought that it would be easier on the new director to be able to do planning only and not GIS also. [NOTE: This sounds good, except one wonders if there is anyone else in the county who really knows enough to supervise GIS.]
Per last month's request by teh commissioners, Bill Black presented the Lawrenceburg agreement and a letter from Charlie Fehrman for Council showing they backed him going to Lawrenceburg Bond Bank to request the loan for the 800 mgHz radio system up to a limit around $35,000 per year for a 20 year loan. Now the commissioners asked him to get more info and also Ewbank has to check the Local Gov’t Finance Board to be sure we aren’t exceeding our debt ceiling. [NOTE: Are they worried there won’t be enough to borrow for the jail expansion? Much discussion here- but the bottom line is they are either stalling or giving Black the runaround. The only other option is that they don’t really know what they want to do. After several years of hearing about this and all intentions seemed to direct Black to go forward, it seems ludicrous to keep playing this game. If they don’t want radios, just say no. If they want to be on the same system as adjoining counties, then proceed. If Lawrenceburg’s numbers aren’t in the Council budget, then don’t sign. How come other counties have achieved this collaboration and we can’t seem to get the deal done? This could have been approved PENDING Ewbank’s determination of the debt ceiling number. They did that for highway overtime rules.]
Meeting adjourned 7:45 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Present: Vera Benning, Chairman, Rick Fox, and Jeff Hughes.
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Messmore, Administrator, and Ewbank, Att’y
1. Annual bids were opened and given to the respective departments to make recommendations for approvals at a later date. Highway: Rohe and O’Mara, CPI for guardrail and pipe, gravel- Harrison Sand and Gravel, Newpoint Stone, and Hanson Aggregates; Jail Food: Ellenbee Leggett and GFS; Commissioners Vending Machines: All American Vending; Fuel: Johnny Resner, Laughery Valley, and Petroleum Traders.
2. Chris Walls of 39 Degrees North- introduced their company (Bloomington area) and demonstrated how their GIS product works in Monroe County with 400 employees with this on their desktops. (58,000 parcels of land). He noted the layers for road data, tax data, house pictures, SEWER AND SEPTIC data, etc. Health dept. takes a GPS locator and notes the septic location then, downloads the data back at the office for the GIS Septic layer. This info is available to the public on the Internet as soon as it is entered and saved. Aerials are done by the state every 2-3 years and available to download so no big cost there. Everything is tied to the parcel number. He will get a cost estimate by next week to them.
Margaret Minzner- GIS Coordinator- presented an update on the GIS contours maps where orthophotography can be used from Earthdata. These will produce 2 ft contours (better) as opposed to the 4 ft contours from LIDAR. Cost savings is nearly $100,000 from the budgeted amount from Council. LIDAR was $192,000. Earthdata is $92,700. Could be on by late spring or early summer. Due to only one potential source, they referenced IC codes to allow them to accept this company. Fox and Hughes motioned and approved.
3. Keith Moberg- INDOT land acquisition on SR 48 project near the hospital and CMHC for culvert work. The land will revert to the county after the work is completed.
4. Phil Weaver- Clerk of Courts presented county portion ($60,000) out of $100,000 that was earmarked for the total match to a fed mandate for voting software for the blind and visually impaired. Total cost $294,000. Approved.
5. Lou Broghammer- Park Board- noted that Ewbank is both County Att’y and Park Board Att’y. Asked if they were wanting to have the park board take over the county farm. Noted history of uses there and also previous commissioner wanting to put senior housing out there (Beckley and the Reverend Gerald Lach, who ended up in legal trouble). Thought they could put sports fields out there or…
Noted that they would need funds to take care of it- that maybe they could peel off some of their other parks to adjoining entities like the Bright Fire Dept, the school, or the town of Dillsboro.
Earl Dawson of the COUNTY FARM BOARD- asked what would the advantage be to giving it to the park board?
Benning stated farmers that maintain it- she wanted more farmers to be allowed to farm it- bid?
Pickens stated that it’s better to have farmer who knows how to take care of the land than the lowest bid.
Lou Broghammer noted they are running water to Gladys Russell nearby so that their very fine one-hole outhouse can be replaced with restrooms.
[NOTE: Where did this dialogue start? There have been numerous discussions in the past about the farm and the need to keep the YES home in a more secluded setting. The Boy Scouts and 4H train out there (trail blazing and shooting.) Timber is harvested, highway garage is located there, and the Animal Shelter. All need some buffers- the farm seems to provide that.]
6. Schiff-Kreidler-Shell- Bob Higgins presented their scope of services that they can provide in evaluation all the county’s insurance needs and safety and risk management per Ewbank’s suggestion.
They consider them selves to be a NEUTRAL source of info- as they do not sell any insurance products, though they gained experience by being employed in that sector or the legal field. Commissioners engaged their services to arrive at a cost for a possible contract to do this work for the county.
7. Emergency Management- Bill Black- adopted a resolution for the weather emergency warning and travel advisory guidelines.
Black is to get Council “proof” before Commissioners sign to go to Bond Bank for loan of $466,000 to be paid over 20 years for the 800 MgHz funding. They are hoping the loan will be “forgiven” ultimately…
8. Richard Bower- County Farm Timber Sale (has a forestry degree from PU, but not enough connections to get a wide range of bidders for their sale.) They will use Steve Doll Forestry as consultant to get the bids out. Doll gets 10% of the sale for his services. About 250 trees to be culled- that’s about 8 per acre. Office Bower also gave some history of the shooting range and his role in training there at the County Farm.
9. Engineering Dept- Todd Listerman- Commissioners OK to go to Council to transfer leftover money from Whites Hill project to the Stateline and Stephens Road improvements.
Approved Timber Ridge sub’n roads (core samples done and maintenance bonds lapsed- old sub’n) pending Listerman getting the appropriate legal write-up for their signatures.
Listerman and John Graf gave update on the Triple Whipple noting that Mayor Hastings wants to keep it because of the bike trail and Historical Landmarks does as well. Fox and Hughes motioned to approve them going to SIRPD for another grant application to get the “extra” money needed now that the project costs have DOUBLED in the last 10 years. [NOTE: This is more than inflation.] County is 80/20 on this.
Commissioners signed the SMM for MED BEN- Pharmacy amendment.
Benning brought up several tabled items that she had Messmore research to get them off the table:
1. Equestrian Estates zone change request- I told them this was over 90 days old and so per state law it was effectively denied. They agreed.
2. Videotaping meetings- denied
3. Creation of a Housing Council- denied
4. Appointment of a business rep to the Region 9 Board- denied at this time.
2006 Holiday schedule approved.
2006 Meeting schedule approved – 1st and 3rd Tues- BUT TIME IS CHANGED TO START AT 6 PM NOT 6:30.
Pickens noted that he will no longer be writing paychecks for Solid Waste- they can write their own. [NOTE: Nice Christmas “present” for the Solid Waste Board!]
Pickens also asked who was going to represent the county’s interests at the Dec 12th hearing in Ripley County. He persisted, saying he would go - and commissioners approved. [NOTE: This is the sentencing hearing for former Democrat commissioner Dan Batta. As Auditor and Republican Party Chairman, Pickens has been closely following this. The Republican Party is mostly concerned with Batta possibly running again for an office or being appointed to one, as that was in their plea deal, which wasn’t taken. It would seem a moot point considering the dim view that the general public takes regarding elected official use of the county’s credit card or rating.]
Meeting adjourned at 9:35 PM
[NOTE: I did NOT attend the sewer board meeting tonight, which was held at 7 PM in the basement break room. Mark Neff went down to observe this and briefly told me that the Board went over the 3 potential consultants to evaluate the county’s sewer needs (GRW, Black and Beech (sp?) and Wolpert (sp?) Wolpert from N KY received the nod. They were not the cheapest. Other factors were discussed in their decision.]
Christine Brauer Mueller
Sunday, December 04, 2005
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss contracting for and applying for funding and the purpose of discussing, contracting with and selecting an engineering-consulting firm or firms for studies related to the district.
The County Commissioners meet at 6:30 that same night.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
28 November 2005 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes
Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Jeff Hughes, Jane Ohlmansiek, Nick Held, Robert Laws, Patrick deMaynadier, Tarry Feiss, Dennis Kraus, Jr. and Mike Hall (who arrived at 9:30 PM)
Also present: Travis Miller, Plan Director, Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.
Sugar Pine returns and after almost 2 hours gets tabled again for another 60 days.
Miller Township Augusta Dr and Stateline Road- owner Andy Temmel. Applicant Archie Crouch.
[NOTE: After a nearly 3 hour debate at the September PC meeting this same development request ended with “Hall motioned and Kraus,Jr. 2nd to table for 60 days max. to get letter substantiating sewer and connectivity issues to be resolved. All ayes to TABLE.”]
Andy Temmel made it part of the public record that Gabbard Estates was approved contingent on them getting sewage. [NOTE: When the PC or any other governmental body makes a mistake, that mistake is not legally required to be repeated.]
He also noted that VRUC has until Dec 21st to provide service. If not then Temmel can request their part of the CTA be revoked and go elsewhere. (Probably to Greendale via Sugar Ridge)
A turnaround has been implemented to address some connectivity issues.
Staff presented OKI’s letter showing their lack of approval of a PACKAGE PLANT for VRUC under their Water Quality Management Authority. [NOTE: Perhaps the DCRSD and commissioners need to remember that there are other rules in place to protect the county from the package plant proliferation fears they cited in their haste to create a county-wide district with no “means” to manage it.]
Six citizens spoke on this issue.
The first (I missed his name) spoke regarding the detention ponds and drainage issues.
Jim Maupin- reminded the board that school crowding, Stateline traffic and safety issues, and the sewage was of EQUAL importance in the decision, even though it seems mostly focused on sewage now. The process is continuing at HVL to stop the VRUC treatment plant.
Jerry Jacobsen stated that VRUC has NO capacity- and Greendale has no capacity and will take a couple years to get a pipeline. He noted that VRUC’s att’y’s (Parvin Price) letter contained half-truths and was discombobulated. There is no sewage that you can count on now.
Maria LaRosa- provided a follow-up letter from the DCRSD and signed petitions objecting to the VRUC board. She noted that the sewage situation is very unstable. VRUC did not attend the last DCRSD meeting and so they have NOT JOINED DCRSD. They don’t think it’s a good idea to run a pipe parallel to the one Greendale already has installed. The proposed new VRUC board is going to negotiate with Greendale to get netter rates than those previously mandated. They do not think a sewage treatment plant in HVL is an option.
Floyd Ogden- (VRUC)- stated that they are negotiating with DCRSD and have signed a letter of understanding and is assured that they will have capacity through Lawrenceburg. He has no written statement of this.
Mitter suggested that the residents go to school boards and voice concerns about overcrowding and tax increases. The school letters provided to the PC state that they will serve these students.
Maupin asked- “Doesn’t our testimony matter?” [NOTE: Saying it and proving it are two different things. Providing numbers showing the class sizes and data on taxation increases would be considered proper testimony in this matter. Anecdotal information is not proof.]
Mitter noted that VRUC has jurisdiction, but no capacity.
DeMaynadier noted that on the Nov 18, 2004 Gabbard Estates question it was not relevant as a precedent because there was existing capacity. In this case there is no existing capacity. He notes that in the current master plan it states they should encourage new development only where there is adequate EXISTING infrastructure capacity. “Existing” is all over the master plan. You may have financial ability, lawful power and authority, but you still do not have any capacity that exists.
Feiss sees that Greendale was willing 18 months ago to provide and that there are three different developers who have tried to do this property. [NOTE: Greendale has finished several commercial projects and taken on Sugar Ridge in this time frame- there may be some capacity issues now. They need to ask Greendale]
Held agrees with deMaynadier- maybe in the future, but it’s not a sure thing now.
Hughes- Stateline Road is on the transportation Plan- not getting done fast enough. Parents are responsible for their children’s education- the PC has no jurisdiction over the schools. The master plan has a lot of info on all of this. He’s just beginning to understand how OKI and all of this works.
McGill – (att’y for PC) explained the OKI position on this plant.
Ohlmansiek- still doesn’t think we fulfilled 216-16 of the Subdivision ordinance- regarding the utility letters.
Laws- thinks VRUC did give a letter. Wants to trust that letter. [NOTE: Yikes! Why?]
Kraus, Jr.- look at the whole picture- developer is caught between two utilities- it isn’t fair. He’s tried. [NOTE: This is what developers should do- they research the options first.]
Kraus, Jr.-Sewer will eventually get there, but won’t be there until the need arises probably. We have to trust the school boards. Stateline Road is to be worked on this summer?? The traffic study suggested a number of improvements including turn lanes.
[NOTE: Where’s the logic here? PC is to uphold the master plan. If the sewer isn’t there yet, then both the master plan and the subdivision ordinance are not fulfilled.]De Maynadier- Pace and place- infrastructure first and development second.
Mitter- Letter says one thing and evidence says another. We have no way of knowing when and if it is going in.
Sammy Gutzwiller- asked to speak- stated she was just getting over walking pneumonia and was a bit shaky. She said she wears a dual hat- a VRUC board member for 9 ½ years and also represents the developer coming in. [NOTE: Is that ethical?] VRUC has no option- Greendale said they weren’t going to continue to provide sewer service. They spent $150,000 and 3 years later they still weren’t able to join SDRSD. They are now under orders from IURC to build a plant.
Kraus, Jr.- This is a member of the board of directors of VRUC and she’s saying they can provide it. [Note: Is there selective hearing going on here?]
Mitter- OKI is opposed to a package plant being built.
Sammy Gutzwiller- we have to have the plant.
Mitter- We’re being asked to base a decision on an “I don’t know.” He then asked Temmel to explain the detention pond question for the first resident. Temmel explained that it would be mounded and spread out for slow release of water. They intended to keep as many trees as possible.
Ralph Thompson asked to speak. He addressed the Gabbard Estates question- stating that DCRSD has no capacity. He feels that Gabbard Estates was a mistake and asked that they not repeat that mistake. He also noted that the state law states that schools have to take the students- so those letters from schools are going to say that. [NOTE: But a letter saying, we have 30 kids in a class now and no more space for classrooms right now without building more- or saying that they have room in elementary but are short in junior high, etc. as an example - would go a long way toward giving the board an idea of the issues.]
It took four motions to finally get a decision. Motion to Deny failed, motion to approve failed, motion to table for more info on OKI failed /rescinded, and final motion Laws motioned and Feiss 2nd to table for 60 days to get additional NEW information. All ayes.
1. Primary approval for a 2 –lot subdivision- Rosewood Industrial Park- SR1 Kelso Township 2.009 acres H-1 zone. Owner Rosewood Family Ltd, Applicant JDJ Surveying (Jeff Stenger) Maxwell presenting for UCB Bank office. EG McLaughlin and Bill Ritzmann present for UCB.
[NOTE:There is approximately 20 acres in phase one of this park. The “Frey property” contains nearly 149 acres total as mapped out on the main plat.]
There were no sewer letters in the file, though it was discussed at tech review. St. Leon services that area (between BP and the new school)
No public comment.
Kraus, Jr. motioned and Hughes 2nd to approve all variances and not require sidewalks until it extends beyond this section. Decision is contingent on getting a utility letter within 60 days and meeting all staff recommendations. 5 Ayes and 2 Nays (Held and Feiss voted Nay because it would be inconsistent to pass this without the letter) Chair did not vote.
[NOTE: Held and Feiss were right. Staff let this one and two more come in tonight with items missing from the packet that are required. Transition with new hiring in the office may have left some of this slip thru the cracks. Miller intends to tighten that up with training.]
2. Primary approval for a 2-lot sub’n on 28.7 acres–Beraurer Estates- Manchester Township Weisburg Road. Owner Norbert Beraurer, applicant Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Kraus, Jr. stepped down for this application and the next one.
Mike Hall arrived for this.
This is the 11th and 12th division of the parent tract. The preliminary report from the Health Dept was not received. Discussed at Tech review, but no letter from Doug Baer. DeMaynadier motioned and Hughes 2nd to approve with staff recommendations and contingent on the Health Dept letter being received. Approved with 2 Nays again- Held and Feiss- for consistency issues. Chair did not vote.
3. Primary approval for a 5-lot minor subdivision on 73 acres with a variance for driveway spacing on Sawdon Ridge Road Miller Township. Owner Tim Schaefer and applicant Dennis Kraus, Jr. Evidence of septic review on plat but no letter from Doug Baer again.
Ohlmansiek motioned and deMaynadier 2nd for 18 ft variance for driveway and direct access to Sawdon Ridge Road. Approved.
4. Request from Commissioners to consider changing the Sub’n Ordinance to remove the parent tract language in Article 2 Section 200. Hughes was worried about hardship on 1-2 lots. They will look into Butler County and some surrounding areas to see how this is handled and the potential effects.
2006 meeting schedule was approved.
Hall and Feiss will be the members to attend the CAC (Community Advisory Committee) meeting for the Connector Project. Apparently INDOT now that it is REFORMED is going to get citizen advisory input on projects. This project is getting it very late in the project due to the change in INDOT occurring after they’d gotten to the environmental stages. First meeting will be likely next week.
Land Use workshop results were presented BRIEFLY and a composite of the 4 maps is being devised using GIS and a scoring technique that required at least ¾ agreeing to get that land use featured on the draft map that will go to the public in Jan or February for Public Input.
[NOTE: There was lengthy discussion in the administrative section of what “available” means. Mitter used a dictionary- stating it meant usable or accessible. How can you use or access something that doesn’t exist? He noted that Held and Feiss had a point withholding approval on several applications. He noted that staff needs to be sure that all data is in or the applicant should NOT be on the agenda. Kathy Scott, citizen, noted that it is not the PC’s job to fix it for the developer. They are in business and they should research things first. In regards to issues with Baer’s slow production of needed septic letters, it would seem that if the sites were approved and the tech work was done and on the plat, then a form letter with that stapled to it, might speed it up. Or else he needs to stop wearing so many hats that he can’t get his work done. Does the health dept. need to upgrade staffing?]
Meeting adjourned 11:55 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Everyone knows that South Dearborn is engaged in a major building project. What they may not understand is how much that project will cost them in the end.
In December of 2004, bonds were issued for the project. The public was told they totaled $34.74 million. But when you add up the columns of the Final Pricing Wire they total $37.92 million. The proceeds of that bond issue were actually over 40 million dollars.
This fall the board had a public budget hearing and printed the proposed budget in this newspaper. There was no media coverage of this event. A little addition and subtraction revealed that South Dearborn’s proposed 2006 budget was nearly $6.5 million more than 2004 actual expenditures. The majority of this increase can be found in the Debt Service and Capital Project funds. According to the coupon schedule for the bonds, South Dearborn residents will be paying nearly 1.77 million for interest payments beginning 2005. There is a total of 3.875 million in the unanimously passed 2006 budget for Debt Service alone. Additionally, 4.53 million has been allocated for capitol projects. That totals more than 8.4 million dollars.
December 12, 2003 Tom Book, Superintendent of SDCSC, issued a memo that stated building capacities on the South Dearborn campus would be as follows: South Dearborn High School 1050 students, South Dearborn Middle School 550 students and Aurora Elementary 700 students. Current enrollment for each of these student populations is 991 for SDHS, 501 for SD seventh and eighth grade students and 636 for Aurora students Pre K through grade 6. The new project has a capacity to exceed current student population by 172 students.
The corporation obviously expects more significant growth than that. They projected an increase in property valuation of over 60 million dollars. I haven’t heard of any major industrial projects to be added to our tax base, but there is a housing project of 280 homes in planning for Washington Township. Washington Township is part of the Aurora Elementary district. It has been estimated that a project of that magnitude could increase the student population by as many as 644 children. Even if the project resulted in only half those students, the additional 322 students would be more than double the expected available student capacity.
South Dearborn Community School Corporation plans to vacate Aurora Elementary in January of 2007. Aurora Elementary has a few flaws. It is too small for the current student population and programs. But frankly it is in much better shape than Dillsboro Elementary School. Another school South Dearborn plans to sink $2 million dollars into.
It has been proposed that the City of Aurora trade the debt acquired by South Dearborn for Aurora’s new water tower for Aurora Elementary School. Another suggestion is that it be given to the YMCA. It should be noted South Dearborn already gave a building to the City of Aurora and Aurora in turn gave it to the YMCA. Four years ago that completed building sat vacant in a forest of weeds. It took a letter from Dave Koehler, South Dearborn’s former superintendent, issued to the press to get the YMCA to take responsibility of the building.
Perhaps the city could make good use of the building. But ultimately, the building will be maintained at tax payer expense. The building was designed to be a school and it can work quite well as a school for the appropriate number of students. With the expected growth in population the vacating of this building by South Dearborn Community School will cost taxpayers more than they are likely able to bear.
But more importantly, Aurora students will be sent to an Elementary School more than twice the recommended size. When it comes to socialization, school size matters. Multiple studies have found nearly every negative social outcome for children...drug abuse, depression, delinquency, truancy, violence and suicide is directly related to the size of their school. Aurora has more than its share of those problems. If our community continues on this path, don’t expect the quality of life in this community to improve.
Local politicians and administrators better think long and hard about what they are doing to our children. It isn’t too late to come up with better solutions.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Members present: Mike Hankins, Chairman, Pat Holland, Dave Enzweiler, Brett Fehrman, Barry Pruss, and Rodney Dennerline.
Absent: Greg Vollmer
Also present: Doug Baer and John Grace from Health Dept, Lisa Lehner, Board Att’y, and Tom Quinn, engineer.
VRUC was NOT present at this meeting. Craig Lysne was present primarily representing the POA.
The treasurer’s report was followed by Hankins stating that they had apportioned money and put some into savings to gain more interest.
Lisa Lehner read the statement into the record of the request that the DCRSD Board made to the Commissioners and the Commissioners approved at their Thurs evening meeting.
I asked the Board where LMH utilities fit in this scenario, as they are not a municipality nor served by SDRSD.
Lehner stated that it wasn’t a problem, as they don’t need to mention LMH. If they get within 300 ft. of them, they could be forced to hook on to the DCRSD, BUT THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TO ENFORCE THAT ON LMH IF THEY DIDN”T WANT TO. [NOTE: LMH needs to be notified that they have just been absorbed into the wording of this new DCRSD territory, before IDEM grants the approval. It seems unfair that neither the unincorporated county citizens nor the private utilities were notified of this action.]
Pat Holland expressed concerns with taking on more area when they hadn’t finished their original projects. Enzweiler kind of agreed, but thought they could do both so that they could have control of the entire county. Hankins felt that expansion wouldn’t prevent them from finishing the original project. [NOTE: There was a lot of talk about being IN CONTROL of the entire county.]
Dennerline motioned and Enzweiler 2nd to accept the commissioner’s request. 5 ayes and one nay. (Holland was Nay)
Hankins reported that IDEM granted their petition for a variance for the Cochran station at Aurora. They hope to get a rural development grant to fund the design and construction of that project. There are conditions on page 2 of the order from IDEM relating to that variance.
Lehner thought that because it takes so long to get variances (18 months) that they should apply right away for variances on their other projects. [NOTE: What other projects? Why do they need so many variances?]
VRUC was not present to discuss their letter of understanding with DCRSD. [NOTE: Is this because the proxy votes are all approved and the board is about to change?]
Steve Lampert, City Manager of Greendale was not present but sent a letter to the Board in care of Mike Hankins.This letter VERY TACTFULLY expressed 3 main concerns of Greendale: [NOTE: If anyone has a word document version of this letter, email it to me and I will be happy to post it in it's entirety on the blog.]
1. They hoped the county would prioritize areas in desperate need of service (via a master plan) [NOTE: FINALLY someone mentions a master plan!] and work with other municipalities and private utilities to service them. They also hoped they would cooperate with Aurora’s needed improvements to provide a win/win for both parties.
2. They were concerned with package plants and saw a regional approach as being an answer to prevent degradation of streams and water supplies. They hoped the county would use two large providers in the county to service the areas needed. (St. Leon and SDRSD)
3. They were concerned with the VRUC and DCRSD making an agreement that would by-pass Greendale by installing a DUPLICATE line. They wanted a more logical approach herein Greendale would work with DCRSD to service HVL.
VRUC item comes up again at the end of the meeting.
Roger ____ from Sunman discussed Sunman’s desire to cooperate with DCRSD in covering the western sides of Manchester and Jackson Townships from Negangard’s Corner to Weisberg Road to Lawrenceville to I-74. They currently serve Bear Creek Sub’n in Dearborn County. There is a public meeting in Sunman Town Hall on Nov 28th at 5PM with IDEM officials present- including Lynn Newland, Connie Stephens, and bob Jordan.
Hankins stated he wants Sunman to service the NW corner of the county- Jackson Township.
John Rumsey from Moore’s Hill introduced his replacement rep (he’s moving), Paul Grimsley. They still don’t have the results of GRW’s study yet; The DCRSD was to pay half of the study so they submitted a bill for $3700 to DCRSD. Holland motioned and Enzweiler 2nd to pay the $3700 out of the 207 account. All ayes.
More discussion on the bottleneck at Aurora and how it affects getting a feeder line down SR350. Joe Tierney of GRW is working with Aurora to solve that problem.
Mike Noel updated the board on his trailer park permits and plans to abandon their package plant to hook onto the county line to Aurora as soon as he can. He’s replacing their old lines out there and Baer suggested he meter the main one so that it will be set for the final hook-up with DCRSD.
Enzweiler reported that RFPs were sent out 2 weeks ago with results due by Nov 29. They will have some info ready for the next meeting.
Tom Quinn gave the engineering report. He met with Todd Listerman- County Engineer. County will hold off paving Stewart until the lines are in. The county does NOT want them to put lines down the center of Cole Lane as it was recently paved. (2 years ago)
They have to bore lines- no road cuts.
They plan a 3”forced main but may need a 4” because of potential further development. They were concerned with lowering the velocity in the line.
Quinn passed out cost estimates for designing a pipeline to by-pass Aurora for a cost not to exceed $16,000. (They are tired of waiting on GRW to produce any results for Aurora, so this may speed up that bottleneck solution.) They need to utilize public ROW per Quinn.
DCRSD is working (helping to pay) with St. Leon to redesign the plant to accommodate the 350-acre TIF district in their area. THERE IS NO FORMAL AGREEMENT YET.
Lawrenceburg is committed to fund a study of the assets and liabilities of a countywide sewer district.
Lisa Lehner met one of the governor’s aides and will go to Indy next Wednesday. No one was available to go with her at this time…. Hankins thought it was great to get a contact to have the governor’s ear.
County Council told them they could pay themselves a per-diem ($50) per meeting out of the DCRSD’s own funds. Total cost would be about $8400 per year. NO board member was willing to discuss that tonight… [NOTE: It is appropriate for board members to get a per diem to cover their trip and potential meal on the way plus time. $50 is what other boards are getting. Perhaps the members felt intimidated with the audience there and the budget being as tight as it was. Somehow the attorneys and consultants aren’t worried about that! Those bills are quite significant.]
Doug Baer announced the methadone awareness presentation open to the public on Nov 28 Agner Hall at 5:30 PM
Lehner reported that she’d revised the Letter of Understanding with VRUC but has received no response from them.
Craig Lysne (head of POA and member of VRUC) spoke up at this point and said that at their last meeting VRUC said that if there were no agreement reached by Feb. they would continue with building their own treatment plant! They are attempting to change the VRUC Board so that the new board can negotiate with Greendale and SDRSD.
Hankins stated that DCRSD doesn’t want to get into personal issues with those two boards. “We could run a parallel sewer line – but why? We would like to see you resolve your differences.” We DO want to stop overflows to Double Lick Creek.
On the issue of funding- Hankins noted that federal funding is headed south due to Katrina.
Dennerline noted that VRUC has a large problem and health issues need to be addressed. As it is they are spending money on attorney fees that could be better spent on solving their I and I problems.
They again mentioned issues in Guilford. [NOTE: WHERE exactly IS the Guilford issue with sewage? No one seems to know.]
Lysne questioned the lake pollution issue and stated that he has tested the lake right by the pipes and it is clean. He stated that the POA Attorney is Steve Shriver of Dinsmore and Scholl (sp?) but that even though the POA is against the efforts of the current VRUC, the POA has not used attorneys yet.
Maria LaRosa reported that they have devised a new VRUC board that has met preliminarily with Greendale. They have also submitted the petition and call for a public meeting.
Hankins noted it was $2 million from Lawrenceburg to build the extra pipeline and this money would be better spent addressing I and I problems and using the current Greendale access.
Everyone seemed surprised that VRUC and Greendale were not present. [NOTE: Perhaps VRUC’s attorney,Parvin Price, told VRUC that the petitions and proxies were legitimate and the board knows they are on the way out.]
DCRSD will move forward with the line if needed. There are 5000 people in HVL and they grow at about 40 lots per year now. They figure build out in 5 years per Lysne. He reported that Sammy Gutzweiler told Lawrenceburg that VRUC could take all the sewers from the northern part of Dearborn County at a recent meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
NOTE ITEM 7 BELOW for COUNTY WIDE SEWER DISTRICT, WHICH WAS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Present: Hughes, Acting President, and Fox.
Also Present: Stephanie Disbro, to record minutes (Pickens absent), Messmore, Administrator, and Ewbank, Attorney
Absent: Pickens, Auditor (out due to evaluation for possible heart attack) and Benning (headache and nosebleed)
1. Margaret Minzner- presented an update on the progress of data integration and interdepartmental evaluation of workflows and data sharing possibilities to improve efficiency and customer service. They hope to refine the data flow charts after visiting depts. and want to have the taxes at least- online by Spring 2006 per Bryan Messmore.In response to Fox’s question regarding using other county’s info, Minzner noted that Monroe County has done some of this already and it can be checked out online.
Messmore estimates the cost to be somewhere less than $100,000. Fox wanted to know how long it would take to achieve payback on the system, in terms of employee’s costs etc. Messmore to check out.
2. County Farm Timber Sale- Mike Heffelmire not present- nothing discussed.
3. Pinnacle Advisory- Mike Kramer presented the renewal of the county health insurance with a recommendation that they switch from Mutual of Omaha to GE for their carrier. Network of services and providers to remain the same. He noted that we have a very RICH benefit package here compared to the mainstream company policies, but that the commissioners and council wanted to keep things that way. Commissioners approved the renewal with GE for 2006.
4. Transportation Dept.- Todd Listerman, Cty Eng.- presented an update on FOX ROAD maintenance. Dividing FOX into three sections Kuebel to Bonnell, Kuebel to the cul de sac at 21116 FOX RD (the hill section), and the upper section from the cul de sac to Yorkville Road. He recommended the county maintain and do snow removal for the upper and lower sections but not the hill which is mostly dirt mixed with gravel. Since there is no money and this is not on a priority list, they want to keep the ROW and brush cut and grade it as they are able. If money becomes available they will consider it later for improvements. Fox noted that some people want to build homes off this, but it can’t safely be plowed. Commissioners ratified Listerman’s recommendations.
Listerman also addressed the protesting of snow removal claims for 2004. (Big snow around Christmas 2004) He noted with 24-29’ of snow last year the county had called contractors in to help with snow removal. He stated that he was told that they were told they would be paid FEMA rates and thought that perhaps they didn’t know what those rates would be. Some billed between $85-125 per hour and were not happy with the lower payments. He intends to post these rates and an Operator II class fee to show what payments will be this year. He will send these to the companies who helped out and ask if they want to be on the emergency list for this year. He hopes this will clarify the rates adequately. [NOTE: This happened prior to Listerman’s hire. These guys came out during Christmas holidays to clear snow. It seems that the county needs to consider further payment for that holiday possibly. It would also be interesting to find out what these operators were told when the county was desperate to get help last year…It would not be a good thing to lose seasonal help.]
5. CVTB- Mike Rozow- had no info to share. They signed contract at the end of the meeting.
6. Mayor of Aurora- Donnie Hastings- not present- no discussion.
7. Regional Sewer District- Update- Rodney Dennerline (not present) and Doug Baer.
Baer gave a health dept update on methadone presentation for staff and employees Mon Nov 28th at Agner Hall from 5- 7:30.
Brett Fehrman gave a brief update on the DCRSD stating that they expected to get the IDEM variance this week for Cole Lane and Stewart and that the Aurora Dev. Funding should get notice in the next 60 days or so. They were seeking RFPs for a consultant to consolidate their efforts.
They are considering amending the district boundaries to include all unincorporated areas in the county. They think that Manchester and Guilford are hot spots. [NOTE: For what?] They meet Thurs. night and need guidance Moores Hill may join SDRSD instead of redoing their plant.
Lisa Lehner, DCRSD att’y, briefly elucidated the process of going county-wide and PASSED OUT THE WORDING FOR THE COUNTY TO REQUEST IT, so that DCRSD could take that signed letter to IDEM and quickly get the entire unincorporated county into the district ASAP. The new law that requires notification of the residents in the area goes into effect Jan 2006, so they wanted to do it now. [NOTE: Why is everyone so afraid to let the PEOPLE affected by their decisions KNOW what they are going to do to them?]
Lehner explained that once a political entity requested the district expansion, all she has to do is take that and the sewer board minutes and submit them to IDEM to get the district approved. Lehner met with IDEM this afternoon (Tues) and explained that the DCRSD is getting A LOT OF REQUESTS and that they would rather not do this piecemeal. Any district within 300 ft of the county would have to work with the county now. She also stated they wanted to eliminate the threat of package plants that can be built in the county.
[NOTE: Do they even know when the last package plant was approved in the county? IDEM was over 6 years behind in their inspections of package plants in our region 10 years ago. They noted at that time that they were loath to approve any new ones because of this inspection problem. Recent requests for plants have been turned down.]
It was also noted that Ripley County (Sunman) was extending CTA into Dearborn County and they wanted to prevent that.
[Note: Sunman’s sewers CTA was shown extending into Jackson Township at the recent master plan future land use workshop.]
Lehner also noted that they could revise the territory they cover and cut it back at a later date.
[Note: Was this to make commissioners feel safer signing off on this?]
Commissioners approved the request and signed Lehner’s letter PREPARED for them.
[NOTE: This item was NOT on the agenda- there was no public notice. The paper was not present at this meeting. They did not reference anything in the master plan regarding sewer infrastructure recommendations. The discussion does not, in any way, demonstrate that the county sewer board is ready to take such a big step in administration. In fact, the DCRSD has not even been able to accomplish their first goal- fixing the High Ridge estates problem so as not to have to condemn those properties. They have not obtained the necessary grants that were practically promised by their original consultant. It seems almost arrogant for the board to assume that they have the expertise to take over the entire county at this point. It appears they still have some learning to do. Does this prevent SDRSD from extending to any other areas now? There are far too many unanswered questions and very little PUBLIC discussion.]
8. Messmore- Administrator- noted that insurance consultants will present at the Dec 6 meeting regarding the county’s insurance needs.
Dept. heads were requesting a credit card policy and Messmore wanted to pull ordinances and draft a new policy. Fox was against it. Hughes said he could research it and send it to his attention.
The County Extension office lease contract was signed for lease space the new Aurora Municipal Bldg.
9. Ewbank, Att’y- met with Messmore and Lou Broghammer of the County Park Board regarding turning the County Farm into a County Park- they will come to the Dec 6th meeting to discuss this. Kraus, Jr. has already resurveyed the county farm property and the YES home and garage and animal shelter.
10. The yearly agreement with the CVTB, Chamber, and Redevelopment Commission was signed for the same amount as last year. Council had already appropriated the money. It goes to Council next. Pickens has the annual audit of this per Rozow.
Meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Of particular note in the September 1st meeting notes is the Hankin's statement " the political powers want a consolidated sewage system throughout the county." He also stated "he has been given the impression the district will be involved, and primarily responsible for the consolidation."
Of particular note in the September 15th meeting notes is the engineering study for the "Big Picture" to study the entire county.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I missed you at the School Board Meeting held at Aurora Elementary.
Five people spoke at the part of the meeting intended for public comment about use of the school building.
Aurora's Mayor asked that the school corporation trade the deed for the elementary building to the city in exchange for taking the debt acquired by the corporation for the water tower.
definite uses of the building were not discussed, but it was noted the building is zoned B-2 and the city is very concerned about the fate of the building. They are willing to work with an appropriate buyer.
Two individuals spoke asking that the building not be used as low income housing.
I spoke and was interrupted in the middle by board president Daryl Cutter. I asked him to please let me continue. Later you will find my comments regarding the building.
Another individual asked when South Dearborn acquired this building and the schools were consolidated. I believe they said it happened in 1968. They also wanted to know when the building was built. The dedication plaque says 1962.
When Kathy Plummer spoke to the board regarding Little League's use of the fields, she passionately pleaded that the green space containing the ball fields be deeded to the City of Aurora or little league, to insure Aurora children would have a place to play ball.
Other items were discussed, but I became a poor note taker when I spotted Bob Fehrman in the back of the room. I went back and apologized for running against him. The board is worse now tnan it ever has been. If I hadn't run against him, perhaps he would have retained his seat and there would have been at least two board members willing to stand up and question the administration. Currently, only Terry Luhrson does this. Perhaps a board with Terry Luhrson and Bob Fehrman could have saved considerable tax dollars and led to more improvements in our schools.
IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT ANYTHING OUR SCHOOL SHOULD BE DOING AND IS NOT, OR SHOULDN'T BE DOING AND IS...OR ABOUT HOW THE VACATED AURORA ELEMENTARY SHOULD BE USED, PLEASE WRITE THE BOARD. IF YOU NEED ADDRESSES AND CAN'T FIND THEM, CONTACT ME AND I WILL GET THE ONCE I HAVE TO YOU.
My comments to the board:
In an article published in a Cincinnati Newspaper in 2003, former Superintendent Dave Koehler said Aurora Elementary is a good building, but we have outgrown it.
In 2003 the public was told Aurora Elementary was simply in bad shape and must be replaced.
The citizen panel was offered three options...
1. Make major additions and renovations to Aurora Elementary, leave current middle school alone, and make additions and renovations to the High School.
2. Build a new Elementary on the High School Campus, move the ninth grade to the middle school, move grades 4,5 & 6 to the new elementary and make renovations to the High School.
3. Convert the Middle School to an Elementary, build a Junior High, make additions and renovations to the High School.
Option three was chosen.
One of the major objectives of the project was to make Aurora Elementary like the other Corporation Elementary Schools.
This objective is not met...Yes, students K-6 will meet in the same building, but Aurora Elementary will have 650+ students at all times. This is nearly double the size of the other three elementary schools. Due to size, Aurora students will continue to get a far different elementary experience than students in the other schools.
I met with the administration after the hearing. They also indicated they did expect eventual growth in the area and planned to add a sixth grade wing to the new Junior High as growth occurred.
Due to the site the building has been placed on, building another wing is quite unlikely.
It appears the administration still expects great growth in our district in a very few years. They have projected a 60 million-dollar in property valuation in the next few years. There are nearly 300 new homes planned for Washington Township. If this growth becomes a reality, South Dearborn will be faced with unacceptable overcrowding at Aurora Elementary. The new arrangement is only expected to accommodate 700 students. In 2003 there were 663 K-6 students enrolled in the Aurora enrollment area. Leaving additional capacity of only 37 students.
A housing project of 280 homes will produce far more than 37 new students for Aurora.
I believe South Dearborn Citizens would be served far better with four equally populated K-3 elementary schools, and the need for extensive and expensive remodeling of the Middle School could be avoided by converting it to a true Middle School serving all corporation 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.
Each of the elementary schools should become a true early childhood education center, serving children from birth through the third grade. Parents should be able to bring their special needs children to each of these schools for full access to state funded First Steps programs. These schools should house high quality Head Start Programs. The health clinics in these schools should provide speech and hearing screenings, basic eye exams, lead screenings, and immunizations, including flu shots for the local community. Rooms should be reserved in each of these schools for community after and before school activities.
Only the Senior Citizens of Moores Hill currently have a local Senior Nutrition and Activity Center. This short fall in local services to our seniors could be overcome by providing a nutrition program in each of our elementary schools for senior citizens.
The majority of our tax bill goes to school funding. If our four elementary schools become true community centers, we will maximize the value of these buildings to each of the four communities served by South Dearborn Community School Corporation.
Mrs. Loveland recently attended a School Board Meeting and forwarded an account of her experience there.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Chandra Mattingly’s story “Utility faces foundering finances” on the front page of The Register hit a sour note for this utility customer.
I found Ms. Mattingly’s use of the word “foundering” very interesting. According to Webster’s, the word founder means “1. to stumble, fall, or go lame 2. to become stuck as in soft ground; bog down 3. to fill with water and sink; said of a ship 4. to become sick from overeating; used esp. of livestock 5. to break down; collapse; fail.”
I fail to accept the claim that Aurora Sewer and Water Rates are “low.” We have lived in the same Aurora home for 14 years. When we purchased our home, we couldn’t get anyone to tell us what utilities for our home would cost. A former resident of Aurora had warned us the cost of utilities could be nearly as much as our house payment.
We were horrified when we received our second water and sewer bill. It totaled more than $80. We were certain it must be some sort of mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. Today’s water and sewer bill was $102.89. In my opinion, these rates are not low.
As the article stated, Aurora Utilities has been carrying Aurora City expenses for years. I had suspected that. The Utility bill has been a second tax bill.
I have a few suggestions to solve the utility budget crisis.
1. Don’t read all the meters in the same week of the month. Meter reading should take place every business day of the month.
2. Don’t make all utility bills due the same week of the month. Bills should also come due every business day of the month.
3. If you adopt numbers one and two, you can easily reduce your work force by a few employees. Remember, the mission of the utility department is to provide utilities at a reasonable cost, not to provide jobs.
4. Aurora belongs to a Sewer District made up of several municipalities and a major business. I believe private citizen’s are footing too much of the expense related to sewer treatment from the whisky plant. This amounts to corporate welfare. Industry needs to pay for the service they receive.
5. Aurora ought to be looking to purchase gas from a supplier directly. Why do we pay the middle man, Lawrenceburg Gas?
6. The city needs to cover it’s own expenses and not tax it’s citizens indirectly through the Utility company.
As for Ken Gividen’s editorial “Higher taxes dog governor,” when it comes to the property tax issue Mr. Gividen is clueless. Dearborn County has two School Corporations who carry more debt than 90% of Indiana schools. As Mr. Gividen put it himself, this debt is a result of “floating bonds to construct gaudy school buildings.” That 20 percent subsidy in property taxes has allowed local governments to spend 20 percent more than local communities notice. In the long run this 20% subsidy has resulted in overpriced school buildings and other unwise spending by local governments.
Businesses look at much more than the bottom line when they build a factory. They also look at total quality of life and the quality of the work force. Inefficient governments hurt both.
Sadly, Aurora Utilities is not the only thing that is “foundering” in Dearborn County.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
DEARBORN COUNTY REGIONAL SEWER DISTRICT
AND VALLEY RURAL UTILITY COMPANY
This Agreement is made this _____ day of __________, 2005 between the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District (“Dearborn Regional”) and the Valley Rural Utility Company (“Valley Rural”) (collectively “the Parties”).
WHEREAS, Dearborn Regional operates a sewer district located near the Valley Rural Sewer District and Lawrenceburg Sewer District;
WHEREAS, Valley Rural needs operating capacity that is available through the Lawrenceburg Sewer District;
WHEREAS, Valley Rural desires to use Dearborn Regional to connect to the Lawrenceburg Sewer District; and
WHEREAS, Dearborn Regional desires to construct, operate and maintain, and to take such actions necessary to construct, operate and maintain, sewer service lines and related facilities for the sole purpose of allowing Valley Rural to use such lines and facilities (collectively known as the "Facilities") at this time.
NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and promises contained herein, the Parties agree:
1. Dearborn Regional and Valley Rural shall negotiate and enter into an agreement with Lawrenceburg Sewer District for the use of its sewer service facilities.
2. Dearborn Regional shall obtain engineering specifications and plans demonstrating the design necessary to allow Valley Rural's use of the Facilities.
3. After approval by its counsel, Valley Rural will execute all agreements defining the terms and conditions of the use of Dearborn Regional’s Facilities.
4. Upon the execution of all necessary agreements, and the successful negotiation of a price or rate of use and of construction, maintenance and operation, Dearborn Regional shall allow Valley Rural to use its Facilities as a connection to Lawrenceburg Sewer District. Valley Rural shall pay to Dearborn Regional for the use, construction, maintenance and operation of such Facilities in amounts agreed upon by the Parties in an agreement pursuant to Paragraph 7 hereof. Such payments shall include, but not be limited to, payment of any and all excess capacity charges, fees, penalties and expenses incurred by Dearborn Regional caused by Valley Rural’s infiltration and inflow.
5. The Parties shall enter into a written agreement as set forth in Paragraph 7 hereof requiring that Valley Rural shall make capital improvements to its collection system annually to repair, replace, and rehabilitate the present collection system to decrease infiltration and inflow. Valley Rural’s service area consists of the area known as Certificate of Territory Authority granted by Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. There are fourteen (14) sections as identified by Valley Rural based upon its twelve (12) lift stations. eleven (11) sections as identified by Valley Rural based upon its eleven (11) lift stations. Valley Rural and Dearborn Regional shall agree in a written agreement to a schedule of such repair, replacement and/or rehabilitation to decrease infiltration and inflow. Such schedule would include, but not be limited to, Valley Rural scoping and assessing the system in each section, identifying problems in each section and repairing and rehabilitating such problems in each section within a time period agreed upon by the Parties in such written agreement. If Valley Rural fails to comply with such schedule, then Valley Rural could be charged by shall pay Dearborn Regional a penalty of two (2) times the excess capacity charge or charges billed by the Lawrenceburg Sewer District to Dearborn Regional until section is finished. This penalty would be in addition to any other amounts owed by Valley Rural to Dearborn Regional under such written agreement.
6. Prior to the commencement of any construction on the Dearborn Regional Facilities, the Parties will be provided proof of Lawrenceburg Sewer District’s approval of the agreement between Dearborn Regional and Valley Rural.
7. Prior to the commencement of any construction on the Dearborn Regional Facilities, the Parties will execute a written agreement specifying all terms and conditions of the use of, and the construction, maintenance and operation of Dearborn Regional Facilities by Valley Rural.
8. If Valley Rural determines that it is in its best interest to no longer pursue an agreement with Dearborn Regional for the use of the Facilities, and Dearborn Regional has incurred expense in developing the plans, specifications and/or the design of its Facilities, then Valley Rural shall reimburse Dearborn Regional for such expenses.
9. Each party represents and warrants that it has authority to enter into this Agreement.
10. Each of the Parties shall, upon the request of any other, execute, acknowledge and deliver any other documents or instruments that may be reasonably required to effect the intent of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any such documents or instruments which are required under applicable law.
11. The Parties understand that Dearborn Regional does not currently have authority to operate in the portion of Dearborn County where it is anticipated that the Facilities will be located. This Letter of Understanding is contingent upon Dearborn Regional obtaining such authority to operate in this portion of Dearborn County and is contingent upon Dearborn Regional obtaining any and all interests in real estate necessary for the construction of the Facilities. If the parties enter into a contract to proceed with the construction of the Facilities, then Dearborn Regional shall attempt to obtain authority to operate in such portion of Dearborn County and to obtain any and all interests in real estate necessary for the construction of the Facilities. Valley Rural agrees to cooperate with Dearborn Regional in obtaining such authority to operate and in obtaining any interests in real estate for the construction of the Facilities.
12. General Provisions
a. This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the local laws of the State of Indiana and all Parties irrevocably consent to the jurisdiction of the Dearborn County Courts and applicable federal courts for the resolution of any dispute relating to this Agreement.
b. This Agreement sets forth an entire understanding of the Parties hereto and supersedes all prior agreements or understandings, oral or written, express or implied, with respect to the subject matter hereof. No terms, conditions or warranties, other than those contained herein, and no amendments of modifications hereto shall be binding unless made in writing and signed by the Parties hereto.
c. Unless otherwise provided herein, neither this Agreement nor any of a Party’s rights and obligations hereunder may be assigned; provided, however, the Agreement shall extend to, be binding upon, and inure to the benefit of the Parties hereto, and their successors, heirs, legal representatives, executors and administrators.
d. If any provisions of this Agreement are held to be illegal, invalid or unenforceable under present to future laws, now or hereafter in effect, such provision shall be fully severable and this Agreement shall be construed and enforced as if such illegal, invalid or unenforceable provision had never comprised a part hereof. The remaining provisions hereof shall remain in full force and effect and shall not be affected by such illegal, invalid or unenforceable provision or by its severance herefrom.
e. No delay or omission on the part of any party in exercising any rights hereunder will operate as a waiver by such party of such right or any other right. Waiver on any one occasion by any party will not be construed as a bar to or waiver by such party of any remedy and all remedies are cumulative and may be exercised singularly or concurrently.
f. The captions contained in this Agreement are for reference purposes only and shall not affect or relate to the interpretation hereof.
g. This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which will be deemed an original and all of which together will constitute the same document.
h. This agreement is contingent upon the approval by the City of Lawrenceburg of the agreement between Dearborn Regional and Valley Rural.
i. Most favored nation status.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date and year first above written.
DEARBORN COUNTY REGIONAL SEWER
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Hankins, Barry Pruss, Rodney Dennerline, Pat Holland, Brett Fehrman - arrived later, Greg Volmer
Others Present: Lisa Lehner, Doug Baer, Tom Quinn - Quinn Engineering, others in audience.
(Note: Meeting was held at the table at the side of the Commissioners Meeting Room and some of the Board members did not speak up or clearly and there were multiple conversations at times. There are gaps in the information denoted by ________ .)
Minutes for Oct. 20, 2005 were reviewed and approved.
Treasurers Report indicated $366,928__ in Seed Money Account and $229.82(?) in Lawrenceburg Community Grant Fund Account and $74,000 moved to an interest bearing Account.
TK is working on a project on Salt Fork Rd. He showed a vicinity map (SR 1 & Georgetown Road) to add 6400’ to proposed development with ‘Hilltop’ entrance from SR 1.TK received a letter from Greendale Board of Works indicating they can serve the area. Will need to coordinate with the County Planning Commission and the Board of Health. Will be approximately 155 lots, not engineered yet. Considering 141 single family and 120 Condos. TK will add a line (gravity ) down to the pump station.
DCRSD indicated there are problems in Guilford approx. 2 miles up the road. They may want to ‘tack on’ some load. Guilford is a ‘target area’. They will need to understand the effluent flow to properly size pipes. There are ‘about 30 homes in Guilford and about a dozen along the way.’ They can only oversize the pipe by 25%.
TK has some additional property to develop, if the ‘County’ would help pay. DCRSD guesses its about a $400,000 project and they are not sure it can pay for itself. Perfect North Slopes has already run a new line. DCRSD feels it should encompass the County.
The drawings for US 50 are nearly done. The line will run down the center of US 50 and use directional boring. The line should be a 3” based on flow; but, the state may require a 4”. Stewart has gas and water on opposite sides and a water line on the creek bank. Cole Lane has shale about 4’ down. Use pits and bore out both directions. Can bore about 500’. DCRSD signed the construction application
No further work has been done on the interceptor for Aurora and Cochran St. Will coordinate with Randy Turner. GRW apparently has nothing on paper yet.
IDEM is being careful and the variance is not yet approved. Taking longer than expected. Once this is approved, should apply for the next one to speed up process. The variance will serve as a certificate of capacity for Aurora.
DCEDI wants to set up a commercial park near St. Leon. The ‘political powers’ want DCRSD to provide the sewers down SR 1 to a 300 acre area for an industrial park. St. L. has their capacity already promised. Need to expand the scope of the study to include the TIF. St. L wants to work with DCRSD to expand St. L. sewer. DCRSD would participate in the cost of the study ($5,500 additional) . The ‘County’ (Note: just who the ‘County’ is was not defined) wants to see this happen. They have a large number (Note: number of what not specified) that want to relocate to Dearborn County. Pat Holland and Greg Vollmer questioned proceeding with this at this time . Finish Cole lane and Stewart St. first. Can the sewers be paid from the TIF? A portion only. The ‘County’ would have to come up with some money or ‘work ‘ the Lawrenceburg bond bank for some money. ‘County’ has some ownership. If the District expands DCRSD should be an equity customer. Item Tabled.
VRUC Letter of Understanding:
LL has met with a representative of VRUC to revise the L of U. Paragraph 5 (the penalty structure for I & I) was unworkable. Also issues on paragraph 11 (Not authorized to operate in the area yet). Talked with Floyd ______. HVL has 14 sections, 12 lift stations and about 50 miles of sewers. The northwest areas appear to be in the worst condition VRUC will start there. VRUC has done some work, They have replaced some lines and resealed some manholes. Valleywoods is not included. They plan to work on three sections at a time (about 20 to 20%). Some sections will fix quickly and some may take two years. They will camera and smoke test lines. They think they may have broken laterals or illegal storm tie-ins. Not sure how much is inflow versus infiltration.
The ‘most favored nation status’ was questioned. VRUC ‘just wants to be treated equal’. VRUC wants benefits provided to others, if others get better down the road. Want the penalty changed to could be charged. VRUC will need to be metered to determine their flow since the proposed interceptor would be metered at the fairgrounds and others could be added in between.
DCRSD will bear half the engineering cost. Preliminary drawings by GRW should be recovered as a basis. Lawrenceburg may give money from the bond bank to move this along. DCRSD moved to accept the Letter of Understanding. VRUC wants the L of U Tuesday for the VRUC Board meeting..
DCEDI has suggested a look at combined sewage throughout Dearborn County to improve efficiency and funding.
RFPs are being prepared for three firms: Woolpert, Black & Vietch & GRW (Note: This is the firm they complained about not finalizing numbers and finishing work.) RFP is for countywide assessment of capabilities and liabilities. ‘Political encouragement’ is being applied to proceed ‘with haste’. LL suggested bypassing the RFP process. The Board approved proceeding with the RFPs. RFPs due November 22, 2005.
Consolidation of the County:
Consolidation is being considered. They are looking at Northern KY as a model. That was handled by one of the three firms receiving the RFPs. The goal is to consolidate the County into one entity. Sunman has petitioned for more area in Dearborn County. They extend approx. 10 miles outside ___ boundary. St. L boundary almost meets Greendale. Need a ‘clearing house’ for information to coordinate projects. If DCRSD expands it territory, ‘it will control the sewers’.
Regional Sewer Conference:
Brian (Messmore?) and LL will meet with Lynne Newlon to attend.
Quinn is a PE now. (NOTE: That means he was practicing without a license prior to now).
Letter to Ken Lee(?):
Letter to Ken Lee(?) to see if DCRSD can review improvements or plans. They want to know if expanding countywide can provide notice of any new applications. LL indicated, if an objection is filed after the review period, it will probably be read.
DCRSD needs hard copy plans that can lead to a solution. Randy Turner has plans (by GRW). Need to contact. Want to use hydraulics from Trestor Hill to eliminate a lift station.
VRUC will become a customer of DCRSD. DCRSD will be customer of Lawrenceburg. DCRSD will have to pay any overages. VRUC needs to be metered and will have to pay twice the excess charge.
Need to break down billings into three categories for the projects. Need to pay bills from Dearborn County Fund. Need to move funds from the interest account. Approved.
BF & MH met with Fichtman(?) and Jacobsen. SRSD has plans to expand by 1.5 million gallons. DCRSD maybe can use 0.5 million of that capacity. SDRSD has a ‘high tech’ program to treat sludge. The meeting was cordial and the subject of membership for DCRSD was broached. SDRSD said bring $$$! SDRSD will have fixed costs and fees for flows into the system.
Should DCRSD apply for expansion to encompass all of county except existing CTAs? This would make DCSRD able to cover more areas. They would have to expand to cover VRUC, the TIF district and the 350 interceptor anyway. IDEM would probably approve. The y would need county support (Council & Commissioners). There is concern for another regional sewer district in the north west (Note: A new district would have to go through public notice, the Commissioners and IDEM first). Could do all except existing CTAs and still do separate projects.
(Note: A year and half ago Mike Hankins (for the Board) denied they were looking at other areas. This proves their lie.)
Baer: Already committed to VRUC, why not the do the County now, be comprehensive.
Holland: Wait and finish the current projects first.
Hankins: Why three adds when one will cover all now.
Vollmer: Proceed to save time & money. Can proceed on other projects and have the authority and control for engineering for new subdivisions. DCRSD would have the power to control. Force the new systems to be deeded to DCRSD to own, maintain, operate and bill.
Pruss: IDEM is no help. Aurora interceptor important. All runs down to Lawrenceburg. ____
Fehrman: Dillsboro is working on their own. Blame engineering (NOTE: GRW?) and Aurora for current problems. People are going to have to pay. DCRSD will look at ___ but, sub (division?) will have to pump. Lawrenceburg is going to expand, they have promised capacity to the Condos and are running out of capacity. Maybe the Bond bank will help. When the (gambling) money goes the County will be in trouble. Taxes will go sky high and the County still won’t have enough. $100,000,000 is not half enough to sewer the County
St. Leon Study:
Previously tabled item. Should $5,500 be spent? If the study indicates a capacity requirement, St. L will want DCRSD to pay for the increased capacity. Projections are for 1/3 of capacity. ‘Politicians’ in the County want to make this happen. DCRSD does not want to participate without equity. ‘County’ is pushing for sewage expansion. DCRSD should participate to the extent of the $5,500 for the study only if Jim West provides the money or the County - Rick Fox. (Note: Mr. Fox was mentioned directly and another politician ‘who has to get reelected” - Vera Benning?’ as the politicians pushing for the expansion.) DCRSD will reject the current letter of agreement and revise per preceding discussion. ‘Representatives from the County’ said if you need money, its there. Pay out of County money (needed for Cole Lane and Stewart St.). Explore the study basis with the ability to commit up to $5,500 is approved.
PS: The county wide expansion was tabled; but, LL and BF took a prepared letter to the Commissioners at the next Commissionrs’ meeting to have them approve and sign for a request to expand to cover all the county except the existing CTAs. Where did the meeting take place to approve this action. LL indicated DCRSD needed to proceed before the laws change in January and the have to notify the people. Why are they afraid to have the people know what’s going on?
Notes by: Ralph Thompson, Jr., PE
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Present: Benning, President, Fox and Hughes.
Also Present: Messmore, Administrator and Ewbank, Attorney.
Absent: Pickens, Auditor (Stephanie Disbro took minutes)
Benning announced that there may be changes in the meeting agenda tonight. (Mike Hankins and Brett Fehrman from the County Sewer Board had just arrived.)
1. The proposed changes to section 2546 of the zoning ordinance allowing rigid lockable swimming pool covers modeled after the state codes was passed based on the Plan Commission’s recommendations to approve it.
2. Travis Miller, Planning Director, also answered question regarding the ordinance and procedures on minor vs. major subdivisions based on questions from Hughes. Further research on past reasoning, others counties regulations, and plan commission members thoughts will be looked into by Miller. Hughes felt that it was discriminatory to consider all divisions of a parent tract based on 1989 dates – the point in time that plats were recorded with numbers so that parent tracts could actually be verified. [NOTE: It is interesting that Hughes has gotten complaints that it is discriminatory. The original discussions were to remove family divisions of land because they favored families and discriminated against others who wanted to divide without family as recipients.]
3. Maxwell Construction was not present for the Harvest Ridge Subdivision regarding the INDOT Disclosures for Roadway Improvements to Schuman and Trojan Rds. Bryan Messmore presented the material for signature. Tech review including the highway dept staff approved the plans. [NOTE: These plans reportedly have NO EMINENT DOMAIN included. The improvements have a variance that will allow less land to be used for the turn lanes.] Commissioners signed the agreement with INDOT.
4. Bill Black presented the bid recommendation for 800 MgHz radio system. Commissioners approved MobileComm for $255,655 They also signed the notice to proceed.
The NIMS resolution was signed and all departments that are to be trained have the option of online training for free. Several departments are now considered first responders (ex. Health Dept)
Commissioners directed Black to get with Pickens to get an account number assigned to a non-reverting fund for his savings towards a mobile command unit. Ewbank will write up the resolution for this.
5. Todd Listerman presented the Transportation Dept.’s reorganization plans and new staffing table of responsibilities. He also is now the point authority for the highway dept. Commissioners approved.
He will update the commissioners bimonthly at their meetings. Bids were approved for FYDA Freightliner for 2 chassis, cabs that accept snow plows and 10 ft truck beds for a total of $111,014.
Kaffenberger Trucking got the bid for $60,590 for saltboxes, and 11 ft plows, etc. Both were considered the lowest and best bid.
6. Mark Seiler presented Eagles Nest Drive and Arbor Ridge Estates Subdivision for acceptance into County Maintenance. Both have maintenance bonds for a period of time after acceptance based on their initial construction dates with regard to the ordinance at the time. The target is for two-year maintenance bonds on roadways after acceptance to insure quality per Todd Listerman.Both road systems - Approved.
The Triple Whipple Bridge (Bridge 95) has escalated to nearly twice its original estimated cost to repair. The 80 federal/20 local financing for $700,000 won’t get close to covering enough of the $1,300,000 current estimates. (It may be no longer “cheaper to keep her”)Of the 20 % Ohio County will do 20% and Dearborn 80 %.
The state has lost paperwork etc in the changeover and so they are starting over with an agreement for ROW acquisition. Commissioners agreed. Listerman noted that these federal dollars are Enhancement Funds- not regular Transportation dollars as in highway construction projects. Ewbank noted they should research funding, Ohio County possibly funding more, lifting and moving the bridge to the side as they did the Guilford Bridge, demolition, and decide if it’s really worth it.
7. Benning asked for Mike Hankins, Sewer Board President, to give commissioners an update (THIS WAS NOT ON THE AGENDA)
Hankins stated they were making progress on the West Aurora project for Cole and Stewart Lanes. They should have an answer in 90 days regarding the rural development grant request that has been out for 17 months now. He noted there were bureaucratic problems with the Regional sewer district and the Cochran St lift station in Aurora. They need to get money to upgrade the lift station there so they can pass their sewage on thru it to SDRSD. They have a variance so far to get the project started and this will cover the 340 homes on the west Aurora project. He then invited commissioners to attend at any time- the sewer board meets on the 1st and 3rd Thurs. of each month in the Commissioners room. [NOTE: What happened to High Ridge Estates- they were the original reason the sewer board started a district on that side of the county. Questions have surfaced concerning how any people will be served in Dennerline’s trailer park on Cole Lane, noting that Dennerline serves on this board.]
8. Claims signed.
9. Bryan Messmore asked the board to approve JR Holdcraft to the Animal Control Board at the request of its members. Holdcraft, a L-bg Councilman, was approved.
County cell phones seem to be an issue with some needing new phones because theirs aren’t working “as well as they should be.” Verizon is the carrier and with 70 cell phones it would seem they would accommodate repairs r replacements as needed without having an entire new 2-year contract. Stephanie Disbro states they can’t seem to find a salesman to take care of them. Messmore will check into this further.
The annual bids for standard items will go out this month to be opened Dec 6th and awarded on the 20th.
10. Ewbank reported that Higgins form Schiff Insurance will set specs for the county’s health, casualty, workers comp, and liability for them and meet in 3 weeks. The Freedom of Speech lawsuit with the county is still pending in federal court. Planning and Zoning may be amending some ordinances as a result.
Ewbank has also fielded questions on recording issues with assessor and recorder.
11. Benning and Stephanie Disbro announced that the Christmas party will be Dec 14 from 12-2 during staff lunches and staff pays for their own food.
Due to Advertising fees, the commissioners need to request additional appropriations to finish out the year. Bryan will go to Council for this. It was noted that they are $7216 less than last year’s advertising expenses still.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Present: Jeff Hughes, Acting Chairman, Mike Hall, Nick Held, Tarry Feiss, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Mark Mitter, Patrick deMaynadier, and Jane Ohlmansiek
Also Present: Travis Miller, Planning Director
Arnie McGill, Attorney, and Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer, were not present.
1. Andy Scholle represented Alan and Marcia Stenger who were stuck in Key West, FL due to the hurricane. Permission to access Chesterville Rd., a collector and a driveway variance of less than 230 feet from existing driveways in Sparta Township was requested. No public comment.
As this was the 9th parcel to be created from the parent tract, permission was also needed to create the 9th lot, because it is a major subdivision at this point.
Kraus, Jr. motioned and Held 2nd to approve as long as the Health Dept. approves a 2nd septic site. Passed
1. Travis Miller presented the agenda for the Nov 5th Future Land Use Map workshop for the advisory board and Plan Commission. Public may attend this- but can only participate via written comments during the workshop. Time is 10:30-3 PM at Lawrenceburg High School. Lunch provided by Hava Java for the advisory board and the plan commission. This is the final work for the advisory board prior to the land use maps going for public meetings, which will be in December or January. Tarry Feiss is unable to attend and Robert Law’s attendance is still in question.
2. The draft calendar for the 2006 meeting schedule was passed out to be approved at the November meeting.
3. Annual report is being prepared and Travis requested a short bio from 2 members who haven’t completed theirs yet.
4. Hamilton Co. has Greg Dale for their final seminar this year. Bob Laws has attended all 4 seminars this year. He and Patricia Baker from the BZA (new members this year) are attending this final seminar.
5. Travis Miller discussed the orthophotography options for GIS data. They have not submitted a contract yet, but will check into the prices compared to the previous versions they’d considered.
6. School district issues were discussed, particularly in light of recent large developments proposed in the Sunman Dearborn district and their building issues and teacher layoffs.
Plan commission members noted they have no jurisdiction in these issues. [NOTE: Isn’t this similar to the issues with roads and sewers, where Health Dept, IDEM, and INDOT or County Highway and Commissioners decide? The Plan Commission can turn a request down, when they see the dept with jurisdiction has not achieved – or has no plans to achieve- a significant change in the infrastructure. Common sense should prevail in these cases. It would seem to be irresponsible to flood a school system, where the tax base cannot keep up with the building needs and/or the staff salaries. A better mix of uses is needed in that district or else it needs to be subdivided or reapportioned with districts in the rest of the county.]
7. A letter from a resident regarding the tabled Buckhead Development was discussed briefly. Mike Hall wanted to respond to it personally. [NOTE: I discussed the ethics considerations of this with him after the meeting, as it was a tabled item and plan commission members are not to have ex parte discussions on pending issues. They will probably check this with Arnie McGill, Attorney.]
Meeting adjourned. 8:45 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Friday, October 21, 2005
Board members Present: Barry Pruss, Rodney Dennerline, Pat Holland, Brett Fehrman - Acting Chair, David Entzweiler, Greg Volmer
Others Present: Lisa Lehner, Doug Baer, Tom Quinn - Quinn Engineering, Jeff Bittner, VRUC, Vera Benning, Jeff Hughes, others in audience.
(Note: Some of the Board members did not speak up or clearly and there were multiple conversations at times. There are gaps in the information denoted by ________ .)
Minutes were reviewed and approved.
Treasurers Report indicated $366,931.48 in Seed Money Account and $75,961.03 in Lawrenceburg Community Grant Fund Account.
The City of Aurora has provided the variance to add sewage from Stewart Road and Cole Lane for submission to IDEM. IDEM appears to be in favor and an answer is expected by November 3rd. Debbie Dubinsky(?) is the person at IDEM.
VRUC Letter of Understanding:
LL (Lisa Lehner) has been discussing revisions with VRUC. They talked about the penalty structure for I & I. They wanted to break the service area into sections and work on sections with reporting of the results. Wanted to change to penalties could be assessed. Additional charges would be passed through to VRUC. They have enough consensus to move forward.
Jeff Bittner said they have determined which sections need the most work. They plan to ÂTVÂ the lines and then fix either using VRUC staff of by Contractor. They plan to start with section 11 & 12 this year. The L of U provides the framework to move forward.
New sanitary permit:
Sending a letter to IDEM on the permit for the SR.46 & 1 with collection lines into St. Leon. Notified Levi Solcraft(??) RSD wanted to be notified, but, were not sure RSD had any standing. A letter will be drafted to Ken Lee(?) to request DCRSD be notified directly in future of any work in the County. It is too late to file on this permit by time limit; but, IDEM may allow comment. St. Leon did not object to permit and they suspect it may be turned over to St. Leon. DCRSD is trying to consolidate the County.
Aurora Interceptor Line:
RD spoke to Randy Turner about the interceptor. Considering using an 8" line ___ with vacuum purge near "Hopping's" on US 50. Also talked about a 'reversal' at Conwell Street. A tank may need to placed at "Hopping's" in case of buildup and may have to treat the holdings. Need to do everything to help finalize.
Interceptor along Rt. 350:
Six RFQs wee sent out, five returned. Top three firms were Woolpert, Black & Vietch & GRW (Note: This is the firm they complained about not finalizing numbers and finishing work.) All top three have offices in Cincinnati. DE will meet with the firms regarding what the Board wants and expects.
Attorney - $1719.21, approved to pay (Note: Lehner has been paid $37,946.86 from May 2003 to the end of 2004 and $17,109.94 through September 2005 for a total of $55,056.80 in fees.)
Aaron Koslowski(?), regarding Conaway Property wanted to know when the sewer line down Huesman Road was to be installed. They are planning on reopening the campgrounds and were looking for sewer availability to determine if they needed public sewer or onsite treatment. With the bottleneck in Aurora, RSD has no time frame for the Huesman Rd. line.
St. Leon (Frank Leoni) requested to indicate how much capacity needed to serve additional area in Dearborn County. Estimated 550__gallons ___. ___working on additional discussion between St. L & DCRSD regarding Commercial area (TIF0 near I 74. There is currently no source of income; but, could pay when income is generated. The usage would be light industry, would change the treatment requirements. The TIF was created by DC to develop commercial (approx. 350 acres) ___ surrounded by St. L. This was put on the 'back burner'. The have people wanting sewers and it is not feasible to become involved now; but, might be a future opportunity. St. L wanted a resolution as to whether DCRSD wanted to be a part of the treatment option. Should DCRSD expand its boundaries to force St. L to notify of any plans to expand and so they can't run lines elsewhere in the county? Pat Holland opposed growing to big so that DCRSD can't accomplish anything. PH said boundaries would be ridiculous, especially bounding by areas, such as ridges where construction is likely to occur.
DCRSD is trying to get control of the County. Want something be passed to get control of the County or force notification. Inform IDEM DCRSD is an interested party. LL to contact St. L.
VRUC had indicated in their newsletter that DCRSD would take over VRUC. DCRSD contacted Jerry Hacker and they had to print a retraction.
DCRSD to contact SDRSD to see about getting a non voting member status. DCRSD doesn't have cash to buy into SDRSD. Will contact Dennis Fichtner(?) indicating they can't afford to buy in; but, would like a non voting membership.
TK is working on a project on Salt Fork Rd. approx. 1 1/4 mile line to Greendale. Lampert (Greendale City Manager) recommended to talk to County. Greendale wants DCRSD to give permission. DCRSD has no territorial authority over tunincorporatedis an unicorporated area and Greendale does not plan to annex. This could be a stepping stone for DCRSD. If they want to control, would have add area; but, there is no income to solve the problems. Again question, should DCRSD expand boundaries. There is no rate structure, if DCRSD took over it would be responsible for maintenance, etc. Would only consider accepting line debt free. Growth could be moving north. Hold off till enough funds are collected. TK has some additional property to develop. Invite TK to next meeting. Guilford is a target area next.
Mr. Quinn's credentials are not yet approved. He called today and the Engineering Board was meeting; but, he would have to be notified in writing and pay an additional registration fee. If not registered, he could hire an associate, who is licensed in Indiana. DE expressed concern about hiring associate.
PS: I was talking with Jeff Hughes, Commissioner in the Corridor when Vera Benning, Commissioner interrupted and said she had to talk to Jeff. Does this constitute a meeting without public notice, since a quorum of Commissioners were meeting at a public location? Was DCRSD to be discussed, in which Benning has a particular interest?
Notes by: Ralph Thompson, Jr., PE