Wednesday, February 16, 2005

15 February 2005 County Commissioners Meeting Notes

15 February 2005 County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Vera Benning, President, Jeff Hughes, and Rick Fox.
Also present: Bob Ewbank, County Attorney, Bryan Messmore, County Administrator, and Cary Pickens, Auditor.
This meeting was videotaped as were the previous ones.

1. Jeff Larsen (sp?) from United Consulting gave an update on Bridge Inventory Phase II status. This program is an 80/20 program mandated by the federal government to keep bridges properly maintained for safety. They have a 4-year contract with the county. When finished there will be a 3-ring binder and CD-ROM in the Hwy. Dept. showing the results and prioritized lists for maintenance and repairs.

2. Lifetime Resources- Ellen Davis- presented some first time homebuyers contracts for signatures on that grant program. She also explained another program available for rehab assistance on low-income owners for older homes. IHFA grants a max of $15,000 each for these homeowners to a max of $300,000 in the county. The county has to do a 10% match. The old commissi0oner board was OK with this- so she wanted to know how this board felt, before proceeding. Vera Benning was in favor. Jeff Hughes asked about the restrictions on types of rehab. (It has to meet code and historical requirements if house is very old. Building Inspectors check it outs and Lifetime Housing gets qualified bidders) Rick Fox thought the minimum income of $36,000 was pretty lenient for a single homeowner as it translates to $18/hr. He was in favor of guidelines and prioritizing the types of recipients and work to be done. Ellen assured them that the commissioners could determine that. She said that Lifetime Resources are right next door so they know people who need this kind of help and can give referrals. Since these are CDBG dollars they don’t have to correct every code violation in a home- they could just fix enough to make it livable. Ellen will meet with Bryan Messmore to further discuss these options.

3. Rick Pope- Planning Commission- sent a letter to commissioners stating that on the advice of counsel he was withdrawing from the agenda.

4. Dave Wissman- Advanced Medical- (Lusby’s mother was ill so he couldn’t attend)
Advanced Medical Care is a company that can help cut prescription and medical costs (which were $62,000 last month). They use evidence based medical screening. Presented by Diane Anderson and Jane Deske from Advanced Medical.
Purpose is to control costs, improve care, and reduce risk.
They have evaluated our program for over a year. Based in Peoria, IL and have 25 clients in IN county jails.
The estimate they gave for a population of 190 of $269,860/year fees to them does NOT include an onsite nurse. They plan to keep Kelly- the current county employed nurse. This program provides an MD once a week with MDS on call 24/7 via phone. [NOTE: There is increased risk to MDs to treat via phone and so many will refer to ER or urgent care after hours. Who covers the malpractice in this set-up? Also how is the risk covered when the RN is not on the staff of this company and she is responsible for relaying medical care?] They have a cap of $10,000/month after that the county pays. They do not cover treatment for hepatitis, HIV, cancer, or rabies, (and one other I didn’t catch the name of) they will get us their discount on drugs to treat these though. Their $10,000/month includes lab, X-rays, emergency transport, durable medical supplies, prescriptions, and over the counter drugs.
They have protocols in place in layman’s language and provide orientations for staff. They do qrtly quality improvement programs. They have a discount program and network in place.
Wissman said a friend of his in another county uses them and saved $60,000 the first year. Prisoners from outside Dearborn who are housed here don’t qualify- their bills are billed to their county.
Last year we spent $340-393,000 on medical. This would save us about $100,000 averaging those numbers. [NOTE: That is assuming they don’t go over $10,000 any month – as the county pays those excesses. What if they are under $10,000 every month – does the savings accrue to cover any month they go over $10,000?]
Question was raised- what do we do about the bid we accepted for meds from Beyer’s Pharmacy? Commissioners felt they needed to crunch the numbers. Ewbank, Messmore, and Pickens were going to meet on this.

Minutes were approved and the vehicle requests were apparently not going to be granted, as there are too many needed in house and not enough available

Hughes motioned and Benning 2nd to change the USDA Farm owner contact from Benning to Fox. Passed

Bryan Messmore reported that he is trying to cover the receptionist overload with volunteers.

Building Security – Vera Benning
was concerned about it during tax time with people waiting in lines…
She was also worried about the receptionist being alone…
Pickens stated that this was old business and brought the commissioners up to speed on the previous issues concerning the possibility of having panic buttons installed in various offices for the staff. Bryan Messmore will check on this and report back. [NOTE: If this was on the agenda, why wasn’t something prepared?]

Bob Ewbank, Attorney- reported that they had a meeting with surveyors and the highway dept. on White’s Hill project. No agreements will be reached until O’Mara decides what they will do. County wants a deadline and schedule from O’Mara. They also discussed other strategies, should this not work out.

Vera Benning brought up several items not listed on the agenda:
In the report from the highway dept. she said they needed a signature to proceed on the Bridge 15 project (Triple Whipple). Bob Ewbank reviewed. Pickens explained the details in an overview to Ewbank. Vera signed.

Benning brought up the Soil and Water Conservation Board letter regarding setting up a Drainage Board for the county per IC 36-9-27. The attorney will review that.

Benning noted County Govt. Day at the Statehouse and asked who was going. Hughes was, Fox was a maybe.

Benning also noted the Common Construction Wage hearing was scheduled for Lawrenceburg Street repairs and Sunman Dearborn Community School projects.

Back to the agenda
Bryan Messmore – Administrator- requested and obtained commissioner signatures on bonds for Jeff Smith (weights and measures) and Mike Davis (Hwy Director).

Travis Miller reviewed the census boundary and annexation surveys and they were to be signed also.

Charlie Ashley had requested Glenn Brandt to replace Matt McKinley on the Communications Board. Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd. Passed.

SEIRPC had a file folder full of liens that had to be signed for projects similar to Lifetime Housing requests. They will be signed after the meeting to save time.

Messmore noted that Barnes and Thornburgh (an Indianapolis law firm with offices in Washington DC) had a favorable recommendation from Council to be hired as a lobbyist at the federal level to secure funding for US50 for $3,500/month.
Fox stated: “I hate paying lobbyists, but it’s a golden opportunity.”
Commissioners are generally OK with this, but they need to get with Council for a funding source before signing off. [NOTE: This is the THIRD lobbyist to be hired by the county. Is anyone coordinating these efforts and to whom do they report?]

Claims were approved to be paid.

Pickens presented two contracts for EMS services for L-bg and G-dale at $24,000 each. Hughes motioned and Fox 2nd to sign. Passed.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM

After adjournment I was summoned by Vera Benning to the podium to repeat my question. I asked the commissioners what they intended to do regarding public input at the upcoming zone change hearings in March. They stated that their attorney had told them they were public HEARINGS and so they would issue A DISCLAIMER so that the public would be allowed to address the commissioners without having to call a week ahead and request to be on the agenda.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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