Wednesday, March 16, 2005

15 March 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

15 March 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Benning, President, Fox and Hughes.
Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, Messmore, Administrator, and Ewbank, Attorney.
This meeting was videotaped for Benning, as usual.

1. Ellen Baer – wanting a donation for The Waters of Rising Sun was a no show.

2. Mike Davis- Transportation Director:
Fox and Hughes motioned and 2nded to sign the contract with James Baker, P.E. for the George Street bridge work. Approved. State grant is $277,000 and county share is $120,000. Even with a possible start next month the work won’t be completed until Spring 2007 at the earliest.
Hughes and Fox motioned and 2nded to approve INDOT’s request to do the Chappelow Ridge intersection with SR46 to county specs and not state standards. Approved. This is part of the work for a SR46 road slip near that intersection.
NOT on Agenda:
THE SURVEY COMPANY wanted to extend the contract for the White’s Hill design and oversight of the project. $8,000 for design changes and with added oversight it would total $11,000 inclusive. Fox and Hughes motioned and 2nded to extend to $11,000. Approved.
United Engineering Consultants found 14 additional bridge structures- qualified due to the angle the culverts meet the roadway. It costs $350 each ($4500) to get these into the state inventory. 80/20 project so the county share is $900. Hughes and Fox motioned and 2nded to pay to get these into the system. Approved.
Whites’ Hill is settled and O’Mara is set to start working on the retaining wall Thursday- March 17.
Guilford Bridge work began and will continue for about 7 weeks with a light signaling one-way traffic flow to keep the bridge open during repairs.

3. RQAW- Jail Expansion Project- total cost estimate $47 million.
Brett Dodd and Joe Morath presented for RQAW going over basically the same details from last year’s commissioners and Council presentations. The update included a recommended solution and strategy from the steering committee – Option G.
Option G includes the flexibility of handling the Juvenile Center later, puts the expansion in the area between the Annex and the Existing Courthouse, and INCLUDES RENOVATION OF THE COURTHOUSE, [Note: Wasn’t this just finished?], better parking, doing something with water rescue to help their access out, fixing some of the space issues in the Adm Bldg, moving 911 to the existing jail, and an arraignment court in the jail. The Fortune Mgmt Building is eliminated from the plan.
They will sequence the work to eliminate problems.
Commissioners need to get with Bond Counsel and a financial advisor to figure out next step. RQAW wanted the OK to refine the picture more etc. (MORE MONEY)
Fox wanted to take this under advisement to look over the “wish list”. Dodd stressed that there is no wish list- these are essential needs. Fox stated- it will still come down to what we can afford. $47 million is a lot of money.Ewbank asked for RQAW’s project history with the county. Morath detailed 1980’s on with jail construction. He stated that the soil conditions were so poor that they had to use concrete piers 60 ft. down to hold the building.
They worked on security and renovations and the YES Home feasibility study. They have done 60 county jails and kept in touch over the years and knew we needed to expand. Their proposal was a thick 3 ring binder and with those specs “only one bid came in- us!” (RQAW).
[NOTE: The other bidders dropped out as stated in conversation with previous administrator due to realization that RQAW had the inside track already. They felt it would be a waste of their time to do all the preliminary bid work if another company already was favored. This is a critical problem with having the same company who designs the specs also be allowed to bid. It presents an unlevel bidding field. RQAW’s initial quote was nearly twice their final bid when the project went to open bidding. In their initial quote they were going to give part of the work as a freebie if they got the contract.]Dodd went on to say they’d do a workshop for the commissioners and share more things that “weren’t appropriate to put in the 500 page report.” [NOTE: This didn’t sound right.]
Pickens stated that Barnes and Thornburgh is the Bond Counsel we use. RQAW will share info with them also.
Benning stated that a “previous commissioner had passed this off to the county administrator and that’s how this happened.” [NOTE: What is Benning perceiving as happening?]
Ewbank suggested they get financial advisor first, as that is less expensive than bond counsel.
Fox and Hughes motioned and 2nded to get Barnes and Thornburgh’s recommendation for Financial Advisor and retain them. a workshop will be scheduled at a later date.

5. Scott Burgins- Strategic Development Group - Dearborn County Housing Needs Assessment.
Benning, Travis Miller, and Tom Kent were among others on this committee. Burgins went over his same report for the new commissioners. Commissioners took the information under advisement. (See previous commissioner meeting notes for details)

6. Public Hearing Vacating Streets in the Oxbow Lands of Hardintown. Travis Miller presented background from the Plan Commission Hearing and also their favorable recommendation. He reviewed section 280 in the Subdivision Ordinance Book and Benning read it into the record. Archie Crouch of The Survey Co. explained the reason for vacating the lands. No public wished to comment. Ewbank read his prepared Ordinance for signing and Fox and Hughes motioned and 2nded to vacate the Streets in the Oxbow Land. Approved.

Travis Miller reminded Commissioners of the OKI meeting 3/16 at PNS on Growth and also the Sat 3/19 meeting with US50 stakeholders at 10 AM at LHS.

7. Bryan Messmore- Adm.- presented the paperwork for Lifetime Housing. Discussion as to whether the county had to put any money in or if this was a pass-thru grant. Fox and Hughes motioned and 2nded to approve only if it’s a grant and no county money is needed. Approved.
Drug Free Workplace addendum to the Employee Handbook is almost ready.

8. Claims and Minutes approved. Hughes abstained on Minutes for 3/1 as he was absent.

9. Ewbank- Attorney- reported that a letter received by the commissioners has been turned over to Kraemer for review.

10. Benning- is concerned about security in the building. Bryan had checked on previous work on this issue- no decision.
Benning informed the board that Regional Sewer Board is meeting 3/17 at 7 PM. if they are interested in attending.

11. Pickens reminded the board that they need to beat on their senators and reps and that Fehrman and Pickens have sent a letter to the governor reminding him that he promised not to take riverboat revenue to balance the budget. Pickens is going to Indy tomorrow to lobby some more.

Benning asked the board if they had any more comments. No one did.

She them looked at Mike Rozow and asked if “anyone out there had anything to say.”
[Note: This is the first time the public has been asked if they wished to speak this year. (other than at the zone change hearings)]

Meeting adjourned 8:45 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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