Wednesday, June 08, 2005

7 June 2005 County Commissioners Meeting Notes

7 June 2005 County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Vera Benning, President, Jeff Hughes, and Rick Fox.
Also Present: Cary Pickens, Auditor, Bryan Messmore, County Adm., and Bob Ewbank, Attorney.

The agenda for this meeting includes a statement: “During the Public Hearing, public comments are welcomed.”

1. Zone change sails through at SR1
No Public spoke at the hearing for the zone change request from Anthony Bischoff from Ag to H-1 on 1.53 acres in Kelso Township on SR 1. Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to approve noting the 5 criteria for a zone change but, as usual, not stating any particulars as to how they were achieved. Zone change granted.

2. Sometimes when you lose, you win
The plan commission recommended two zoning ordinance changes but only one was passed. Cul de sac streets defined and updated to include up to 30 homes on the 1200 ft. length was passed unanimously. (Article 3, 305 N and Article 6 definitions)
The Traffic impact studies clarifications and also the specification to allow the plan commission to select, with the consent of the developer, the company to do the traffic study on developments of over 100 homes was unanimously denied. Two citizens spoke at this. It was clear that the developers and related consultants in the county were concerned about a lack of trust in the certified engineers stamp on such studies. It was also clear that these commissioners have had little experience with the discrepancies in the various traffic analyses that have been submitted over the past few years. [NOTE: Anti-development groups will be breathing a huge sigh of relief that this failed, because this leaves much more for “discussion” on traffic studies and the results. Even with a “stamp” the fact that a study is commissioned and paid for by the developer, means that the services purchased are not 100% objective.
It should also be noted that the commissioners have yet to hire the county’s engineer and therefore an objective person, whose salary is paid by the county, is not available to analyze results of studies done on county roads.
Lastly, the county commissioners seem na├»ve in their blind faith regarding “the stamp.” I have seen state road studies done by reputable companies using data that are NOT UP TO DATE. They are “stamped”- and it’s clear that they cite their source of data, so it is not a “lie”, and yet it is not accurate, because it may be using counts that are 5 years old, or using aerials of the study area that are old and don’t show all the current houses, so they don’t have accurate predictors of current road trips generated. Fortunately, the plan commission still has the ability to accept or reject the studies submitted.]

3. Beckley back-doors migrant housing request- delays public hearing
Commissioners voted to sign the migrant housing grant request for Beiersdorfer Orchard. Notice failed to get to the paper on time for the public hearing and so it will be held on June 14 at the commissioner’s WORKING MEETING! [NOTE: These meetings are not to have decisions, per the county attorney. As usual, Beckley brings his requests in last minute, hurry, hurry, hurry. So why were the “rules” suspended?]

4. Soil and Water Updates Erosion Control Ordinance
Jennifer Hughes of Soil and Water presented the updated ordinance on erosion control with the backing of the county building inspector. The old ordinance had been legally challenged. This one is based on legally sound ones from other areas in the state. No public commented at this hearing. Commissioners passed it unanimously to become effective August 1 after it is published for 2 weeks in the paper.

5. Transportation Dept. Finally Gets Annual Report Signed With One Day To Submit
Davis also reported on maintenance items continuing and guardrail being put up.

6. Bridge Inventory Complete with Prioritized List for Repairs and Rehab
United Consulting (Jeff Larrison, Andrew Share and John Klinefelter (sp?) presented three binders of data to commissioners and elaborated on the bridges needing work. (19 replacements, 5 rehabs, and 30 repairs) Some bridges require inspections every 6 mo to 1 year because of “problems.”

7. Triple Whipple Gets Commissioner’s Blessing to be Rehabbed.
Davis Denman of Historical Landmarks and John Graf, PE presented info. County share of this project is to be $278,000 in 2005 dollars. The “cheaper to keep her” mantra was resurrected again- the same slogan we’ve been hearing for nearly 10 years on this bridge. It will help complete the bike trail from Greendale to Rising Sun. It will also be an alternate in emergencies, though it will not take vehicular traffic. This bridge, built in 1878,is the last bridge of it’s kind in the US.

8. Rising Sun Medical Center Requests Funds for Indigent Patients
Cherie Hall and Dr. Scudder presented a request to get money to help defray costs of their clinic, which treats indigent patients on a sliding scale. They are not-for-profit and have an annual budget of $800,000. This year they were $81,000 in the hole. They started with 3000 charts in 1999 and now have 6000. They see Heart House patients and migrant workers also. Fox wanted then to seek out Argosy for funding as a “good neighbor.” And Rising Sun is already using $225,000 to subsidize them from gambling revenue. Commissioners approved them to see Council in August.

9. North Dearborn Road Design- Contract Extended
Council has allotted $223,000 each year for the next 5 years for this project. The state is keeping us on the list for state match. They are starting the design work for the road and bridge on North Dearborn right after Mike Davis gives them notice to proceed tomorrow per Dick Robertson of CEA.

10.Lifetime Resources Refinances Senior Housing and Sends Money Back to State for First time Homebuyers
LuAnn Male got approval for a refinancing of the North Dearborn senior Housing from 7% to 2% loan. She also received the OK to send $220,000 back to the state on First Time Homebuyers Assistance. They kept $80,000. There were difficulties getting enough eligible recipients in the time allotted for the grant. She also received approval to go for owner occupied rehab grant with an emphasis on elderly for 20 homes. No local match is required.

11. Claims and Minutes signed.

12. Jeff Hughes- still waiting on donations to finish the plaque for Al Werner and to set up a dedication ceremony. (Werner was the county’s first building inspector and recently retired)

13. Rick Fox- took road tour with Mike Davis and would like to do more bridges in-house to save money.

14. Vera Benning- read letters from Lifetime Resources (that went with the previous request in #10. She also had Fox read a geological approval on rehab that also went with previous requests.
Benning reminded commissioners of 3 meetings on Wednesday:

Chamber of Commerce at 7:30 AM with GIS, Mark Neff, Ec. Dev Task Force, and Business and Industry Update.

DCEDI Press Conference at Argosy at 10:30 AM on the UC students’ study of Dearborn County

Fiscal Impact Study presentation for land Uses at L-bg Library 7-9PM

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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