Wednesday, July 06, 2005

5 July 2005 County Commissioner Meeting Notes

5 July 2005 County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Benning, President, Hughes, and Fox
Also Present: Ewbank, Attorney, Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Administrator

1. Commissioners voted publicly to deny the insurance appeal they discussed at their executive session prior to this meeting.

2. Travis Miller presented info on creating the County Housing Council as recommended by the Housing Needs Assessment done in conjunction with the Master Plan. Lu Ann Male (Lifetime Housing) and Craig Beckley (Heart House and member of original committee) also answered commissioner’s questions.
The council was recommended because it was clear that several groups were working on similar projects in the county and a place to coordinate communication was needed. The council would meet at least annually. Benning asked about housing financing. Beckley explained the loans and grants available for affordable housing. Fox wanted to table it to talk to some of the stakeholders. Benning thought it was a good idea and supported the council as a means of getting grants. Lu Ann Male explained that the council strengthens the positions of each stakeholder when they seek grants. The council itself won’t get grants. Hughes wanted more time to research it.

Miller also told commissioners that the county is 10th in the state in growth rate and 4th in the Greater Cincinnati area .

3. Building Department- Don Townsend- presented the commercial fee schedule along with a justification for increasing fees up front, showing large volumes of plans associated with each commercial project. Fox wanted less categories and more simplification of the schedule. Purpose is not to make a profit- but to keep the department in the black even with the possibility of needing more inspectors for the increased projects. Townsend will get with Ewbank to implement the commissioner’s changes, rewrite the ordinance, and advertise it for a future hearing date.

4. APEX Benefits Group- Brian Elson- introduced himself and requested the OK to get county info to break apart the health insurance plans and bid for the business. He is essentially an insurance broker- and so uses the info to go out and see what’s in the market to serve the county. His fee comes from the company that the county selects to serve the employees. If they don’t select them- he works for free.
Commissioners essentially shut him down- with a “just stay in touch with Bryan Messmore.” They did not give permission to have access to the county health insurance demographics.
Pickens was in favor of having the insurance plans bid out. He also stated that the HSA accounts were essentially a wash- no real benefit from them in his opinion as only 1 person switched and 3-4 others signed up for it who never had any insurance before, so it cost the county $1200 each for them also…

5. Claims and minutes signed. Annual contract for brucellosis and TB for cattle through Dr. Hubbard signed.

July 19th meeting will ONLY BE FOR SIGNING CLAIMS – no other business per Cary Pickens. The next regular commissioner meeting is in August.

6. Bryan Messmore- Administrator:

Commissioners signed off on title to a car that was totaled under Community Corrections.

Letters for the Transportation Plan Steering Committee were sent- meeting on August 10th at 10 AM.

The one-stop permitting process is beginning with a realignment of the applications in the various departments to coordinate and streamline the process. After getting a standard application they will test this model first for a while to see how it works. Eventually they may rearrange workers and tasks to become more efficient.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM

[NOTE: It seems that in a county of just under 50,000 people there is very little happening that affects the citizens’ daily life- at least nothing that is being PUBLICLY discussed.]

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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