Friday, September 23, 2005


I was unable to cover this meeting and Ralph Thompson graciously did so and submitted the following notes. Chris Mueller


PRESENT: Vera Benning, Rick Fox, Jeff Hughes Commissioners; Robert Ewbank, County Attorney; Brian Messmore, County Administrator and Cary Pickens, County Auditor

Work Force One

Jean Boyle, Department of Work Force One (WFO), Madison IN was seeking a signature for the new plan for WFO. the new plan reorganizes from 16 Boards to 11 growth Districts. Dearborn County is part of Region 9. The new plan is set up to start July, 2006. Ms. Boyle has been meeting with County Commissioners and Mayors of towns with populations over 5,000 to have them read and sign the agreement. Each County is to select an elected official to serve on the council. Vera Benning volunteered to be the elected official. Also, a business representative should be selected to represent the business interests. Vera Benning indicated she had someone in mind; but, a name was not provided. Someone to represent the County businesses or the developers? Also, the County has to decide to select a Procuring Fiscal Agent or use the State Agent to oversee the funds. If they Commissioners select an agent, they are liable; whereas, if the State agent is used the Governor is held liable. All Commissioners wanted the State Agent. Fox and Hughes had not read the document and the decision was held over till the October 4th meeting (Ms Boyle was trying to collect all the signatures by September30th). The board will oversee how WFO funds are spent to foster economic development.

Criminal Investigation Fund Shane McHenry, Prosecutor’s Office.

Dearborn County needs to establish an ordinance to legally continue the Criminal Investigations Fund. The account is a non reversing account receiving funds from seized property (under the Dept. of Justice rules from criminal activities) and using the funds for law enforcement purposes (buy weapons, communications equipment, etc., pay travel expenses, training, salary & overtime, reward money for sting operations, buy money). The ordinance will resolve a conflict with the State Board of Accounts allowing the Fund to continue.

The fund can only handle claims made by the Sheriff with the approval of the Commissioners.
Motion by Fox, Seconded by Hughes, all in favor.

Burns Road Stop Sign Mr. Leslie Stewart, Citizen

Mr. Stewart read a petition by the residents of Burns Road (and the school bus & propane delivery drivers) opposed to the stop sign added on Burns Rd. The sign is 60 feet from IN 48 and at the top of the hill. Mr. Stewart described a series of calls to various agencies (INDOT, County Highway Dept., Planning Commission, Etc.) with no one apparently knowing how it got there or why. Bureaucracy and red tape. The problem appears to be the Carney? Acres (CA) subdivision, which will add approx. 56 houses and 100 cars a day. The intersection comes into a corner of Burns Rd. Mr. Stewart suggest a “Stop except on right turn” or a yield sign for CA. Mike Davis indicated the signs were put up by the CA Contractor per the Planning Commission requirements for permit approval (PC required Contractor to pay for intersection inprovements). Why is a Contractor installing signs on a County Road? The Commissioners feel it is a poorly laid out intersection and needs a sign. Cheaper than fixing the intersection. Todd Listerman, County Engineer, will review intersection and sign options in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and make recommendations to the Commissioners. NOTE: Hopefully, action will be by County Highway department and not a Contractor, as happened before.

AFLAC Barbara Wilson & Vernon Wallis?

Ms Wilson presented Company information on AFLAC (Advertisement) and brief information on supplemental insurance benefit programs that could be offered to County employees (by payroll deduction and not paid for by the County). The Company has 9 products to sell and indicates a stable cost structure and portability. More information on their products and a quote will be provided to Brian Messmore.

Claims and Minutes Cary Pickens

No minutes were submitted
Claims were submitted for signature.

Auction Brian Messmore

The tentative date was set for October 29, 2005. No indication of what was being auctioned.

Land Use Plan Brian Messmore

The Land Use Plan is in the Focus Group Workshop phase. They are working toward Public Open Houses in mid November and referral to the Commissioners in January 2006.

Transportation Brian Messmore

Continuing work on the draft plan. Next meeting September 29, 2005, then an interactive Community Workshop. Working toward inclusion in OKI 2030 Regional Plan.

Emergency Management Office and Storage Brian Messmore

Investigating building for approx. 9,000 square foot of office and 9,000 square foot of storage. Messmore sending out RFQ for construction or renovation of building. Specifications by Messmore. NOTE: Practicing engineering without a license? Benning questioned Messmore further. Now sending out RFP for preliminary study.

Health Care Brian Messmore

County currently has Pinnacle and will need to proceed with Pinnacle for the year 2006. Pinnacle has two options: A higher deductible with no change in premiums or A higher premium with no change in premiums. If Pinnacle is contracted the County will be locked in for a year. The costs are currently within budget. The County self insures for the first $75,000 so excessive health care problems could cause budget to be exceeded.

Hughes was in favor of open competition for the Health contract. He was advocating a selection process through competition; but, the selection had to be made now to get everything ready for December 31, 2005. NOTE: The County (Commissioners?) should have been actively pursuing competitive bidding to provide selection in time.

Ewbank is heading an investigation to review all insurances for the County to determine need, level of coverage, adequacy and appropriateness of the insurances. Hopefully this will be done in a timely manner to allow open competition in the future.

Motion to accept Pinnacle by Fox, seconded by Hughes, all in favor.

Robert Ewbank

FEMA has sent notice to the County (via Dan Batta’s home address) demanding an investigation into a house constructed in the Whitewater flood plain in 1998. The homeowner applied for refinance and flood insurance review indicated the home was in the flood plain. The home is on piers and the homeowner indicated he was not in the 100 year flood plain (presumably because he thought he was above it?) and the County signed off on the permit without catching the problem. Mr. Miller and the Surveyor have determined the house is in the flood plain in violation.

Mr. Ewbank has tried to contact the FEMA Director ( who is in New Orleans), to indicate there are procedures in place to prevent further occurrences. The structure may have to be moved, torn down or a variance obtained. The cost may be borne by the homeowner or the County. NOTE: The County is the expert not the homeowner, will the County step up to its responsibility for its mistake?

Three new tort claims were submitted to the insurance.


No issues.


No issues.


Annual Conference of Commissioners conflicts with October 18th meeting. To be able to award the bids for Sawdon Ridge (opening on October 4) the meeting has been rescheduled to October 11, 2005 and a meeting will be held October 18, 2005 with Fox and Hughes for Claims only.

Pickens suggested amending the Credit Card Ordinance to have the Department heads issue County Credit Cards to necessary personnel in lieu of current system per the State Board of Accounts. Bills on County business (and all County correspondence) should be sent to County office (previous misuse of credit cards). Action???

A signature was requested for approval of a motion of DCEDI to waive its annual meeting and retain the present officers until the next meeting. Since DCEDI is a corporation and Dearborn County is a member the request was sent. Ewbank indicated not necessary; but, would cause no harm. Motion to sign by Fox, seconded by Hughes, all in favor.

Meeting Adjourned.

Notes by Ralph E. Thompson, Jr.

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