Thursday, February 24, 2005

23 February 2005 US 50 Collaborative Meeting Notes

Notes 23 February 2005 US 50 Collaborative Meeting

Present: Daryl Paddock and Inez Taylor (Grand Victoria), Bill Marksberry, Mayor Rising Sun, Jim Helms, IVY Tech, Travis Miller, Planning Director Dearborn County, Mark McCormack, Dearborn County Enforcement Officer, Doug Hedrick, Mayor G-dale, Bill Cunningham, Mayor L-bg, Donnie Hastings, Mayor Aurora, Bill Black, EMS, Mike Rozow, Chamber of Commerce, Mike Davis, County Hwy Director, Bryan Messmore, County Administrator, Jerry Jacobson, citizen, Chris Mueller, Citizen

Travis Miller gave a PowerPoint presentation overview of the Problems, the Process, and the Keys to Solving the Problems.
The FHWA definition of a “corridor” is the entire “travel shed” thus the US 50 corridor study has to take into account all the feeders into US 50. Solving one problem might make another problem worse.

The study is to produce feasible methods and coordinated solutions.
The agencies involved are:
FHWA (Federal Hwy Adm)
FTA (Federal Transit Adm)
COE (Corps of Engineers)
FWS (Fish and Wildlife)

Key Coordinating points:
1. Develop a purpose and needs statement and prepare preliminary alternatives
2. Preliminary alternatives and Analysis and Screening
3 Preferred alternatives and mitigation

They have to consider:
Areas of interest to local citizens and elected officials
Local economic initiatives
Traffic counts- existing and projected
Existing land use maps and adopted future land use maps.

The local collaborative is attempting to speed up the 18-month process by articulating a purpose and needs statement and by identifying stakeholders involved in the preliminary alternative creation process.

General consensus from the group was that there was frustration with the length of the process, and that they needed to do everything they could to speed it up and to locate funding for the project once the solutions were identified.

Sen. Nugent is getting a meeting lined up with the governor sometime in April.
Lugar talked to local officials for about 90 minutes; Sodrel gave them less than 5 minutes.
Lobbyists for Rising Sun and the county and local cities will be used, including the ones for the riverboats.
Switzerland County Council will be contacted to make them aware of the process.
Joe Hall’s replacement will be contacted [NOTE: his name is Bob Williams- he will start Feb 28th. He’s the former mayor, councilman, and chief of police of Shelbyville. He worked for INDOT since 1996 and was Director of the Greenfield District – info courtesy of a press release from Register Publications
The new INDOT Commissioner is Thomas Sharp- INDOT site has a picture but no biography on him.]

There was some discussion about FEMA issues and resurrecting the Levee project with the conservancy district from Mayor Cunningham.

Travis Miller will try to set March 19 Sat at LHS to have a meeting with the stakeholders and business people in the county.
He will also check with INDOT to see if the “signature phase” is over yet – so we can get to work.

Adjourned 4 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Agenda 1 March 2005 Commissioners Meeting

I apologize for the delay in getting this posted. Fortunately, my district commissioner, Jeff Hughes, was available at the adm. bldg. and agreed this afternoon that it could be sent to me under the law regarding public document requests.
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting
215 B West High Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 3rd floor
Rick Fox Jeff Hughes Vera Benning

Agenda Topics
1. Opening Pledge
Opening Remarks; Jeff Hughes is on Vacation
Tonight is also a Hearing - Public Comments are welcomed

2. Public Hearing: Travis Miller - Overview of Zone Changes
Maxwell Development - Zone Change from A to R
Rohe Development - Zone Change from A to R
Helen Kremer - Resident
Kathy Scott – Resident

3. Bill Ewbank- Veteran's Officer

4. Ellen Baer - Waters of Rising Sun - Request Donation

5. OKI

6. Bill Black - EMA Severe Weather Proclamation

7. Mike Davis - Transportation Contract for Bridge 159 (George Street Bridge)
Chappelow Ridge Realignment by the State
FEMA Update

8. Claims

9. Jeff Hughes
10. Rick Fox
11. Vera Benning

Note: Anyone wishing to be placed on the agenda must call Commissioners Office one week prior to meeting. Subject to change

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

High School Attendance Policy

When I heard that the High School Attendance Policy was being reviewed, I was excited. Then I read the article in the paper outlining possible changes. My excitement changed to extreme concern.

I attended the board meeting where it was determined improving the graduation rate was the board’s top priority. Adopting the changes to the attendance policy proposed in the published article will have a negative impact on the graduation rate. It should also be noted, improving the attendance rate was not one of the seven goals adopted by the board.

I’ve analyzed the published data on enrollment, attendance and graduation rates. I have found for the six graduating classes with complete enrollment data, five of six years experienced below state average graduation rates and four of six years have above average attendance rates.

It seems that South Dearborn High School has traded a slightly better attendance rate for lower graduation rates.

The 2003-2004 School Corporation Annual Performance Report for South Dearborn indicates that there are 300 students with 10 or more unexcused absences. That is nearly ten percent of SD’s enrollment. It should be noted that close to half of those students were at South Dearborn Middle School. South Dearborn High School only had 28 students with excessive absences. The root of South Dearborn’s below average attendance rate does not rest at South Dearborn High School.

South Dearborn High School’s attendance rate is at or above average. The Middle School attendance rate is consistently below average. Children avoid spending time where they are not comfortable. Perhaps the atmosphere at South Dearborn Middle School needs to be more nurturing.

Certainly, teachers should not be asked to go the extra mile to ensure a student who skips school has an opportunity to make up work. But the corporation must be extremely careful when it comes to determining the merit of a student’s absence.

Establishing a habit of good attendance is important, but not more important than helping children complete graduation requirements.

If South Dearborn seriously wishes to improve attendance, the following changes should be implemented.

1. The attendance policy should be consistent in every building of the corporation.

2. Students and parents, as well as teachers should provide significant input into these policies. (A parent who is an employee or contractor of the school does not qualify as a parent for this purpose.)

3. Credit given for a class must depend on mastery of the material and completion of the work, not attendance.

4. Parents should be encouraged to contact the school the first hour of the school day a child is absent. If the parent does not contact the school, the school MUST contact the parent at home or at work. This contact must come from a real person, not a computerized recording. Sometimes parents don’t know their child is not at school.

5. The school calendar must be family friendly. Families need time other than the summer to vacation. And everyone needs a regular break from the school routine.

A. Start school by the beginning of the second week of official fall athletic practice.

B. End the first semester before Winter Break.

C. Make every Federal Holiday a school holiday. (Students and parents need to share days off.)

D. Allow a full two weeks for Winter Break, regardless of the day of the week Christmas and New Years fall.

E. Dismiss school the day before Thanksgiving and the day after Easter so families can have a day to travel. School should also be dismissed on Good Friday.

F. Move spring break to the tenth week after winter break. This reduces interference with spring sports and increases the likelihood that High School Spring Athletes, Coaches and their families take a vacation during that week.

G. Build four or five emergency closing days into the school schedule. Families need to know for certain the last day of school so they can plan their summers accordingly.

H. Eliminate Fall break.

6. The school has a responsibility to promote good physical health. Many changes are necessary in the school to improve the health of our children and the attendance rate.

A. Children need adequate sleep.

1. The school day should begin at least an hour later. Some students currently catch the bus before 7:00 am.

2. Midweek evening school activities should be reduced. It is time to concentrate on improving the quality and reducing the quantity of these activities. (Sometimes there are three school night basketball games scheduled for Middle School children.) These midweek activities should be reduced to no more than one per week. Additionally, activities that result in children returning to school after 9:00 pm should be eliminated or scheduled for Friday or Saturday.

B. Children need a healthy diet. The nutritional quality of school meals must be improved. Soft Drinks and Junk Food should not be sold in the school before, during, or after school. These items can be sold in concessions for spectators at athletic and other school events.

C. Children need adequate exercise. The emphasis of Physical Education in the school should be helping children consistently get the exercise they need. This can’t happen with extremely large PE classes. It doesn’t happen with PE once per week for elementary children. It doesn’t happen when middle school children have PE for one trimester. It doesn’t happen when high school children take PE in Summer School so they can take more academic courses during the school year. And it doesn’t happen when high school children have just two trimesters of PE.

Recess is a very important opportunity for children to get the exercise they need. Twelve minutes a day is not enough. Taking recess away from a child for behavior problems takes away their opportunity for appropriate exercise. More appropriate methods of discipline must be found.

D. Children need adequate instruction in Health Education. This responsibility does not belong to the general elementary teacher. It belongs to a health teacher. Health should not be a one-trimester course. It should be taught once or twice per week yearlong.

7. When a child is absent from school for illness more than two days in a week, a note from a physician or consultation with the school nurse should be required.

I seriously hope a new attendance policy of a more punitive nature towards students will not be adopted at South Dearborn High School.

Karen Loveland

Friday, February 18, 2005

How Will They Vote on Zone Changes on March 1st?

How Will They Vote on Zone Changes on March 1st?
2002 Commissioner campaign contributors

D-3 Commissioner Vera Benning – final campaign report filed late
Alan Freemond $500
Jimmie and Reann Adams $500
Home Builders Association $500
Final report shows $959.57 debit (owed to the campaign)

2004 Commissioner campaign contributors

D-2 Commissioner Richard Fox- filed late

The Survey Co $100
John Maxwell $250
Johnny Nugent $100
Ruth/Jerry Martini$100
DLZ Industrial, LLC$300
Richard Fox $2000
Richard Fox $3500
Ruth/Jerry Martini $100
Bill/Cathy Martini $100
Leroy/Violet Fox $100
Karen Fuchs $50
David Martini $100
Robert and Gail Laws $40

D-1 Commissioner Jeff Hughes
Home Fundraiser $206
Richard Uncerbuehler $100
John/Linda Maxwell $250
Joe Zwiergynski $300
David Hughes $200
James Hughes $100
Jeff Hughes $1031.28

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Plan Commission Updates County Cul-de-sac Street Requirements

Plan Commission Updates County Cul-de-sac Street Requirements

Dearborn County Plan Commission met for a Working Session Wed. Feb. 16th. Topic for discussion was revisions to the ordinance on cul-de-sac requirements.

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Nick Held, Patrick deMaynadier, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, Dennis Kraus, Jr., Jane Ohlmansiek, and Robert Laws (new member). Absent: Tarry Feiss.
Also present: Travis Miller, Planning Director, and Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer, Erin Peterson (Parsons Brinkerhoff traffic study consultant) and John Graf (civil engineer consultant), Susan Pope, Jeff Stenger, Ralph Thompson, Nicole Daily, John Maxwell, and Chris Mueller.

Mark Mitter welcomed newest appointee Bob Laws. Laws introduced himself as living in Moores Hill on the last farm in Dearborn County. Their farm has been in the family for 150 years. He has a BS in Business from IU and works at Pernod-Ricard.

A lively 90- minute discussion on cul de sacs covered several issues including:
Number of units per length of road, fire truck turn around space, the numbers of people potentially affected by an emergency on a closed end street, the increased probability of problems as the number of units increases, utility issues, pipe length and pressure, creation of intersections with adjoining properties, even if the property is not slated for development, other county’s ordinances and topography issues, single family vs. multifamily units and commercial applications, limiting the number of units per entrances to a subdivision, limiting the number of cul-de-sacs off the original cul-de-sac, quality of the road that the entire development is feeding off, where the cul-de-sac begins (point 00), criteria to consider for cul-de-sac variances, when a traffic study should kick in as a requirement and including interior streets and intersections in that traffic study, total connectivity, current lot sizes vs. the required lengths, mitigating interior design characteristics, forcing connectivity as a first choice if topography permits, lots permitted with respect to zones.

Final conclusion was to develop an ordinance change with language reflecting the following key points:
Cul-de- sacs would be determined from the point of last intersection.
Maximum permitted cul-de-sac length would be 1200 ft.
Maximum permitted number of lots per cul-de-sac would be 30.
The total number of lots per entrance would be determined by design and traffic study analysis of anything over 100 lots.
A list of criteria from the cul-de-sac ordinance research concerning variance requests would also be included in the ordinance to create some flexibility and permit creative design around Dearborn County’s topography.

Three important points made in the discussions:
To approve a subdivision, the quality of the road they are feeding onto is one of the most important criteria to consider. (Jane Ohlmansiek)
The ordinance should be a tool to enhance the quality of development, not prohibit it. (John Maxwell)
Safety issues can be met by creative design. To encourage this, there must be a process for variances with criteria to be considered. (General consensus)

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Show Me The Money!

County Elections Campaign Finance Reports

Final Reports on Commissioners and Councilmembers - only one additional contribution showed up.

Commissioner Rick Fox:
Robert and Gail Laws - $40
[NOTE: Robert Laws is the new appointment for the Plan Commission from the commissioners]

PREVIOUS LISTINGS FROM OCTOBER CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS - originally reported in October on this blogsite.

County ElectionsTabulated October 19, 2004
Reports were due on October 15, 2004

Missing reports – Richard Ullrich and Phil Weaver
Late report Richard Fox - arrived via mail October 19- mail postmarked October 16th.

Candidates and contributors:

Commissioner candidates:
Richard Fox- filed late
The Survey Co $100
John Maxwell $250
Johnny Nugent $100
Ruth/Jerry Martini$100
DLZ Industrial, LLC$300
Richard Fox $2000
Richard Fox $3500
Ruth/Jerry Martini $100
Bill/Cathy Martini $100
Leroy/Violet Fox $100
Karen Fuchs $50
David Martini $100

Jeff Hughes
Home Fundraiser $206
Richard Uncerbuehler $100
John/Linda Maxwell $250
Joe Zwiergynski $300
David Hughes $200
James Hughes $100
Jeff Hughes $1031.28

Allen Callaway
Gene Branham $100
Ray Beatty $100
Doug Hedrick $100
Fred/Clara Callaway $100
Pipefitters $500
Carpenters Local 1142$200
IBEW $300Teamsters $200
Dearborn/RipleyBldg Trades $300
Asbestos Workers $200
Democrat Party $500

Al Werner
Al Werner $2633.70

Council candidates:
Bill Ullrich Unitemized $660.69

Ben Turner
Democrat Party $500

Doug Taylor
Doug Taylor $1600
Charles Evans $100
IN/KY Carpenters $200
Pipefitters $200
Asbestos LU $200
IBEW $200
Democrat Party $500

Charlie Fehrman

Mark Mitter
Unitemized $400
On hand $800

Richard Ullrich

Dennis Kraus
Clifford Bischoff $200
Dennis Kraus $676.79
John Maxwell $250
Dennis Kraus $672.26
Dennis Kraus $410
Unitemized $223.03

Gayle Pennington
Robert Dunevant $100
Bill Yelton $100
Unitemized $50


Jim Humphrey
Cash on hand $1056.82

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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

Monday, February 14, 2005

Permission to Speak

In reading through some of the recent data coming out of the Commissioners postings I'm struck dumbfounded by the requirement to give notice a week in advance for speaking privileges. What on earth gives them the power to suggest such broad limitations? How are we to know whether or not we would want to speak on a particular issue a week in advance. Doesn't it occur to even the most obtuse Commissioner that it is a public forum. Shouldn't that give us the right and privilege to speak as the occasion presents itself.

Let's look at this realistically folks, this is a measure of censure. It's a way of silencing the public. We do not know what will be said at any given meeting, therefore we have no idea if we should want to comment.

We could just give notice a week in advance for every meeting I suppose, but how practical is that? Then, according to herr Benning she requires us to register what we are going to comment about. Well, why not post, a week in advance, what is going to be said, Ms Benning.

This seems outrageous, especially when one considers that these commissioners are in their positions to represent we the constituents. It looks like they want to suppress us. The people they kowtow to are the developers and big contractors. Do they have the best interest of our communities in mind?

We need to apply pressure to the County to dismiss this illogical act of obstruction. We need to speak if we are to be a part of OUR community, this means without permission slips, word quotas or any other limitations. We are the people of this community, the driving force, and we care as much as anyone what our homestead is turning into!

Thom P Hammond, PSA

Sunday, February 13, 2005

St. Leon - City of Subdivisions Or Rural Community

Please come to this neighborhood meeting and get information on the two proposed subdivisions and voice your opinion.

Maxwell Subdivision on Dog Ridge Rd

Equestrian Estates on Trackville Rd.

Sunman-Dearborn Middle School
(Schuman Rd. entrance)
Feb. 20th 6:00pm

Any Questions Call:

Dearborn County Planning and Zoning 812-537-8821
Mark Hall 812-623-2217
E. Bulach 812-576-4484
Gloria Hoog 812-576-4644

Both subdivision zone changes will be before the Planning and Zoning on
Monday Feb. 28th at 7:00 PM. Please be there.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Agenda

Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Agenda
2/15/05 6:30 PM
Rick Fox Jeff Hughes Vera Benning

Agenda Topics
1.Opening Pledge

2.Old Business:

Vehicle Changes (Tabled from Feb 1)

3.New Business:
UDSA Farm Owner Motion to change contact from Vera Benning to Rick Fox

United Consulting – Bridge Inventory Program Update on Phase II

Rick Pope – Planning Commission

County Attorney

County Administrator


Note: Anyone wishing to be placed on the agenda must call Commissioners Office one week prior to meeting.

Friday, February 04, 2005

US 50 Collaborative Seeks Steering Committee Members

3 February 2005 - US 50 Collaborative Meets Again

The US 50 Collaborative met again Thurs Feb 3rd at the Tate St. Adult Center to identify and discuss the appropriate stakeholders for a steering committee for the Corridor Study.

Present at the meeting which was moderated by Travis Miller, DC Planning Director were:
Mike Davis (DC Transportation Director), Gerald Jacobson, Taxpayer, Donnie Hastings (Aurora Mayor), Steve Lampert (G-dale City Manager), Bryan Messmore (DC Administrator), Jim Ude (INDOT), Jane Ohlmansiek (DC Plan Commission and BZA member), Vera Benning (DC Commissioner President), Jeff Hughes (DC Commissioner), Bill Cunningham (L-bg Mayor), Tom Steidel (L-bg City Manager), Mike Rozow (Chamber of Commerce Director), Mario Todd (L-bg Council), Mark McCormack (DC Enforcement Officer and Planner), and Chris Mueller (Citizen).
[NOTE: Jim West (DCEDI Director) was not present- perhaps he should be included in this effort.]

The stakeholders to form a steering committee will be selected from the affected groups of property owners, business owners, major retailers, industrial park businesses, schools, elected officials, gambling riverboat owners, IVY Tech, EMS squads, Developers, Planning Depts. or Plan Commissions, etc.
[NOTE: Surveyors would be a good professional/technical group to add to this committee.]

Ude noted that the SR101 Corridor Study (in a rural area) had 12 stakeholders on their committee.

There was concern from several members present that this steering committee would become too large or perhaps not be taken seriously by INDOT and the Consultant. Several wanted to see a tighter time line.
INDOT stated that the study cost is now over $300,000, not the original $250,000. The scope of work is a “secret” until the papers are signed due to privacy issues.
[NOTE: If this contract was bid out- then the scope of services would be public because all the bidders would have had to bid from the same scope to have a level playing field. It seems that the consultant is telling INDOT what they need and then the costs are being determined from that- not INDOT directing the consultants. (SIECO/Strand – the same consultants for the so-called connector road from SR1-SR48 at Scenic)]
Several members concurred with Mario Todd’s assessment that the casinos would be our strongest allies in getting this project fast tracked. They have the added advantage of lobbyists and the money to push this through. Switzerland and Ohio Counties are considered economically depressed and so their riverboat revenues are critical to their well-being right now. If US50 access is hampered they will “lose” too.
This project is 80/20 federal/state funding. It is possible to not have to follow the federal game plan if federal money is not used according to Jim Ude from INDOT. That’s how the original US 50 upgrade got fast tracked.
Tom Steidel brought up the urgency of getting another bridge in Lawrenceburg across Tanners Creek. He favors the idea of putting one right next to the existing bridge, as it would only be the cost of a bridge and not the cost of an extra road too.
[NOTE: This seems short-sighted, when we really need another road as well, and if a bridge closed for some disaster near or on it- the one right by it would be affected possibly. It also creates another bottleneck. It’s important to note that extra lanes on non- expressway roads reach a critical point where safety actually decreases when you add too many. It also inhibits the accessibility of the businesses.]
Steidel thought an economic impact study that showed what would happen if US50 were closed down for a period of time would be helpful in convincing the feds to fast track our money. The bridge is still the main critical issue short term.
Ude noted that federal dollars come in a lump sum to the state and the state determines priorities.
Tanners Creek Bridge is scheduled for maintenance repairs and rehab in 2 years.
Rozow noted that there is no magic silver bullet for this problem; that the solution probably consists of several alternatives.
Signing is to be completed in March and hopefully have a kick off meeting in March/April with the consultant. Members want to be ready with the steering committee ASAP to keep things moving.
Travis Miller expects to have graphics etc. ready so the committee has visuals to work with.
A letter (signed by the collaborative) went to Governor Mitch Daniels and another is going to Rep. Mike Sodrel this week to get them up to speed on our needs on US 50.

Next meeting is Feb 23 at Adult Center at 3PM.

Lastly a review of the Key elements (determined at an earlier meeting)
that the collaborative wants addressed in the study:

1. Identification of the volume and destination of the traffic along US 50.
2. Production of DETAILED traffic counts of ALL the intersections along US 50 thru Dearborn County.
3. Identification of alternate route(s) for traffic crossing Tanners Creek.
4. Identification of the economic impacts of the corridor on our community and how to best utilize and protect this interest.
5, Consideration of the land use configuration along the corridor to identify highest and best use of land while allowing most efficient traffic flow.

Meeting adjourned at 4:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Correction to 1 February 2005 Notes on Commissioner Meeting

Commissioners meeting notes incorrectly identified Sammy Gutzweiller was the president of the HVL POA. Sammy has never been the president of the POA and was there to represent VRUC, of which she is a board member. Thanks to Craig Lysne for clarifying this.
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

1 February 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

1 February 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

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

This meeting was videotaped in addition to the usual audiotape.
An executive session preceded this meeting at 5 PM concerning the highway department director. The plan commission appointments were not discussed at this executive session.

1. Executive session decision: Rick Fox motioned and Jeff Hughes 2nd to give the appointing authority for his dept. back to Mike Davis, Highway Director. All Ayes.

Old Business:
1. Minutes of the executive session and meeting on Jan 18th were approved.

2. BZA appointment: Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to appoint Patricia Ann Baker to the BZA. All ayes.
[NOTE: There was no “resume” presented or discussion of Baker’s area of expertise or what she brings to the board. Research on 2/2/05 showed that Fox submitted a statement saying she was 41, has worked for Seagrams/Pernod Ricard for 17 years, has a Business degree from Mount St. Joe and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is a lifelong resident of the county who did not sign in on any attendance sheets on any master plan meetings.]

3. Plan commission appointment (unsuitable appointment). Ewbank stated that he checked with Lisa Lehner and that the Rick Pope appointment was in futura and so it is void in his opinion. [NOTE: Rick Pope was present and had asked commissioners prior to this meeting to be able to speak – he wanted to be reappointed.]
Hughes motioned to take resumes or applications for this
. Vera stated, “We’ve never done this before.” There was no 2nd- so the motion died.
Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to appoint Robert J. Laws to the Plan Commission. All ayes.
[NOTE: There was no information on Laws on Fox’s sheet other than his address and phone number. He lives in the Moores Hill area on SR350. There is no record of him on any attendance sheet for the master plan meetings. There is also no verification that he is not a Republican- as this spot must be filled by another party per state law.]

4. HVL POA Vehicle request was tabled. Fox stated that there were several county departments still in need of vehicles.

5. Benning stated that Dave Enzweiler who served on the advisory committee for the sewer board had expressed an interest to be on the sewer board. He works for the N. KY sewer authority. Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to appoint Enzweiler as the commissioner designee to the County Sewer Board. All ayes.

6. Valley Rural Utility Co. NPDES permit application was presented by Sammy Gutzwiller HVL POA President and Floyd Ogden, Supt. of VRUC. Gutzwiller stated that they had 3 options: to join Whitewater Township Utility, to join SDRSD, or to build their own plant. She stated that they’d tried to join SDRSD and had been voted out EVERY time by Greendale. They have spent over $200,000 on attorney fees. They selected Marty Wesler (sp?) and Associates to do their final engineering for their utility plant. She quoted several years figures up thru 2003 stating that Greendale paid $292,671.01 to SDRSD and HVL paid Greendale $321,074.40. Over the past 8 years they have paid Greendale over $2 million. They can no longer afford to do that.
Ewbank quizzed them on some details and then recommended that the commissioners approve the letter showing support for HVL VRUC NPDES permit application. Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to approve. All ayes.
[NOTE: Ewbank and Hughes are both HVL POA members]
Ewbank noted that economics should prevail and recommended that they keep looking at Greendale.

New Business:

1. Executive session- done at beginning of meeting.

2. Superior Court- Judge Witte needed permission to keep the Courthouse unlocked till 6PM so that the probation dept. could collect urine drug samples. He stated that this is more fallout from their increasing caseload since the riverboat. He will check with the sheriff to provide security also. This was OK with the commissioners.
[NOTE: This is part of the ongoing series of “courthouse public relations” campaigns to build a case for expanding the jail and adding another court.]

3. Per Benning Terry Dillard requested 4 people to be appointed to the Community Corrections Board. Her requests for Don Hastings, Frank Cardis, Hassel Broshears (sp?), and John Mallory were passed by Fox motioning and Hughes 2nd. All ayes.
[NOTE: Again there were no statements regarding the suitability of these people for the appointment.]

4. Health Dept. Vehicle change was tabled until a complete list of available vehicles is available.

5. Mike Kramer from Pinnacle Insurance requested the OK to terminate the reinsurance with GE but keep some of their other products. He also asked to add The Preferred Network to their Healthspan coverage which adds deeper discounts to employees seeking care at the Alliance Hospital Network. Additional cost is $.05/employee per month. Hughes motioned and Fox 2nd to approve both. All ayes.

6. Omar Reineier- zoning guidance- NOT PRESENT

7. County Attorney- Bob Ewbank- stated that the offer of mediation was turned down by O’Mara because their feel that the slip was an act of God. This perplexed St. Leon’s attorney, as they need someone to pay the costs of moving the sewer line now. The county’s position is that St. Leon can use county ROW but that the county has no further responsibility- this is between St. Leon and O’Mara per Ewbank.
[NOTE: If this road remains closed by IDEM indefinitely, county residents will have to deal with that inconvenience also.]

8. Claims- Benning had no problem with any of the vouchers Stephanie had presented for consideration. Claims approved to be paid.

Benning called for any new business twice. Then she reiterated the statement that anyone wishing to speak had to call in a week ahead and give Stephanie the subject matter as well. Then they would be placed on the agenda.
[NOTE: This is a clear attempt to pretend to be open to public discussion, without really being open. It also precludes any debate from any of their decisions. No other board in the county is as afraid of public comment as this current Board of Commissioners appears to be.]

Benning introduced Bryan Messmore as the new county administrator.

She stated that the 2004 Hwy Report was on file if anyone wanted they could go get it.

Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to sign the EMS contract with Dillsboro for 2 ambulances at $12,000 each. All ayes.
Cary Pickens gave the commissioners a heads up on the rewording that will be needed in Lawrenceburg’s contract as they are paid and not volunteer exclusively. [NOTE: They may need to apply that wording to others as well]

Jeff Hughes reported that Bill Black told him the FEMA approval came through so the county will get help from the flood damage on roads. He had no particulars on this.

Meeting adjourned 7:25 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

31 January Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

31 January 2005 Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Rick Pope, Vice Chairman, Jeff Hughes, Patrick de Maynadier, Tarry Feiss, Dennis Kraus, Jr., and Mike Hall. Absent: Nick Held and Jane Ohlmansiek Arnie McGill, Att’y also present, as was Travis Miller, Planning Director, and Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer.

[NOTE: The last three items on the Jan 24 agenda were rescheduled to this meeting on January 31st due to the time constraints.]

Chappelow Ridge Subdivision Renamed and Replatted Due to Lack of Sewer Access
1. 7:05 PM Primary approval for 7-lot replat of Williams Retreat with Steve Heil and owner William Heil. Dennis Kraus Sr. presenting. Property is 64,174 acres of Ag land in Logan/Kelso Township off Bischoff Road.
Dennis Kraus, Jr. stepped down from the Plan Commission for this item.
A letter from the family’s attorney was presented detailing that all attempts to get easements for sewer access had been exhausted. Williams Retreat Rod is gravel and will be paved after the homes are built.

Lonnie Doherty (sp?) , adjoining property owner, stated that he couldn’t get septic for his 22-acres next door due to soil issues. He had to get St. Leon sewer access at considerable personal expense. He also asked that the county departments work together to do this development in the area correctly with road and sewer access.

Hall noted that there was one small lot at 4.497 acres as opposed to three in the previous plan. This was better suited to the Ag zone. They also noted that the sewer areas needed to be noted on the plat much like “easements” to prevent ANY building or roadways over them.
Feiss and de Maynadier were concerned with sewer issue and the 5-acre lot consistency. Hughes had no comment- doesn’t bother me any.
Pope noted that sewer issue didn’t bother him, but wished they had more say in St. Leon Sewer access.
Mitter said the sewer issue was his primary concern.
Pope motioned to approve as stated on the application. Hall 2nd. All ayes.

OxBow Cleans Up Plat by Vacating Streets in Hardintown
2. 7:40 PMVacating streets in Hardintown in Lawrenceburg Township on 4.1569 acres in M-3 Zone. Oxbow is the owner represented by Tim Mara (attorney) and Andrea Shuter, The Survey Company.
Rick Pope stepped down from the Plan Commission for this item as he leases land to farm from the Oxbow.
Oxbow paid about $1.5 million to acquire 600 acres in the Oxbow as well as having conservation easements over 300 more acres that are farmed.

There were no public comments.

Kraus, Jr. motioned to pass a favorable recommendation to the commissioners to vacate the streets of the Oxbow along with adherence to technical review comments 3 thru 6 detailing plat corrections and corner markers to be taken care of when floodwaters subside. Feiss 2nd. All ayes for favorable recommendation.

Villages of Sugar Ridge Get Major Replat and Two Private Roads Added
3. 8:00 PM Primary approval for replat of access ways and easements for Sugar Ridge on 315.1 acres of Planned Unit Development in Miller and Lawrenceburg Township on Stateline Road.
Rick Pope stepped down for this item.
Jeff Talkers (Survey Company) presented as did Mike Macke
, developer. The main reasons for replats included better site distances and terrain issues. Houses were lined up better with the roadways and access had fewer slopes. Macke stated: “These lots are all sold.” They also moved three panhandle lots away from one of the golf greens for safety issues. Two private streets were created in this replat.
Jeff Hughes asked if he needed to abstain as he was a HVL POA member . McGill told him that it wasn’t necessary, as he wasn’t involved in any dispute or financial issues with Sugar Ridge personally.

No public comment.

De Maynadier motioned to approve the replat subject to the tech review recommendations and that it should come back for hearing if the tech review board disagreed on the Ava Drive request. Hall 2nd. All ayes. The board also approved the change of several driveway accesses on lots 24,25,29,30,164,150,14 with their own access and a shared access on 158-159.

McGill notified board of Schantz suit proceedings.
Rick Pope suggested to the board that questions and concerns on any application in their packet be forwarded to Travis ASAP so that the applicant can be notified to address those issues and speed up meeting times.
Feb 16th working meeting on cul-de-sacs is at 7PM.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township