Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.
No uniformed officer was present
Ralph Thompson, Commissioner elect, was present
Benning addressed the board and the audience, as this was her last meeting as county commissioner. She stated that it had been a journey over the past 18 years and that she’d written her comments down so as not to have her message wander as she knew everyone there wanted to get their business covered and get home. Benning said an Irish grandmother and mother who taught her to never be a quitter had influenced her. She said she was beaten fair and square, but she was not a quitter. She noted her father had worked for the Hamilton County Engineering Dept and so she had an appreciation for our highway workers. She named several good people she’d worked with over the years- Swales, Cunningham, Kraus, Fehrman, Wissman, etc.
She also said it was a great privilege to work with Fox and Hughes. She said Messmore, as administrator, would take the commissioner’s wishes to new heights that can only be imagined. She thanked everyone and ended with the phrase- only in America…
There was polite applause at the end.
1. CASA grant needed an account assigned and pre-approval to pay 2006 bills. Donna Thacker and Nancy Weldon presented stating the grant was for $100,000 for 5 years. Commissioners approved with Pickens concurring.
2. Greg Fox and John Gause of Apex Benefit Group presented Heath Insurance option to the commissioners. IN Assoc. of Counties has approved them and they agreed to evaluate any county for free to see if they could improve their insurance options. Fox and Gause have been employed there at 15 and 20 years respectively. The commissioners approved them evaluating the county plan for our 215 employees. Greg Fox noted that the county plan is ‘rich’ compared to others. Ewbank noted they have to conform to HIPPA privacy rules. They will get letters together to officially authorize the evaluation.
3. Cook Road Extension- Kraus, Jr. presented as county surveyor. He noted the request was withdrawn, because it’s not really an extension. He and Todd Listerman spent some time explaining how the road was actually still on the books and that small discrepancy in the distance was due to realignment around the new bridge put in along that roadway. (1.72 vs 1.67 miles)
Lisa Lehner represented neighbors, Jamey Ponte and Mike Frank. They were concerned with the width of the new road. They said they did not dispute that they needed access to their (Volkers) land. Volkers agreed to pay for and give fee simple title to the county for a turnaround there at the end.
Ewbank said- once a county has ROW it stays ROW until vacated. Inventory maps are just for funding. If the highway engineer is confident that this is the true end of Cook road then they should go with that.Listerman was confident.
Lehner attempted to argue about apparent ROW statute and stated she has seen no deed record that shows this ROW. In old days you could lose ROW by not using it. Ponte then went to the board to explain more clearly his position on the extension.
Fox motioned to maintain the county ROW to the end at Volkers and to get fee simple title from them for a turnaround there. Volkers were to pay for that. The road is about 10 ft wide and a mixture of gravel and chip seal. It used to join with Hartman and go to Yorkridge. Part of Hartman has been vacated. Approved.The record reflected that the original petition had been withdrawn per Lehner’s comments.
4. Tom Kent- Perfect View Zone Map amendment. Two members of the public spoke opposing the change primarily because of affects on their properties due to construction of roadway and equipment usage on a private section of Cambridge road. If the new commitments by Kent to be able to cut the hill but not build on any slope greater than 20% was NOT approved, then the map reverts to the original commitments.
Robert Craig complained that Kent himself and his workers were using his private section on a Y that goes to Cambridge road. He wants buses and neighbors to be able to use what HE BUILT, but not the new subdivision and definitely not the heavy equipment. Cambridge (the official road) was to be for emergency access only per the Plan Commission and building is not an emergency.
Bob Billups was concerned with the 8 ft berm that would create an unmowable section by his pond on SR 1. They referred him to Mark Brunner of INDOT and also stated that this could be considered a “taking” so he needs to look into that.
Fox and Hughes ratified and confirmed the changes in commitments. Benning abstained- didn’t say why.
5. Todd Listerman- Transportation Dept-
will run a public notice announcing plans to be unveiled for reconstruction of North Dearborn Road from SR 1 to McCann on Jan 25th at North Dearborn Library form 4-8 PM with formal presentation at 6PM.
RFPs for Bridge inspections came in. Out of 12, Listerman picked #1 and #2 to negotiate a fee. If 1 is unsatisfactory, he’ll move to #2 and so on. American Consulting , Inc is #1, and Bernardin, Lochmiller is #2. American Consulting is in process of name change, so that might look different by the time the contract comes in..
Commissioners authorized with Benning abstaining- again with no reason why.
Utility easements for the SR48 area around DCH had to be redone due to property ownership changes. Commissioners will sign when finished.
6. OLD BUSINESS: Benning presented the Siemers report on Energy Savings from the Courthouse Renovations. [NOTE: These are required annually to justify the expense and grants.]
7. Messmore- asked Listerman to present the letter of request from Seymour district office on STATE road priorities for the county. This was INDOT’s call for projects and the commissioners signed the letter as drafted. It stated the following priorities:
1. The intersection at SR1/US50?I-275 (Greendale’s Belleview area)
2. US 50 Corridor Study and OKI/County Land Access Management Study (Gateway Project)
3. Entire SR1 Corridor study for access, truck lane on the hill, and upgrades rather than just spot fix.
4. Ramp on I-275 to KY/OH- fix the lane change problem spot
5. Bridges 95,15, and 159
Messmore- also stated the property liability proposals should have recommendations by the end of the week.
He met with each town to get more input on the Gateway Study and by 1st week in Feb will get findings out to the public on Gateway Study of Access Management.
Jan 16th will have the Comprehensive Capital Management plan. [NOTE: This is Vieste/Level 5 Engineering and London Witte. This plan attaches economic values to the county “wish list” and to road projects and economic development. Paying for these items will require several options, including increased taxes and maybe even instituting new ones as allowed by state law.]
Jan 23rd- the Council will get the same presentation as Commissioners get on the 16th.
Jan 25th there is a special meeting for DCRSD to have Woolpert Sewer Study presented.
IT services with the county have bids due by Dec 29th for award in January.
8. Claims and minutes signed
9. Ewbank noted the county still hasn’t been sued this month.
10. Fox thanked Benning for her service to the county and though he didn’t always agree with her, he thought she’d always done what she thought was best for the people in her heart. Benning said she didn’t want to get tearful, said everyone was wonderful, and wished them “Godspeed.”
Benning motioned to adjourn, Fox 2nd. All ayes.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Present: Jane Ohlmansiek, Acting Chairperson, Tarry Feiss, Nick Held, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Patrick deMaynadier
Mark Mitter, Chairman and Council rep, resigned last month.
Also Present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, Mark McCormack, Planning Director, and Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer.
Minutes from Aug, Sept, and Oct meetings were approved.
Proposed changes to the County Subdivision Ordinance were decided as follows:
These items go to the commissioners with a recommendation- final approval rests with County commissioners.
1. Article 5 Section 520 on Zone Map Amendment requirements was given a favorable recommendation as corrected with “should” changed to “must or shall”, all geotech studies must reflect the current conditions of the land, and landscape plans be generally described.
2. Article 3 section 315 on conditional use requirements (as related to multifamily uses) was TABLED to get language reflecting steps to be outlined.
3. Article 10 Section 1010 Residential Animal Allowances and Article 27 related animal definitions was given a FAVORABLE recommendation to be stricken from the code.
4. Article 25 Section 2576 on water supply and sewage disposal was TABLED.
5. Article 25 Section 2512.5 on setbacks from watercourses and drainage easements and storm water structures was TABLED for clearer language and possible disclaimer.
6. Article 7 Certificate H for Auditor’s certificate language was given a favorable recommendation.
McCormack presented info on Judge Mitchell finding in favor of Red Pine Properties (Andy Temmel) on his writ of certiorari. He wanted direction from the board as to appeal or not.
Feiss noted that she was not at that meeting even though minutes indicate she was there. [NOTE: Meeting notes on the blog for that meeting list Feiss, Laws, and deMaynadier as being absent.]
Subdivision Ordinance 232 #29 states applicant has to provide proof of sewage.
Board decided to take this to executive session on Thursday at 2:30 PM
Public briefly gave information.
Maria LaRosa passed out November VRUC violations to board.
Chris Mueller asked how a judge can state primary plat approval is given if the board did not consider all the other points for the approval at that meeting (such as roads) and also because there have been accessibility changes since this plat was considered.
Jim Maupin specifically outlined the HVL access was recorded as being vacated and is now unavailable.
McCormack told the board that the recorded HVL piece passed through Planning Office.
Next meeting for PC is Jan 22 at 7 PM
McCormack discussed with the board that applicants bringing in new material the night of the meeting should automatically be tables so that staff can review that material. Board seemed to concur with this thought.
Issue was most recently seen at the approval of the Maxwell development on Mt Pleasant at the Lonnie Steele property. What was discussed in tech review and recommended by staff apparently changed with Maxwell’s presented plans at the meeting and now only one section of roadway is being fixed, when the tech board thought others were included.
[NOTE: If the PC board is also unclear on this- perhaps Maxwell needs to be brought back for clarification of his REAL roadway plans.]
Advisory Board for master plan to meet in mid January (17th) and also a public meeting planned at the end of the month- the 31st.
New ass’t planner position is posted and St. Leon and W. Harrison are sharing expenses. So far 3 replies. McCormack hopes to have the position filled by the end of January.
Meeting adjourned at 9:35 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Monday, December 11, 2006
The question in my mind is what is it that Mr. Andres and his organizations are really trying to accomplish. We know that developers want sewer systems essentially paid for by citizens who do not want, nor need a sewer system.
We all know that some people have become potential millionaires by having a sewer system service their land. There is a parcel of land along I-74 near St . Leon that has been serviced by what is in my opinion circuitous routing of the St. Leon sewer system. That land is now on sale for 55,000 dollar an acre.
Mr. Hanklins of the regional sewer board who is obviously medically sophisticated has spoken of the "Gold Standard" as everyone serviced by a sewer system. That is a typical and understandable urban opinion. It is not a rural opinion nor desire.
Essentially the less government tweaking with our lives the better off we will be. If a developer wants a sewer system in his subdivision let him put in his own. Too Expensive? Well then don't develop. Let's not stick ordinary Dearborn Countians with the costs of servicing a wealthy developer's project under the guise of "we're here to protect your health".
Perhaps the developers of subdivision should add the cost of a localized sewage system to the purchase price of the houses they build. This would increase the assessed value of the houses leading to higher property taxes that might help offset the increasing costs of adequetly educating the children.
Alan Stanley Freemond, Sr.
Tanners Creek Farm
Sunday, December 10, 2006
It is unfortunate that Doug Baer and none of the DCRSD gave a complete and fair idea to the public regarding the proposal I made to the DCRSD on behalf of the RWWTF (Rural Waste Water Task Force) to partner with the Task Force in establishing a County wide Septic District to address the issues with septic tank problems through out the State. This district need not be separate but part of the current District. The $200 figure was established in the Allen County Septic District and included charges for a long list of items that would not be necessary in all Districts. This was not a figure that was recommended but rather as a idea as to what it may cost that would include a whole list of specifications which Baer obviously left out.
I also serve on the State Department of Health's Onsite Septic Task Force that is looking at establishing new rules for installation of septic systems, new technology, maintenance, and many other aspects of onsite wastewater collection. By my working with both of these State wide groups, I felt it would be a great opportunity for the County to engage in a 'Pilot' program that would have the support of ISDH and IDEM. Sad to say the DCRSD was interested in closing their meeting that night rather then listen to what I had to say. I thought it would be great if Dearborn County would for once be in on the ground floor of something 'new' that would be beneficial to the lifestyle of the citizens of this county and go a long way toward protecting their health rather then be forced into something down the years.
There are Counties in the State that understand the problems and want to correct them and will be willing to partner with the RWWTF to establish pilot programs that will eventually be adopted throughout the State. Hopefully when we have the ground rules formed I will have another opportunity to present it to the County and they will be more willing to participate.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Present: Hankins, Chairman, Pruss, Dennerline, Fehrman, and Holland
Absent: Enzweiler and Maxwell [NOTE: By-laws state that a member can only miss 6 meetings a year or 4 consecutive meetings. Maxwell has missed 6 of the 16 meetings that I have covered this year: Feb 16, Mar 2, Mar 16, July 6, Sept 7, and Dec 7. Ironically, Maxwell was appointed by Council to replace Greg Vollmer and they cited numerous absences as their reason.]
Also present: Kramer, Attorney, Quinn, Engineer, Messmore, Adm./Liaison, Baer, Health Dept., and Benning, Sec’y (?)
Minutes from Nov 16 approved and there was no treasurer report.
Ralph Meierjohn of Ameritech asked about DCRSD serving SR1 development (Glenn property). Hankins said there was nothing new on that yet. Meierjohn also asked about Gabbard property and was told that it was beginning to look more and more like they were going to have to locate a waste water treatment facility up there between Aurora and Dillsboro to clean up High Ridge Estates too. Ameritech is still willing to work with DCRSD for lift stations, pumps, locating them on their lands, and also line costs. Hankins noted it is up to the state as to whether Aurora can connect them ultimately.
Serenity Ridge- Hankins met with Jay Tucker and told him DCRSD was opposed to their expansion into 2 more sections. LMH was not averse to serving Serenity Ridge. DCRSD is to bring the line to the street and tap to LMH’s lines across the street from it. Kramer is drawing up the interlocal agreement for this.
2 reps from Serenity Ridge’s 5 homes wanting service were present asking for costs and timeline. Board let them know that realistically it would be about a year before they saw actual service if all went well. These citizens are bearing the entire cost of the service and engineering studies. Baer is to email them when interlocal agreement is in place. DCRSD will be LMH’s customer for this. And the citizens work with DCRSD. They can’t work with LMH, because that is not LMH’s territory.
DCRSD does not have a hard and fast rule on enforced hook-ups yet. Hankins said the gold standard for the future is to have EVERYONE on sewers.
There are 19 lots and 9 are built. The lots sold to some of these people requesting sewer were sold as buildable lots- but with septic rules- they would have to build their homes in the creek…
Citizens were worried that others in the development wouldn’t sign up and then the costs would be born by just them. Later those people could hook on and those costs would NOT be refunded to the original payers per Hankins.
If LMH owns the lines, these people would not be forced on, because they are a private sewer company.
The one citizen noted she’d like to sue because they were sold a bill of goods- a buildable lot that isn’t really buildable. She said that was not the realtor’s fault. [NOTE: when Plan Commission approved Serenity Ridge, it was noted that there were UNBUILDABLE lots in it, unless sewer became available. Neighbors were opposed to that, and the comment from the Planning board was that it was “buyer beware.”]
Fehrman and Dennerline motioned to have Kramer do the interlocal agreement and Quinn to do preliminary engineering simultaneously on this project. Approved.
Stewart St and Cole Lane- Hrezo Engineering contract amended to include $1585 maximum in inspection fees. Dennerline and Quinn thought a 3rd party needs to inspect it all (Hrezo) Approved- and the notice to proceed was signed also.
Hrezo will make daily informal reports to Aurora, which will suffice for them, and they won’t have to duplicate inspections on Aurora’s part of this project.
Quinn presented a preliminary estimate for line to Guilford from Greendale.
2 miles to Guilford, with 47 homes and 38,000 gal per day to 2021
4” forced main- $25/ft
8” gravity $90/ft
Forced total cost $329,000
Gravity total cost $950,000
Going under Salt Fork CR not in the estimate.
Figures the forced main is 1/3 the cost of gravity. [NOTE: This is always going to be the case with initial costs- it’s the long term investment that needs to be considered and maintenance.]
Quinn says a 4” main can hold 230 homes.
SDRSD update- pledged to continue discussing, trying to create an entity that will better serve the county. SDRSD meets 10 AM Tues Dec 12.
St. Leon Interlocal agreement- presented by Kramer from Watson for them to look over till Jan. meeting. Kramer has a call in to Watson to get the numbers for it.
Vieste, LLC/ London Witte- Hankins said DCRSD is trying to create a utility where none existed before. He asked Dick Robertson of Vieste to put a proposal together to help DCRSD get on their feet- like what they did in Clay County. He expects something form them soon.
Aurora agreement- Kramer made changes to the language and board voted for him to send that back to Aurora’s attorney for their approval or changes.
$500 and $2080 tap fees waived if sign on in first 60 days. $3500 to have pump (pump cost is $2650) installed, $250 to pump out and destroy septic tanks.
$260,000 is the DCRSD cost for Cole Lane and Stewart St. Long discussion about how to pay for part and finance the debt for part of this. Pay $160,000 and finance $100,000 at 1-2% from the bond bank, hopefully. Bond issue would be 40 years.
Average out of Aurora limits sewer bill is about $50 for 4,000 gal per month. That is going to $60 or so.
Kramer asked if this new line goes into the trailer park. Dennerline said it goes to the lift station where the old line was. He has the only property for the lift station, as most people don’t want it in their yard.
Dennerline said- it’s still cheaper than putting in septic again. Baer said cost of a new septic system is about $7,000 for gravity feed. [NOTE: And no monthly fee- just pumping periodically and routine maintenance.]
Fehrman worried that residents can’t afford all these fees. And also worried about setting precedents.
Will Aurora annex this soon? Dennerline- L-bg Bond bank won’t loan money without Woolpert Study.
Pruss brought up a neighbor on Mt. Tabor road filing a complaint soon regarding another neighbor’s sewage running off into his outbuildings. Dennerline said- wasn’t that in our original target area? Yes.
Non-working septic systems are defined as anything with a discharge per Baer. [NOTE: Does this mean a contaminated discharge or just water?]
Board decided to do a monthly fee of $12.35 to get 85-cent billing fee for Aurora and $11.50 for debt service reduction. The feeling was that people could take that easier than an up front tap fee.
Baer noted that Aurora does NOT want to force anyone on- and hopes the county won’t either. Hankins kept saying it was mandated- not forced.
Baer told them Chuck Andres thinks the county needs a separate Septic Maintenance district to inspect tanks. – Testing yearly would be about $200 to the homeowner.
Board voted for Hankins and Frank Kramer to work out details with Aurora and then Hankins can sign the agreement.
Hankins reported that the Woolpert Study to come to DCRSD by Dec 21 and will be “massaged” until they are ready to show it to the public on Feb 1st at regular DCRSD meeting.
Paid Woolpert mid way bill- probably another $50,000 owed after this.
Benning was told by Hankins to draw up a letter to commissioners recommending they reappoint Pat Holland.
Meetings for next year will be advertised as 2/month same as this year and they will cancel one of them probably.
Tom Kent asked about his SR1 development. DCRSD is not giving Greendale authority to serve it yet so he can’t get primary approval.
Next meeting is the 1st Thursday in January.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Thursday, December 07, 2006
When the principal of Vieste made his sales pitch to Dearborn County and offered brochures he was rather effusive. We learned all about his proud heritage going all the back to the village Vieste, Italy situated along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Sentimentally he named his company after this little village.
Since then we have learned nothing about what this company is doing. Recently this company, Vieste, was paid 22,500 dollars of taxpayers’ money. Does this not beg the question “paid for what?” Mr. Robertson of Vieste had opportunities on the evening of December 05 to report to his payors, the public, as to what Vieste has done and is doing. He said nothing.
This is worrisome as secrecy seems to be the hallmark of some of the denizens of the Dearborn County Courthouse. Additionally the secret meetings and closed door meetings of that clubby group of wealthy movers and shakers of Dearborn County the DCEDI adds to one’s concern about secrecy regarding the use of taxpayer’s’ money.
Has the local government put a gag on Vieste? Has the DCEDI with its vast influence and money recommended or demanded a gag on Vieste?
How about it Honorable Commissioners Fox, Hughes and Benning, say something! Demand that our hired consultants report to us. Or tell us why you won’t demand periodic public reports.
Are there other hired consultants who are not publicly reporting their activities?
Alan Stanley Freemond, Sr.
Tanners Creek Farm
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney
ABSENT: Messmore, Administrator.
No uniformed police officer was present.
A public hearing on an unsafe building violation was held at 5:30 prior to this meeting. There was no announcement of the decision from that meeting.
1. Todd Listerman- Transportation Director- reported to commissioners that he had opened bids for aggregates, fuels, and asphalt Dec 4th and moved to accept all bids. Commissioners acquiesced to that except for the asphalt bid, which went to Rohe Paving, which had the higher base bid but no escalator clause in it. O’Mara will be sought as an alternate in the event that Rohe can’t produce the asphalt as needed on some days.
Aggregates went to Harrison Sand and Gravel, Newpoint Stone, and Hanson.
Fuel went to Laughery Valley Ag Coop and Rexner (sp?) Energy.
Asphalt went to Paul Rohe with per ton prices for base at $33, intermediates at $36, surface at $38 and cold mix at $86.O’Mara’s bids were base-$30, intermediate- $ 32, surface $35.50 and cold mix at $75. Plus an escalator clause.
Triple Whipple Interlocal agreement was reworded by Ohio County’s attorney- with Ewbank’s approval it was resigned by commissioners. Total cost to be $1,644,500 with $1,325,600 paid by a federal grant.
Jerry Tucker was present for the acceptance request for Brookstone Subdivision. Commissioners approved the 7 roads in it and accepted them into county inventory after Listerman reported they passed core sampling and all corrections to signage, ditches, etc. were completed.
Benning then asked about Seldom Seen I, II and III, wanting to accept them contingent on completion of Listerman’s corrections requested of Tucker. Benning said she wanted to accept it because it had been out there so long. Ewbank advised against that. Commissioners decided to wait until the core samples were complete and corrections made.[NOTE: YIKES! YIKES! YIKES! Unbelievable- that a commissioner who is elected to protect the taxpayers would want to accept any road that hadn’t passed it’s testing yet. Benning and Tucker were chatting amicably in the audience chairs prior to this meeting.It should also be noted that there is a section of Seldom Seen that has a split roadway that was the subject of a strongly worded letter in the road files from Larry Smith, County Engineer at the time. He gave me a copy of this letter dated Jan 24, 1994, when I was researching road bonds. The road in question is a section of Campground Drive and Smith’s letter states that there is an increase in maintenance as well as liability costs to the county. He states that 1. It’s an example of a developer of a developer getting approval for 1 standard and then building to another. 2. It sets a precedence of allowing grade separations to exist on any new subdivision roadway. 3. This change causes an increase in the maintenance as it increases need for guardrail, drainage structures, mowing and sign maintenance. It has site distance problems with the hill. 4. The area will inhibit emergency response as vehicles may need to turn around to gain access to a residence and may not be able to turn into a driveway as the roadway is only one lane wide.He states to allow this would not be a wise decision and cannot be justified. He asked Commissioners to not allow this change.]
2. Vieste Update- Dick Robertson said he had no report [NOTE: Commissioners claims indicate $22,500 paid to Vieste. Yet they have nothing to report.]
3. NACO Prescription coverage. Hughes reported that the county insurance consultant had no problems with this conflicting with county health plans. Commissioners signed the agreement. Pickens noted that the paperwork for the “mom and pop” drig stores may slow this implementation down by a few weeks, but it should be up and running in about a month. They will get a press release out to county residents announcing this plan.
4. Easement papers for Dearborn County Hospital were tabled until Listerman could research exactly what they were.
Commissioners signed the offer to purchase insurance with Mutual of Omaha so that their underwriters could verify health histories and decide whether or not to indemnify the county health plan.
DCEDI asked Commissioners to ratify their board of directors:Bill Ritzman- President, Pete Resnick, VP, John Maxwell, Treasurer, and Jim West, Sec’y. Approved.
Ewbank also reported that the county hasn’t been sued in over a month.
Meeting adjourned at 6:50 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
About 50 people attended the first public meeting where 6 versions of draft maps for Dearborn County’s future land uses were unveiled. The meeting was held at Sunman Dearborn Middle School Cafeteria in the St. Leon area.
Mark McCormack, Planning Director gave an overview of the process and historical timeline of the Comprehensive Plan. The public could comment on written sheets last night, mail them later, or fax to the office. They also could speak orally to Plan Commission members and have their comments written by them, and lastly, they could vote with red, green, or yellow stickers on the land use definitions and principles as drafted so far.
McCormack asked the public to look at the current land use maps and report any errors to him as well. In his press release McCormack noted that the 60- person Advisory Board has dedicated over 320 hours to this project in the last 18 months. [NOTE: It should also be noted that of the 60-person panel, only about half faithfully attend the meetings and workshops. This means that the fate of the county is in the hands of around 30 people, who hopefully are trying to represent their areas and not just there for their own personal goals. That is why it is critical to get public input at these meetings. The more people who comment, the better our chances of getting a truly representative plan for the county.]
Dick Robertson of Vieste/Level 5 Engineering was present but again gave no public comments or presentation of their work on the I-74 Corridor development plans to date. [NOTE: This is unfortunate- as it would have been a golden opportunity for them to reach out and engage people in the area that they are “studying.” It would also have allowed them to gauge public response to some of their plans, which to date have not been publicly aired. ]
McCormack’s overview talked about the master plan process beginning in Dec of 2003 and adopted by September 2004 by the Commissioners. He added the Sewer Maps, Road Maps and Fiscal Impact study preliminary results from 2005. McCormack noted that the Woolpert Study on consolidating sewer services was waiting for the master plan to complete their overview. The transportation 2030 plan was placed out for the public to view and is available at the planning office also.
Preliminarily the fiscal impact workshop with FSG noted that a statewide average of $225,000 house was needed to provide enough taxes to pay for the public services that home requires. They recommended impact fees and parkland donations from developers. Preliminary county data analysis showed that for Residential development for every $1 taken in they need $1.18 in services. For Commercial/Industrial for every $1 taxed they require $0.64 and for Ag they only use $0.36. This data was given so that a proper balance of land uses in the county could be achieved and taxes could be controlled.
In late 2005, four focus groups met and devised some main ideas and maps, which were then combined into a series of overlays on a master map, which was also displayed last night. The focus groups were, Ag, Residential, Commercial/Industrial/ and Open space/Greenspace.
Lastly in Nov. 2005 the advisory board met again and compiled land use maps for the future. These were redone this year and presented as a series of 6 options last night.
McCormack also noted related efforts currently going on with regional sewer studies, The Gateway US 50 study on land uses, and the INDOT Us 50 Corridor study. He also brought up the 2030 Transportation Plan and the Capital Management Program, which the County has hired Vieste/Level 5 and London Witte to conduct. It looks at Economic Development, County Facilities, and Infrastructure. [NOTE: This was where Robertson could have done a presentation and apparently elected not to do so.]
All materials from last night are available at www.dearborncounty.org/planning or by calling the Planning Office at 537-8821.
We welcome any and all input from the public.
Christine Brauer Mueller
Citizen Member- County Master Plan Advisory Board.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Dearborn County, Indiana Dearborn County Citizens’ Committee for Responsible Development
Issue 3 November 29, 2006
IMPORTANT MEETING - OPEN HOUSE FOR MASTER PLAN Monday, December 4, 2006 - 7 to 9 p.m. Sunman Dearborn Middle School Cafeteria YOUR ATTENDANCE IS IMPORTANT !
This meeting is to determine the public’s response, and seek comments from the public regarding the Dearborn County Plan Commission Advisory Committee’s work-in-process, regarding the future land use of Dearborn County.
On August 18, 2005, Comprehensive Advisory Committee members, representing cities, towns, and county economic development initiatives were invited to the first meeting. The Plan Director, Travis Miller, stated anyone in the county, interested in future land use designations was welcome to attend. Focus Group Workshops were held to discuss Agriculture, Green Space, Residential, Commercial-Industrial and recommendations were made by these groups. Travis Miller resigned at the end of the year, and Mark McCormack was designated the new Dearborn County Plan Director. On September 20, 2006, the Dearborn County Plan Commission had the first (re-organizational) Future Land Use Meeting with representatives of all areas, and interests in the county.
There have been additional meetings: The OKI Land Use Commission Meeting on October 16, 2006, and Future Land Use Plan Meetings with the Advisory Committee on October 18, 2006, November 6, 2006, and November 20, 2006. Future Land Use Designations are Agriculture, Rural Residential, Residential-Low-Density, Residential-Medium Density, Residential- High Density, Commercial-Services/Retail, Commercial-Office/Hi-Tech, Industrial, Mixed Use-Residential & Commercial, and Mixed Use-Corridor Area.
Although the Board of Commissioners and the Plan Commission already approved TIF areas for businesses before this process was completed, it is important that citizens become aware of the categories, and impact, the Future Land Use Plan will have on Dearborn County. Citizens of the county may express their opinions in support, or make suggestions regarding land uses to reflect their view of the county. There have been many man hours spent on this process, and citizens are now invited to give their input on the Advisory Committee’s work so far.
Please take the time to review the Advisory Committee’s work.
If by some chance you cannot attend, Mark McCormack, Planning Director, stated this is the first in a series of several meetings planned in the community to spread awareness of the Future Land Use Plan.
Citizen Watch is published by Dearborn County Citizens’ Committee for Responsible Development
P. O. Box 316
New Trenton, IN 47035-0316
Ed.: Helen Kremer www.Kremer1848@aol.com
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Health Insurance and DCEDI Dominate Council Discussion
Present: Fehrman, Chairman, Kraus, Sr., Lansing, Cheek, Ullrich, Mitter, and Morris.
Stephanie Disbro was sitting in for Pickens, Auditor.
Ralph Thompson, Commissioner-elect was in the audience.
Judges Witte and Humphrey were each present for parts of the meeting.
Bonnie Shepherd spoke about health insurance issues for 110 employees who signed a petition- some of whom were in the audience. She reiterated her appeal made to commissioners last week and asked Council to carve money out of the budget somewhere to help lower employee out of pocket costs. She noted 8 new employee positions were created in the budget for $188,000 and that some people got more than a 3% raise that the rank and file received.
One commissioner told her that he got a $6,000 raise and didn’t need it so he was considering donating ½ to life squad or fire dept. She estimated Council members make about $130 per hour for the 60 hours they work a year.
She and Ullrich got into a tete a tete over him calling her a Chief Rapture Girl stirring up trouble at the courthouse.
Ullrich informed her that council sets the budget amount- but commissioners buy the insurance plan.
Shepherd said that Kramer told her to take the blood test and “play the game.” The blood tests are technically voluntary, but if the employee doesn’t do this they pay $200 per month premium vs. $77 if they do.
[Note: Later in discussion it was said that this insurance blood test is required to get the best insurance rates. And the test consists of routine screens as well as PSA (a test for prostate cancer), and other tests. They say they are doing it to get a baseline and to help them get care needed. And it’s “free.” Kramer also was said to have told the group the county pays ½ of these costs.
It is not reasonable to assume the county isn’t paying for these totally. The insurance companies are not giving out free health care. The costs are built into their plans. So taxpayers and employees are paying for these tests too.
Secondly, tests of this nature should be interpreted by the patient’s doctor- who knows their medications and health history. There is also the danger of false positives and test results causing undue anxiety in patients when not part of a total care program. Family doctors are the best source of individualized patient health advice for ongoing care and chronic conditions. This is like practicing medicine without a license.
Third, there is a danger to the employee in that these tests can also be used to build a history that will make them ineligible for insurance down the road. Insurance companies know your drugs because they pay the pharmacy bills. They know what tests have been run on you, because they pay those bills. Now they are seeking to actually know what your health future might be. This is a huge invasion of privacy. And it needs to stop.
If employees want to voluntarily participate in a wellness program, that is fine- but this is coercive- forcing them to divulge personal health histories essentially in order to be insured at a better personal rate with GROUP insurance. This is not private insurance.]
Fehrman informed the group that the county pays 74% of their $16 million budget on employees.
$3.4-3.6 million is spent on health insurance. (The plans cost about $12,700 apiece per Fehrman) The county is paying the bulk of those costs. Employees will be paying $75 a month.
[NOTE: As a point of reference- Health Alliance insurance thru Health Span is costing employees of the Cincinnati Alliance hospitals about $185 a month for family plan for the Alliance Select version of the plan where you pay more out of pocket and can see out of network doctors. The hospitals also self insure, similar to the county.]
Cheek gave some private sector costs to put this in perspective. Thompson asked council if they had checked into pooling employees with other entities to get better rates. Fehrman said they had, but our plan was “richer” than others so that would cut our benefits and force others to raise theirs.
[NOTE: These situations and costs are rapidly changing now- forcing the county into a plan similar to the mainstream.]
Other comments from council members concerning ways to cut fat from the budget:
Sheriff’s cars are left running at restaurants supposedly to enable them to have a quick start. [NOTE: That seems reasonable for a carry-out order perhaps, but not a meal inside. Besides the gas costs, the pollution caused by an idling car should be eliminated.]
The county engineer drives a county car to and from Seymour daily. [NOTE: This was negotiated at his hiring, to cover the time to get his home built in the county.]
Mitter challenged the council pay of $130 for 60 hours- saying that council members work numerous hours on other boards and county work. [NOTE: Mitter does as Plan Commission Chair and also on master plan, but not all council members are as civic minded.]
Council agreed that communication needed to happen. This plan is apparently done for 2007. [NOTE: Doesn’t Messmore function as an administrator who should be communicating the commissioner decisions to employees?]
Special appropriations- additionals:
$25,000 was approved from Riverboat revenue with Cheek the only Nay for gas and oil.
$1395 times 15 inmates for 4 months approved from Riverboat Revenue for inmate housing out of county with Mitter the only Nay.
$5,000 was approved for part time help and $12,000 for autopsies for the Coroners office.
$491 for Court ordered drug tests for the probation dept. was approved.
Extension office was tabled to get further info.
Mike Rozow, of the Chamber of Commerce, was grilled by Mitter regarding how much of the $25,000 goes to DCEDI funding. (About $20,000) Mitter said his support for EDI has dried up and he is unwilling to spend another dime of taxpayer money on EDI as they are supporting a developer who is in violation of county zoning ordinances.
Rozow said the money goes from the county to the chamber to Redevelopment Commission to EDI. In addition $50,000 from Tourism Bureau (CVTB) goes to Redevelopment Commission, which works with EDI.
Rozow said part of his salary comes out of this too.
Mitter said he’d worked hard on the TIFs with EDI and felt their latest actions were a slap in the face.
The money was approved at this point with discussion later on these issues.
[NOTE: Mitter must have seen the circuitous route this money was taking. It seems that the county needs to clean up their funding mechanism on these private entities.]
The contingency fund was approved to pay $200,000 in additional health insurance costs. The $3.2 million from January was not enough.
2007 salary ordinance was signed.
Extension was untabled and money transfer approved for them.
Bill Black asked about his possible part time help or assistant. Cheek finally told him that if there is money left he thought health insurance would take precedence over more Homeland security. Apparently all the grants and paperwork are getting extensive.
At 9:30 PM Alex Humphrey son of Judge Humphrey introduced himself as an 8th grader at St. Lawrence working on his Eagle Scout badge. He has raised $19,500 of the $25,000 needed for the eternal flame to be installed at Greendale cemetery. He has also sought $20,000 in a grant that hasn’t been awarded and may only realistically be half that amount. He plans to use excess funds raised to maintain and keep the flame lit as often as possible considering gas costs. Council approved the ENTIRE remaining $5,500 needed from Community Services Funds. All ayes. Council members commended Alex for his dedication.
Minutes were approved for the year with Cheek and Morris abstaining on those when they were absent.
Mark Mitter then addressed Council regarding the details of the Plan Commission Meeting last night and stating at the outset that he was immediately resigning as Council’s rep to the Plan Commission so that he could speak freely on these issues.
[NOTE: Council needs to resolve these issues quickly and then attempt to get Mitter to reconsider serving on PC.]
He said that this stemmed from issues regarding his ability to speak at the Plan Commission hearing raised by an applicant’s attorney (Lisa Lehner) who was informed by Nicole Daily (of Bayer Becker Engineering) that Mitter had a conflict of interest. Daily was present and Mitter called her to the podium to answer questions. Daily related that she had reported to Lehner that Mitter had said at a previous meeting that he was going to step down to avoid a conflict of interest when the Mariah Business Park came in. She wasn’t sure what the issue was- she said. She knows there is a conflict with one of the owners- Kramer- who owns land next to Mitter’s home. She does not know who all the owners are. She knows there are questions regarding how they are using the property next to Mitter’s home. She said Lehner already knew about this. Daily said she wasn’t aware that Lehner was going to use her name in the meeting last night.
Mitter said he worked for the county for 11 years as a volunteer and then as an elected official. “Just because I’m elected I don’t give up my right to free speech. I stepped down because I filed a complaint of a zoning violation against the owner of Mariah Development who also owned land next to me.”
Mitter met with DCEDI and others regarding concerns over this owner doing a new project in the county when in violation on another piece of land. EDI said they viewed this man as a property owner only- selling his land. Mitter then showed Council the plans with Mariah DEVELOPMENT on them as owner. He said the owners are also the developers.
Metter said- we fought for TIF districts as a development tool. What do we get? Self-storage units and gas stations? Does that create jobs? We capture tax revenue to help create jobs. These businesses are not going to do that. Mitter wants job creation and increased property values. This does NOT do that. Staff report at Planning office showed numerous deficiencies in the plan and roadway design. EDI wants a shovel ready site. We need to look at these issues and not create a further problem up there at I-74. We want industry with a POSITIVE impact on the community. The attorney for the developers (Lehner) only wanted an approval- no discussion.
Mitter told them he did not speak on that issue at PC, he resigned tonight so that he was free to speak on it with no potential legal repercussions for the county.
EDI wants one in the win column and it doesn’t matter what it is. Mitter outlined slopes greater than 20% LOS F for access points, SR1 access problems, and improper use of valuable land in a TIF.
Cheek was strongly against supporting anyone in violation of county ordinances. “This is NOT the right thing to do.”Mitter said EDI needs to pay attention to county government if they want our money.
Cheek said we’ve also paid out a lot for supportive services with GIS, qualified staff in planning, and this EDI support sounds like the good old boy system.
Mitter said an ad ran in the local paper listing this 56 acres as M zoned property as if it were a done deal.
Daily said they didn’t know that had happened with their client. She thought EDI didn’t either.
Mitter said we need to send a message to EDI. Daily said they should be here to answer to this.
Mitter said West was at PC at the order of the executive committee to support the Mariah Development Park. Mitter said he was so worked up by this issue that he didn’t sleep till 4 AM after the PC meeting.
Fehrman is to set up a public special meeting with Council and DCEDI to air these issues.
Fehrman and Council joked around with Bo Lansing and wished him well at his last meeting after 24 years on County Council. Lansing will get his plaque at the County Christmas party in 2 weeks.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Meeting lasted 6 hours and 20 minutes. I have condensed 14 pages of notes.
Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Patrick deMaynadier, Jane Ohlmansiek, Tarry Feiss, Nick Held, Mike Hall, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Jeff Hughes
Also Present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, Mark McCormack, Planning Director
Also absent: Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer.
1. Tom Kent requested a change in written commitments for Perfect View Zone Map on SR 1 in Miller Township. Specific request was to modify the language so that he could GRADE on slopes greater than 20% for his roadbed to cut through the hill and not on the edge of it. The actual road will be on less than 20% slope when finished. The geotech engineer thinks the road will be less prone to slippage this way.
No public comment. Hall remarked that it’s like new 48 vs. old 48 in design change. Board concerned that they would set a precedent with this. All agreed this was a small section and not a precedent.
Patrick de Maynadier motioned and Bob Laws seconded to give a favorable recommendation to the commissioners to allow the geotech study to be submitted to allow grading on this section of 20-25% grade with the understanding that the road is finished to less than 20% grade and that NO BUILDINGS will be along this section. All ayes.
2. Zone change request from Ag to R for 108 single family homes on 56 acres of White Farm on North Dearborn/Gaynor Ridge/Short Roads in Logan Township.Owner/Applicant: White Farm Development LLC (Tucker and Schmidt) and Becker Bayer
This application took almost 2.5 hours.
When McCormack presented the materials and pictures he included calculations on densities in the area at the request of the PC.
Farmland averaged 2.16 acres/unit. Harley Springs averaged 1.26 acres/unit. White Farm proposed to be .519 acres/unit. That makes it over twice as dense as the next densest subdivision in the area. Tucker cited other subdivisions in Bright and by East Central as back up for his proposed density. He stated that these were adjoining farmland also.
Tucker offered $20,000 to be donated to N Dearborn Elementary about a ½ mile away for use to upgrade their playground and $30,000 to be put in the pot to repair other sections of Gaynor Ridge. Tucker said he realized this was a small amount compared to what Gaynor Ridge needs.
Tucker said this application is different from the previous one that was given an unfavorable because he decreased homes from 131 to 108 (17% reduction), changed the landscaping to increase buffering, changed the street configuration, and changed the average frontages to 100 ft outside the development edges and 85 ft internally. There are several homes facing the main county roads and accessing them directly via individual driveways.
This project will donate 40 ft half ROW to North Dearborn on that perimeter. No trees will be cut in the 20 ft buffer by written commitments. There will be no buildings in that buffer either. The minimum sq footage is 1500 sq ft on ranches. Tucker passed out a booklet illustrating trees, homes, and monuments. He said it would cost $175-200,000 to do all the upgrades to roads and tree plantings around the perimeter. He cited those as benefits to the community at large.
Tucker said there were effects to the outside community that he attempted to mitigate with his $20,000 to playground at the school and $30,000 for more roadwork on Gaynor Ridge beyond his development edges. The $30,000 is paid, as each of three phases would be complete at $10,000 per phase.
The 108 homes will be in by 2011 at the earliest.
The board asked about combined driveways on the county street sides. That was to be discussed at primary plat phase.
10 people spoke: Tom Gaynor, Todd Schumate, Ralph Geis, Bob Gaynor, Alan Acheson, Sheila Henderson, Bill Williams, Glenn Crocker, Brian Richardson, and Steve Kuhn. There was also one letter from Mr. Baer, an adjoiner.
Their opposing comments centered primarily on density issues, safety issues, and school overcrowding and taxes.
Moving farm equipment and the number of long time family farms that are working farms in the area were cited as evidence of the rural/ag nature of the area. Traffic along the windy, hilly area with school speeders was also cited. Several of the speakers illustrated density concerns with maps, percentages, and pictures. Some contested the idea that this was an appropriate “mix” of housing stock.
School class sizes in elementary grades exceeding 32 per class were noted. The $20,000 gesture for a one-time fix to playground was seen as not fixing the EDUCATIONAL impact of the development. Some families have over 6 generations of history in the area. One went so far as to state that he felt that in his humble opinion, Tucker missed on all 5 criteria for the zone change.
Several noted they are NOT Bright- they are Logan Township- and they are rural.
One showed 108 houses in an aerial picture as a big ugly tumor. He also noted 16 driveways directly accessing Short and 12 on Gaynor Ridge. This is an Ag area and there is nothing wrong with that field staying Ag. Many proposed 1-2 acres per home to make it a true rural setting.
Tucker and the PC then discussed the comments for the next 30 minutes.
Tucker insisted this was controlled development and it is exactly where we want to grow. Listerman was consulted about the road changes and noted there was some concern with curves on Gaynor Ridge. He also related that some of these aren’t on the 2030 plan. The Short Road alignment fix was good and county had already trimmed some trees to improve visibility.
PC board had a hard time seeing this BLEND with the area. They had issues with the driveways accesses to main roads. They saw buffers on the east side by Farmland but not the others.
Tucker thought that if others could access these streets, why not his development?
Mitter told him – these were in the past- we seek to control those issues for the future safety of the road. He said you got this almost right on the internal streets, not the outside ones. Tucker said they couldn’t lose a bunch of units and afford the road fixes etc.
Patrick de Maynadier motioned and Nick Held 2nd to pass an UNFAVORABLE recommendation to commissioners as this does not meet Section 540 requirements for a zone change. All Ayes except for Bob Laws Nay.
PC took a break for 15 minutes.
3. Mariah Business Park Zone Map amendment request for 32 of 56c acres on SR1 and Olds SR1 (Sawmill Road) in Kelso Township from H-1 to M-1. Applicant presenting was Bayer Becker for Mariah Development and their attorney , Lisa Lehner.
[NOTE: This is in the TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) district recently created by the Redevelopment Commission and Commissioners with the support of DCEDI also. It is also located right next to the new school on SR1 and Sawmill Road.]
MARK MITTER, CHAIRMAN, STEPPED DOWN FOR THIS PRESENTATION AND SAT IN THE AUDIENCE.
McCormack presented the staff report. Notably there were letters missing on the school and fire/ems support. The traffic study showed a level of service F as designed for the access to SR1 for the Park. The other 5-lot industrial park development for gas station, convenience store, hardware, storage units etc was essentially tied to this access also, so if the variances weren’t granted, then that one would drop out also.
Nicole Daily of Becker Bayer did most of the presentation for the applicant. She noted buffer areas and helping to balance the fiscal problems of county development. This doesn’t affect the number of kids in school, so the school board was looking at it in relation to safety issues etc. Water was OK but fire flows had not been calculated. Slopes greater that 20% were at the back of the property by I-74. Preliminary grading indicates areas greater than 20% grade may be disturbed. They are willing to hire a geotech. They think they have an 8-inch main on SR 1.
DeMaynadier said the fire dept won’t give a letter till they know what the M-1 is going to be. He cited- speaking from experience in another state- the pharmaceutical or chemical industries that would mean a much different form and level of fire protection.
Earl Dawson- adjoining property owner was confused about acreage- 56 acres- but they are only taking 32 for this and 9 for the next application- which leaves 15 unaccounted for. Daily said these were interstate ROW.
He questioned their ability to access SR1 with less than 800 ft available.
He said county is looking for planned development and this road is a mess; more turn lanes on top of each other and conflicting traffic with business across the street. He noted also they have NOT controlled the Johnson grass on the property- and there is a law against that.
Jim West- DCEDI (Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative)- came to speak in favor of this, as they want an inventory of available shovel ready sites to capture Honda spin-offs. To date they have no sites available.
Mark Mitter- came to the podium.
Lisa Lehner- attorney for the applicant- immediately objected, stating Mitter had a conflict of interest. [NOTE: This is the same attorney who didn’t think that Maxwell, a developer, or Fehrman, a realtor, had any conflict of interest on the sewer board.]
Mitter stated he had no pecuniary (monetary) interest in the project.
Lehner went on to suggest that case law would show they had a reason to take legal action due to this conflict. She mentioned that Mitter was not an adjoining owner.
[NOTE: Neither was West or Lehner for that matter]
Jane Ohlmansiek, acting chairman for this case, said that all citizens have a right to speak and that right is not given up just because they are on the board.
DeMaynadier said that Mitter speaking as a citizen and not voting is no conflict. Kraus, Jr, asked for McGill-the board’s attorney’s opinion.
McGill noted that in the past they could speak as long as they step down- EVEN as surveyors who did have pecuniary interests. He saw no problem with this as the board was making a recommendation and not the decision either.
Mitter said he has no pecuniary interest but Jim West does. He said Lehner seeks to shut down public input.
Mitter then stepped back and said he decided not to speak, even though McGill said it was OK.
Chris Mueller- I brought up that this M-1 zone was in the TIF district- (This seemed to be a surprise to several of the board members!)
I mentioned problems with interstate access as being inadequate particularly showing what happened in Harrison and also in Batesville as they had to upgrade and the turmoil and traffic issues that caused during construction.
I noted with two schools in the area and the entire northern county access here, it would be detrimental to the development of the area. I noted there was no development plan attached- and we even have those in Residential zoning- they would be far more important here. I said with the TIF district all these things need to be nailed down so we do not waste the declared area on gas stations and low paying industry uses.
I mentioned with the schools so close they need to know what is going in there because if they zone it M-1 with no Dev Plan they can legally put anything there that is in the M-1 district. There were missing utility and fire letters.
I strongly suggested they at least table this.
End Public comment.
Listerman talked about the road issues and the access being within the turn lanes. The Bayer Becker study did not use the deceleration lane in their calculations. They need 620 ft and Sawmill is only 450 ft away.
Access A has LOS of F, this does adversely affect SR1- people get impatient, and then accidents occur. They need to get connectivity across lot 5 to adjoining property on NW.
Daily noted schools were concerned with M-2 so they switched use to M-1.
Katy Lambert of Bayer Becker did the traffic study and attempted to justify her results. Noted they were restricted because of their small SR1 frontage. Said OUR DRIVE IS OUR PROBLEM. Said people will learn to use Sawmill Road access. Wanted to get INDOT to get traffic signal there.
DeMaynadier- said how do you explain to parents that their kid’s school bus just got T-boned there.
Lambert noted there was a HUGE COMP PLAN THAT WAS DOING THE WHOLE AREA. (Vieste/Level 5?)
Mark Rosenberger of Bayer Becker said he sensed they were going to table this and that they would probably have to study the interstate access as Chris Mueller suggested. What other concerns did the board have?
DeMaynadier said- traffic, uses going in, especially close to the school, access issues, etc.
Kraus, Jr said they should contact other owners to see about better access.
DeMaynadier motioned and Hall 2nd to TABLE pending specific info to address matters in section 540 for 60 days or less.
The next 5- lot Mariah Park was tabled also for 60 days max.
Mr. Stenger representing Ralph Meierjohn on Ameritech (The Glenn Property by Greendale on SR 1 proposed development) spoke to the board touting their developments and wanting to take a couple of them to tour so as not to violate open door laws. He also suggested they could go tour with Jim west if they preferred. Apparently West is in favor of their development too as it provides upscale housing for all those Honda spin off workers [NOTE: YIKES!!!!! There is more at stake than Open Door laws- PC members are not allowed to be influenced prior to a hearing. What he was suggesting was attempting to influence them in favor of his company’s product. I saw no one take him up on the offer and apparently no one called him back when he placed calls to the members.]
Stenger wanted them to see the quality of their homes and visit the Monte Vista area in Western Hills by I-74.
Mark McCormack- presented packet for their review for next meeting, and noted the section on animals in R districts. PC meets Dec 18th next.
Dec 4th is the Open House for Master Plan Public Comment at Sunman Dearborn Middle School Cafeteria from 709 PM. Comments will be written, submitted then or later, oral with staff at stations, and may also use colored dots to vote for their choices of land uses.
Mark Mitter addressed the board from the podium stating his intent to resign his Plan Commission post Tues night at the Council meeting.
He said that 11 years ago he was asked to serve on BZA by commissioners because it was all screwed up and people weren’t being heard. He has confidence in the PC and BZA boards because we can disagree and still go out and slap each other on the back in the parking lot afterward. He said he fought hard and was a big proponent of economic development including Vieste and the TIF. He wanted to speak to that issue tonight because of all his background and saw the applicant only trying to silence his input. He thinks he can do more from this side of the podium now, with his resignation. He said the advertising of the 56-acre M-1 district a month prior to it being heard even makes the public suspect that this was all a done deal. He thought that was wrong. Said it was a pleasure and good luck to all of you.
The board attempted to get Mitter to reconsider. Discussion clearly showed their desire to keep him on PC. Mitter wouldn’t change his mind. Other comments included Lehner as an attorney trying to influence board to not allow a citizen/board member input by insinuating there was case law (not cited but mentioned) that would uphold her contention that he had a conflict of interest. That was why the board sought their own attorney’s advice.
[NOTE: In my opinion, this is a huge loss of experience and leadership for the Plan Commission. Mitter and I have argued and agreed and argued some more - many times over the past 11 years. While I don’t always agree with him, I rarely have felt the need to criticize his handling of the public during any meeting. He has presented an open forum almost without exception during his tenure on BZA and PC. I expect he will be hearing from many others regarding his resignation.]
Meeting adjourned at 1:20 AM Tuesday 28 November 2006
Christine Brauer Mueller
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Present: Hughes, President, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.
No uniformed police officer was present at the side table although several were present for the first item on the agenda.
Commissioner-elect Ralph Thompson was in the audience.
1. Bonnie Shepherd- county employee spokesperson for a petition of almost 90 employees requesting the county reconsider the health insurance cost increases. She read a prepared statement with 9 questions concerning why the increase, how many proposals were received, employee education to keep costs down, other revenues possibly available to carry the increase, the annual cost to keep the present plan, and why family doctors couldn’t do the blood tests required to be part of the wellness program to keep costs down.
They respectfully wanted to be included in future decisions of this type; they wanted three tiers of plans, single, family, and 2-person household.
Some dept. heads objected to employees standing up and objecting (Pickens later said this was in reference to his dept- where he asked them to wait for the meeting on the 28th)
Shepherd also stated that Ullrich, the elected councilman and fellow worker told her that he told all the employees that she was the “Chief Rapture Girl” stirring all this up at the sheriff’s dept. She said she felt this was inappropriate at that she’s just trying to get answers on issues that affect all employees.
Mike Kramer of Pinnacle Advisory Group re-explained the plan to commissioners and employees at Fox’s request. There were 10 bidders on this plan. He talked also about the costs being $700,000 more than the previous year and estimates almost $1.6 million more next year. They budgeted for $2.4 million and the county is self-insured. Pinnacle is the broker and Health Span is the administrator. Apparently schools and municipalities have higher user rates on health care.
The blood draw is done by the company to get 33 tests- standardized, eliminates chasing down test results from multiple doctors, and give consistent reporting for the patient.
Kramer noted that hardly anyone shows up for meetings to explain these plans, when offered for staff.
[NOTE: What does the Wellness Care component of this plan cost? Could there be savings if all government employees, cities, and towns too, and schools combined resources and bid out as a large group?]
Commissioners will investigate more and the group is going to Council next.
Pickens noted that this was not really changeable for this year. Budget was set. He also said it is one of the best plans around and is still a perk.
2. Todd Listerman- Transportation Dept Director:
Triple Whipple Contract signed
Commissioners accepted Tall Oaks Drive 0.2 mi and Schipper Court 0.04 mile into the county maintenance and inventory of roads. They are off Dutch Hollow outside Aurora.
3. NACO Prescription coverage was tabled as Messmore forgot to get it checked with the insurance consultants.
4. The second half of a state grant agreement was signed for the Dept. of Corrections.
5. Commissioners signed the lobbyist activity report for $36,000 for the county from Frick and Associates. [NOTE: Is this a new lobbyist group besides Barnes and Thornburgh and Lewes- Kappes?]
6. Claims and Minutes signed
7. Ewbank read the amended credit card ordinance incorporating new State Board of Accounts rules. Messmore said there were no comments from dept. heads. Commissioners signed it. The ordinance seems to increase the logging requirements for each dept. on their credit cards. The rest was similar to previous ordinances.
8. Hughes will look into an ordinance amendment regarding replacing existing structures- he thinks there are some common sense rules that need to be looked at.
Meeting adjourned 7:10 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Friday, November 17, 2006
Present: Chairman Hankins, Maxwell, Dennerline, Fehrman, and Holland
Absent: Enzweiler and Pruss
Also Present: Baer, Health Dept., Benning, Secretary (?), Kramer, Attorney, Quinn, Engineer, and Messmore, County Adm.
Dick Robertson pf Level 5 Engineering/Vieste was also present in the audience
Minutes of Nov 2nd were approved with Kramer’s correction regarding Ameritech being revised to reflect efforts to get Greendale’s approval, which hasn’t been achieved yet.
Treasurer’s report was in their packets- Pruss was absent for medical reasons.
Cole Lane and Stewart Street- Draft copy of agreement between Aurora and DCRSD is going to their council. Fehrman noted that Mayor Hastings wanted to see drawings of the main and trunk lines. Quinn said Turner had them but he’d take another copy to the mayor. Tap fees were discussed more- Quinn was not in favor of tap fees for existing users, when correcting a problem as opposed to new construction. Fehrman said the Mayor did NOT want to waive tap fees in this case. Some DCRSD members thought the $20,000 that would be raised by tap fees wasn’t “significant.”
Maxwell wanted to know if there was an order for new people to tap on. What REQUIRES them to hook on? Baer said state law allows the Regional authority to do it. Aurora has the power to also. Fehrman said that Aurora prefers to offer it as a one-time price now and if they sign up later it is more expensive. There are 43 homes in this project. Only one is opposed to hook-up with a septic system less than 5c years old.
DCRSD wants Aurora to order the grinders and the county will pay for them. They will have draft document by early next week for DCRSD to review.
Dennerline and Maxwell motioned and 2nded to sign the order to proceed for Lykins to begin Construction on Cole Lane and Stewart Street.
Serenity Ridge- Hankins said LMH will serve it if we allow them to expand their CTA to these sections. Board not in favor of supporting this if at some date we have to buy it back. [NOTE: This seems to indicate a potential DCRSD buyout of LMH???]
Dennerline also didn’t want to step into St. Leon’s territory. Hankins said LMH has NOT been to DCRSD to discuss any of this. Dennerline and Maxwell motioned and 2nded to communicate with LMH that we’ll serve Serenity Ridge and then see if we can fee across the road (Henderson) to LMH for transport and treatment. Board felt this was the only way to expeditiously serve Serenity Ridge. Hankins will meet with Tucker near the end of November.
SDRSD and DCRSD met Tues Nov 14 for a “spirited and lively debate.”
Hankins said the new idea that came from this for consideration was that DCRSD and SDRSD COMBINE and go to work to serve the county as a whole. No decision- but Hankins thought the idea had merit.
Dennerline wants Quinn to look at extending G-dale sewer line to Guilford along SR1.
Maxwell wanted to know when we will see Woolpert study. – as it was due in early Sept.
Hankins said they want to wait and coordinate it with the future land use map.
Maxwell wants GRAVITY along SR1 with Kent paying only his percentage use of it, rather than the force-feed smaller line Kent is proposing currently. They weren’t sure in Greendale was 10 or 12- inch at Green Road.
Quinn is to see if Woolpert studied this also. Messmore noted that Woolpert meets with them in December again.
There was some discussion of costs of $600,000 for 1.5 miles of gravity feed at $80/ft. Dennerline asked if a 6-inch forced main could process more sewage than a 12-inch gravity.
Hankins proposed going to monthly meetings. Board suggested keeping 2 in case they need it and canceling one each month. They were checking on how to give notice of cancellation.
For December they will meet on the 7th and cancelled the 21st.
[NOTE: This will save $350 in per diem expenses (7 x $50) each month plus attorney costs and engineer as well. Noting how much repetition is at each meeting, this appears to be a good idea- as long as they can settle on a pattern and notify public of the “real” meeting time each month.]
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.
1. New recording system was being used during this meeting. [NOTE: This didn’t help the sound system as heard by the audience however.]
2. NACo (National Association of Counties)Rx (prescription discount) Program. If the county is a member of NACo then any resident of the county is able to tap into this offering as long as the county has a paid membership. Pickens said it was a no-brainer- no cost to the county. It covers only drugs not covered by your plan. Ewbank wanted Messmore to check this with the insurance advisors first.
[NOTE: For more info see www.naco.org, which lists he county as already being a member of NACo. This plan is administered through Caremark and utilizes a negotiated discount from pharmacies. Many organizations offer these types of discount cards- AARP, AAA, etc.]
2. Transportation- Todd Listerman- final plans for Stateline and Stephens were signed. Bids to go out in January and construction in March.
Dennis Kraus, Jr- county surveyor asked for preliminary thoughts on extending Cook Road maintenance 300 ft to accommodate a lot split for the Volker Family farm of 80 acres. Plans to create 50 ft ROW and gravel road with 10 ft lane and 40 ft radius turnaround.
Fox thought it would help county to have a turnaround for maintenance of the entire road. Ewbank wants Listerman to consult state statute to be sure they comply. Road has to meet county standards at applicant’s expense. This will be head publicly at a later meeting.
3. GIS Update- Margaret Minzner- listed several areas that GIS is involved in:
the EMA project, 911 addresses and centerline data, the GIS server has a new name- ARCGIS and hopefully a grant, historic structures grant, data development with contour and soil map layers, working to get pricing for rectifying parcel to match the other maps, possibly using Ball State students, and trying to get digital CAD submissions instead of paper on permitting process.
Messmore wanted to know if she wanted commissioners to recommend that P&Z require this. Then discussion ensued concerning some who don’t have that capability.
Minzner has done several presentations this year at conferences also.
4. County Farm Update from Dennis Kraus, Jr. – surveys of the shooting range, animal shelter, county garages area and YES home were presented. They also discussed access points to the unmarked pauper graves. This all encompasses about 45c acres of the 360-acre Farm. The county parks are continuing to farm it until they plan an actual park with fields etc there per Fox. Drawings go to tech review at Planning Office next Monday at 9 am
5. Aurora EMS contract signed.
6. Claims and minutes signed.
7. Commissioner meeting dates approved as 1st and 3rd Mondays ay 6 PM – same as this year. [NOTE: It would have been courteous to ask the incoming commissioner, who was sitting in the audience, if he had any problems with that schedule.]
8. Ewbank presented the credit card ordinance and wanted to use SBOA manual rules. He wanted the dept. heads to be notified by Messmore of these as it has increased paperwork.
Four zone change ordinances need to be sent to Planning office- they were requested by Planning. Ewbank explained that the ordinances were codified at the end of each year and put into their book.
(Perfect View 9/19/06, Sun Valley 7/18/06. Hidden Acres 5/16/06, and Lonnie Steele Golf Course 5/3/05)
[NOTE: When is county going to get their ordinances online similar to the zoning codes?]
9. Ewbank also reported on pending litigation including the civil rights case for a former jail inmate and 2 tort claims for an accident in which the litigants were intoxicated.
10. Hughes yielded time to Sharon Johnson of Jenny Lynn as she had called him earlier. She stated she was there just to see what they were doing- in case it came up at the meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 7 PM.
Christine Brauer Mueller
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Passing cars can see Frank Linkmeyer's final message for his old neighbors on Pribble Road. The new sign says:
Thanks for a great race.
Christine Brauer Mueller
Monday, November 06, 2006
Our sons, fathers, and husbands did not go and fight for our rights to choose the lesser of two evils.
A Concerned Citizen
Friday, November 03, 2006
Need a definition of 'Hubris'?
You need look no farther than the acts of the self-appointed, self-anointed, GOP aristocracy of Dearborn County in trying to nullify the choice of the people in the primary. The bitter taste of defeat might explain Vera Bennings' mean betrayal of the voters, but what about the rest of the gang? The consensus I am hearing is that these folks and their friends are the ones that stand to gain the most from unbridled development so they went shopping for another candidate to champion their bottom line. When these dogs lay down together you can bet we ALL wake up with fleas - if we let them. Ironically, the only way to remind these BIG men of the GOP that they are answerable to the public for public policy is to vote for the REAL Republicans that were selected in the primary.
14687 Main St. Moores Hill, IN
Free will donations
Turkey, ham, and all the trimmings, salad bar and desserts,
For more information, (812) 744 4015
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Two and a half sets of opposing candidates squared off at the Manchester Firehouse Tuesday evening October 24th. Questions of candidates went until 9:45 PM
There were approximately thirty citizens in attendance.
Assessor candidates Joan Seitz (D) and Gary Hensley (R) presented statements first.
Hensley was very brief in his comments- The audience smiled as he said the last time he was at the Firehouse he had died. (In a drill). He wants to move the office forward, get tax issues resolved, and get the staff certified.
Seitz went on in more detail about her background and about the reassessment law changes and problems with state orders and no rules to follow for a time. Her staff all takes classes. Only the assessor is required to be certified Level II and she is. She talked about sales disclosures and drew appreciative laughter when she said deeds used to have $1.00 on them as sales prices, “because this is Indiana and we feel like it’s nobody’s business what I sold it for.”
Seitz stressed there is a lot of waiting going on for what eventually will become a system where the state controls all the changes with the push of a button. County by county they are trying to certify sales analysis ratios and values. She handles new construction and inheritance taxes also. 86/92 counties are using the same company and yet she is sporadically told on some 6-month periods that we are out of compliance. State hasn’t told her why.
Hensley stated 8 are out of compliance and we are one of those 8. His web site is www.grhappraise.com
He has gotten experience on the appeal boards in adjoining counties in our area and thinks we are slow compared to them. He says has the experience and knowledge to do this job. He thinks it’s time we put our best foot forward and noted staff now is not certified.
Seitz said the IAC, International County Assessor Ass’n and Assoc of IN Cities all have classes and it takes time to get experience with all these groups. She has been in office since 1976. This is NOT a policy- making office, so they can run continuously- there are no two term limits.
She said only 13 counties were certified for 2006. The general fund is subsidizing this problem and she doesn’t feel like the assessors office can be just learned in 4 years.
She ended with- I’ll be there as long as you want me there.
Commissioner D-3 Candidates Ralph Thompson ( R) and Tim Barrett who stood in for Frank Linkmeyer(D) presented next.
Linkmeyer who is “his own secretary” scheduled two things for the same night per Barrett.
Tim Barrett read Linkmeyer’s statement beginning with the statement that he knew Frank and his brother Bob for a long time and that they’d been in the Farmer’s Fair parade for years. Barrett read that Linkmeyer was “sending his good friend, Tim, to speak for him.”
gave an extended resume and background including his wife, Judy, and married children. He volunteered for military duty in 1962 but was turned down because of a disability. He started Links Fence Company, which his son –Steve- runs. He retired from Seagrams in 1995 and developed 3 subdivisions all within ¼ mile of Aurora or Lawrenceburg city limits and well within the master plan recommended areas.
After the primary he was approached by Democrats AND MEMBERS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY to run. It seemed like people were anti- this and anti- that and people wanted to stop or at least slow down the county growth. He wants to prioritize needs of the county and not run it by politics.
Economic development means kids can stay and work here. There is a great opportunity with Honda spin-offs down I-74. But we shouldn’t take away all the rural atmosphere. We can’t tell a farmer what to do with his land. Noted that L-bg is begging for more students but EC has problems.
Eminent domain has not happened in the county in a long time.
He has a great respect for volunteers, fire depts, etc.
Ralph Thompson - www.ralphthompson.org- commented on the horse tie worn in the audience and it made him feel right at home. (as he raises horses)
He stressed that politicians should be open to the people and that hasn’t been happening. Smart growth is an effective way to manage and plan for a balanced tax base. We need meaningful jobs here. Not just GROW GROW GROW- we need a plan. US 50 needs to be solved – and they should include the biggest stakeholders there- the businesses. Local traffic is mixed with through traffic there and that needs to be addressed in the solution. He is against enforced sewer hook-ups and noted people being sued in the county over this. Development should bear the cost of sewer extension. Thompson helped Greendale up as a model for planned infrastructure extensions extending out from the core and ahead of development, based on our master plan. LMH is footing the bill for their expansion by increasing the rates of the current clients according to recent news and editorials.
Thompson said he is a great believer in the Comprehensive plan and has served on it for the last 2 years. It protects those who do and those who don’t want to sell. Zoning protects everyone in equal measure. Road improvements should be based on prioritized plan and he praised the efforts of Listerman, the newest county engineer, who is getting criteria and using them to formulate this rotating road improvement plan. It should be based on use and on condition. He talked about the Chamber’s web page, which also “sells” our rural and diverse lifestyle options.
Sparks flew during the question and answer period here:
Questions were raised regarding the Republican Party asking Frank Linkmeyer to run as reported by Linkmeyer in the paper. The questioner made the statement that it degrades the people of the Democratic Party when you say you have to be a Republican to be elected here.
Barrett- Linkmeyer’s spokesperson, said- “I’m a republican conservative, and I asked him to run.
It was then asked specifically- “Did Pickens or Beckley or Morris ask him to run?”
Cary Pickens – Republican Party Chairman and County Auditor- stood up in the back and answered: “I Did NOT ask Frank Linkmeyer to run.”
Another questions was- Why are we allowing so much residential development without industry? Who’s paying for all this?
Thompson answered. We are- the taxpayers. And we need quality jobs here- not warehouses and storage.
Another question- What is a reasonable amount of time to resolve US50?
Thompson said some short-term things could be done- he has been at the meetings on this with the consultants. He noted a huge set of options that are being narrowed down. If a grand scale solution is proposed, it could take 20-30 years to complete. Simpler solutions for short term fixes take less time. He estimates a big cost to fix this though.
Question- What about eminent domain? It has happened- to our land in Dillsboro 8 years ago- and that land is still not in public use- they did not use it for the sewer plant.
Barrett for Linkmeyer said he didn’t know that.
Question: what about forced hook-ups with people having working septic systems?
Cliff Eibeck introduced himself as he asked the question.
Tim Barrett for Linkmeyer said- I know you I’ve seen you at meetings and “if I had a kid who acted like you in a public meeting, I’d swat him!”
Moderators stepped in to say there was no need to get personal.
Question: Lots of problems with Carrie drive over the years trying to get grading and gravel. Seems like it’s never on the list.
Thompson repeated his comments on Listerman’s list and detailed how the priorities would work. He thinks Listerman is on the right track.
Question: You say you are for open government- I’ve seen well-informed citizens present their cases and they are NOT listened to. What will you do about this?
Thompson: The interchange needs to be respectful on BOTH sides. Communication may not always be perfect, but can be better than it is. He detailed the agenda issues where the agenda is out maybe 3-4 days ahead, but citizens have to sign up 1 week ahead. Certain citizens show up and get heard even if not on the agenda, they get decisions even, and there is no public notice. Thompson said the planning commission does the best job at getting timely agendas and hearing people.
Tim Barrett for Frank Linkmeyer said he never had trouble- they went down and got on the agenda for their road repairs and then again repeated his statement about Eibeck and wanting to swat him.
At this point I spoke up and explained a specific example for Barrett to demonstrate the kinds of problems that happen when commissioners forbid input. I used the DCRSD formation as a COUNTY WIDE sewer board where the item was NOT on the agenda, the commissioners approved a statement given to them to read into the record, and no public hearing was held.
Questions resumed: What kind of support have you received from the Republican Party?
Thompson said it was limited to the booths at the festivals, has had some support from the state, and Bill Ullrich helped him out at the festivals.
Cary Pickens Republican Chairman and County Auditor also answered at the questioner’s request: He said- we usually give money in the primary. Ralph didn’t run his campaign through the party and when he came to talk to me I told him that he was too late. Thompson said then that quite frankly he wasn’t sure he could trust the Republican party- so what was I to think- he lost my support. The booths were open to him at the fairs.
Pickens also asked Hensley- Did you get any money from us. Hensley said no.
[NOTE: I thought the purpose of a primary was for the rank and file of the party to decide, not for the Central Party Committee to pass out money to effectively endorse a candidate. I’m unaware of a POLICY of giving out money in the primary to candidates in past years. That defies logic.]
Thompson ended with the request that we all get out, vote, and “hire” the best person to do the job for the county.
State representative D 68 candidates - Bob Bischoff (D) and Bill Ullrich ( R) had a coin toss to see who went first. Bill won the toss and said Bob could go first.
Bob Bischoff- thanked everyone- said this was the greatest democracy in the world and thanked people for coming out to hear about what affects your quality of life in Dearborn county. And he thanked MACA for holding it.
Bischoff gave his family history and noted he had 26 years as Rep and 2 years filling a senate vacancy for a total of 28 years in INDY.
He said his greatest accomplishment was retaining the $70 million that the state wanted to capture from our riverboat revenue. He detailed the fight at the state level for that money. And the fight is not really over. He went on in detail about what was tied to that revenue that we use. He said 2 years ago he coauthored the bill to create the first state dept. of Ag. He helped get a 4-year degree program at IVY Tech and also regional sharing of tuition between colleges, a new superior court, and grants for our local fire depts. and rights to hunt and fish in Indiana. . He talked about Honda and the $10 million Lawrenceburg gave to them as a grant. He said that would escalate the value of our land and increase job opportunities, just like it did around Maryville OH.
He’s worked hand in hand with Nugent to serve all of us. He has experience and knowledge of the system. He listed the many groups that endorse him including farm Bureau, Right to Life, AFLCIO, NRA, AFT, and IN state teachers Ass’n etc.
He pledges that our voices will be heard.
Bill Ullrich- thanked Bob and MACA and said I am Bill Ullrich and I approve this message…
Ullrich will listen and be available. He will have town hall meetings like tonight in this fractured district to get people’s opinions.
We need to pull together- SE In was ignored until riverboat money came in. “And that sucking sound can still be heard coming from the state.” Ullrich said he was involved in the process to keep our money the 3 times the state came after it. He said the bulk of the state is largely rural and we have to stick together in the rural areas to keep the state off our money.
He thinks there has to be a fairer way to finance government than property taxes. He also thinks there are a lot of things that government pays for that they shouldn’t. He’s old school and thinks the churches and charities should handle some of this as they used to.
Immigration issues exist and people should come to our country the right way.
Economic development is a big way we can solve some of out tax issues – in the right areas like US 50 and the I-74 corridor- but with the least negative impact on residents.
Eminent domain is NOT for business to prosper; it’s for public use. And people have to be properly compensated.
He’s here for the future- wants to do it in an organized way- fair-balanced- and unafraid.
He wants to be the Chinese water torture in Indy to keep dripping until they do something about it. I’m good at listening and talking to people and I will seek information when I don’t have the answer.
Would either of you start real punitive measures for employers who hire illegals?
Ullrich said securing borders is a priority- there should be consequences.
Bischoff- said this is a federal issue- these people are gobbling up our jobs because they are good workers who work for small fee. At state level we could send a resolution to the feds to encourage this.
Ullrich- state has 10th amendment- states rights- and we have borders to protect also. We can regulate.
Question: what does a state rep do?
Bischoff -Represent people on every issue voted on in the house. 100 state reps with 61,100 constituents each. The 50 senators have twice that each.
We make the laws and get the budget done. Have to have good working relationship with others and trust each other. Can’t mislead people at the state level- they will not forget. Trade off and help each other with issues.
Chris Mueller- Question: There is a state law about sewer hook-ups that seems to be unfairly applied to people with working septic s or in largely rural areas. What can you do about this?
Bischoff- The statute on sewers is very difficult- geographically the soils change. When sewer districts form they have to be financed. I have not researched enough on this. Wants me to talk to him about it. I agreed.
Ullrich- How can these laws paint everyone with the same brush? We could have hook-up not be mandatory and deals available at the outset, with increased prices later if they hook-up after the fact.
Bischoff- It’s very difficult to address sewers.
I was given two ears and one mouth by God I try to represent the majority of my people. If my party is wrong on an issue I stand with the people of District 68.
Another sewer question- Perhaps the wording on the law can be changed to “as long as yours is functioning…”
The state law says MAY and that allows the local laws to say SHALL if they choose.
Bischoff said how hard it was to get a law changed and went through the process.
Eibeck said- then get 50 more of your friends.(laughter)
Bischoff- said it has to go through the Senate too and the governor has to sign it.
Thompson said- “The longest journey begins with the first step.”
Bischoff agreed to listen to more.
Question: What about tax abatements?
Bischoff- they are a tool form the state to entice business and every state is using them. Lawrenceburg’s $10 million grant is beneficial and it will escalate the value of our land. Marysville OH map had a lot of red dots in the region as spin-off industry due to their Honda. Honda picked Greensburg because of workforce. These economic development packages and Energize Indiana packages are good- they help our quality of life.
Ullrich- I’m glad to see you came around to this Bob.
Bischoff- I was on board with the governor that day.
Adjourned at 9:45 PM
Citizens and candidates talked further informally in groups for a while as MACA volunteers cleaned up the room and put away chairs and tables.
Christine Brauer Mueller