Friday, February 03, 2006

2 February 2006 Dearborn County Regional Sewer District Meeting Notes

2 February 2006 Dearborn County Regional Sewer District Meeting Notes

Present: Mike Hankins, Chairman, Rodney Dennerline, Dave Enzweiler, Barry Pruss, Pat Holland, Brett Fehrman, and new member John Maxwell.
Also present: Lisa Lehner, Att’y, Tom Quinn, Engineer, and Doug Baer, Health Dept.
Absent: Bryan Messmore, County Adm and board liaison to Woolpert (consultants) for their countywide study.

The board sat at a side table, which, combined with the blower motor noise of the heating system made hearing difficult. At the end of the meeting I asked them to consider microphones or a solution to the problem so that the public could hear.

Election of officers was delayed per Lehner’s instructions that they wait until their board appointment was made. Officers elected were the same as last year. Hankins, Chair, Fehrman, Sec’y, and Pruss, Treasurer.

Minutes were approved with Lehner explaining the changes she made to Woolpert’s contract per board instructions.
No change in treasurer’s financials.

Moores Hill report from Joe Tierney of GRW noted the 150,000 gal/day 1960 package plant in Moores Hill had outlived its expected life. Estimates to build a new one were 2 million vs. pumping up the hill 2 miles and then gravity down SR 350 to Aurora and out to SDRSD at a cost of 5.7 million. After discussion it was noted that Woolpert’s study would take 6 months and Tierney wanted to know what they’d have at 6 months. Moores Hill is under IDEM rule to get the problems fixed. They wanted to proceed and DCRSD wants them to wait- thinking IDEM will be lenient knowing they are trying to get everything tied together. Moores Hill’s typical dry day usage is 76,000 gal/day. Extremes have hit as high as 500,000 gal /day after 20 in snowfall melts.
Matt Zerbe- the Moores Hill attorney noted that there has been a long time ban on sewers in the area. (i.e.- no development can occur till this is fixed) NO DECISION

Doug Anderson of Rollander Homes requested possible collaboration on getting sewers to his development on Soaphill Road thus allowing him to do townhomes and more dense development. He has been turned down numerous times on this 32-acre plot of mixed Ag/R zoned property. [NOTE: sewers were not the only issue- road access for higher density and safety issues were also a factor. Rollander was not willing to put major $$s into road access improvements either.]

The Aurora sewer line ends about 3 miles down SR148 and another mile to the development on Soaphill. Lawrenceburg lines are similarly placed along SR 48 stopping at Horizon Heights.
Baer noted problems up and down SR148 and about 100-150 homes that could hook on. Dennerline said- wait for Woolpert’s study.
Anderson wanted to know if financial assistance would speed things up. Board noted costs at $1-2 million. Enzweiler said $50/ft was reasonable estimate. Quinn aid maybe $18/ft. Others thought that was high- but then it was pointed out that this isn’t “virgin land” – they are going thru areas with infrastructure and barriers in place already. Had to be at least a 6”main and 10-12% slope max. [NOTE: At $50 per ft, cost is over $250,000 per mile and so the $1 mil is exceeded to get to Soaphill]

Old Business:

1. Last Friday was kickoff meeting (4 hours) with Woolpert and funding was released from Council at $200,000. Letters of intro for Woolpert and notification of the creation of the county wide district were sent to sewer providers in the area to get Woolpert’s info ready ahead of time for their visits. Lehner stated she put CONFIDENTIALITY provisions in the contract for the municipal providers and insurance and indemnity provisions. Woolpert should be done with the provider visits in 2 weeks.
By Aug 2006 the study should be in the board’s hands.

2. Quinn reported that Randy Turner had a certificate from the municipalities and they should be able to start in 30 days on Cole/Stewart project. There will be a pre-bid meeting advertised and then bidding. Concern that they are in heavier construction season and might not get enough bid interest. Questions remained unanswered as to rates and billing issues with Aurora on these two areas to be sewered. The DCRSD is no longer maintaining the lift stations (pumps) as previously planned and questions came up about what happens if Aurora annexes the areas that DCRSD is sewering? Lehner said she would have to review their service areas. [NOTE: There are a lot of loose ends and unanswered contingencies on this project.]

3. Quinn reported no progress on the Aurora interceptor issue. Aurora meets “periodically as needed.” Lehner and Baer are trying to get a copy of the IDEM letter to Aurora and their order to see what the deadlines are. Money is issue. Hankins reported that in 10 days Congress will consider the Clean water bill per Woolpert. They have a short window of OPPORTUNITY to get together earmarks requesting money to be attached to this bill. The money doesn’t have to be related???? They need one page and they need it fast. Fehrman noted they could mention the single line down Trester Hill to an old plant, violations on overflows, and failed systems. It was unclear WHO would take this on and WHO would follow up with the earmark requests.
[NOTE: Earmarks are essentially ways to “bring home the bacon” on pork projects. The Enquirer Editors noted that the new speaker of the house’s number 1 target should be the “despicable practice of earmarking.” Earmarking slips pork projects into bills- they don’t appear in the text of the bill, and they get no scrutiny and no debate, according to the Enquirer editors. Our local lobbyists support this practice apparently and local politicians seem willing to accept this “means to an end.” Taxpayers are the losers as this practice has used billions of dollars per year of OUR MONEY and no one accounts for the expenditures or their effectiveness. Cleaning up the corruption starts at home.]

4. Lehner reported that SDRSD meets next week in executive session to discuss accepting DCRSD as a non- voting member. Butler asked what has to happen. Lehner said they just have to sign a board agreement. (She has already prepared the language.) [NOTE: How does this help SDRSD and its “clients?” It seems that the county wants something for nothing, which isn’t fair to those who have invested money to get SDRSD to the stage it is in already. Why not join as an EQUAL partner?]

5. Amendments to by-laws and per-diems were already passed last meeting.

New Business:

Lehner presented her invoices for Oct, Nov, and Dec totaling what sounded like $11,628.40. Parts were for consolidation meetings, negotiations with SDRSD, and the SR1 account with her and Brett Fehrman negotiating with Tom Kent for development and sewer on SR 1 near Green Road. Enzweiler asked if this was to be paid out of the $200,000- at least the consolidation portion. Discussion was muffled at this point.

Hankins brought up the St. Leon TIF and that he reviewed a power point presentation just prior to tonight’s meeting on the study that DCRSD helped St. Leon fund for their expansion. West thought St. Leon had 2-3” lines- per Hankins they are really 6-8” lines on SR 1. They can add 550,000 gal per day to total capacity of 1.1 mil gal/day. Per Hankins, when the documents come in to DCRSD for review they can meet with West and the “political powers that be” about funding.

Lehner stated that she and Hankins met with VRUC’s existing board, who are to give her the by-laws etc. Parvin Price (VRUC att’y in INDY) informed Lehner that the INSURGENT GROUP has failed, the Dec 27 meeting wasn’t properly called and so it wasn’t valid, etc. Lehner put a call into Lampert at Greendale to schedule a meeting.

Butler, Greendale’s attorney, spoke up at this point, politely chastising the previous characterization of the HVL residents opposed to the current VRUC board as insurgents. He noted that there are 1800 residents in HVL and that there was a great grass roots effort to get them together with proxies. In October they had enough and sent WRITTEN NOTICE to VRUC to schedule a meeting within 30 days as required by their bylaws. Butler called Price’s stonewalling of the grass roots group “a cute game” where they scheduled the meeting for after the deadline of the proxies. He went further stating this was “fundamentally offensive to democratic ideals.”
Lehner noted that VRUC sent out proxies also- further confusing the residents. [NOTE: Reminds me of the high priced game HP (Hewlett Packard) got into with Compaq a couple years back. An entire forest was used in the flurry of proxy papers going to stockholders on that one]
Butler said that 5 people are spending the POA resident’s money on high priced lawyers to see that what the PEOPLE want ISN’T done!
Lehner said she wasn’t trying to back the VRUC board.
Butler said it was just a concern of his.
Fehrman asked when the board was up for re-election. Someone said it was June per the POA board.
[NOTE: The INSURGENTS have gotten the publicity out on their concerns. When legal means get stymied the next step is to remove officers at the ballot box. They have board members willing to serve and they have an organization. They need to get a timeline on candidate registration deadlines and requirements. Those deadlines are probably in the by-laws. There is more than one way to change a system- and this one doesn’t require a “high-priced” lawyer. The question is whether the VRUC is elected by the residents or appointed by the POA. If POA appoints- they may have to work with that board or even run for it to change the procedures.]

Lehner and Hankins met with Steidel- Lawrenceburg’s Manager to seek funding for Cole Lane/Stewart Street sewers. Favorable response. They have to make a formal request.

Hankins- now that we are county wide we can potentially uses this to benefit the people in the county. Tom Kent is willing to bear significant expense to bring a line further down SR1. Guilford has a severe problem. There are 101 houses from Green Road to Guilford. [NOTE: Where is he thinking Guildford is? The intersection with SR1 at Guilford back to Green doesn’t have 101 houses. He must be including more on the side roads or Yorkridge. We need to be very careful about development ON SR1 as opposed to feeding to it down existing roads. If we clog the only N-S artery on the east side of the county, we will create the same problems we have on US 50. This needs a plan!]


We need to get lines in the ground- but without our study or plan they may be too small, noted Enzweiler.
Lehner wanted to know if she should call Kent. The board said no- they would.

Lehner is preparing the SBOA annual report and the board let her sign it for them when it’s finished.

Quinn wants his new contract to be with Quinn Engineering LLC instead of just him.

Lehner brought up the state prescribed disclosure form (CONFLICT OF INTEREST FORM) that needs to be filled out- she prefers it to be done annually. They are to file it with the Clerk’s office. The forms are online at as well.

Maxwell recapped the Redevelopment meeting info on the TIF’s and related it to the St. Leon Sewer study. The nice thing is that in St. Leon the lines are there- they just need capacity. The cost of the increase is $147,000 annually. (It is unclear what this cost is for and who pays it.)
Enzweiler wanted to know why we are paying for this increase in capacity at St. Leon, when THEY make the money on the sewer usage.

[NOTE: This meeting left MANY questions unanswered. As an observer it seems like the board behaves like a whirling dervish constantly looking at different projects that are wanted and having no real financial means to solve any of them. Not only is a study needed- a plan and a strategy to accomplish their goals piece by piece is necessary. They can’t seem to decide where and who they want to help and in what priority. And anyone who tries to refocus them to their goals will be eliminated from that board. The original goals are not a high priority. High Ridge Estates was a means to an end - the end being a way to get grant money to start the district. When the grant didn’t come through as planned, High Ridge lost. The real issue lies with what Hankins constantly refers to as “the political powers that be.” And those political powers are apparently not necessarily the elected ones.]

Meeting adjourned at 9 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

No comments: