Wednesday, May 17, 2006

16 May 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

16 May 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes (became new president at this meeting), Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator
A county officer was also present.

Preceding this meeting (at 5:30 PM) was a continuation of Friday’s special meeting regarding Mike Davis’s appeal regarding his resignation under duress. Benning presided, as she was technically still president at this. He had also questioned whether they could eliminate a highway supervisor position. Ewbank’s research citing IC code[Note: I think this is the number he stated- the sound system was acting up again] and he also mentioned other cases allowing counties to combine the duties of engineer and supervisor. Commissioner’s decided to deny the appeal. Fox stated the duress did not come from them nor did the idea of someone filling the highway supervisor position. Benning abstained and requested that the record show that. She did not state WHY she abstained.

Regular meeting:
Commissioners reorganized naming Hughes President due to Benning’s resignation as president. They also named Fox to the Redevelopment Commission replacing Benning on that. Next redevelopment commission meeting is at 9AM May 22 in the Chamber of Commerce offices on Walnut Street.

Hughes yielded time to Joan Seitz, assessor to get appointees to the PTABOA (Property Tax assessment Board of Appeals). Bill Hartwell a farmer from Moores Hill and Benning were suggested by Fox and appointed.

Craig Beckley presented Greg Gavin as the bid winner (though his bid was the midpoint- they felt he met other criteria needed) for the migrant housing project on Beiersdorfer’s Orchard. Cost $197,000. Commissioners approved after questioning pricing differences.

Greg Mathina Bright Fire Chief and Steve Callahan EMS gave a detailed report and requested commissioners support to obtain more funding from Riverboat revenues via Lawrenceburg Bond bank for their expanding needs. Basically they are attempting to step up service by having volunteers stay at the station for $5/hour to decrease response times. They have 75 volunteers and it takes average of about 7 min to get to firehouse and another 8 on average to get to scene. Renovation of the central firehouse to house bunks and a kitchen and showers is needed. They are looking for $1.5 million. Fox said they have no money. Pickens noted that Bright could use their organization under the townships to obtain funding, even though they are unincorporated. Benning said Randy at Ivy Tech could help them with grant funding requests. Commissioners approved Messmore writing an endorsement letter for them and working with them to obtain funding. [NOTE: This entire presentation underscores a problem with overdeveloping Bright. Their population is enough now that they probably should be considering paid staffing of EMS and fire. A second issue is fire hydrants. Drive through Bright- even on the main roads- and see how many hydrants you can count. Then check out the big subdivisions. The answer may surprise you.]

Greg Platt yielded their time on Dutch Hollow Road and agreed to meet with Fox and Todd Listerman to discuss their requests for road improvements. [NOTE: Frank Linkmeyer, a local developer, was sitting with the Dutch Hollow spokesperson (Platt). Shouldn’t these road requests be public knowledge?]

Hidden Acres Subdivision – A citizen group spoke at length reiterating their arguments against a zone change for Maxwell’s development. See notes from Plan commission in April earlier on this blog site for those details. The power point presentation highlighted drainage issues and safety issues with all road accesses. They also noted the school issues with redistricting elementary schools and also the fire EMS presentation earlier in the evening.
Plan commission forwarded this with a favorable recommendation, but requested that they NOT use any of the optional accesses.
Fox stated he’d been out there and thoroughly concurred with the Renck Court Access issues among others.
Maxwell was questioned regarding Renck, the curve access designs, and Grubbs widening. Maxwell stated also (regarding these issues and DRAINAGE ISSUES from Tucker’s previous development)- “IF WE CAN IMPROVE EXISTING CONDITIONS WE WILL DO THAT.”

[NOTE: Problems have been accumulating from old developments. Purely as a function of numbers, there have been traffic and safety issues. Renck COURT residents have an expectation that their road is a cul de sac and shouldn’t be a through street. What needs to be considered however is that this subdivision had numerous potential connections to allow an inner flow of traffic in the Bright area. Nearly all of these were considered to be inadequate by the PC. Randy Maxwell at previous meetings has stressed connectivity. He is right to pursue this goal- because the actual quality of life in the long run- once the area is built out - will be better with connections than with just feeders to the main streets. The PC and Highway Dept. needs to take a long look at the total LOCAL street network in the county and determine how to fix these inadequacies as they schedule paving and widening projects. Something is seriously wrong when a development has that many connections denied.]

Benning thought the issues were well covered. She motioned to uphold the favorable recommendation and approve the zone change reading each of the 5 criteria for zone change but not stating how each was fulfilled. Fox 2nd. Approved.

Text changes to the zoning codes:
The parent tract language was changed to eliminate the 1989 historical starting point references. Minor subdivisions were to have a 2-year period for each division. The commissioners sent both of these items BACK TO THE PC for consideration so that the wait period would be 1 year. They will use a draft form of the minutes drawn up by Messmore to speed up the process and not wait for officially signed minutes for the PC to reconsider the request.
Benning wanted to know why the commissioners couldn’t just do it themselves. Ewbank explained that the state code requires this procedure.
[NOTE: The ramifications of changes in zoning codes require a far more thorough discussion and professional input than commissioners alone could provide. The county planner and staff, the tech review board professionals, and the PC all weigh in as well as citizen input at the PC hearing. The state code is a PROTECTION. It forces an examination of the repercussions of each change.]

Commissioners did approve the 2nd change in zone code to allow surveyors to comply with the need for 100 ft of surrounding property buildings to be noted on their plans for developments without having to use field surveys if the GIS and aerials can locate the buildings accurately. This was to eliminate trespass issues that occur at times.

Todd Listerman- Transportation Dept.-
Annual report prepared by Kin for SBOA was signed.
Paving pricing was approved at a higher amount to account for pricing increases in his request to council. It will be at $42.50 per ton vs. $31 a year ago. Total is $950,000 for a cushion. If prices get worse, then roads will be dropped from the paving list till next year.
[NOTE: Doesn’t putting pricing out like this encourage higher bids?]
2006 Line striping will be 1 coat and annually on roads with >1000ADT. The list was given to commissioners and approved.

Vogelsang Road is completed to cul de sac and gate removed.
Counter was completed on Dutch Hollow also.

Cary Pickens- auditor- presented claims.
No minutes as preparer had surgery.
GFC Contract was signed for $7,000 to prepare budget books.
Moores Hill EMS standard contract signed.

Bryan Messmore-
June agendas will not be on line due to Stephanie’s planned sick time in June. He has not mastered the process of uploading them to the site yet.
Commissioners approved getting the RFQ’s for the EMA building remodeling. He may lease some space from the old IVY tech in the mean time for a couple offices.
Jeff Hughes will sit in on Finance Interviews for 4 hours. This is to select someone to go over the financial status of the county????
Insurance review company needs another $15,000 and still doesn’t have a review of health ins needs in that package yet. Ewbank stressed that they get that done also.
Total cost so far is $30,000 to review Workers Comp, property and liability insurance. [Note: This better be saving a lot of money to justify this expenditure… This is not the first time these have been reviewed.]

Benning read a series of letters she’d received to be sure commissioners had seen them.
IN Housing and Community Dev. Authority found no errors.
Chamber has the Redevelopment Commission Meeting at 9 AM at their office on Walnut on May 22
Dept. of Labor Wage hearings copy to be inserted in minutes.
Highway Dept not responsible for road kill unless it’s a health or safety hazard. If it’s rural they leave it for nature to take its course.
Insurance company safety training- gave high marks to county workers with reflective clothing and enclosed a video of their assessment.
May 18 from 9-12 GIS event to look at regional sharing of materials.
Comcast Cable letter verifying their current status with the county
IDEM sewer permits letter- no details….

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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