Wednesday, October 04, 2006

3 October 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

3 October 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.

A uniformed police officer was present.

Ralph Thompson, Republican Candidate for D-3 Commissioner was also present

1. CDBG Grant on owner occupied housing was signed.

2. EMA- Bill Black- got signatures for two grants actually from 2003 and 2004 money that had to be spent by the end of October. Benning didn’t want to be rushed into spending. Fox said he was in favor. Ewbank reviewed the contract and advised they sign it. Fox and Hughes voted to sign Benning was Nay. Passed. Money goes to the auditor to disburse.
NIMS- National Incident Management System was discussed- apparently several departments have mot completed training and Black wanted Commissioners to help persuade them to complete it. Benning concerned that we aren’t prepared for terrorist attacks or disasters like hurricanes, etc. [NOTE: Hurricanes?]

3. Old Orchard Subdivision Enforcement issues on Jenny Lynn Drive- Jim Kinker presented for the group of neighbors. In answer to his questions about the legality of the conditions and the safety issues (stop line set back line too far away, sight distance, school bus turn radius, traffic already cutting through on gravel road after school) on Stateline and Jenny Lynn, Ewbank gave the following explanation.
Ewbank reviewed the thorough research from the Plan Commission staff. He separated the discussion into what he called procedural and substantive issues.
Procedurally- the commissioners cannot put conditions on a zone change as was decided in a recent court case here.
Substantively the 2nd issue is that the commissioners are in charge of safety and welfare in the county. And they are in charge of the highway engineer who is the one who will determine that the safety and other regulations regarding road access are followed.
Listerman reported that he’d looked at Jenny Lynn and that as sight distances go it is just the line between being adequate or not. He installed a warning sign of a crossroads for that reason. The stop bar needs to be about 15 ft from the intersection and will be fixed. To go beyond the minimum requirements means the hump in Stateline should be cut back. He also noted they would check the radius for buses.
Jim Kinker also asked if the county attorney at the time would be to blame for not stopping commissioners from putting conditions on the zone change. [NOTE: Aaron Negangard was the county attorney at the time and is the current County Prosecutor]
Benning said she wasn’t really in favor of this at the time (though it was a unanimous decision) but that D-1 commissioner (Dole) really lead the discussion at the time.
Fox thought the county could make Tucker fix the entrance too.
Jim Kinker said that he works with Tucker all the time (as he does utilities) and he’s different lately. He’s pretty much out there some days. He wondered if it was medication effects or just getting older. He says now he’s just going to do it and see if anyone can stop him. Tucker says it will be blacktopped by the end of October before the plants close.
Kinker asked the commissioners to please make it safe.
Listerman will report to Commissioners next meeting on this.
Ron Hoffman who owns property adjoining the connector told commissioners that Tucker said to his face: He will black top in the next 3 weeks regardless of what you say.
[NOTE: This is the old- better to ask forgiveness and permission ploy. The county needs to thoroughly look at these intersections, as 140 more houses means 1400 trips per day. That is considerably more than what exits there now. It’s like with the sewers. When they are in violation and overflows occur- do you add more sewage to the plant?]

4. Bright EMS contract signed.

5, Whitewater Canal byway letter of support signed.

6. Amendment to vacation earning schedule that Benning said was researched by Tracy Stegemiller- Human Resources Officer- for 16 paid holidays and 6 weeks paid vacation after 20 years was not passed. Fox said he couldn’t imagine any industry standard that generous. The schedule stays as is- no increase. [NOTE: YIKES!!!! Were they serious? 16 holidays and 6 weeks vacation!??]

7. Holiday schedule for 2007 was approved.

8. Shumway Building- Fortune Management contract to purchase was signed for 85% of the lower of 2 bids. Purchase price was $467,500. Appraisals were $566,000 and $550,000. Benning added some contingencies to be sure the seller paid for defects, a building inspection, and title insurance.

9. Ewbank reviewed contract for Lowe and Associates for the Auditor and Treasurer’s new software for approximately $300,000. It will be compatible with assessor. [NOTE: We’ve heard this before- to the tune of $250,000 plus about 4 years ago, when Batta, Shell, and Benning were concerned with compatibility issues on the NEW World system Pickens installed.] Commissioners approved the purchase.

10. Benning said there was a terrible parking problem. Listerman was called in to advise about the possibility of opening up the I&M Parking lot where EMA Building exists. They plan to pave and install drainage and remove fence for about $30-40,000.

11. Hughes requested a VERBATIM TANSCRIPT of the county budget hearings. Heated exchange occurred here where Pickens said they could have the tapes but he wasn’t paying for any transcript. [NOTE: This is THREE days of meetings. Most is done away from the podium and Fehrman frequently walks around the room and out in the hall to discuss things with dept. heads before they get in to the meeting. This has to be costly- and it won’t yield much information. I would suggest they get 3 copies of the tapes and let the commissioners listen to them and pick out sections they want transcribed. This is a huge waste of taxpayer money- it would be more appropriate to fix the procedures than to do this. Is there a reason for this request - or is this just Pick on Pickens?]
All 3 commissioners voted to get the transcript, because they want it.

12. Contract for $25,000 for Chamber/Redevelopment signed as usual.

13. County lawsuit from former prisoner is being picked up by insurance.

14. Oct 16 7-9 is OKI Master Plan meeting at Adult Center.

15. Benning wants the PA system fixed- Messmore says they will have bids next meeting on the tapes. Thinks the microphones are fine. [NOTE: There are 7 microphones and 9 PC members- so they need two more. The microphones DO NOT pick up adequately for the audience even if they do pick up for the tape. Perhaps the county isn’t concerned about the CITIZENS hearing them. They need to fix the entire system.]

Meeting adjourned 7:45 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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