Wednesday, September 27, 2006

25 September 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

25 September 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes


See ITEM # 3 for additional details not apparent in the public presentation.

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Patrick deMaynadier, Jane Ohlmansiek, Nick Held, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Tarry Feiss
Also Present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, and Mark McCormack, Planning Director
Also absent: Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer.

Ralph Thompson, Republican Candidate for Commissioner, was also present


1. Plan Commission DENIES 11-lot subdivision- Phase 3 of Lawrenceville Farms (Jackson Township (60.973 acres) with owner Bill Geisel and Applicant Mike Hall.

Hall stepped down from the PC for this. His wife, Terri, presented the case.
The public speaking in opposition consisted of 3 neighbors, Steve ??last name, Robert Trabel, and Bill Wilkymacky. All three cited water drainage issues, including standing water nearly year round. The subdivision has now sewer- it was questionable that there were even enough viable septic sites. They also asked about having a fence installed.

Geisel said the corps of engineers was out there and French drains were installed. The county engineer said the drain was working properly. The board at first seemed to think that the health dept. would determine the septic sites and that if that meant some lots were unbuildable, then they would have to combine with others. De Maynadier noted that he’d seen the standing water as he drives by the site. Mitter said he had HUGE concerns and sees this development as one big “cess pool.”McCormack answered that in Phase 1 and 2 all lots aren’t built out and some are combined there as well.

DeMaynadier noted that all sites have to show approval of on site septic systems according to Section 216 para 11 of the subdivision control ordinance.
Tech review stated that applicant complied with their 12 items requested.

DeMaynadier motioned and Ohlmansiek 2nd to deny based on paragraph 216 Paragraph 11 – that all septic locations weren’t shown as approved.
Motion failed 3-3 (deMaynadier, Ohlmansiek Held-ayes vs. Hughes Kraus, Laws, Nays)
Geisel said they could do Mound systems.
Kraus, Jr. motioned and Laws 2nd to table to get fence settled. Motion failed also 3-3.
The board offered no further motions. The application is denied due to the lack of motion to approve.

2. Zone change from Ag to R for Maxwell and owner Lonnie and Sally Steele on 124.81 acres on Mt. Pleasant Road- previously tabled.
Laws stepped down for this request.
Changes were made to the plans. The applicant will widen Mt. Pleasant by 2 ft along the development and later in the discussion agreed to fix the vertical alignment (dip) on the southern end of the development on Mt. Pleasant with the county engineer’s approval.
Randy Maxwell presented. Future connections will be made in the plan but Maxwell would not commit to any unless the proposed connection has property values similar to what was in this development.
Maxwell says they have the 50 ft ROW needed.
Ohlmansiek asked about common areas- greenspace- Maxwell said there were 3.
Hall asked about the driveways along Mt. Pleasant. Maxwell said they would be combined and share driveways.
Maxwell agreed to written commitments on density level and street configuration. Maxwell noted there would be some changes in the plans- though minor only.
Sandra Weisgerber wants a fence between this and her land and also a connection to this subdivision to her land. This was not guaranteed.
Maxwell replied to Mitter’s question about the 3 future access sites on the west as being located to avoid ponds and homes in the way.
DeMaynadier motioned and Held 2nd for a Favorable recommendation to change the zone from Ag to R with staff written commitments and land certification plus road widening with the hill addressed as corrected by the cty engineer. Specifically: Certification of land use restriction with the maximum density as agreed. Concept development plan and street plan to match to a significant extent at primary approval and roadway improvements required as depicted on the plat with 2 ft on Mt Pleasant to North Dearborn and a design to improve the vertical profile on the south end of the property.
All ayes. Passed.


3. Major revisions to the primary plat approval for Whitewater Point Subdivision on Barber Road by Whitewater Point, LLC (Maxwell Development) in Logan Township on 208.25 acres. This was rezoned R-DP/A

Mark McCormack stated that if the applicant doesn’t live up to the written commitments the zone change reverts to Ag.
One of those requirements was that there was adequate sewer capacity at St. Leon to serve the sub’n. The other two were for feasible roadway design for Chapellow Ridge and also the commitment to connect Chapellow Ridge to Barber Road prior to 2ndary plat submittal.

The legal remedy suggested for Maxwell was to remove the lots for septic from the subdivision. Approximately 90 acres and 5 lots were to be removed. There was no evidence of the suitability of any of these lots for septic. The PC staff and Health Dept opinion was that under no circumstances should there be 2 or more portions of a named subdivision served simultaneously with sewer and individual septic systems.

Randy Maxwell stated that they made a mistake and had originally planned to serve these lots with septic. They are just clearing up something that was previously left out. The Health Dept was out and there were numerous septic sites per lot. They could leave it R or revert to Ag- either way was OK with them.

Doug Garner and Matt Fellerhoff (of Manley Burke) represented Helen Kremer and contend that this would effectively revert the entire parcel back to Ag. They said the density effectively increases on the entire parcel when this 90-acre section is removed. Mitter asked Fellerhoff if he knew of any case law that supported this. He said- "No." He asked if he knew of any statute that supported this. The answer was also "No."

Kathy Scott- gave a 3-paragraph statement that showed the history of the zone change and primary plat approval. After being interrupted a few times by Chairman Mitter who wanted to be sure the road was not being brought up, Scott insisted that the geotech study on the road was not approved yet and therefore the primary plat was still pending and not approved yet either. So there is nothing to effectively revise.

Cliff Eibeck wanted to know if the ground was tested and who did it and when. He had heard they couldn’t afford the pipe and pumping to those lots and that’s why they weren’t going to sewer them.

Ralph Thompson asked if the 2nd subdivision gets sewer later, can they increase the density of it? The answer to this question was yes that was possible.

Maxwell stated- we messed up- we didn’t show this on the original plat. Mitter heard the lift stations were expensive. Maxwell wanted that not to be discussed- insisted this was just a mistake that they left off. They don’t intend to increase the density on the project as a whole.

Mitter read Fellerhof’s letter to himself at this point.
Below is a copy of the body of that letter for the record.

I represent Helen Kremer, Trustee of the Helen Kremer Trust. The Trust's property is located adjacent to the property in question. I appear before this Commission with the assistance of Douglas Garner of Zerbe, Zerbe & Garner, located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The new submission by Maxwell Development is in violation of the zoning conditions placed upon the larger tract of property (including these five parcels), when the original zone change was approved. This new submission is contrary to those conditions and this Commission must, therefore, consider the submission as a submission under the (A) Agricultural designation. Any attempt to consider this under the Residential (R-DP) district, without compliance with the conditions, would result in a zone change enacted in violation of the procedures outlined in Article 5 of the Dearborn County Zoning Ordinance.
On January 24, 2005, a hearing was held to evaluate an application made by Maxwell Development for a zone change for 182 acres of a 208-acre parcel from (A) agricultural to (RDP) residential to allow for a single family residential use. At this hearing, the plan commission gave a favorable recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, "contingent upon a written commitment from the applicant to include: 1) adequate sewer capacity exists or will be required by St. Leon Utilities; 2) a feasible roadway design for Chappelow Ridge Road will be engineered; 3) a connection of Chappelow Ridge to Barber Road will occur prior to secondary plat approval." To date, none of these conditions have been realized.
On March 1, 2005, via ordinance 2005-1, the Board of Commissioners of Dearborn County approved the rezoning of the 182-acre tract from (R) residential to (A) agricultural, "subject to any conditions imposed by the Plan Commission." The plan commission approved the primary plat for the rezoned tract on March 28,2005. This tract of land currently includes 126 parcels of land, five of which will abut Barber Road and are larger than the other parcels in the development. The approval of this primary plan is contingent upon several factors, including the rezoning of the tract from (A) to (R) residential. Without the proper zoning in place, development of the proposed parcels included in the primary plan may not take place.
The conditions that must be fulfilled prior to the rezoning of this tract of land were agreed upon by the applicant in accordance with Section 550 of the Zoning Code:
Section 550 Written Commitments
The Plan Commission may require a written commitment executed by the applicant/owner in conjunction with a favorable recommendation of a Zoning Map amendment. Failure to comply with any written commitment shall be considered a violation of this ordinance and shall be governed by Article 6. Any written commitment shall be recorded as described in Section 560 and shall be binding on the owner, subsequent owner, or person who acquires interest in the property.
The Plan Commission shall forward to the legislative unit, as part of the certification of the recommendation, the written commitment incorporated within its motion for approval,. The written commitment shall be signed by the owner and any other appropriate person indicating agreement with the terms of the written commitment. The legislative unit may adopt or reject the application and written commitment pursuant to IC 36-7-608. Any written commitments made as part of the OrdinancelResolution for approval of the rezoning by the legislative unit shall be prepared in writing and signed, as stated above, and recorded as identified in Section 560, by the Planning Department. The enforcement, interpretation, and administration of the written commitment shall be the responsibility of the Plan Commission.
The applicant has not fulfilled any of the conditions required for approval of the rezoning of the entire tract from (A) to (R). Approval of the modification will not, as the applicant claims, "allow [them] to move forward with the platting and sales of the lower lots, via administrative minor subdivision." Section 236 of the Dearborn County Subdivision Control Ordinance requires consideration of whether the plan is consistent with the Dearborn County Zoning Ordinance. If the conditions of the rezoning approval are not met, the approval is not valid, and therefore the entire 182-acre tract as submitted in January 2005 reverts to the (A) Agricultural zoning designation that was in place prior to the conditional approval.
The applicant would like to move forward with development of a portion of the tract in question because, "the conditions of our rezoning will not be met in the short term to allow for us to move forward with the entire subdivision at once." The applicant may only "move forward," with the "platting and sales of the lower lots" with the proper rezoning in place, as these lots are part of the original rezoning application. Further, such piecemeal approval of separate tracts from a previously approved plan does not represent good planning practice and is in conflict with the approved plan.
The application should also be denied because there is no evidence related to the suitability of the proposed sites for individual sewage disposal systems as required by Section 232, Item 29 and Section 216, Item 11 of the Dearborn County Subdivision Control Ordinance and 2526 of the Dearborn County Zoning Ordinance. The fact of the failure to comply with these provisions is detailed in Item 6 of the Staff Report.
We ask that the plan commission deny the request for modification to the Whitewater Point Subdivision primary plat. Approval will not allow the applicant to move forward with development of the lower lots from the primary plan, as the conditions of the rezoning have not taken place and the failure to do so ultimately results in a change to the prior (A) Agricultural zoning designation for the entire 182 acres.

Laws noted- first the people were opposed to R now they oppose Ag!
McGill noted there was no case law either way.
Mitter wondered if this was the proper process for the applicant. The ordinance has a section addressing the issue of changes. He thought this was less invasive and couldn’t see any negative impact on surrounding property owners.
DeMaynadier said- we can let the lawyers make new case law here if they choose to.

He decided to go ahead and approve according to the motion from the tape typed by the Plan Commission staff:

Motion for Whitewater Point.

Mr. DeMaynadier made a motion to approve the request for the application based on the following discussion of the Board Members:
1. There is an absence in case law, statute, or ordinance that can be identified to go against the application.
2. The language of the Ordinance, Section 288-contemplates that developers or applicants may find it necessary to make changes and those are recognized as a typical part of the development process.
3. Due process of this hearing has been fair. We followed our Ordinances and State Statute requirements.
4. The change requested is more restrictive on Applicant then they originally got permission for.
5. There is no net adverse impact on the totality of the property in question.
6. The spirit and the substance of the Ordinances of the County are protected, in that the original conditions that were placed on the rezone still have to be met for it to ultimately be in effect and for the development to go forward.
7. That there be no lots on Barber Road at this time.
Mrs. Ohlmansiek seconded.

Vote: Mr. Hall, Mrs. Ohlmansiek, Mr. Laws, Mr. DeMaynadier, Mr. Held, Mr. Kraus in favor. Mr. Hughes opposed. Motion carries.

These approximately 90 acres of 5 lots are now split off and they have reverted to Ag. P&Z will get a legal description of that and an amended primary plat for the remaining lots on the other piece.
Unless they use the current lot lines that are on the original primary plat approval, before they sell these lots they will have to come to minor sub’n approval. If they have to build a road to them or if they realign the road or build a new one they will have to come back to PC with a new sub’n application. Or do it administratively depending on how many lots and access, etc.

[NOTE: after the meeting I was given a copy of an ad from the 21 Sept 2006 Register. It reads Acreage and nice building for sale. Minutes to I-74, Sunman Dearborn school district, Cincinnati phones. West Harrison, Barber Road. 6 sites available from 4-30 acres. 812-637-5127 or 513-284-0717. The local phone number in this ad belongs to Randy Lyness of Maxwell Development. Would anyone care to comment on the applicant’s confidence of approval?]

[Note: It seems like this development has cost the developer, the county, and the opposers a lot of money. The roadway geotech analysis has been going on for months while the applicant is searching for an economically feasible way to build a steep road to the great view at the top. The county has to spend money on their consultant to see if the opposing answers they are getting from the applicant’s and opposer’s engineers and geotech studies are valid. Whenever there is this much disagreement on a structure the question we should be asking is- WHY ARE WE PERSISTING IN DOING IT? We are not hurting for development sites or lots to build upon in this county. We don’t have to use questionable sites. Sometimes an applicant spends so much money they find it hard to back out. Sometimes we just like to prove we can do something. Personally, I think this may be a big mistake. Getting an engineering stamp of approval may make the construction people feel secure. But the bottom line is- if it fails, everyone connected to it pays either in investment loss or reputation. That includes the buyers, the neighbors, the sellers, the developers, the excavators, the engineers, and the county officials who let it happen. Maxwell has a reputation for doing some fine work in the county. I would hope that this doesn’t end up being an example of something that diminishes that reputation.]

4. Gregory Gerold with surveyor Roger Woodfill received approval for a variance of Article 3 section 315c for a local driveway outside a panhandle on 10 or 80 acres on North Hogan Road in Manchester Township.
DeMaynadier motioned and Hughes 2nd – all ayes.


1. Board approved a 1-year extension and no more for Stonebrook estates on US50 outside Aurora identified as land with Fehrman realty sign outside. Laws abstained.

2. Date set for Land Use Advisory Board meetings was Oct 18 following the Oct 16 OKI meeting and also Nov 6th.

3. Tax sheets and school info was passed out along with a news release on that meeting,

4. US 50 meeting was at LHS 6-8 on Tues evening.

5. Old Orchard complaint- neighbors were advised to see commissioners first. Staff is also reviewing tape of 11/1999 commissioners meeting obtained from Cliff Eibeck.

Meeting adjourned at 11:55 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

19 September 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

19 September 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, President, and Fox
Also present: Ewbank, Attorney and Stephanie Disbro, taking minutes.
Absent Benning, Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Administrator.

Also present was Frank Linkmeyer, Democrat candidate for D-3 Commissioner, seated with Tom Kent, developer of Perfect View subdivision on the agenda for a zone change. (see number 3)

1. Todd Listerman – Transportation Director- Gave an update on the seemingly endless problems with the underground storage tanks at the county garage. IDEM requires more testing of the soils and so they need to request another $14,000 from council from the MVH fund to add to the $4,000 available to cover these costs. Commissioners approved going to Council.
600 ft of fence will be installed at county expense from the bridge match funds for Triple Whipple. Fence is to separate ROW and Lighthouse Yacht Club.

2. Candy Turcak- Whitwater Canal Scenic Byway- explained the 100 mile walk alongteh old canal trail over 8 days. Final stage will be at Verastau at 10 AM Oct 2 with a brunch and press conference. Letter to be signed in support was tabled till Oct 3 meeting so Benning could see it also. They plan to raise $200,000 to match grants to purchase the land needed for the park etc.

3. Public Hearing on Perfect View and redone written commitments was presented by Mark McCormack, Planning Director. Kent had nothing to add.
“Seeing no opposition,” Fox motioned to approve the zone change with the commitments citing the 5 criteria with no comment on any of them specifically. Hughes 2nd. Motion passed.

4. Text amendments were presented for zoning and subdivision ordinances. All 3 were passed. One was on withdrawal procedures clarifications, the 2nd on surveyor certification requirements and parcel numbers, and the last was on ROW dedications and certificates for article 7 of the subdivision control ordinance.

McCormack also updated Commissioners with all paperwork of research on Jenny Lynn access to Stateline so far. He is still going to review tapes of meetings to further clarify issues. Fox asked about tapes and noted that if the developer agreed on tape perhaps we could hold him to that. They are also going to seek McGill’s legal opinion.

5. Vacation earning Schedule was passed out and tabled.

6. Ewbank brought up the NIMS letter, which was signed after explanation from Bill Black. NIMS compliance and training is to be completed by Sept 30 for Homeland security and disaster preparation.

7. Hughes and Fox authorized each other to sign off on the paperwork that County Farm Board brings in periodically.

Meeting adjourned 7:25 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Sunday, September 17, 2006

U.S. 50 Corridor Study Project Alternatives Set For Public Discussion


U.S. 50 Corridor Study Project Alternatives Set For Public Discussion

Dearborn County residents now have a chance to see proposed alternatives for the U.S. 50 Corridor. The alternatives will be presented and discussed at a public meeting for the U.S. 50 Corridor Study on Tuesday, September 26, in the auditorium at Lawrenceburg High School from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The school is located at 100 Tiger Boulevard.

The meeting is being held to present potential alternatives to address the efficiency and safety needs identified along the U.S. 50 Corridor. These areas of concern were identified largely from April’s public meeting and subsequent public input on the U.S. 50 Corridor Study overview, along with details from the Corridor Study’s existing conditions report which includes traffic data and accident reports.

“The meeting is not just the next step in the process, but is a chance for the public to actually see lines drawn on maps to visualize what these alternative concepts may look like,” said Scott Roush, project manager for the study. “With this meeting, the public will be able to offer valuable input to assist the planning and design of the Corridor. The public’s input at our April meeting was insightful and has been incorporated into our thinking. We are looking forward to their thoughts on the potential alternatives.”

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) along with Strand Associates and Wilbur Smith & Associates, the engineering firms conducting the study, will present potential alternatives to efficiency and safety needs for the corridor. The presentation will then be followed by a time for discussion and input from the public on the potential alternatives. The study, scheduled to take approximately 18 months, will help officials determine feasible methods for addressing traffic problems by exploring both short-term traffic-management solutions as well as more long-term capacity improvements.

The study is also designed to confirm the findings for the Purpose and Need Report for the corridor. These improvements may be located along the existing corridor or on new alignments. The 18-mile stretch of roadway extends through Dearborn County and impacts traffic flow in the cities of Lawrenceburg, Greendale, Aurora and Dillsboro.

Another public meeting is scheduled to take place in the late winter/early spring of 2007.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Republican Commissioner Candidate Website Launched

Republican Commissioner Candidate Website

Ralph Thompson- Republican candidate for Dearborn County Commissioner D-3 launched a campaign website this week.
Log on to

Friday, September 15, 2006

LMH Applies for 54.68% Increase in Sewer Rates

LMH Utilities, Inc filed a public notice this week in the local paper (Register Publications) for a 54.68% increase in sewer rates with the IURC. “This increase is primarily caused by the need to refurbish aging infrastructure and comply with the continuing requirements of IDEM. If granted in full, the rate of the average customer will rise from$42.28 to $65.50.”
LMH also requested a $3000 system development charge which applies only to new homes and new customers.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Working Session with Plan Commission and School Supt.s 6 September 2006

Highlights of the Plan Commission Working Session with County School Superintendents on 6 September 2006 at the Dearborn Adult Center

Plan Commission Members present:
Hall, Ohlmansiek, Kraus, Jr., Laws, Feiss.
Absent: Mitter, deMaynadier, Held, and Hughes.

Also present: Mark McCormack, Planning Director.
Sunman Dearborn – John Roeder
South Dearborn- Tom Book and Bob Rollins
Lawrenceburg- Dan Kuebler and Pam Taylor

Plan Commission had studies from South Dearborn and Sunman Dearborn to review later.

1. PC asked about how development plans affect student teacher ratios and how funding is determined.
Answer- money is based directly on number of students. They send in an average each year. Local formulas for funding are different. (State revenue and property tax revenue are used differently)
2. Kuebler noted that L-bg could handle about 150 more students if they are spaced out over K-12.
3. Sunman Dearborn has had to add a few to classrooms beyond what they would want for optimal teacher student ratios.
4. Book noted that if more expensive homes are built they expect fewer kids in those homes of school age.
5. Roeder made it clear that when a school board member speaks at PC hearing they are speaking on a personal level and not for the board.
6. Bus routes are bid every 4 years and readjusted as students add or subtract.
7. PC would like to see letters that give current enrollment, student teacher ratios, and available space. Perhaps even give out their 5-year projections so PC can try to keep track.
8. Kuebler noted they could have buildings and space but not enough local funding to get teachers! This would involve increasing the property tax.
9. Average student costs about $4,000.
10. When they do all day kindergarten each K only counts as ½ a student.
11. Superintendents meet with each other quite often- monthly at least.
12. Schools don’t mind public use of facilities but need to charge enough to cover the maintenance and utilities for those events.
13. Redistricting is seen as an unpopular and political hot button issue by the superintendents. (Despite the fact that numerous members of the public expressed strong interest at master plan hearings.)
14. HVL seen as an area needing to be redrawn to reflect the community. Kids on buses longer to SD than if they go to L-bg. But again- politics!
15. Rollins noted that sidewalks can cut bus costs so kids can congregate on blocks rather than all spread out.
16. Sunman Dearborn does NOT accept tuition paying students. L-bg and SD do.
17. If schools don’t raise property taxes they lose state funding also.
18. US 50 traffic and lack of sewers is hurting South Dearborn’s growth.
19. PC member Laws noted that if sewers were out there on west side it would even out development.

20 Roeder said they (the county schools) need more commercial development.


Laws said we are working on a fiscal impact model.

Kuebler said they get nervous in their area because of tax abatements.

One of the superintendents said TAX ABATEMENTS AND TIFs DESTROY THE SCHOOLS. [NOTE: I about fell out of my chair when I heard that. Where were these people when the TIFs were being set up?]

Kuebler noted they took a $2.5 million hit from their tax issue.

Rollins stated that TIF districts destroyed the Brownsburg schools.

I asked them if they’d talked to the Redevelopment Commission about this. Three of them turned to me and said YES.

Kuebler said he also made an elaborate presentation to L-bg Council about business abatements hurting schools.

[NOTE: Did the Redevelopment Commission ignore this input? Is it possible that they are being so short sighted about landing a business or industry that they lose sight of long term objectives and quality of life?]

21. State formula sets tuition rates – there is a 7 page funding formula reflecting what happens with rates of change in student population. This was in response to a question about whether or not it could hurt school funding if they developed too fast around them. It appears it can happen if they increase too fast or decrease too fast. [NOTE: I’d really like to see this part explained in layman’s terms and in relation to our county specifically when they do the fiscal impact studies.]

22. They consider a rule of about 7 kids in 10 homes.

23. State changes funding rules mid term sometimes. Affects Sunman and South Dearborn mostly as they get 2/3 funding from state. L-bg is mostly local.

24. Tom Kent wanted to know how much info they want and will use from the school districts. He said his 260 homes would require 2 buses at $50,000 each, but the houses would bring in $580,000. [NOTE: That’s 182 students at 7 per 10 homes. 182 x $4,000 per student is $728,000. That’s still not paying for the estimated students.]

25. Debbie McQueen asked- what are we willing to sacrifice education-wise to accommodate growth? Miller Township has killer tax rates. We will be like Cincinnati 15 years from now- unable to bus or provide extracurriculars. The bottom line is that high-density development has a BIG impact on schools.

26. Linda Mitchell asked- are you happy with your student –teacher ratios?
Tom Book said they aren’t alarmed yet. With aides they average 18-20/ staff.
Kuebler is not happy at all with his ratios.
Roeder said they were as high as 22-32 using aides.
Mitchell wanted to know if it was possible to set a level so as not to tax retirees off their land. Maybe create a redline- critical number for classrooms and ratios and perhaps control taxes by using that number in granting permits and development.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

7 September 2006 DCRSD Meeting Notes

7 September 2006 Dearborn County Regional Sewer District Meeting

Hankins, Chairman, Holland, Pruss, Fehrman, Dennerline, and Enzweiler.
ABSENT: John Maxwell [NOTE: DCRSD Bylaws were reset after Council did not reappoint Volmer for lack of attendance issues. Six absences in a year can result in termination of that board member]Also present: Kramer, attorney, Quinn, Engineer, and Benning- status unknown.
Also absent: Doug Baer and Bryan Messmore, administrator and liaison with Woolpert.

Pat Hanlon, former sewer board member, addressed the board regarding other options for small treatment plants to address issues in the county where lines will not be run for extended periods of time, if ever.
Hanlon referenced Coolsville OH as an example of using septic tanks as pretreatment for pressurized sewer systems instead of grinder pumps. Net savings was about $60 per month in homeowner costs. Basically the effluent from the septic tank is what was treated and tanks still had to be pumped every 3-5 years. Recirculating filters are also used.
Board took information in- no decision.

Quinn presented Aurora’s sewer fees and connection costs to the board. Average bill $33 per mo for 4000 gal of usage. Connection fee was $2,030, when it used to be $500-750. Kramer has the 3 easements needed on Cole lane. Board tabled giving order to proceed on construction until they consult with Aurora again. [NOTE: This project seems to be on hold for a lot longer than expected.]

There was some discussion still going on with Dillsboro and Scott Fortner about sending sewage to them. Using GRW estimates Quinn and board decided their numbers were too low. Pipe costs of $400,000 in GRW and they think $4.5 million more accurate (that’s 10 x)

Board noted there seemed to be multiple roadblocks to regionalization.

Board voted to pay the office setup fees for the basement office.
Board voted to hold on the attorney fees submitted by Lehner since June 28th her termination date. Board noted some fees were as old as February and were showing up now.Pruss mentioned they were “broke.” $14,000 in checking account.

New phone number for sewer board is 537-1040 Ext 1255 per Hankins.

Hankins said he was asked to serve on master plan by Nark McCormack and noted Holland and Fehrman also serve. He will miss some meetings and is counting on them to keep him in the loop.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM

After the meeting I asked about the Woolpert study that was to be out at this meeting. Woolpert presented it to them today and they sent it back for more work- territory lines needing to be checked etc. They want to keep this under wraps until finished. I stressed that the land use map portion of the master plan starts Sept 20 and it would be better for them to have this considered alongside that. If not the maps will be done and they may need to revise their recommendations. Considering the lack of public involvement in this study, it may be better to have the public master plan work take precedence. Whatever work is in this draft with maps etc., public money paid for it and it should be public record. In my experience public viewing and comments often make for better plans.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

5 September 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

5 September 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. EMA- Bill Black- told commissioners that at the end of Sept. all NIMS training should be either completed or in process in order to be compliant. Grants besides homeland security are also dependent on this training being completed. Over $600,000 in grants are being funneled through Dearborn county as the fiscal agent for the district on Homeland security. We are getting a $450,000 mobile command unit also which will be based here. About $11,000 is left of 2005 money from a GIS grant which will be used for laptops from Dell. [NOTE: It wasn’t clear who gets the laptops and what they will be used for.]
There is also a $50,000 grant for mitigation plan to be created. Margaret Minzner will help write that.

2. Mike Mulcahey asked Todd Listerman to report on the status of Woods Edge sub’n road issue. Listerman stated that the bond in place since 11/17/2000 runs out in May 2007. If the road is not completed in Sept or a good faith effort in process, the county will exercise the bond and complete it with asphalt themselves.

3. Transportation Report- Mark Seiler reported that ROW was donated by Lighthouse Yacht Club (about .2 acres) and Riverview Cemetery (about 2 acres) for the Triple Whipple bridge project. They got the paperwork signed showing that federal guidelines were followed in acquiring the ROW. Hope to finish by Dec 2007.

Todd Listerman updated commissioners on his dept. Bridge 15- Bells Branch also to be started in Summer 2007. He is getting a 4-year cycle of bridge replacements in order for federal funds.
Striping is finished except for Sawdon Ridge, which will be done when road repair and paving is finished. Paving schedule will go to the paper and radio to help avoid traffic issues. They will be working around school bus schedule as much as possible.
All flaggers are required to have reflective safety vests or the yellow shirts.
After attending a seminar on traffic control devices, the highway dept will be on a 10 year schedule to replace all signs with prismatic reflective ones. SLOW CHILDREN AT PLAY signs will gradually be eliminated- they are no longer in the manual as they are considered to be encouraging kids to play in the street. [NOTE: Do you think we could eliminate DEER CROSSING signs too so they won’t think about running in the road?]Most signs will be symbols and not words anymore.
Salt quotes coming in for winter. About $2 more per ton than last year. ($45/ton)
Speed counters are being purchased to set the speed at the actual average being used on a road at the 85th percentile of drivers. [NOTE: Do we set speed limits by democratic methods? Or general road safety?]Listerman is also working on road inventory as some road lengths are inaccurate in the files.

4. Architura- represented by George Brunner and Patricia Romiti presented their introductory materials and asked to be considered for future projects in the county. They are from INDY and seem to specialize in fixing problems in buildings – at least from their oral presentation.

5. Old Business- The Credit Card Ordinance prepared by Ewbank was presented, read, and signed. This ordinance was to correct issues that remained from the old ordinance. [NOTE: I have seen credit card policies revised at least 4 times now.]

6. New Business- Pickens presented the Low Contract which Commissioners will vote on next meeting- this is to replace the $250,000 computer system and software in the Auditor’s office as it no longer is complaint with the reports the state requires.

Commissioners also voted to deny the heath care claim they reviewed in executive session prior to this meeting.

7. Claims and Minutes signed. One set of minutes sent back by Hughes as he didn’t think he was quoted correctly in part of it.

8. Messmore- Administrator- presented the Health Benefit Plan for signatures. Commissioners want to know why it takes 8 months after the plan is in effect to get it signed. Ewbank thinks independent insurance audit will address this when completed.

Messmore presented the Vieste and London Witte contracts for approval after “much debate.” [NOTE: There was NO PUBLIC DEBATE at any commissioners meeting on this subject.] Messmore noted that there was a representative of Vieste- Level 5 Engineering there tonight. (Dick Robertson). [NOTE: Robertson was previously with another engineering company CEA (Congdon Engineering Associates) who worked on the North Dearborn Road realignment and was pursuing federal funds for that project.]
Messmore said Council approved $30,000 for 2006 and $30,000 for 2007 of this contract and Ewbank noted that there was no funding allotted should it go to the third year.
[NOTE: Is there something that was discussed or in the contract about a 3rd year?]
Messmore noted that there is an exit clause they can use if they don’t like what Vieste proposes.
Commissioners signed the professional services agreement with Vieste, LLC and then the professional services agreement with London Witte. [NOTE: Why does this remind me of the house of cards that Enron was built on? WHY didn’t commissioners publicly set goals for this and let these discussions be out in the open? Do they really know what they are signing or are they taking someone’s word for this as being a good idea? Who is that someone?]
Messmore said the Plan Commission has reenergized the land use plan and that this Vieste work will be an asset to that work also. [NOTE: The land use maps are to be finished in March of 2007. Vieste has a 2-year contract. It seems like we are out of synch here.]

The Shumway Building was appraised at $550-560,000. Commissioners voted to purchase the building pending council approval and building inspection. If all goes as planned community corrections, prosecutor, probation dept., etc will move in there.

The 2007 OKI agreement was actually $16,198 and was budgeted at $16,032. Will have to get additionals in January of $166 for that contract.

Pickens suggested they set the holiday schedule for 2007 soon so the courts could set their dockets.

9. Nancy Weldon of CASA told commissioners of a luncheon with Sodrel Sept 11 at DCH at 11:30. Sodrel will be there when their grant is presented for Drug Free County. The topic will be methamphetamines and Prosecutor Negangard and Judge Blankenship will be presenting. Ewbank also noted teh big problem that crystal meth is creating and its highly addictive nature.

10. Ewbank noted 2 tort claims and the lawsuit by Diehl, Wolgamott, and Baylor on the zone change at 48 and 148 for Tom Kent.

11. Benning gave her usual social secretary report. They rec’d a “nice letter from the Honda people” and a work force development letter.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township