Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Vieste and London- Witte’s Running Tab on the Capital Projects Management Claims

Vieste and London- Witte’s Running Tab on the Capital Projects Management Claims presented at the last commissioner’s meeting and signed by Messmore,County Administrator, and Dick Robertson, Vieste Representative. They are to be paid at the first April Commissioner meeting. Details are below:

PSA Dewberry presented a separate claim for programming and schematic design (with a not to exceed amount of $325,000) on the Justice Center for total billing $11,713.44 specifying :

Architect I -21.3 hrs x $60= $1278
Architect VII -75 hrs x $130- $9750
Eng/Plan/LA I -1 hr x $65= $65
Eng/Plan/LA VII- 4.5 hrs x $130 = $585
Tech Ass’t III - 0.5 hrs x $55= $27.50
Direct deliveries $7.94

London Witte presented a detailed billing for their financial work from 8/16 – 12/31/2006 totalling $30,000 with $7,500 temporary deferral = $22,500.

There are 7 pages of details on meeting dates and hours, postage, travel time (not mileage but actual paying hourly for travel) For example- on 12/20/2006 the detail shows:
Meeting in Lawrenceburg – no hours- $89
Travel to Lawrenceburg for team meeting- 2 hrs= $400
Prepare and participate in group/team meeting -2.75 hrs=$550
Return form group meeting in Lawrenceburg- 2 hrs= $400
Total for 12/20/2006 for Higgins work and travel is: $1439
Higgins works at $200/hr, Scarafia works at $70/hr, Miller works at $70/hr, Swintz works at $175/hr on this invoice for 2006 from London Witte.

Vieste presented billing with little detail for $67,814.97

Invoice shows $5,000 for master plan services for PSA Dewberry (as subcontracted to Vieste)- no details- just 2/3 completed of $7500= $5000

Mileage for Jan and Feb 2007 for Mark Branaman of 1736 miles for $437.47 Details show DCCPM, MAP, MAEP, and Wabash-Agrienergy mileage.

Vieste Capital Program Management Feb 2007 Criminal Justice Facility $62,377.50- NO DETAILS ON THIS PORTION!

Pickens also noted that Vieste was paid twice prior to this for $22,500 and $15,000. Those claims were published previously in the local paper.

Total of all the above is $139,527.41

This money comes from the $612,000 that was set aside for the Justice Center Project.
Per Pickens- Vieste’s contract, which was signed in Sept 2006, was for $120,000 with deferred payments in it. When presented at meetings we were told $30,000 for 2006 and $30,000 for 2007.

Pickens said it’s a 75/25% split with Vieste ($90,000) and London Witte ($30,000) and nearly a 50/50% split between Justice Center and the NW Quad. Of this $120,000, half will come out of the $612,000 for the Justice Center and the other half will come out of the economic development fund, if appropriated in July.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, March 27, 2007



Info for anyone who’s considering serving in public office in the county:

The deadline to file for candidacy is in mid February, 2008.
This gives potential candidates 10 months to observe the process and see if you are interested.

Two Commissioner positions are up for election in 2008. District 1- Jeff Hughes and District 2- Rick Fox.
If you are unsure of district lines call Phil Weaver, Clerks Office.

Three at-large Council seats are up for election in 2008. Charlie Fehrman, Bill Ullrich, and Mark Mitter.
At-large council members are elected by the entire county. All commissioner seats are elected by the entire county also.

Good luck- looking forward to seeing some new faces and fresh ideas.

Friday, March 23, 2007


This column appeared in the Register this week.


by Helen Kremer
Logan Township

On March 14, 2007, the Dearborn County Council was trying to decide whether or not to hire Vieste, a company from Indianapolis, to assist the County Administrator with plans to coordinate services, and market our county at a cost of $780,000. Well, the thought came to mind—why not hire us, the citizens of the county? Hey—we could keep that money right here, especially since not everyone was exactly thrilled with an earlier Vieste report targeting farmland in the NW quadrant for future development. Vieste also donated to one candidate in the last election, and not the other—not a good idea.

In fact, speakers from the NW quadrant gave pertinent information to allay the fears of the “we need economic development, lower taxes, and keep our children in jobs in Dearborn County” group. The speakers said these fears were unfounded and provided facts to support their findings, and they did not believe we needed to hire Vieste

One of the Council members said that is how it’s done, governments hire outside people to do this kind of work. Another Council member differed—he thought maybe this money could be better spent by hiring local people to do the job, and he was worried about eminent domain. Then, a third Council member, questioning a Vieste employee about The Indianapolis Star article concerning a water utility in Indiana, didn’t care for the response he received. This caused the chairperson of the Council to table the matter for discussion at a later date.

We need to help these people. The time has come for us to rescue our county. We are local citizens, and we can do this job! We promise eminent domain will never be an issue. The name of our firm is the Government Outsource Specialist Helpmates (GOSH). Whatever the county needs—we’ll do it, and cheaper too. Our motto will be “Remember you are a public servant!” Two signs in our office state our mission goals which read as follows:

Responsible Public Officials
- believe all meetings should be open to the public,
- listen carefully to what people are saying—do not make up your mind until you have all the facts,
- realize zoning ordinances were put in place for a reason—respect the land,
- when considering zoning changes make sure if it’s not good for most citizens maybe it’s not a good idea, and don’t jeopardize land that belongs to others,
- never hire outside firms that have been investigated for unethical activities.

Economic Development Department
- Hire people with excellent math skills!
- Get real figures regarding the benefits, and costs of economic development.
- Study incentives and tax abatements for economic development—how much tax money will be collected for county government use?
- TIF areas pay current taxes for 30 years (what will the cost be for taxpayers to make up the difference, i.e., 25% or more, over 30 years?)
- Find out how much taxes increase/decrease due to residential development because of cost of services?
- Ask school superintendents to explain why they believe TIFS are hurting our school funding, and the amount of tax dollars needed to keep topnotch schools?
- Establish needs/projected costs for fire and police protection, and equipment.

Simplistic—you bet. Silly--maybe, but the above items do focus on legitimate issues. Did you know citizens in this county, while they were just going about their lives, were unaware their property was being targeted for development in closed-door meetings? Certainly, public officials cannot be comfortable with that type of behavior. And, do you think we should consider hiring firms with a checkered past? We hope not.

There are smart people in this county who can be hired for whatever job needs to be done, at less cost. We want our public officials to demonstrate they can do what is best for all of us, or GOSH—you’re going to have to hire us!

Helen Kremer has an MA in Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph. She retired from Kilgour Elementary School, Mt. Lookout, a Cincinnati Public School, where she taught Enrichment classes, and 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies. She is a member of the Dearborn County Land Use Advisory Committee.

Tomorrow is Final Public Meeting on Future Land Use Maps

So far about 230 surveys have been received by the Planning Office. If you haven't been to an open house- please come tomorrow and cast your vote for the future of your county.

Saturday March 24th, 2007
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Lawrenceburg High School (Cafeteria—Please use the entrances on the north or east side of the high school.)
311 Tiger Boulevard (Lawrenceburg)


Vieste Must Resign
by Alan S Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township

It is time for Vieste to resign from its relationship with Dearborn County. Additionally it is time to have the individual who hired Vieste to resign and give us a rational explanation as to his/her choice of Vieste.

One of the most remarkable acts on the part of Vieste is that the four companies related to the work in Dearborn county that has been proposed were donators to Frank Linkmeyer’s campaign for County Commissioner. This was particularly strange in that Linkmeyer’s opponent was a graduate engineer, and holder of a degree in business administration. I personally have nothing against Mr.Linkmeyer who was most gracious in defeat. However:

There is Level 5 Engineering a company that one would assume would appreciate working with a county commissioner whose education is listed above. They preferred to oppose him.

Then we have London Witte an accounting firm who one would assume would appreciate being about to deal with a county commissioner who holds a degree in business administration. They preferred not to do so. They opposed him.

There is PSA Dewberry Engineering who also opposed an engineer for county commissioner. This company has 36 offices in 16 states. What made this large company oppose an engineer/MBA candidate in favor of a less qualified candidate?

There is Jungclaus-Campbell a construction company who one would assume would prefer to work with an engineer as a county commissioner. But no they too opposed him.

Each of these companies donated 500 dollars to oppose the engineer MBA candidate.
The question is why did they do this? Did they prefer obfuscation by working with less experienced commissioners? Did they wish to hide things during their tenure in Dearborn County? Were they told that donating to oppose this engineer/MBA was the cost of doing business in Dearborn County? Were they aware of their opponent’s education and successes? Did they even know him?

It is not uncommon for companies to donate to the election campaigns of candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. These people did not even pretend to do so. They went straight against Ralph Thompson who is their peer. The sum of money that these four companies donated was significant, 2000 dollars. The opponent, the engineer/MBA was reduced to using homemade campaign signs and collecting 1,5, and 10 dollar donations from working people.

This all makes no sense what so ever unless there is a crony like relationship between the local Republican Party, the administrators, and appointees of Dearborn County and these above 4 mentioned companies which plan to be feasting at the Dearborn County trough. Did the Lawrenceburg Chamber of Commerce and/or the DCDEI influence these companies into opposing the more qualified candidate? Did anyone of those 4 companies know Ralph Thompson’s education, did any of them simply know him?

I have sent an email and/or faxes to the 4 companies asking then who recommended that they oppose the engineer/MBA candidate. Of course none of these companies answered my query.
Now one might ask why must Vieste step down along with the companies that they have brought into Dearborn County? Essentially it is because of their poor judgment.

Did they pay to play by donating significant sums of money to oppose Ralph Thompson or did they wish to avoid working with a county commissioner who is knowledgeable in their own fields? If there is another rational explanation I would happily be so informed.

Because of all of the above we are dealing with poor judgment and since these people are going to spend taxpayers’ money and be paid by our taxpayers we have a problem. The resolution of this exceedingly poor judgment is one simple thing; Mr. Camparato, his company and the three others companies that he has brought into the county must resign right now.

I would think that the County Commissioners would agree with this analysis.
Whether the central committee of the deteriorating Republican Party of Dearborn County, the DCDEI and the Lawrenceburg Chamber of Commerce agree or disagree with the above is immaterial.

Alan Stanley Freemond, Sr.
Tanners Creek Farm
Jackson Township
Dearborn County Indiana

Thursday, March 22, 2007

21 March 2007 Dearborn County Council Special Meeting on Vieste and NW Quad

21 March 2007 Dearborn County Council Special Meeting on Vieste and NW Quad

Present: Fehrman, Chairman, Morris, Ullrich, Kraus, Sr., Lansing, Cheek, and Mitter (arrived 10 minutes late due to work emergency- Council started at 7:40 PM)
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Administrator

Charlie Fehrman opened the meeting and limited the discussion to the Council members.

Tom Cheek a year or so ago- it wasn’t Council who hired Vieste. I checked with two friends of mine who grew up in Aurora and work sheet metal in Indy and ran the company names past them. They were familiar with Jungclaus Campbell, but note Vieste and had no negative comments on them.
Cheek then called Mike Harmless of Crowe Chizek- had met him about 5 years ago doing work for Aurora. He explained to me how the sewer bills went with Branaman’s company. He said the company hadn’t raised rates in a long time and was overdue, and so the rate changes were big. It was all done legally through Ice-Miller and the mayor. Branaman is a high powered engineer and a good business man. Crowe Chizek did all the work for the rates on that project. The current mayor of Lawrence did not respond to the email that Cheek sent this week.
[NOTE: Due diligence needed to be performed on these companies. The county relies on Messmore, their administrator, to perform most of this. Double checking with your friends and acquaintances- as Cheek did- is fine, but that does not constitute a thorough background check on these companies. In this case- Crowe Chizek WORKS for Lawrence Utilities, LLC- so their opinion should be only part of the background check. Cheek learned from Harmless that the SEWER bills hadn’t been raised in a long time. In the investigative reports from the Indy Star and the one run by the current mayor, they list the WATER bills rates as having a 110% increase and specifically say that it didn’t include sewer or trash pickup which push monthly bills in many cases to $100 or more. They also cite the water rates in all of the surrounding areas as a comparison. (Morgan County- 56.75, Lawrence 40.29, Boone County- 35.00, Noblesville- 34.79, Johnson County- 30.25, Shelbyville- 30.25, Indianapolis- 20.55, Anderson- 16.80, Carmel- 15.40, and Martinsville- 9.35- Source IURC- 2004)
Another disturbing “coincidence” is that the utility vendor payments to companies affiliated with the members of Lawrence Water, LLC (Branaman is an owner) go to the following companies who are/were all located at 9105 E. 56th St. in Lawrence in 2003.
CEA (Congdon Engineering (Branaman and Dick Robertson were (maybe still are) employees or owners. $1,054,322
Innovative Mapping Solutions- $373,672
Integrated Data, LLC- $403,935
Integrated Realty, LLC- $244,911
Integrated Resources, LLC - $2,679,475
The Merit Group, Inc- $85,500
TOTAL- $4,841,815
That address on 56th Street showed up again in the white pages this week as one of 2 addresses for Vieste, LLC in Indy. (They have a 3rd address in Chicago) The 56th Street address is NOT listed on their web site. Mr. Branaman, who was originally listed as a principal on the Vieste web site has been removed from that site- as have some of their affiliated companies. Just how connected are all these companies? And why does info keep disappearing from web sites?]

Dan Lansing- Why is Vieste doing the same work as DCEDI?
Messmore- We’re only doing something that wouldn’t be duplicating any efforts. We would do everything we could to… - then he made some reference to an expression they used at Hillenbrands to mean “no waste.” The humor was lost on the crowd.

Bill Ullrich- What is the relationship between London-Witte and Vieste?
Messmore- London Witte is the experienced independent financial advisor that we needed. It provides a check and balance. (There was no comment on their relationship) Messmore asked if he could return to his seat.

Dennis Kraus, Sr. – in response to Messmore- yeah- you can go back where you came from. [Laughter] The county was better off when we had no money- we didn’t waste as much. We need our own employee to do this- maybe with Planning or GIS office. Industrial development is needed for the tax base and there is plenty of land available for development that won’t offend anyone in the county- use that first! Wait for the master plan to be completed. There are lots of positions we could fill for $750,000. [APPLAUSE]

Bill Ullrich- There was nothing he found that was negative to Vieste or anyone else. He’s glad they separated out the jail- that’s really needed. The Commissioners put in a lot of work to get a comprehensive look at a capital plan. We want an alternative that’s done right- not to offend anyone. We want to see what we’ve started – progress. Your involvement out there is part of that process. [Note: But that involvement was not “encouraged- or sought out- it happened when people heard from a few neighbors about these “plans.”]

Liz Morris- was surprised at someone as fiscally conservative as Dennis Kraus is suggesting hiring our own employee. We’d be paying for that from here to eternity. I think we’re better off hiring out in some sort of fashion. We’ve wasted a lot of time. Dearborn County needs to move forward listening to input from the county. Get data from EDI or the Plan Commission or wherever and move forward.

Mark Mitter- I have been a proponent fro diversifying the tax base of the county for a long time. We need to balance growth. That being said- it is imperative as elected officials to be responsive to citizens. In the Comp Plan and now with the future land use plan, one way to do this is with an advisory board. It took about a year to get these maps done. If we move forward now- we won’t be taking that information into account. If we don’t pay attention to the Future Land Use Map, then the citizens who spent all their time- with no pay- will feel like we are treating them as if this work was not important. We need to be sure the future of this county is being determined by the citizens- and a cross section of the county- not all special interests. [NOTE: Messmore likes to say they are using the land use map- but he is using the first draft of efforts from December of 2005. That map didn’t get to the public nor was it worked on until later in 2006. The advisory board did not get together after that draft for a while due to a change in directors in the Planning Office.]
On Monday, in INDY I completed a short course in ethics for state officials. The local officials are not bound by this- but maybe we should be. Part of those standards are that people don’t participate in contracts and then work for the company that produced those contracts. Even if it is not ILLEGAL- our local constituents have to feel like it’s ethical. What occurred with Vieste – though not illegal- well- I have concerns of ethics. [NOTE: YES!!!]
I am not sure about creating a new position, I see Vieste and EDI duplication, EDI is constituted to not look out for the interests of the county government. We could form something locally with the Chamber to have economic development go forward under local control. I have been sitting on the fence all week- part of me wants to support this, but I have concerns because it is SO MUCH MONEY. Maybe we should do the jail and see how it goes- as there is a sense of urgency there.

Kraus- Mark- could we have a partnership with EDI, County, and the Chamber to use all out info, before we throw out tons of money? In my mind if you continue those bonds at the Courthouse- you really are increasing taxes, because if you paid it off, you could decrease taxes.

Cheek- On your 2/28 timeline #2 you show identification of parcels and TIF’s
Messmore- Certainly- we have parcel IS, but we also have to see how we can fit development into those parcel we have to look at more things like environmental and topographical issues. We need to find out what it take to bring 25 acres or so to buildable acreage.

Mike Comparato- Vieste- When TIF’s were done, they were done on assumed values. So there is a lot of work to be done to analyze specific uses on those parcels. A lot of that is in existence- we can expand on what is in place and marry that info with developer tours and independent 3rd part development. One relates to the TIF and one timeline relates to the County at large. London Witte could do this better, but they aren’t here tonight.

Cheek- Is the schedule the same?

Comparato- timeline is valid, but due to this delay will go out further.

Kraus- Mr. West can you answer a couple questions?

Jim West- DCEDI- In the TIF districts we had to identify all the parcels. We didn’t have a marketing plan- we were working off what was in the area already. But we can do marketing analysis.

Fehrman- I have listened and took notes- We have 5 choices:

1. Do the entire thing for $778,000
2. Take off the $400,000 marketing and do just the studies for $378,000.
3. Table economic development and just do the jail
4. Create a county employee position to run this
5. Partner with the chamber- or existing county organization

#1 was all Nays.

#2 was 3 ayes and 3 nays and Fehrman asked for discussion before he cast the tie breaking vote. (Nays were Kraus, Morris, and Mitter)

Fehrman asked West and Rozow to comment on the partnership ideas.

West told Council- we’ve done some of what you have been asked to do- we know it’s needed. It needs to be done objectively- OUTSIDE this community and HIRE it to be done. Either go forward or go backward- we are losing opportunities. I am getting frustrated with the process- just don’t duplicate efforts- adding staff or another organization would be duplicating efforts.
[NOTE: The duplication questions were referring to EDI and Vieste.]

Mike Rozow- Chamber of Commerce- We should use the dollars in the most effective and efficient manner. I think a partnership would work- I see a group coming together. I went to the ground breaking for Honda- so many good things can happen. We are more than willing to come together and be a point person.

Cheek- What’s with the ground breaking using a rototiller? [Laughter]

Mitter- Only concern is that hiring an employee- who do they report to?

Kraus- go with Mark’s plan- just want to be in control of the bucks.

Fehrman was looking for commissioners in the audience- none present.
A citizen wanted to ask a question- Fehrman denied the request. [NOTE: They were still in the middle of a vote- technically]

Mitter- I voted Nay – I witnessed over my 11 years of service that citizens want to control their future and they want input. When that is not available and they are not part of the process… This (input) has NOT happened and I have concerns. When this started I was sort of fired up and ready to get fresh ideas- and then I didn’t see the Comp plan and maps considered to the degree I felt they should be. The ETHICAL thing bothers me- IT JUST DOESN’T PASS MY SMELL TEST!
Do the jail and test Vieste- Future land use maps will be done in April or so- the advisory board will send them to the Plan Commission for a public hearing after public hearings and surveys are considered. Then the PC sends them to the Commissioners for approval. Let that process finish out. Can we afford to take the time? We have to- to do it right. We could do it by July 31st.

Cheek- Point of order- a motion is on the floor-

Morris- I don’t have Mark’s experience- but it is imperative that economic development go forward. I like the new idea of partnering with the chamber, EDI, and some outside advice, while waiting for the jail to go through.

Fehrman- I know we have to go outside the county and there’s expertise there and there’s a cloud over the collective head of where we are now. We should be marching forward with a strong gait, but instead it would be a limp. I apologize to you Mike (Comparato) - but I vote NAY.

The Council looked at Option 3.
Pickens said the billing and documentation has to be explained on each claim to the commissioners at their meeting.

Messmore- Of course I’ve got some skin in it- I want the best possible service and product at the lowest possible cost. [NOTE: Really?]

Mitter- The land use should be in place- not sure what the commissioners will do if they will pass the map or not. When the Comp Plan went through- everything went well and then at the end one of the commissioners didn’t want to pass it. [NOTE: Benning]

Council passed a modification of the 3rd version:
Messmore will monitor Vieste’s scope of work and Pickens monitors the bills. The $378,000 is pending for about 4 months (July 31st) to see how the jail goes. The master plan future land use maps will be finished by then as well and can determine where commercial/industrial growth should be considered. 4 Ayes- 2 Nays (Mitter and Kraus)

Pickens reminded them to look at funding for London Witte to identify TIF parcels- Council will meet in April on that as well.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

20 March 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

20 March 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, Chairman, Fox, and Thompson
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator
Dick Robertson, Vieste, Level 5 Engineering and County Project Manager was also present

The temperature in the building was high- A/C not working and the heat was still on.

Mariah Park Zone Change was advertised but cancelled. (Found this out at the end of the meeting)

1. Health Span- Diane Oliver- reviewed the county’s wellness program results and congratulated the county and the administrator and Pinnacle Advisory for implementing it with incentives. The industry trend is to move away from managed care to peer care.
Results indicated that 247 people participated in the wellness program. 27 males, 120 females.
144 had conditions that merited follow up with a physician.
83 were at risk of heart attack
125 had conditions that could adversely affect their productivity or work quality
4 had abnormal PSA
2 had abnormal thyroid levels
98 invitations were sent to people
62 needed phone calls only
25 answered the calls- 16 were stable and 8 refused.
14 refused education other than mailing material.

2. Animal Control- Cheryl Lohmiller - 69 dogs/26 cats present at shelter. Using Grants to change carpet out of the prefab buildings, get computers,a nd put kennels at police stations for nuisance animals when shelter is closed. Talked to Planning office about animal ordinances. They are also contacting BeastMaster for dart guns and other options for removing animals when live traps aren’t working.

3. Treasurer- Gayle Pennington- Ewbank reviewing the addendum to the tax sales contract with the increased fee ($5 more) for notification changes.

Pennington also introduced Christy from Certified IT to outline the program which would allow credit card payment for tax bills. Taxes will be viewable online and payable online or at a kiosk eventually. The charge is 2.75% of the bill- payable by the tax payer- not payable by the county.
Example- for every $1,000 of tax bill you pay $27.50 fee to the credit card company. Some of this fee- goes back to the county to fund the kiosk.
The county gets email notice of payment and they post this MANUALLY.
No data is sold to any other entity- they said.
Thirty counties use this- Ripley County just signed.
Tabled for Ewbank to review contract changes.

4. PUBLIC HEARING on Subdivision Ordinance changes and Zoning Ordinance Changes- both were DENIED after lengthy discussion from the commissioners.

On section 520 Thompson motioned to accept and died for lack of a second. Fox thought it went too far and didn’t want it to be accepted due to lack of action tonight, so he motioned to deny. Hughes 2nd. 2 Ayes- Thompson Nay.
Hughes had no problem with BZA on conditional use, no problem with the shaded parts, wanted info from utilities etc- not form letters, and had questions on #5 except for entirety.
Fox- Questioned #5 – thought the entirety went way beyond the blacked out part. Impact on the bond- didn’t know how to interpret that- wanted numbers not conjecture, and thought school info should be gotten by the staff- no need for the developers to get that.
Thompson had no issues.
On Section 1010 – animal controls- Commissioners all denied it due to needing to keep it in place until animal control ordinances were enacted.

McCormack reported there were 110 surveys turned in from the 1st open house so far on the master plan future land use maps.

5. Transportation Dept- Todd Listerman- took about 1.25 hours.
Listerman was granted approval additional $13,593 as supplemental work for Bells Branch- Bridge 15 due to additional approach and horizontal site distance work required. This is shared 80 (Dearborn Cty)/20 (Ohio Cty) on our 20% with the Feds.

Stateline and Stephens Road- signatures on bonds for this- Hughes signed.

County Roads has $1.2 million in budget and is spending last years money this year on Riverboat Revenue. Continuous thread through all this discussion is that highway needs more money!!! Problems with cut backs in gas taxes and excise taxes at about 3% per year for last 5 years- and that’s operating budget- not paving money.

The line striping list is the same as last year (annually done on roads with >1000 adt volume. Only addition is about 2000 ft on Trojan Road for turn areas etc. by EC. Total $150,000

Equipment- Total $400,000 - purchasing three 4x4 trucks at $42,000 each with small plows for smaller roads with short turn radii. Also looking at a small 30ft aerial bucket truck for cutting limbs and spraying plus a pneumatic driver for sign installations. A 500-750 gal sprayer to hook to the trucks for guardrail and fence spraying and retardant after the shredder goes through.
Hughes wanted to be sure Listerman was checking into bulk purchasing with local municipalities possibly.

This leaves $650,000 to do paving and emergencies.

More costs are associated with tank removals and cleanup at the county garage.

Paving list to keep up with part of maintenance schedule - $520,000. Roads to be worked on include: Rumsey Road and Fox Road are two SPECIAL roads. [ NOTE: Special?] Bonnell (Collier Ridge to Burzelbach), Kuebel (section up to Fuchs), Mount Pleasant (between Sneakville and N Dearborn) (hold till Maxwell fixes his end ), Dutch Hollow through Millstone, Hill Road ( Ashe to Wedding), and Stewart Street.

Fox- Going back to Rumsey- we gave them our word- I’m struggling – but when we look them in the eye it has to mean something. Only about 7 homes there and 7 on Coyote Run. Council pulled these last year. Rumsey was widened and gravelled so ready for paving. Davis told them it was on the list to be done- try to get dollars for this because of previous promises- per Fox. [NOTE: Clever how FOX Road and Rumsey are special- and Fox argues so well for Rumsey because of “promises made.” I wonder how long it will be before we hear about promises made for Fox Road to be paved too. Fox, his wife, his brother and sister- in-law own nearly 90 acres with access strip to Fox Road.]

Emergency situation exists on Wilson Creek Road by the Jacobsen properties –creek bank has slipped to the edge of the road. Planning a 450 ft retaining wall – 4 ft high- with rock. Repair is about $50-60,000.

Listerman to go to Council to get $92,000 additional for Rumsey and $50,000 for Wilson Creek.

Thompson motioned for striping, equipment and recommended paving options. Fox 2nd. 2 Ayes- Hughes Nay- wanted to check out the trucks more. Passed.

Thompson motioned and Fox 2nd- Testing and tank removals, emergency work on Wilson Creek Passed.

Fox motioned and Thompson 2nd to go to Council for additional $92,000 for Rumsey. Passed.

Listerman reported that all drivers are CDL now. Fox asked if they saw the reasoning behind this after this winter.

Commissioners signed the letter to INDOT requesting INDOT to consider an entire upgrade to SR 1 from G-dale to I-74, and appreciating Salt Fork and Georgetown Rd. intersection scheduled improvements. INDOT will pay for maintenance of a local detour road when SR 1 is closed off during intersection improvements and bridge work for 2.5 months in the summertime of 2008.

US 50 will be resurfaced from 56 to 275 at night time.

6. Lifetime Resources housing group- rehab letters signed.

7. Aurora EMS contract for 2 units signed.

8. Claims and minutes signed.

9. Pickens –mentioned tossing tapes of meeting and minutes being saved. Couldn’t hear all of this- but there was mention of just listing the actions taken and not all of the discussion. [NOTE: It would seem unwise to not have complete recordings and minutes of major actions like road acceptances, road vacations, zone changes and ordinances- to name s few. More than once- county officials have had to research minutes to find detailed info on these events during some legal question.]

10. Messmore-as previously discussed I asked Dick Robertson to come forward to square up invoices. Commissioners are to approve these itemized invoices and have them on Pickens list for claims to be signed at the next meeting.

Dick Robertson- Vieste- presented the Dearborn County Capital Plan Disbursement Control Form- which he worked out with Jessica in the auditor’s office. This will tell what money is coming out of what fund and how much is left in that fund. Of course the Auditor’s numbers are always correct…
Messmore- These funds are what was approved by commissioners and appropriated by council to do a preliminary design of the jail. Management is 5% of the cost of the project.
Robertson- If you want to change the form we can do that.
Messmore – as of now we have a stop work order…

Numbers mentioned out loud:
Total to be paid- $47,000. Which was approved to be paid at next meeting’s claims

$16,000 for work PSA Dewberry did in ANTICIPATION OF THE CONTRACT.

Of that $11,000 programmed and $5,000 architect study plus $4285 for a study of the Shumway Building. London Witte is in this for about $30,000 also.

Pickens- How do you handle Shumway when you didn’t even know if there would be an appropriation for this?

Messmore- 8% of the $26 million project is for architecture and engineering and it will come out of that. [NOTE: Let me get this straight. Work was done to evaluate the Shumway Building by Vieste and is now being charged to the jail project. They are just tucking it into the A&E section. This looks sloppy.]

Messmore-“ I won’t say that the cart was run out a little bit ahead of the horse…” [NOTE: Really???]

Hughes- I like to bring jobs into the county- not build jails.
Fox- But jails are a necessity.
Robertson- Council was Ok with the jail- thought the comissioners had already approved.

Progress meetings are on the same days as commissioners meetings and any ONE commissioner can attend. (2 would be a quorum and illegal)

Hughes- I’m goping to keep ferreting out options like Shumwayand the EMA building. I want to exhaust all of the options first.

Fox asked about a bill with all the mileage on it- payable to Vieste and they pay PSA Dewberry then. Thompson asked if mileage was reimburseable in the contract- Robertson said yes.
Shumway will get absorbed in the total and comes out of Vieste’s 5%.[ NOTE:I thought Vieste was to get their "cut" out of the master developers- looks liek they are getting it out ofteh county directly now.]
Robertson didn’t get a clear answer on when the next jail discussion will be. Thompson has to review the RQAW study he just received.

Messmore- no need to schedule a progress meeting if there is a stop work order.

Ewbank- No law suits against the county.

Meeting adjourned at 10:05 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Questions We'd Like Council to Ask Wednesday Night

The Citizens Want to Know

Since the public probably won’t be able to ask any questions Wednesday- could Council members ask these questions on the record?

Questions for Wednesday Council Meeting:

1. What are the qualifications and educational background of Comparato, Branaman, and Robertson- individually?

2. What other companies are each of them affiliated with?
Comparato shows up as being hired as COO of Endangered Species Chocolate Company in a Jan-Mar issue of Organic Processing Magazine. There are references to being part of CTE Engineering Inc in Chicago in 2004-5. There are references to being spokesperson and project manager for Market Square Partners in Indy in 2004-5 and now Vieste. How many other companies is Comparato affiliated with?

3. Is Comparato affiliated with Compson Holding Company in NY, Boca Raton, and Virginia?

4. Why does Vieste have 2 Indianapolis area offices and phone numbers ( see white pages online)- one in Indy as on the web site and one in Lawrence, IN at 9105 E 56th St Indy 46216 Ph (317) 524-6380?

5. Who wrote the RFQ’s for the RFP that netted only 2 applicants?

6. Where were the RFP’s advertised? Besides our local paper?

7. WHO decided to add the NW Quadrant and economic development to the original proposal for the capital projects (justice center)?

8. Who reviewed the 2 applicants and chose to recommend Vieste?

9. Why does a study include marketing, engineering and architectural design?

10. What is the position of Dick Robertson in Vieste? Is he a stockholder? What exactly are his duties here in the county?

11. Do any of the principals have any professional licenses or registrations? (This is a specific part of qualifications)

12. Why are we hiring Vieste to do the same work as DCEDI and the Comprehensive Land Use Advisory Committee? Or should the funding for DCEDI be withdrawn?

13. What is the relationship of London Witte to Vieste? A subconsultant?

14. How can the results of the Comprehensive Land Use Map be utilized since the Vieste timeline shows a finish well before the completion of the Comprehensive Land Use Map?

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township
with assistance provided by other citizens

Monday, March 19, 2007


The first Master Plan Future Land Use Map Public Meeting was quite well attended with 200 or more people passing through and filling out surveys or taking them home to return by mail.

The next two open houses are this week - so please try to attend. Those of us who have worked on this plan want to to hear and read your input before we make a recommendation to the Plan Commission.

The Plan Commission will hold a public hearing before they send their recommendation on to the commissioners for their consideration.

If you cannot attend the forums, surveys and maps are available online at

Please remind your neighbors and friends. This is your chance to affect the future land uses in our county.

Time: 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Manchester Elementary School (Gymnasium—Please use the main entrance on the east side of the building.)
9387 State Road 48 (near Manchester)

Date: SATURDAY, MARCH 24TH, 2007
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Lawrenceburg High School (Cafeteria—Please use the entrance on the east side of the high school.)
311 Tiger Boulevard (Lawrenceburg)

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Are You Listening?

by Sandy Whitehead
Jackson Township

Maybe my question, posed to the council at the conclusion of the March 14 meeting, was premature. As Mark Mitter pointed out, I asked at the January 23 meeting that the council focus their efforts to the TIF districts where smart growth should occur. The Economic Development Timeline provided by Vieste and dated February 28 does in fact suggest looking at the TIF districts. So they heard us.

Vieste's timeline also suggests County wide analysis. Mark Mitter wants to see where infrastructure should be focused. Several Council members have voiced the desire to consider every area of the County, saying that we cannot limit ourselves. What do you think they'll come up with? I do agree with Bill Ullrich in one respect: if a large enough commercial or industrial entity wants to locate in say, Jackson Township, they will build the utilities and infrastructure needed to supply their site. However, it is not good fiscal practice for a local government to attempt this on their own and expect a good return. Check that one off your analysis list, Michael Comparato.

Comparato said they discovered that the TIFs weren't analyzed enough when created, therefore the need for additonal analysis. Vieste told the County in their Phase I report that they shouldn't expend any more money on studying the TIF districts until they know what kind of business wants to locate there. To date, that is the only thing they've said that I agree with. But which is it, Comparato? I don't like wafflers, especially when you're waffling at the expense of tax payers. I hope that someone who helped create the TIFs comments on this.

Back to why I was so upset at the end of the meeting. I have placed nothing but facts before these Council members. The comments that I prepared for the March 14 meeting were echoed by Dennis Kraus, Sr., and I can assure you that we did not work together or speak to each other about what we prepared. I personally found it amazing that Dennis and I were the only ones who came to these conclusions. Not a single Council person wanted to even consider our evidence. They were ready to move on and place a vote to fund Vieste's project.

Wouldn't anyone feel that the members of this Council had their minds made up before they came in the door? I guess next time instead of waiting for a public forum I will lobby each Council member individually. That's allowed, right?

Kraus, Sr. had a great idea at the March 14 Council Meeting notes. He suggested that instead of giving a large sum of money to a consulting company, why not create a County position for this undertaking? Paying a qualified candidate $60,000 a year would be a lot more economical than $778,000.

I realize that the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative is not part of County Government, but the County does fund them (most recently, $25,000). Now the County wants to fund Vieste. How is that not a duplication of efforts? Get rid of someone.

Maybe now that the Council has a week or so to work out the "cloudiness" regarding Branaman's involvement in the Lawrence County water scandal they will also consider what has been placed before them. I know that some are listening, and I apologize for making a premature statement (before the vote is actually cast). All I want is for the Council to make a sound business decision.

Vieste Researched on 2006 Blog Notes

The following is a research of the Blog for information and background on the Vieste projects
Researched and submitted by Sandy Whitehead
Jackson Township

8/21/06 Council
5. Comparato and Branaman of Vieste gave a presentation concerning their part of a partnership financial and planning package for various projects including the I-74 corridor and St. Leon area. Their presentation was vague with respect to exactly what services they will be providing for their $65,000. Phase 1 would be completed in 90 days. They also stated they will be matching the $65,000 with $65,000 of their own work. This work is apparently the part that DCEDI has already purchased from them. [NOTE: Messmore, County Adm. Followed this up the next day stating it would be $30,000 for 2006 and $30,000 for 2007. He has a contract agreement that Ewbank has gone over. So maybe it’s $60,000.]

Cary Pickens noted that at a dinner in Nov 2005 these people were planning on doing all this for free and would make their money on the investments they bring in. They had just bought out Cogden Engineering (sp?) and Dick Robertson (of the North Dearborn Road projects) was also there. He said he hadn’t heard anything more since Joe Pesch (sp?) up north called with a plan to dedicate COIT money to this project. [NOTE: This is not bringing in financing- this is just moving our own tax dollars around.]

Camparato stated that they were here not just because of Honda but also because of what is here. He went on to tell about the US 31 Corridor in Carmel - having an $80 mil arts center and a world leader in roundabouts. They created an overlay zoning set up 600 ft on either side of the ROW of US 31 for a 5 ½ mile stretch from 465 to 146th street. He talked about service roads and 5-acre minimums with 15,000 sq ft minimum businesses. He said they didn’t want the big boxes [NOTE: It was unclear how they kept that out of the plan.]

For those of you wondering who these people are, some info is below:
According to the Vieste, LLC company’s website there are two principals. Their website profiles are:Michael A. Comparato, Sr., President and CEO has extensive experience in corporate mergers, acquisitions and asset management and has planned, financed, developed and managed over $500 million of real estate nationally. He has successfully engineered financial transactions in both for-profit and non-profit communities, utilizing a variety of debt/equity vehicles including closed-end investment funds, real estate investment trusts, equity syndications, tax-exempt bond issues, pension funds and institutional lending sources. Mr. Comparato has served public and private sector clients as owner's representative/program manager on several major projects. The aggregate value of these capital projects exceeds $300 million.
As Senior Vice President, Mark H. Branaman heads up the Technical Services Group for VIESTE, LLC. His responsibilities include working with the Managing Principals of each of the Technical Services Group operating companies to ensure operations occur to meet the needs of VIESTE'S clients, the Management Services Group of VIESTE, the Portfolio Holdings Group of VIESTE, and the investors of VIESTE. Mr. Branaman is responsible for helping VIESTE grow through both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions. Endangered Species Chocolate Co and The Indianapolis Museum of Art are the company’s 2 projects since formed a little over a year ago. (Branaman’s information was removed from the Vieste site later)

London Witte’s website states: London Witte Group, LLC (LWG) is a certified public accounting firm that employs professional and support personnel in Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm provides an array of accounting and consulting services to a wide variety of public, private, and governmental clients.

Jim Higgins has been a contact here. His profile states:Jim Higgins, a firm partner, joined London Witte Group in June 1997. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Ball State University and has over twenty (20) years of experience in working with Indiana communities on financial issues. He currently is overseeing the governmental services segment of the practice. This segment provides financial advisory services to political subdivisions throughout the State of Indiana including school corporations, libraries, cities, towns, municipal and not-for-profit utilities, and other special taxing authorities. These services include, but are not limited to, bond and note financings, cash flow and escrow verifications, budget preparation and analysis, revenue requirement studies, property tax impact analysis, bond proceeds investment management, continuing disclosure services and representation before legislative, regulatory and other governing bodies.Jim's governmental experience is extensive and includes previous employment with both the Indiana Bond Bank and the Indiana State Board of Accounts. He has worked with over 400 political subdivisions and taxing authorities in addressing their financing, budgetary and accounting needs including assisting with the issuance of over $3 billion of bonds and notes. He has prepared and made presentations to local officials and their organizations, community groups, financing professionals, investors, legislators and rating agencies regarding programs offered by the Bond Bank and municipal finance in general.Jim is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society. Additionally, Jim is affiliated with the following organizations:Indiana Association of County Commissioners Association of Indiana Counties Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Indiana School Board Association Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents Indiana Association of School Business Officials Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada Indiana Government Finance Officers AssociationIt should be noted that Council might fund this with the stipulation that they can stop it if they don’t like what they see- though there is apparently a 90-day notice, which pretty much means they’ve paid for all of Phase 1 at least. [NOTE: It should also be noted that there is duplication of some of the services these people are providing. Woolpert’s sewer study and the Comp Plan for example already have some of this info. If they fail to coordinate this with Planning and Zoning and if they continue to operate behind closed doors the chances of PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT are slim. This entire process needs to open up more.]

9/5/2006 Commissioner’s meeting

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. (NOTE TO SELF: IS THIS ANYONE?)

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.]

10/4/2006 Commissioner’s meeting

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

11/28/2006 Council Meeting

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 (Mariah) 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.]

12/5/2006 Commissioner’s meeting

Vieste Update- Dick Robertson said he had no report [NOTE: Commissioners claims indicate $22,500 paid to Vieste. Yet they have nothing to report.]

DCEDI asked Commissioners to ratify their board of directors:Bill Ritzmann- President, Pete Resnick, VP, John Maxwell, Treasurer, and Jim West, Sec’y. Approved.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Economic Development Timeline and Analysis Phase

The following is what County Council was sent regarding Vieste's timeline and analysis for economic development:

Feb. 28, 2007

Dick Robertson
Vieste LLC
Dearborn Co. Project Manager

Subject: Economic Development Timeline and Analysis Phase

Dear Councilmember

Enclosed is the Dearborn County, Indiana Economic Development Approach Timeline and Analysis Phase for your review prior to the next Council Meeting. This is the timeline and analysis that we are submitting to you from our discussion with Councilmember Mark Mitter and Charlie Fehrman and the County Working Group.

If you have any questions between now and the Council meeting please feel free to give me a call.

Cell no. 317-460-4910

Dick Robertson
Vieste LLC

Dearborn County, Indiana
Economic Development Plan – Analysis Phase

Existing Condition Analysis/Positioning – TIF Districts

Infrastructure Analysis
Further evaluate existing transportation and utility infrastructure for location, sizing and capacity to support development in each of the TIF Districts. Obtain schematic mapping of existing infrastructure. Assess needs and approach to infrastructure expansion.

Parcel Identification/Positioning

Identify all parcels existing in each TIF District, documenting ownership, size, dimensions, and characteristics.

Market & Economic Analysis

Analyze market values, comparables and real estate trends for each sub-market. Tie potential submarket alternatives to parcels available in each TIF District to begin assessing market viability. Evaluate compatibility of available parcels to potential uses.

Planning & Zoning Analysis

Analyze existing planning requirements and zoning categories available for use in each TIF District. Evaluate possible enhancements to ensure proper planning and zoning conformance while maximizing marketability.

Inter-local utilities negotiations

Hold discussions with local municipal jurisdictions and utility providers to fully understand infrastructure availability for potential economic development within the existing TIF districts.

Existing Conditions Analysis – County Wide

Preliminary Engineering Analysis

Evaluate topographic characteristics, resources, existing infrastructure, drainage, and other engineering related issues that would contribute to economic development. Identify those areas most conducive to development throughout Dearborn County based on these characteristics.

Preliminary Environmental Analysis

Identify any environmental concerns within the county that might present obstructions to development and that should be protected during development.

Market & Economic Analysis

Evaluate the regional market to fully understand real estate values and sub-market conditions, employment trends, demographic trends as well as competitive economic development initiatives.

Planning & Zoning Analysis

Compare and contrast the County’s Comprehensive Plan, Planning, Zoning processes to others within the region.

Developer Tours/Interviews

Interview master developers within the three state area to solicit independent input and opinions into the economic development initiative within Dearborn County.

State of Indiana Interviews

Meet with various State of Indiana departments that would have a role in any economic development initiative within the County and solicit input from these agencies with respect to their areas of concentration.
Vieste LLC will oversee all aspects of this analysis phase at the direction of the County Administrator. The solicitation, procurement and oversight of all independent consultants will be approved through the County Commissioners. The program management team will partner with the Planning Director and Plan Commission to ensure that there is consensus and collaboration throughout the process. The role of the Commissioners and Council through this process is to maximize opportunities for growth of the tax base and fiscal growth. The role of the Planning Director and Plan Commission through this process is to implement appropriate planning & zoning to support proper growth.

The progress of this phase will be regularly discussed in the biweekly team meetings. The final deliverable resulting from this phase will be an interim economic development plan report that will recommend further direction. This plan will be distributed through the County Administrator to the County Commissioners and County Council at its conclusion.

A series of public information meetings will be held to regularly inform the general public as to the intent, direction and progress of this program. These meetings will be led by the county staff, including the County Administrator, Planning & Zoning Director and members of the County Plan Commission.

The Program Management Team will collaborate with the Dearborn County Plan Commission and the Dearborn Economic Development Initiative throughout this phase.

Dearborn County Economic Development Approach Timeline
(Disclaimer: Vieste’s original was a bar chart; however, this list is an exact reflection of Vieste’s timeline.)

Public Informational Meetings – Monthly from March to July

Progress Meetings – biweekly from March to July

Existing Conditions Analysis/Positioning – TIF Districts

Infrastructure Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Parcel Identification/Positioning – March 1 to March 31
Market & Economic Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Planning & Zoning Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Inter-local utilities negotiations – April 1 to April 30

Existing Conditions Analysis – County Wide

Preliminary Engineering Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Preliminary Environmental Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Market & Economic Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Planning & Zoning Analysis – March 1 to April 15
Developer Tours/Interviews – April 1 to April 15
State of Indiana Interviews – March 16 to April 15

Interim Report/Recommendations – end of April

Marketing & Promotion – April 16 to June 30

Developer Solicitation – May 1 to June 30

State Level Transactions
Indiana Department of Natural Resources – May 1 to May 31
Indiana Department of Environmental Management – May 1 to May 31
Indiana Department of Transportation – May 1 to June 30
Indiana Economic Development Corporation – April 16 to June 30

Local Transactions
City of Lawrenceburg – June 1 to June 30
Ripley County – June 1 to June 30

Engineering Studies/Scoping – June 1 to July 15
Financial Due Diligence/Planning – June 1 to July 15
Public Private Partnership Modeling – June 1 to July 15

County Council Goes Public

Council Goes Public

County Council originally planned to have an executive session to discuss issues with Vieste. After consulting with their attorney and the State Board of Accounts that meeting is now OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Meeting is at 7:30 PM on Wed. March 21st in the County Adm Bldg.

Note that it is the same night as the Master Plan Public Meeting in Manchester which runs from 6-9.

We Can't Hear You!

We Can't Hear You!

The Dearborn Council Meeting on March 14, 2007 had a large attendance. Many people were standing in the hallway. The problem was that we could not hear what was being said.

There is always a problem with people not speaking into the microphones, so it is important that the people on the podium make a point of doing so--and turn your voice volume a little higher--please. Also, is it possible to have a microphone for each person--if there are nine people, nine microphones, etc? If members of these boards continue to forget to speak in the microphones, perhaps clips could be placed on their jackets, or pocket, so their voices can be heard.

Another important issue is that there have been large crowds at meetings and not enough seats or space to accommodate them. Why not put some seats in the hallways--there may be fire code regulations, but certainly more seats could be added. Also, there is a need for a speaker system for the hallway, so that people can hear what is being said. If there is not a large crowd, the speakers in the hallway could be turned off.

Helen Kremer
Logan Township
The Public Meetings for the Master Plan begin this weekend and end next weekend:

Sat March 17 -East Central- 1-4
Wed March 21 - Manchester School- 6-9
Sat March 24- Lawrenceburg HS- 9-12

It is very important that you attend these meetings to see what the future land use maps are considering for your area and also for the county as a whole. This is also an opportunity for you to check what the county has mapped as your CURRENT land use. You may discuss that with county planning staff and help correct any errors you see in those current land use maps.

For these public land use map meetings, the Plan Commission staff has prepared handouts and presentation materials that include:

Future Land Use Surveys- very important to put your name and address on these- OR THEY WON'T BE COUNTED!

Color handouts depicting the three (3) Alternative Future Land Use Draft Plans

Handouts that describes the differences between land use plans and zoning documents

General public forms

Existing land use exercise cards.

These materials for the open houses have been posted online on the Planning Office website at:

The Plan Commission staff has also prepared a 5-6 minute self-rotating powerpoint presentation for the meetings as an ‘Executive Summary’ to our land use planning process.
This presentation will help those trying to distinguish the differences between land use and zoning.

If you cannot make any of the meetings, you can download materials from the county website and also see the maps in the local newspaper. Be sure to mail in your comments and survey with your name and address, if you wish your opinion to be considered. The county planning office can be reached at 537-8821 for further questions.

Density of New Residential Development

The citizens of Dearborn Co. are still being fooled by the density issue in the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning / Subdivision Reg's.

When a developer offers his comprehensive plan of 100 units (homes) on 300 acres it sounds as if each home is situated on 3 acres. This is not so. The homes are usually clustered on much less acreage. The real plan could be 3 to 4 homes per acre depending on the subdivision rule and this is usually the case.

Clustering like this is well accepted and is sold to communities as a good idea.

Well so much for "RURAL LIVING".

Rural living is "SPACE", space to breathe, for quiet, for unencumbered views, for the night sky, for green and trees and a place to come home to to revitalize.

This averaging homes per acreage is a farce. It fools the citizens, the neighbors of the new developement into thinking that they are going to have green space next to them when in fact it may be 3 garages.

Averaging homes per acreage is a deal maker for the developer.

This averaging should be abolished and the units per acre should be specifically defined in the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning / Subdivision Ordinances.

Submitted by, Kathy Scott

Open Letter to Dearborn County Officials

My name is David Hornbach and I live on County Line Road in Saint Peters. I lived at this Franklin county site for the last 18 years and my previous residence was on York Ridge the previous 25 years so I have fond memories of life in Dearborn County and the Tanner creek area.

From my introduction and location you can understand my position is against economic development in the Northwest quadrant. My main concern is the effect of the economic growth on the ecosystems and flood levels of the Tanner creek and surrounding areas. Two of the main reasons quoted for the high marketability of this quadrant were its topographical outline and low need to displace households to incur growth. I offer up the reason for the latter is the topography. Anybody that has lived in this area knows the hardships of handling of wastewater in an area which is very flat, has a high density of red and white clay in its soil makeup, and has a relatively high water table.

I have read only excerpts Woolpert study and I am afraid that the breadth of the potential problem has not been captured. Trying to run all this waste and runoff water down Tanners creek will only cause more problems for the residents in the low lying areas along the 20 miles the creek runs through your county. I am not a civil engineer but I would expect that the Army Corps of Engineers would have to adjust flood plains and the I.D.E.M. and E.P.A which funds some of the conversation efforts of the Creek would need to be pulled in. And also the potential of the pollution that comes with the growth would need to be addressed.
There is also the effect of the expansion will have an on the wildlife that uses Tanner Creek to sustain itself.

I was going to fill up these pages with Statistics about water drainage and absorption and saturation rates of red clay. Instead I want to offer up a simple challenge. Please take a drive this spring after a couple hard rains. Head north on Saint Peters road and notice the water levels. Drive East on County Line road. Head South down to Highland Center to where Tanners creek begins to be visible. After this go to Saint Leon and head south on Indiana 1 and look at the creek south of Dover. Notice the homes along the creek in the vicinity of the junction of and Cook Road and also down 1 farther on East Fork Road and into the southern part of the town of Guilford. Then notice the road washout problem of Ind. 1 just south of Guilford. I trust the visuals you will see will help you understand and grant this problem the due diligence it deserves.

In closing I do support controlled economic development. From living in these two areas my whole life, I feel that the handling of the wastewater makes the Northwest quadrant less marketable than other areas in your fine county. I would also like to thank you taking time to read this letter from a citizen who does not live in the county you serve.

David Hornbach

Thursday, March 15, 2007

County Council Tables Vieste's NW Quadrant Plans Again

14 March Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Fehrman, Chairman, Mitter, Morris, Ullrich, Lansing, Kraus, and Cheek
Also Present: Pickens, Auditor and Messmore, Administrator

Sheriff Lusby and another uniformed police officer were present at the meeting.

Register Publications and WSCH both covered this meeting.

The salary ordinance for the sheriff’s dept was approved unanimously and signed.

The remainder of the meeting was to present the tabled portion of the Vieste presentation on the NW Quadrant plans. Prior to this meeting Fehrman had discussed “myth busting” on WSCH 99.3 regarding eminent domain and the NW Quadrant. To hear the interview- log on to and click the News Archive link.
Fehrman said he would allow the citizens 30 minutes or so to present, limiting each person to 3-5 minutes, and then Vieste would present. [NOTE: Looks like Council is starting to act like commissioners on this subject. It seems counterproductive for citizens to express concerns BEFORE the presentation is made. The presentation might answer some questions. ]

Sandy Whitehead- questioned this process and asked to be allowed questions at the end. Council agreed to consider that possibility.

Christie Andres- speaking for the larger group- gave a PowerPoint presentation starting with the 3 reasons industrial development is wrong for the NW Quadrant.
1. The extreme risk of county tax dollars
2. The county is already positioned to capitalize on key economic growth
3. Major concerns with the consulting firm

The risk of tax dollars is due to needing millions for the infrastructure upgrade and because Honda spokesperson Dave Iida (she gave quotes) stressed that Honda was not looking to Dearborn County for spinoffs, they didn’t know where the magic circle for development came from, and they planned to use mostly existing suppliers.

The county is also positioned for key economic growth- especially in agriculture in this area. Quotes from Mitch Daniels talking about the upside of agriculture and keeping it strong in Indiana.
Andres also passed out copies for the public record . [NOTE: Council was given copies of the Indy Star article on a water company scandal from Nov 2004 concerning Mark Branaman- a senior VP and Engineer with Vieste. The article can be found at: ]

She requested Council – “Don’t sell the farm”- because if you do you lose two sources of income- the farm business and the outside job that the farmer also holds. She explained how the brain drain is NOT happening in the NW Quadrant and listed the professional occupations of many of her neighbors. Andres said it “makes me sick that you want to go through with this.”

She expressed concerns with Vieste as the consultant- saying that they are a 2 year old company and they lack comprehensive economic development and planning experience. There portfolio as showcased on their web site is limited- showing 3 areas of expertise. Vieste profits whether this is successful or not. You could be granting them $1.4 million for this phase.

Andres said that a Vieste employee was involved in a water company investigation in Lawrence IN and though charges were not filed the citizens still had double water bills and these men made huge profits.

Andres asked why the NW site was better than using a TIF in Aurora and going up SR129 to get interstate access.

She asked- how Vieste was selected.

She asked why the proposal was submitted ahead of the opportunity for public concern.

Andres recommended focusing on the existing TIFs, enabling the NW Quad to capitalize on Dearborn County Ag and as a success model for countering the brain drain. She ended her presentation by restating her initial 3 concerns. [APPLAUSE]

Carol Wietzel, Joel Vanderpool (sp?), Hope Bohman, and Roberta Haas- all from Franklin County on the border of the NW Quadrant- emphasized the impact this would have on their residents, their Ag lifestyle, the flora and fauna in the area, and the increased crime rates.
Quotes included: “Why in the world would you elect to destroy what some people would love to have?”
“Industry can go in many places- agriculture can’t.”
“From what I see here- you have already decided.”
“St. Peters people are shy, they want to tell you that this is impacting us – you are asking our farmers to sell their lands and hurt their neighbors.”

Sandy Whitehead- read her presentation:
My name is Sandy Whitehead and I reside on Blue Creek Road in Dearborn County. I am a stay at home mother of four and the daughter of a retired career farmer. I am also a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Environmental Science. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home Mom, I was an environmental consultant for two engineering and environmental consulting firms in Greater Cincinnati.

I would first like to briefly address the “brain drain” that we’ve been hearing so often, and I’m going to use my family as an example. I have 7 brothers and sisters. Five of us have bachelor’s degrees acquired from Indiana colleges; two have Masters Degrees. Four of the five live in Dearborn or Ripley County. The fifth lives in Ohio, but do you know where he goes every day to work? Right here in Dearborn County. In fact, 3 out of the 5 of us work in Dearborn County full time, and all 5 have worked in Dearborn County at some point in a professional position.

This evening I would like to address the Indiana Economic Development Approach Timeline and Analysis as provided by Vieste LLC to County Council. I have come to the conclusion that this Approach is a duplication of efforts and would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The first heading is entitled “Existing Conditions Analysis/Positioning – TIF Districts”. I would have to surmise that a study of this nature would have been conducted by the County to determine what parcels would even be placed in a TIF district.

I would like to begin with subheading 2: Parcel Identification/Positioning which reads “Identify all parcels existing in each TIF District, documenting ownership, size, dimensions, and characteristics.” Every industrial, office, and commercial site available for sale in Dearborn County, including in the TIFs, is listed on the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative (EDI) website. Each property description contains the owner, amount of acreage, sale price, minimum subdivision lots, current zoning, names of utility providers, the size of the gas, sewer and water mains, and primary voltage supplied to the site; the information also therefore covers subheading “1: Infrastructure Analysis.” Also included is transportation information: proximity to highways, interstates, the airport, and if rail transportation is available. Furthermore, the EDI website states “The most current list of available properties should be requested from the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative.” It doesn’t say ask an independent consulting firm. This is part of EDI’s job description.

I would also like to point out that Vieste has already looked at the TIF districts. For example, Page 2-13 of the Comprehensive Capital Program Management Phase I Report states that improvements need to be made to storm water and drainage, potable water, and sanitary sewer service. However, it also clearly states that potential users for the properties need to be identified before defining set infrastructure needs. Vieste further reiterates the point on the next page, 2-14, “The County should not expend any funds for further TIF studies or infrastructure analysis until the future land use designation and overlay zoning is put into place and a specific use/development is identified.”

Subheading 3: Market & Economic Analysis also falls under EDI. What is the inherent purpose of EDI if not to evaluate the marketability of land parcels? To avoid being repetitive, subheadings 3, 4 and 6 under “Existing Conditions Analysis – County Wide” on the next page also fall under EDI.

Subheadings 1 and 4 under “Existing Conditions Analysis – County Wide” would fall under the Department of Planning and Zoning, as well as information compiled by the Master Plan Advisory Committee. Subheading 4 says to “compare and contrast the County’s Comprehensive Plan, Planning, and zoning processes to others within the region…our zoning ordinances were revised in the late 90’s by Jeff Hayes, a previous Planning Director, who modeled the ordinances after those of Northern Kentucky
Subheading 2 under the “County Wide” page suggests a Preliminary Environmental Analysis to identify environmental concerns to be avoided or protected during development. This makes me think of the TIF districts and analyzing infrastructure improvements before knowing what types of business will locate there. A major portion of my job as a consultant was conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for commercial real estate transactions. An environmental study of the entire county could be conducted, but it would include so many limitations. Assessments of this nature are more valuable and concise when done on a site-by-site basis.

Who hired Vieste? Was more than one consulting company considered to be THE Capital Program Management team for Dearborn County? It is my understanding that most jobs for the County are put to a bid proposal and candidates are considered based on their qualifications. How are we keeping jobs in Dearborn County by hiring a firm from Indianapolis? Why not utilize the information already compiled by employees of Dearborn County? May I also respectfully remind the Council that two previous Master Plans failed because they were run by outside consultants who did not ask the people of Dearborn County what they wanted?

I have found nothing in Vieste’s Economic Development Timeline and Analysis Phase that has not either already been completed by Dearborn County EDI, the Department of Planning and Zoning, or is simply not a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

Finally, I would like paint a more positive picture of Dearborn County, and again I will use data from the DCEDI website. According to the site, when you want to discuss a region’s economic strength, you need to look at gross product, employment, income, and population. Here are the facts for the years 1995 to 2004: gross regional product has increased 60%, exceeding the growth of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical Area and the State of Indiana as a whole, which were 35.6% and 33.8% respectively. Employment growth for Dearborn County was 36.2% for this time period compared to Cincinnati MSA of 11.4% and Indiana at 5%. In a 4 year period from 1998 to 2002, the number of business establishments increased in Dearborn County at a rate of 1.5% which doesn’t sound like a lot, but again it was above the Cincinnati MSA’s growth of 0.2% and Indiana’s 0.8%. An outstanding economic factor is that per capital personal income in Dearborn County grew 50% between 1995 and 2004 even with a 10% increase in population.

This data tells me that we must be doing something right economically in Dearborn County. You can’t be all things, but you can capitalize on the good things that exist. There may be a percentage of the workforce that goes outside Dearborn County for employment. But you don’t pay taxes where you work….you pay taxes where you live.

Mike Comparato- Vieste- you all have the approach and timeline and the changes requested from our last meeting. We met with Charlie and Mark Mitter to see what we needed to clarify.
We plan to have public meetings staged though out the timeline. [NOTE: The operative word in that sentence is STAGED. These will be informational meetings- where the public is fed info – just like this meeting tonight.]
Comparato plans biweekly progress meetings and they have reoriented 2 components on TIF districts and timelines for the analysis of those areas. They have expanded their analysis to a county-wide analysis. They will handle developers, tours, and state agencies. There will be an interim report in May which also includes representatives from the Plan Commission and Planning staff. They will consider new info that might be discussed interviews with consultants.
The RFQ process is finished for county-wide consideration and they have sorted through all those boxes to be sure companies are pre-qualified. At procurement for each piece they will come to Council and Commissioners for approval. [NOTE: These people love to point to those stacks of boxes that list company qualifications. It looks impressive and sounds impressive to say they have sorted through all of them. I wonder who READ them all. The state has lists of qualified vendors also- was this duplication also?]

Mark Mitter- said he wanted to be sure to learn from the mistakes made in 2 failed comp plans and was concerned about the Council budget now that so much riverboat revenue is used for the main budget expenses to keep central services going. He wants more of a tax base to offset this. [NOTE: Council chose to use RR this way so as to convince the state that it was NECESSARY to the county , so the state wouldn’t take it away. The Council has also had to dip into these funds because the tax bills were behind and the county revenue wasn’t coming in as a result. Maybe we need to FIX that problem.]
Mitter went on to say that the NW Quadrant is NOT to be the entire focus of economic development in the county. He met with Vieste and wants the TIFs to be priority and the NW Quadrant to be at the end of the line. He wants a comprehensive look at the whole county to see where infrastructure should be focused. Mitter is concerned about public input- it’s a “critical part of the success of whatever we do.” All those aspects of the Comprehensive Plan need to be incorporated into this. We need an efficient use of tax dollars and a timely manner for economic development.
He asked: What is the role of the players? Who’s driving the boat here? Roles need to be specified and the process needs to be open and transparent. One third of the operating budget for the county is RR. $5.2 million out of $14.9 million.

Bill Ullrich- said there were lots of questions and asked Comparato to shed some light on the duplicate efforts of DCEDI and Vieste. He also asked him to elaborate on Vieste’s background and expertise.

Mike Comparato- Our role is NOT to do economic development for the county. Our role is to be a staff extension on major capital projects and oversee economic development issues. Our job is to procure services, oversee, and tie it together.
Comparato talked about working on other projects besides the 3 on the website. He said they did an Ag Industrial Park and Ethanol Plant. He also said that funds do not come to Vieste- they go to the consultants they hire. [NOTE: So who pays for Vieste?- they aren’t a charity! Their contract shows them getting about 15%.]
Our job is to tie lots of pieces that the county is involved in together. We won’t duplicate data. We may EXPAND the data. Comparato said he didn’t want to get into a critique of other’s work- but that they discovered that the TIFs weren’t analyzed enough when created.

Tom Cheek- we don’t have enough staff to do all this- we are going to have to hire professionals. Messmore told them they did the process and Vieste won out of 2 who put in for RFPs. [NOTE: Where did they advertise that they only got 2? Who wrote the specs for that? Were others intimidated because the word was out that Vieste was already involved with the inside track? ]
Cheek- said he couldn’t eliminate ANY place in the county for economic development that was light commercial industry with good pay and benefits and environmentally friendly. [NOTE: Hopefully this was an exaggeration on Cheek’s part. There are many places in the county that have to be eliminated due to topography alone. And that’s not including those places already “industrialized.”]

Dan Lansing- Why exclude one area over another- the tax base comes from Aurora, Greendale, and Lawrenceburg. If that’s where business belongs…

Dennis Kraus, Sr. – read out his concerns:
Usually Council asks dept. heads to come back with 3 bids. Prequalification eliminates competitive bidding.
TIF districts were established KNOWING where roads and sewers, etc. were.
DCEDI developed a marketing program for TIFs and property in the county.
Preliminary engineering analysis- how can Phase 1 study come up with it if they don’t know topography, parcels, etc? [APPLAUSE!]
Environmental analysis should be on individual parcels.
DCEDI has done a market analysis.
The Planning and Zoning office has current ordinances revised in 2000 and amended since then and the Comp Plan was approved in Oct 2004- and only 2.5 years old. We shouldn’t trash this after all the citizens worked on them for years.
We shouldn’t rubber stamp whatever comes in front of us. We are having meetings to tell people of the direction etc. Does that sound like they are having public input? Audience answered- NO!
We’ve been assured from every direction that eminent domain won’t happen- you can believe that if you want….
You can take the dollars they want us to spend on this over to the boat and you’ll get the same return! [Laughter]

Liz Morris- Eminent domain has been misused- The county needs to look at economic development for our future- not just tax homeowners and apt. dwellers.

Bill Ullrich- The NW Quadrant is a prime location- prime farmland- and that’s also a business. Economic development needs to be in the right place and the right type. He wants public input, especially through the Planning Zoning office. We don’t want this based on input from a handful of people. The Aurora TIF and 129 is an area of potential. We don’t want to finance infrastructure up there just on a promise.

Charlie Fehrman- The biggest chunk of the $780,000 is marketing at $500,000.

Mike Comparato- London Witte asked us to give a combined worst case scenario- so that’s why it’s that much. We might need it if we have to give a slick glossy presentation to attract a master developer. Maybe they’ll market us- and we won’t spend any- but we don’t think that’s a likely scenario…

Charlie Fehrman- You’re not going to build, buy, or recruit any company. Just study costs vs. rewards- costs from Vieste and rewards info from London Witte. [NOTE: Charlie may not understand how this is proceeding… How do you do a feasibility study if you don’t market and know what the options are for potential business? The Phase 1 report even says that.]

Mike Comparato- (hesitates) - we’re doing a Comprehensive Capital Plan- intermediate and long term.

Dan Boeringer- Maune Road- Citizen- Where does marketing fit into an economic study??????

Mike Comparato- Marketing only occurs only if and when the analysis says it should go.

Charlie Fehrman- It’s after the fact that marketing occurs.

Mark Mitter- There is no other way to say this than to be blunt. As a Councilman overseeing taxpayer dollars I have concerns. We know nothing about Vieste other than what you provided. Did you ride down with Mark (Branaman) tonight? (Yes) Mitter then said he asked a direct question to Mark on the phone this evening and got one of the most smug answers I’ve ever had a s a Councilman. It has jeopardized my support. How can we get answers to any issues with this attitude?

Mike Comparato- I will make a brief comment- I am more than happy to review what Mark (Branaman) has been involved in outside of Vieste, but it’s not good to do this in a public meeting. Everything we were asked about and our advisors and lawyers say that nothing was done illegally or improperly and felt comfortable working with Mark (Branaman).
I could take you to public/private sector client’s to show Mark’s work. We could just remove Mark from the work on this- we have other projects for him to do. [NOTE: Comparato gave him up pretty quickly. There are some interesting parallels in the Branaman issues with the Mayor of Lawrence IN and the water company and the Vieste issues with Dearborn County. Branaman contributed over $4,000 to the mayor’s campaign and he was their former city engineer. The meetings to sell the company were done in private with NO bids.
Vieste’s affiliates (London Witte, Level 5 Engineering, PSA Dewberry (jail contract) and Jungclaus Campbell contributed $500 each to Commissioner candidate Frank Linkmeyer’s campaign in early Nov 2006. How did they decide to contribute to him? Their plans and proposals have been out of the public eye for about a year. Vieste was selected without a bid and it’s unclear where and how much advertising was done to get candidates for this work. It would be better to have selected a company accustomed to garnering public input and support for a project. This project has been devised without public input and even when the Plan Commission and Master Plan committees sought Vieste’s input and participation it was not accepted. That speaks volumes.]

Mark Mitter – I tried to perform due diligence and got no answer from Mark (Branaman).

Mike Comparato – I’d be happy to do it in private- I’m an open book- I’d be more than happy to address all those issues with you…

Council granted a 5 minute recess for Mitter and Comparato and Branaman to speak privately on Branaman’s response.

Mitter returned and said – he wanted no appearance of back door deals- they only discussed the working relationship with Vieste.

Fehrman- There are 3 possibilities tonight- $778,000 was requested for the study. You can vote to approve and control every step of the way. The marketing can be pared out at $420,000 and leave $358,000 for the economic development portion. Or you can deny.

Tom Cheek- I’m cloudy on this- I’m missing details on some issues…

Cary Pickens- Auditor- reminded them that the money comes from the 197 and 147 accounts into the Capital Growth Fund.

Fehrman- the $350,000 would take them through April.

Cheek motioned and Mitter 2nd to TABLE this again. Council will meet in executive session Wed March 21 to discuss this issue about Mark Branaman. No decision will be made at that meeting

Alicia Sackseider- asked why is the same group doing the study and then they are in on the results of the study? [NOTE: It’s kind of like asking a farmer how much hay you need and then letting him sell it to you. There is no incentive for Vieste to do anything except the most expensive project possible- as they get about 15% as project managers.]

Sandy Whitehead- was quite upset and told Council she didn’t think they were listening. She said Cheek said he had his mind made up at the beginning…

Cheek said- I also said I’m not comfortable with this.

Mitter- Just because we don’t comment doesn’t mean we don’t hear you.

Sandy Whitehead- “It’s easier to say stop now than to say oops later.”

Mitter- We are looking at the TIFS and we are looking beyond the NW Quadrant- at the whole county.

[NOTE: Vieste and Company have had a year behind the scenes to forge relationships with all the political players. The citizens get a couple meetings to try to express their concerns or ideas. It is psychologically difficult to gain the same level of "influence" with Vieste in that short a time and at the end of the line. This is why the public needs to be involved from the beginning.]

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Justice Center Meeting Rescheduled

Commissioner's meeting on the Justice Center is rescheduled to Tuesday March 21 at 1:30 PM in the Adm Bldg.

Commissioner FRIDAY Meeting Cancelled

County Commissioner Meeting on the Justice Center with Questions for Vieste affiliate PSA Dewberry set for Friday March 16 at 2:30 is CANCELLED due to 2 commissioners being unavailable.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chamber Alert – Your Support Needed NOW

Chamber Alert – Your Support Needed NOW

The Dearborn County Plan Commission’s Advisory Committee will hold three meetings to seek public comment on three Alternative Future Land Use Maps.

The Chamber believes Alternatives A and B are very restrictive to future development. Alternative C, while still restrictive, is the only one that comes close to providing any opportunity for the kind of balanced growth necessary for our community to move forward, sustain services and enhance quality of life.

What can you do?

Attend one or more of the meetings. Your presence is important and urgent. Participate in the process, ask questions, and express your preference for Alternative C on the note cards that will be distributed.

Those who oppose growth will be there voicing their opinion.

• Sat., March 17 – East Central High School (cafeteria). 1:00 – 4:00 PM
• Wed., March 21 – Manchester Elementary School (gym). 6:00 – 9:00 PM
• Sat., March 24 – Lawrenceburg High School (cafeteria). 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

• Share this message with your co-workers and friends, and urge them to attend.

For more information, contact Mike Rozow at the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce or Jim West at Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative – 812/537-0814.

Economic development, job creation and growth are vital to local businesses and our community’s future.