Thursday, April 26, 2007

Corrections to County Commissioner Meeting Notes

The acronyms that I listed for Todd Listerman's presentation regarding the $900,000 in MPO—Metropolitan Planning Organization funding were incorrect. Mark McCormack,our County Planning Director, has provided the correct ones along with web informational links, should anyone be interested.

STP = Surface Transportation Program funding
(Click on the following website for info:

CMAQ = Congestion Mitigation Air Quality improvement program funding
(Click on the following website for info:

I apologize for the error.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

24 April 2007 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

24 April 2007 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Kraus, Sr, Acting Chairman, Lansing, Cheek, Ullrich, Morris, and Mitter (arrived at 7:40)
Also present: Pickens, Auditor.
Absent: Fehrman and Messmore, Administrator

Dick Robertson, Vieste/Level 5 Engineering was NOT present at this meeting either. He’s been coming to Council and Commissioner meetings as an “extension of staff” as Messmore likes to call him.

Judge Blankenship presented a proposal for the Superior Court II Drug and Alcohol Program and asked for Council’s blessing to implement it. Court handled 1000 criminal cases in 2006 and 551 were directly related to drug and/or alcohol abuse. The program is certified by the Judicial Center and per IC 12-13-14 they can charge the offenders a fee up to $400. The program will be driven entirely by user fees and small grants. She cited Boone County IN having the program for 9 years and she visited them to see it in action. They will not need tax dollars or any money from county general. The sheriff and jail commander support the program and have a pod in the jail to isolate 16-17 inmates at a time who can go through the program. Blankenship sees this as a way to change the course of some of the repeat offenders and break the cycle of alcohol/drug related offenses.
Currently this is ONLY for her court, but it can be expanded and she has the support of the other judges. The first year they will take in $30,000 more than they will need to get it started. She compared the people in jail for 60-90 days as being like inpatients in the program.

Morris and Ullrich motioned- all ayes to sign letter of support for the program.
Blankenship also asked for $3,000 for Court system Computer fee that was inadvertently left off the budget as approved. Council approved this out of contingency fund.

Mike Hankins- DCRSD- asked for release of money that was appropriated last summer for three sewer projects. (They only asked Commissioners about two of these- the third one was the Indigent fund proposal)

High Ridge Estates solution – has 3 possibilities per Woolpert with Woolpert recommending building a treatment plant between Dillsboro and Aurora near the Walston Trailer Park. The board disagrees and wants to go to Aurora or Dillsboro and they want $220,000 to study those options and also provide sewage to Aurora TIF area. [NOTE: The entire Woolpert Study took $175,000. How can this require more than that? Did they get bids or proposals to estimate the costs?]
Kraus, Sr. – Are we studying the study?
Hankins- no- we need to find out if the 6-inch line at the new firehouse is sufficient to handle this and we are hoping IDEM will soften their order after Aurora corrects some of their overflows. [NOTE: DCRSD CLAIMS they are trying to clean up the county. Then they say stuff like this- we hope Aurora cleans up some overflow so we can add more and put them back into polluting status again! Why do they REALLY want to go to Aurora?]
Cheek – Why was Stewart and Cole Lane done first when High Ridge was ordered by IDEM to be fixed?
Hankins- The Health Dept. knew there were problems on Cole and Stewart. [ NOTE: And there were Board members with some vested (and INVESTED) interests in this portion…]
Hankins- The Health Dept. knew there were problems on Cole Lane and Stewart Street. It’s costing $4-5,000 per home to install. There are 44 homes on High Ridge and the project will cost $4.1 million, but we will pick up Huesman, Mount Tabor and the TIF etc. The County Sewer Board gets $11.50/month per home on Cole and Stewart and it will take about 40 years to pay off the construction debt.
Mitter- What did we pay Woolpert to do?
Hankins- to look at consolidation but after about 4 weeks they realized we were in no way ready to consolidate.
Mitter- Woolpert should have done flow rates on High Ridge and analyzed the 6 –inch line at Trestor Hill.
Cheek- What about HVL and VRUC? You know and I’ve seen lids welded down and fecal counts. Hankins- IDEM allowed VRUC to expand their territory! Cheek- “Someone needs to tell them plainly they are full of shit.”
Hankins- SDRSD is planning a 3 million gpd expansion. St. Leon and West Harrison TIFs need to be sewered and St, Leon is doubling the plant. 45% of that is ours = 135,000 gpd at $2.4 million. We need shovel ready sites and sewers have to be there. We’ve been instructed to address the problem areas for economic development.
Kraus Sr. WHO instructed you to do this?
Hankins- Everyone…
Kraus Sr. – they have names- who?
Hankins- The commissioners.
Mitter- Is this what you negotiated with St. Leon?
Hankins- I think that number could be worked on. There is a $22,000 annual payment to a replacement fund account for the useful life of the plant. Who is the attorney? Hankins- Ours is Frank Kramer- John Watson is St. Leon’s. We buy into St, Leon and get a voting member on their board.

Doug Baer presented the 3rd request from DCRSD for $200,000 for an INDIGENT fund to help those unable to get a loan. The indigent fund modeled after Jay County’s charges 10% interest. It would require 2 loan denials and statements of costs. The board would review and accept or deny the loan. It could be paid back twice a year with tax collection. Pickens said they might be able to do a special assessment instead. This would be better- if homes are sold etc. as the fee travels with the property taxes until paid off.
Ralph Thompson- Commissioner- D-3- I voted against DCRSD coming to Council- thought the soft costs were too high, there has been poor stewardship of their funding in the past, and the forced sewer connection issues. Cole Lane project has Denridge acres NOT paying for the lines the same as other residents are. Originally DCRSD was going to provide grinder pumps etc. Dennerline’s contribution for Denridge Acres Trailer park service is the easement for his pipe and the 3-phase electric. In reality he has an old pump and lines that went over Rack’s property. Now he gets new and Aurora takes over maintenance. Pressure lines have a whole host of problems along with grinder failure rates. There is a 4 inch line only at the beginning 1300 feet of Cole Lane- Dennerline is NOT needed to scour the lines as they said he was.
Three biggest expenses of DCRSD- $240,000 for Cole and Stewart, $175,000 for Woolpert, and nearly $100,000 for previous attorney (Lehner). They are doing things unrelated to their original High Ridge mandate. There are 6 notifications of violations in Aurora with IDEM.
At the end of the commissioners meeting we voted to send a letter to DCRSD to not force sewer hook-ups. We are also going to look at the current ordinance to amend that possibly.
Mitter asked- Ralph, what would YOU do?
Thompson- I’d look at Greendale with Lampert and those guys- they handle it well. DCRSD is a board of “well meaning amateurs” largely. I’d look at other places like Clermont County that has terrain like ours. They use gravity with lifts stations to go over the hills. St. Leon is even leaning toward gravity. I’m not an expert- we need experts. The pressure systems are complicated mechanical systems and the electric also all these costs are being born by the homeowner who is not knowledgeable about maintenance. The utility company maintains the lift stations in gravity systems.
Mitter- Run through the pipe sizes on Cole Lane again.
Thompson did with the conclusion that Dennerline was NOT needed to scour the 4 inch line- as it was only 4 inch at the beginning and the lines were actually sized for the usage on the street.
Mitter asked about the conflict of interest.
Thompson- Dennerline owns Denridge Acres – he has a pecuniary interest and this appears to violate the state law on conflict of interest. He also relayed Ewbanks response to that. The owner of Gabbard Estate bought the Conaway Property and their extension for development lasts until Jan-Feb 2008 with no more extensions from eth Plan Commission. That’s 133+88 acres.
Hankins told the board that the $220,000 soft costs were to decide which alternative to go with for a range of $1.395-2.325 million.

Cheek and Ullrich motioned to deny the $2.4 million for St. Leon sewer until the dust settles on the lawsuit on hook-ups. Morris Nay -rest ayes- Passed.
Cheeks motion to grant $175,000 for soft costs died for lack of a 2nd.
Ullrich and Cheek motioned to get 3 bids and come back on the soft costs. All ayes. Passed.

The indigent fund will not be decided until we decide on forced hook-ups said Mitter.
Hankins said- that’s a political decision.
Mitter said- no- the BOARD (DCRSD) makes policy.
Mitter said- get a policy and be prepared to answer questions about Dennerline’s conflict of interest.
Pickens said he’d check on the special assessment options also.

Pickens presented 3 requests which were all approved:
$30,000 litigation fees for PSEG assessment issues, $16,000 for provisional tax billing, and $3,000 for London Witte to do parcel identification on all three TIF districts.
($1,000 per district) Pickens joked that Dennis said he could do the parcels for $1500 but that night be a conflict of interest.

Pickens also told Council that PSEG wanted to settle for $3.5 million- and they turned it down. It got to $5 million and then the state said no- they have to pay penalties. So it’s still not settled.

Ruth Ann Batta received unanimous approval for $2,000 ($1,000 per class) for her annual 2 week summer art program at EC. Mitter supported this saying his daughters learned a lot at it. Thompson got up and said “he knows he’s a pain in the ass”- Pickens said he was writing that all down - and that he supported it as a worthwhile program. [NOTE: There was certainly more open discussion in this meeting and more questionable language also…]

Todd Listerman County Highway- (Mitter told him “the amount of money approved would be inversely proportional to how long you speak!” . Listerman still went on in detail on each request.

He has $1.3 million to spend on roads from last year’s funds. The money coming in this year for 2008 spending will be about $1.4 million.

$60,000 to cover additional costs for bridge inspections required every two years was approved. (There was $522K in cum bridge fund)

Line striping- $150,000 approved.

Equipment replacement per scheduled maintenance- $414,000 approved.

$570,000 to paved 6 portions of 5 roads approved. ( Bonnell from Collier Ridge to Burzelbach, Kuebel from Yorkridge to Fuchs, Dutch Hollow from Aurora to Indian Ridge and Indian Ridge to Millstone, Hill Road from Asch to Van Wedding, and Stewart Street left over from last year.

$4200 approved to pay O’Mara for reinstalling sewer lines on Whites Hill- some will be reimbursed by St. Leon.

$3,000 to abate another tank on the garage property approved.

$45,000 from Major Moves for Collier Ridge slip repairs approved.

$50,000 from Major Moves for Wilson Creek slip by Jacobsen property approved. Will pay $250 permit to DNR to redirect creek there.

Listerman asked what to do with chip seal roads. They will look again at budget- but general feeling was to put the money into asphalt and let chip seal go to gravel eventually or pave if they get to the priority list.

Listerman gave Council members the historical road funding list and bridges etc. This list shows about a $4million or so decrease in funding from Riverboat revenue for roads. Council put this money elsewhere. [NOTE: It may be time to rethink that. Listerman told me it takes about $50,000 per mile to pave a well maintained road and 3 times that if they are paving and prepping poorly maintained or gravel roads. We have over 500 miles of county roads.]

Listerman has a 20 year cycle on road maintenance and he can’t meet that yet. He met with OKI and may be able to access some accounts there to repair the original Wilson Creek slip near US 50. They may have $900,000 in these accounts and we can ask as being part of the MPO. ( He called them C-MAC and SDP accounts)

The North Dearborn Road project is not being done per INDOT the $1 placeholder doesn’t count as funding. [NOTE: Dick Robertson currently of Vieste/Level 5 Engineering- when he was with CEA was working on that. He presented that several years ago as a clever way to be programmed by INDOT and it only costs $1.]

Pickens stated that state released $1.5 million they owed us so now he’s paying Mannitron (reassessment company) He said they still owe us $260 per day in “damn interest.”

Pickens had them sign the papers to keep COIT at 0.6% rate still.

Ullrich talked about the sheriff using commissary funds to do some project to get to parents who host beer parties for underage kids. Apparently there is a new law raising this to a larger crime for parents.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

23 April 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

23 April 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mike Hall, Chairman, Patrick DeMaynadier, Ken Nelson, Robert Laws, Dennis Kraus, Jr., Ralph Thompson.
Absent: Tarry Feiss, Nick Held, and Mark Mitter

Also Present: Mark McCormack, Planning Director, Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer, and Mike Ionna, Assistant Planner shared with West Harrison and St. Leon, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.

Two rows of developers were present as was John Watson- St. Leon’s attorney who was with Tucker. Watson did not speak at the meeting.

Old Business Scheduled to be Reopened:

Zone change to R from Ag for White Farm Development on 56 acres on North Dearborn/Short/and Gaynor Ridge Roads in Logan Township with Bayer Becker and Tucker/Schmidt. Jeff Tucker presented the plan with NO CHANGES. He stated they looked over it thoroughly and could find no way to cut the density. This item was tabled at the Feb. meeting for up to 90 days.
Mr. Laws was not present at the Feb meeting. [NOTE: This item was reduced to only discussing the density issues and so Laws was only familiar with the case from his packet of material. Considering the later voting sequence and discussion on this matter, it might be questionable as to whether Laws should have participated in this abbreviated version of this case.]

The staff report continuously mentions getting written commitments on this development for maximum density, roadway improvements, and for an established timeline for these to occur. [NOTE: Considering the result of this case and the fact that commissioners CANNOT put commitments on this, it would be irresponsible to allow this zone change without those commitments. It – in effect- allows the zone change to go in as a pure residential zone, which can have ANY density. In light of the character of the area and the safety issues on roads, two of the main criteria for a zone change will NOT have been met because of the lack of WRITTEN COMMITMENTS. Board members even question 2 of the 5 criteria.]

PUBLIC COMMENT: (Hall limited them to about 2 minutes each and density related issues only)

Glenn Crocker- Trees and bunkers won’t hide this development- it sticks out as different from EVERYTHING around it- even the next most dense development, which is tucked down over the hill. Most board members when polled last time wanted ¾ or higher lot sizes. Crocker showed the entire area again and all the low density surrounding this farm. [NOTE: Even staff pictures done all around the area show green fields and trees everywhere. There are hardly any homes visible.]

Glen Richardson- This is double the density of even the developed area across the road. Growth is good for the community BUT would rather see 1/acre maximum.

Karen Schaffer Geiss- lives at Short and Gaynor and has cattle- he farm is a combination of two parcels and is AG land and AG use. This is a project to them and a project to you, but it’s where I LIVE.

Tom Gaynor- Sons and I live here and operate a livestock farm. We’ve been here for 147 years. Just because sewer runs by does not mean it has to be high density. Class sizes in school system are increasing with 33 in 3rd grade class- kids will get left behind. Safety is affected with all the additional traffic too. Please consider all these issues.

Steve Kuhn- lived here my whole life- this is far too many houses. Every rooftop will show. Invited the PC members to come out and see this. The area is heavily farmed. There are tractors and combines on the roads. Even with Short Road improvements there will be safety issues.

Robert Gaynor- school tax rates are the highest in the area. There are 7 farms on Gaynor with livestock. Gaynor Ridge Road has blind spots and curves. Mostly Cincinnati people move here and they do not understand farm and rural life. Comp plan meetings showed that most residents do NOT favor high density. There are scars still on the land from the sewer installations 10 years ago. When Tucker purchased the farm it was zoned Ag. He also noted that only trees that will grow in the buffering areas would be bald cypress or something similar due to excessive moisture.

Todd Schumate- You need to look for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT! High density with $200K homes are a burden to the taxpayers. AT some point they can break even- maybe at $300K. He agrees with all the previous statements on density and asked why Harley Springs- the densest in the area is being used as a BENCHMARK for this case. Lastly- We know that this will benefit the developer, but what good or what benefit does this development provide for the community?

Public Comment closed and Tucker added that Morgan’s Ridge- ½ mile away is comparable to this density and is as far away as some of the farms. One of the Gaynors stood up to ask that be corrected. Hall said- he knew where there farm was.

Board comments:

Thompson- has driven the area and this does not appear to be in character with the area. In a prior commissioners meeting INDOT indicated that the North Dearborn Road project with the $1 placeholder was not funded and probably wouldn’t occur for at least 5 years.

Laws- have driven this and it looks like it’s ready for development- all the infrastructure is there. [NOTE: Laws was not present for the original complete presentation of this project nor the road discussions. Have the meeting minutes even been approved?]

Kraus, Jr.- I lean more towards ¾ or greater lot size in that area.

Nelson- It’s dangerous to say we need $300K homes- a considerable number of the people here don’t live in homes that expensive. I was in favor of this and still am. It has good development standards. They have made an attempt to improve the roads and kept the others internal to the development.

DeMaynadier- It’s too dense and close to 2 x the density of Harley Springs. Majority of the area is low to moderate density or AG. Look at the cumulative effect of the other applications lately. He wants 1 acre or more max.

Thompson motioned to give an unfavorable recommendation based on the fact that the density was not in character with the area and the potential traffic safety problems on North Dearborn and Gaynor Ridge.
Demaynadier 2nd. 3 ayes, 2 Nays (Laws and Nelson) FAILED

Laws motioned and Nelson 2nd to give a favorable recommendation with NO REASONS AND THEY ALSO LISTED NO WRITTEN COMMMITMENTS! 2 Ayes and 3 NAYS (Thompson, Kraus, Jr, and DeMaynadier) Failed.

[NOTE: If these 2 were serious about passing this- they should have modified their motions to include the commitments on density and road improvements. They also gave no evidence that they had considered the 5 criteria for a zone change in this motion. It was SLOPPY. A good lawyer would have a field day with this one.]

The project goes to the commissioners at the May 1st meeting with NO RECOMMENDATION.

New Business:

Primary plat approval for 5- lot Ag zoned subdivision Section 3 of Lawrenceville Farms with Mike Hall and Owner William Geisel on 60.973 acres in Jackson Township. 5 lots are buildable and 2 are not.

Hall stepped down and his wife presented the case except for some drainage explanations that Mike did.

Laws said his daughter is an adjoiner, but that it wouldn’t affect his decision- he stayed on board. (It couldn’t have been heard if he left as they needed 5 for a quorum).

DeMaynadier acted as Chairman for this case.

Thompson asked where the common perimeter drains ended up. Teri Hall explained the drainage and depth of drains. She also said one unbuildable lot would attach to Geisel’s land. Doug Baer had been out several times and noted the wetlands with no construction on Lot 28.
With the elevations it was pointed out that 2 houses drain to Lenmary and 3 go east of that. Septics are mound systems with perimeter drains keeping the water lower than the mounds.

One neighbor- Bill Wilkymacky presented with the main concern being to keep any more water from draining to him and also to maybe correct some problems already there. He passed out pictures and suggested a park in the wetlands area. He told the board that the Tribble land across from this has rivulets through it from water drainage issues also. Mosquito larvae issues. He didn’t care if they built a moat around him- he just wants it drained.

DeMaynadier asked if the homes could be positioned so they all drained to the other side.
Thompson had drainage issues but thought the size was in character.
Laws had no problem.
KrausJr said it passed the ordinances.
Nelson- asked if there was public drainage as in a board. Answer was that there was no ability to halt or make corrections if there were problems- as there was no board in charge.
DeMaynadier said he drives past this daily and Wilkymacky is not exaggerating about the rain and water. He’d rather see more built to the NE and leave the SW unbuildable.

Geisel said the corps of engineers was out there- can’t drain the wetlands. He has big lots to be aesthetic and also to have areas to drain this. Two roofs on 20 acres can’t do that much.
The board and Geisel redesigned the plan to get just 1 home in SW area and 4 to NE.
Nelson motioned to approve with that configuration to get only 1 home SW and 4 NE with drainage to flow east of fall line and east of sewer sites. Thompson 2nd. All ayes. Passed.

The changes to the Zoning Ordinance were further modified and passed to take back to the commissioners for a 2nd attempt at passage. This section is mostly clarification of expectations for development applications that the developers needed so they could prepare adequately.

Hall noted that he wanted the PUD’s to be looked at also- he doesn’t want another case like Macke’s on Sugar Ridge.


Master Plan Land Use Advisory Meeting is Wed May 9th at 7 PM for another vote on the revised map options.

There will be more ordinance revisions on collectors and roadways with the surveyor and highway dept.

US 50 INDOT presentation and study will have meeting Monday April 30th at LHS Auditorium from 6-8 PM.

Mike Ionna was introduced as the newest county planner to the board.

St. Leon is looking at 2 mile buffer- if they do it it requires 2 reps from the buffer area and a nonvoting PC rep from county to be on their Plan Board at St. Leon.

SR1 future road improvement lists were discussed and included some actual CLOSING of SR1 by Georgetown and by Salt Fork bridge. [NOTE: PNS ski area would be directly impacted by this. Emergency access to the hospital would also- in addition to the incredible inconvenience to the public.]

Meeting adjourned 9:35 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

17 April 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

17 April 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, Chairman, Fox, and Thompson.
Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.
TWO uniformed police officers were present.

This meeting was preceded by an executive session on a health claim appeal. Commissioners voted at this meeting to deny the claim as it was already covered under the current plan.

1.YES Home –Liz Morris- asked permission to go to Council for $1500 to replace the door on the YES Home (the county owns the building.) Commissioners advised her to coordinate repairs through the Maintenance Dept (Eric Hartman.)

2. Regional Sewer District- DCRSD- Mike Hankins requesting permission to go to Council for funding for two projects total $3.9 million:

St. Leon- $2.4 Million

W. Aurora (High Ridge plus about 50 homes to go to Dillsboro probably as Aurora is under IDEM orders) - about $1.5 million total with $220,000 soft costs included.

He said that the Woolpert Study was finished and they were proceeding with one of their recommendations for the TIF area by adding capacity in St. Leon. The DCRSD board felt strongly that they should connect High Ridge to Aurora or Dillsboro rather than Woolpert’s recommendation of a freestanding plant.

Thompson asked several questions which Hankins answered as below:

What were the three largest expenditures of DCRSD? Construction on Cole and Stewart St for $236,000; Woolpert Study at $176,000, and Attorney fees (Lehner) at almost $100,000.

With the interlocal agreement on Cole Lane with the homeowners paying towards the costs, what is Denridge Acres share of that cost? [NOTE: Denridge Acres is the trailer park currently hooked to Aurora sewers via an old lift station and lines that run through other property (Rack’s). They have reportedly 36 trailers owned by Rodney Dennerline- a DCRSD Board member.] Answer was that Dennerline donated the easement for the pipe to get to the lift station plus the 3-phase electric line.

How many houses are on Cole Lane? About 27 or 28. The additional volume of the trailer park is needed to help scour the 4-inch line to US 50. They needed a line big enough in case they extended it further on Cole Lane.
[NOTE: Construction drawings last revised 9/28/06 that went to bid for Cole Lane show a 4-inch line for 1300 ft to just past Sherman St. Then it drops to a 3-inch line for 1700 ft. and then to a 2.5 inch line for 1300 ft to Denridge. There is a 1.25-inch line for air valve release at the end. ]

How long to pay this off? About 30 years. Thompson said- more like 45 years. Hankins then agreed with that number.

Did Dennerline recuse himself on all issues relating to that line? No.

Thompson then asked Ewbank about pecuniary interests and conflict of interest. Ewbank demurred on the specific case, but said that in general they should avoid all appearances of conflict of interest. Thompson used the example of himself abstaining on voting when a company he’d worked with was being considered earlier this year.

Fox asked if Dennerline’s was the deciding vote. No. [NOTE: Fox doesn’t understand the law. That does NOT mean there was no conflict of interest. In fact, it is part of this blog’s notes in the past and also public record that the DCRSD Board switched gears from their original purpose for formation (High Ridge Estates) to do Cole Lane and Stewart Street first. Dennerline’s role in all those discussions was as an active participant.]

Hankins said this line was replacing existing service to Dennerline’s trailer park.

Thompson said the NEW lift box and the NEW line up the hill is pecuniary interest. And the new lines go up Cole Lane instead of across Rack’s property. We are not being good stewards of the public’s tax dollars if other citizens on Cole Lane are charged to help pay it off.

Fox said there are good people on that board and Dennerline wasn’t the deciding vote.

Hankins said this was a 4- inch line and that would do 300 homes. A 2- inch covers 25-30 homes. There is a $12.35 surcharge on top of the sewer bill for those homes to help pay off the debt service.
Thompson said it’d be hard to get a bond with a 45-year payback.

Fox- IDEM ordered them to fix this?
Hankins- NO- but the HEALTH DEPT (Dennerline and Hankins are on the Health Board also) was aware of this and it happened to be the place we started. [Note: Happened???? How did it Happen?]

Fox insisted that Dennerline is not getting a free ride.

Thompson- Can Dennerline increase the number of trailers there with this increased capacity? There is additional real estate there. Aware of issues with Rack having the line on his property and the age of the lift station. The maintenance of this lift station now shifts to Aurora from Dennerline.

High Ridge is close to $1 million and no rate studies were done on this. There are long-term paybacks on St Leon too.
Fox said there are too many homes with kids and sewers in ditches – need a long-term solution.
Hankins- IDEM likes a 30% increase in capacity in constructing lines. Thompson- How’d you sneak a 4-inch in there? (Laughter)

Thompson asked if they planned to force connections between High Ridge and Dillsboro. Hankins said yes first. Then Thompson asked about elderly and fixed incomes there. Hankins said that policy was derived separate from the incomes of the homeowners.
It became clear that the commissioners were not in favor of forcing hook-ups, and Hankins then agreed saying especially not on large lots- like 60 acres with cows in the front yard…

Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to allow DCRSD to go to Council to ask for $2.4 million for St. Leon sewer capacity increase and $220,000 for the soft costs on High Ridge Estates. (Not the rest until they see what design study says). Two Ayes. Thompson Nay as he was concerned there was no policy on not forcing connections and thought they were loaded too heavily on soft costs. Passed.

3. Building Dept- Townsend was out of town- Tabled the order for as burned out structure to be removed on207 Winter Street owned by Beverly Gabbard. Complaint filed by neighbor who has been looking at it for 2.5 years. Ewbank needed proof of service and Gabbard was not present so this was tabled until May 1st for Townsend’s input.

4. Terry Miller- Local Public Health Coordinator wanted commissioner’s approval to place a defibrillator on the wall outside the Commissioner’s room. This was purchased as part of city readiness grant money. Wanted to be sure of liability issues. Ewbank thought that with Good Samaritan laws this would be fine. Hughes said his father lived two more years because of a defibrillator being available when he needed it. The Safety Committee will decide where to mount the defibrillator case.
Miller said there is more money coming in these grants until August- and they may be renewed then. There will be a homeland Security rep for Dearborn County. We’ll need office space for them- though not appointed yet. Miller also said there was good attendance at the pandemic presentation at Agner Hall- though it is harder to get volunteers when infectious diseases are the issue.

5. Dave Lykins- Woliung Road resident- asked the status of Woliung Road- he offered previously and offer still stands- to prepare the road – excavate etc- to county specs if county will provide the asphalt to pave it. It’s a connector- gravel- between Ester Ridge and Weisberg.
Commissioners called Todd Listerman to see where it was on the road priority list. The short answer (Listerman went on at length explaining road funding patterns) was that it wasn’t even evaluated because it’s road count was 54 vpd. They can’t get the main roads done with the small funding that is left. [NOTE: Council went from allowing over $ 5million per year for roads from riverboat revenue to about $1.5 million for 2007. That’s insufficient to keep up the ones we have even. Where did the money go?]

Lykins asked if they’d turn the road back to the owner. Fox said NO! Lykins asked several times for dust control- that program is no longer used.

6. Heart House- Craig Beckley – gave update on Migrant Housing Project- apparently fulfilling some grant criteria as he had citizens in the audience sign in to show that this was done at a public meeting. Beckley first went off on the difficulties getting Heart House approved and that he had to resort to getting Dillsboro to be lead agency to handle the grants. He cites the $750,000 60- bed facility as a big success and economically more feasible compared to what some people want to spend to build a shelter for stray dogs and cats!

He then said the migrant housing on Beiersdorfer’s Orchard land is for US citizens and was started 3 years ago with a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) but they county backed down due to opposition. Two years ago Benning and two of these commissioners now voted to allow it. Greg Gavin built it- a $260,000 brick duplex and they ended up under budget and returned $16,000 to the housing development authority. This apparently was a first- and the Housing Development Group was amazed that they saw any money returned.
He talked about three publications citing their migrant housing as noteworthy or star project. No county funds were spent but they ended up getting federal tax dollars back into our county. [Note: This is usually labeled pork.]

Beckley then allowed Bill, Russell, and Jerry Beiersdorfer to speak to publicly commend the commissioners for doing this project. They thanked commissioners and Russell noted that they pay more taxes to the county on this housing than they did on the trailer and that was good for the county. Fox said many people were not on board with this and now they changed their minds. Hughes asked how the apples would be this year with the frost. Beiersdorfers said they are one of the few lifetime farmers in the county. “You have to enjoy it”- and that they “know the real meaning of red-neck” (referring to working out in the hot sun.)

Beckley got in the last word- saying we are on the leading edge of quality low income housing in the county. [NOTE: This grant works out so that the housing will become Beiersdorfer’s after 20-years of them paying taxes on it.]

7. Phil Weaver sent new polling precincts. Commissioners signed. L-bg 3 moved from the utility building to the Legion Hall.

8. Water and Sewer ordinance amendment was read by Ewbank- Commissioners signed to get it sent to the Plan Commission for their consideration for a hearing. Then it will come back to commissioners. The upshot is that if a pole barn is proposed on land- the septic tank does not have to be inspected if the owner signs an affidavit that it is not interfering with leach lines or the tank or secondary site. [NOTE: This makes more sense- there are too many unrelated inspections going on- at costs to the taxpayers.]

9.GIS- Margaret Minzner- gave an update along with a proposal for commissioners to consider for the long term. The $800,000 price tag for this parcel project is not in the funds. GIS has $100,000 and they plan to seek $120,000 from Lawrenceburg. Lines on maps don’t match- this is a way to correct that problem. Other counties of similar size did it in-house and it took 9-years. Parcels could be evaluated faster as in what is needed for the TIF’s if we had this done. Parcels are linked to tax revenue, reassessments, etc. Minzner wants to spend the money and do it right the first time.
Minzner is also doing a GIS of historic structures with a Historic Landmark Foundation Grant.
The orthophotography will be flown in 2008, which works better with the last data being 3-years old by then.
Commissioners will get parcel project demo as will dept. head soon- they will do commissioners at a regular meeting. She needs opinion on which way to go before June for the budget requests for 2008.

10. Todd Listerman- Transportation Dept-
Stateline and Stephens started yesterday.
He’s going to Council Tuesday for money for the Collier Ridge slip. After recent rains, it’s moving more. HC Nutting was consulted for geotech proposal for about ands caissons will be needed as they drill to bedrock along the hillside. Cost about $200,000 maybe. They will have a little over $400,000 from Major Moves again as the 2nd part of a 2-year program. It can be spent on anything MVHA can be spent on – though they want to try to use it for something that can trigger economic development.

Listerman said they need $6 million to run our hwy dept. at a standard level. $3.3 million needed for cum bridge. At the last meeting, INDOT said 2013 was the earliest they’d get any state projects and only $20 million to use for all 92 counties total. He sees need to work with Council also to see what we can do to offset the deficits and what we aren’t able to do in the 2030 plan. Funding doesn’t match our needs- all counties noticing this. He hopes to get answer by Friday on North Dearborn Road project- as they said at INDOT that they weren’t going to fund it, as the $1 wasn’t enough to hold that.

Lastly- he broke ground on his house and hopes to be a Dearborn County resident by the end of the summer.

11. Pickens presented Greendale EMS contract- approved and signed.

Thompson abstained from approving regular claims as he couldn’t review them- Hughes had them spread out on the desk and he didn’t want to mess with Hughes’s system.
Fox abstained from working session minutes, as he was not there.

12. Dick Robertson – Vieste, LLC presented the four claims from last meeting for payment.

Thompson said there was no back-up on the PSA Dewberry claim and it’s dated thru 3/16 when stop work order was for 3/6. London Witte’s by contrast were completely documented for Jan and Feb.

Robertson said- basically we are trying to get PSA Dewberry paid for the work they’ve done without a contract. Robertson will get them details by Friday he says.
Robertson said the Vieste bill for March 1-31 was per the schedule in the appendix of the phase 1 report. Even though they are on a stop work order from March 6th on they switched to working on the 2030 road plan as an extension of county staff.

[NOTE: Robertson did not show any work for that and after the meeting it was determined that it’s in his computer and has not been delivered to the county transportation dept. – And yet he is getting paid for this- to the tune of $39,877.50! Who ordered this change? Why don’t all the commissioners know about it? When did they do it? Why do I get the feeling they are making up jobs to keep these guys “busy” while they figure out how to get the jail done? HAS ANYONE LOOKEDF INTO CHANGING OR ELIMINATING THE CONTRACT TO REFLECT WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON NOW? This is no way to inspire confidence from the taxpayers.]

Thompson asked- “You get paid the same amount, even if your work is less?”
Hughes- Yes- that is the contract.

Thompson- motioned to accept both London Witte claims for payment- $5,173.63 and $4125.85 for Jan and Feb. Fox 2nd all ayes.

Thompson voted to reject PSA Dewberry based on inadequate information and back-up. Fox 2nd all ayes.

Fox motioned to put PSA Dewberry back onto the claims list for May 1st IF they receive proper back-up. Hughes 2nd. Thompson NAY- Passed.

Fox said that Thompson came on board later- maybe hasn’t seen the whole contract and payments scheduled.
Thompson said he read it all- he does NOT like the contract or the way it works. You should have to DO SOMETHING and then you get paid.
Fox- is going to have to go to L-bg to get some long term funding for roads.

Fox motioned to approve Vieste for $39,877.50. Hughes 2nd. Passed with Thompson NAY>
Hughes said if the individual does the work we have to pay them by contract. [NOTE: Nowhere did we see evidence of what work they were doing.]

13. Fox agrees with Ralph Thompson and Hughes to send a letter to DCRSD to NOT force people to hook-up to the sewers. Messmore can draw it up- but all three commissioners will sign it.

14. Lifetime Resources letters signed for the state- same as before.

Meeting adjourned at 9:50 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, April 16, 2007

More Claims from Vieste Even Though Stop Work Order Issued

More Claims from Vieste Even Though Stop Work Order Issued

County Commissioners issued a stop work order for the Jail Project at their March 6th meeting pending further review. The following additional 4 claims were submitted by Bryan Messmore for Vieste, PSA Dewberry, and London-Witte at the April 3rd Commissioners Meeting for consideration for payment at the next commissioners meeting Tuesday April 17th.

TOTAL BILLED BELOW: $66,904.94 This plus the last billing constitutes about 1/3 of the total $612,000 allotted to this project. What do we have to show for this?

1.London Witte-Group, LLC………………………..$4,125.83

for Progress Billing – Building Project – 36 hours of work detailed from 1/4/2007 through 2/21/2007

2.London Witte Group, LLC………………………….$5,173.53

For Progress Billing- Building Project – 38.25 hours of work detailed from 1/2/2007 through 1/30/2007

These billing dates overlap, however they are for different services from different people at LWG. Some are at $70/hour, some at $200/hour.

3. PSA Dewberry, Inc………………………………….$17,727.49

For period 2/23 through 3/16/2007 as compensation for basic services on an hourly basis plus reimbursable expenses. They list the project to date cost of $28695.50 + 745.43 reimbursable. They note a previous billing of $11,705.50 + 7.94 reimbursable. This leaves $16,990 + 737.49 reimbursable for the $17,727.49 total.

[NOTE: The jail design was on stop work order as of 3/6/2007. How much of this bill was after that time period? There is no breakdown of the expenses on this. PSA Dewberry was under Vieste before- now they are billing separately. Did the county bid this work out? Who authorized further work?]

4. Vieste, LLC……………………………………………$39,877.50

Capital Program Management on Criminal Justice Facility from 3/1 through 3/31/2007 approved from appendix 5 of the phase 1 report approved by Dearborn County Commissioners 1/23/2007- NO DETAILS.

[NOTE: Again- there was a stop work order March 6th- are we paying Vieste even when there is no work to manage? JUST WHAT KIND OF CONTRACT DID THE COUNTY SIGN?]

[NOTE: I found out some interesting things while trying to get copies of these claims for the past 2 weeks. First Pickens asked for another formal written request, which I emailed him 4/4/07. I was informed a week later (4/11/07) that he did not think the claims were public record yet as they were not processed. I told him I thought they were public as soon as they were presented at a public meeting. I called the Public Access Counselor, Karen Davis, on 4/11/07 and it turns out WE WERE BOTH WRONG. They are public record as soon as they are delivered to a public agent or agency. Therefore, when Messmore receives the claims, they are public record, even before presented at the meeting. I emailed this information to Pickens 4/11/07 and asked to have it by Friday before the meeting. (4/13/07) When I did not hear from Pickens Friday, I called Pickens office Monday morning (4/16/07) and he had his office return my call saying he did not have them, I would have to check with Messmore. So I called the Adm. Building and explained what I was looking for and Sue Hayden, Messmore’s assistant put me through to his office. There was no answer and no answering machine option. She was unable to locate Messmore. (I wondered if his lunchtime workout at The Athletic Club was shifted to mid morning… Can’t be Member of the Month down there unless you come in often…) Sue Hayden then tried to find copies on one of the commissioner’s desks and offered me Commissioner Hughes’s phone number when that didn’t pan out. Hughes was not due to be in today, so I called Commissioner Thompson, who graciously agreed to get copies to me this afternoon on his way to town.]

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What Landowners and Their Lawyers Should Know

What Landowners and Their Lawyers Should Know
About Conservations Easements

East Central High School, Agriculture Classroom
1 Trojan Place, St. Leon, IN
6:45 p.m.- 9:10 p.m., EDT, May 14, 2007

Purdue Extension Dearborn County and the Dept. of Ag Econ, Purdue University will present a seminar on conservation easements for Indiana land. The conservation easement is a way to keep land permanently in an “undeveloped” state such as farming and woodlands. At present, there is a temporary, significant, federal tax enhancement to establish a conservation easement on farmland. This seminar will explain how a conservation easement is provided for in the Indiana Code and federal tax law. There will also be information on land trusts, the typical tax exempt agency to hold the legal rights relating to the conservation easement. Dr. Harrison, an Indiana lawyer, will also discuss the deed that may provide for a conservation easement. Lawyers may register ($25) for 2 hours of CLE credit. Pre-registration and a small registration fee ($5) are required to defer the expenses of this seminar.
Contact Gerry with a toll free call: 1-888-398-4636, ask for Ext.44216; directly 765-494-4216 or E-mail:

Time Topic

6:45 p.m. Check-in
6:55 Introduction, host Nick Held, Extension Educator, Dearborn County
7:00 Land Trusts in the U. S. and Indiana, Gerald A. Harrison, Professor, Ag Econ, Purdue and lawyer
7:25 Conservation Easements: What they are and their place in Indiana law
7:55 Break
8:05 Tax advantages of the Conservation Easement
8:30 A conservation easement deed: The legal document
9:00 p.m. Questions

Materials will be provided. Pre-registration is required.
Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution.*

4444444444444444444444UCut Here 44444444444444444444444444

Registration Form Deadline May 11, 2007!

Registration is $5 per individual or $25 if for lawyer CLE. Registration includes a break and materials.

Make a check payable to: Dearborn County Extension Education Fund. You may register by U.S. Mail or at the Dearborn County-PCES Office, Monday.- Friday; 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Phone: 812-926-1189

Enclosed $______.
(First) / (last) ______________________________________ ______________________
Name ($5 fee or $25 for CLE credit) Registrant's Spouse
City, State, Zip Code
Telephone (Work/Home)

Send to: PCES, Dearborn County Office, City Hall,
229 Main St., Aurora, IN 47001-1385

* I require auxiliary aids or services because of a
disability. Contact host—Nick Held, Ph: 812-926-1189
Fax: 812-926-3006 ; E-mail:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Master Plan Comments Available Online

Scanned comment sheets from the Master Plan are available for public viewing. The Planning staff have made public access easy.

So far 180+ public comments have been posted online at the following link:

The Plan Commission staff will be updating this link as additional comments are received and scanned.

Also of interest to the public:

INDOT and Strand have scheduled a public information meeting for the U.S. 50 Corridor Study on Monday, April 30 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Lawrenceburg High School at 100 Tiger Boulevard. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) consultant acknowledges that this meeting is intended to “offer the public opportunity to review and discuss the Corridor Study’s recommended alternative solutions.”

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Southeast Region — February 26, 2007

Corey Carr
Columbus Economic
(812) 378-7300 ext. 231
Dan Arnholt
Joe Bush
Corey Carr
Mike Ferree
Dan Fleming
Bill Gelfius
Jack Hess
Bill Lentz
Lynn Lucas
Don Meier
Greg Patterson
Don Strietelmeir
Jeff Washburn
Form and launch a (Chamber of Commerce) Agriculture Business
• Develop public relations campaign and take message to area schools – partner with Farm Bureau and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s Division of
Soil Conservation
• Promote agribusiness in the community
• Investigate development of a commercial kitchen
• Develop brand outlet (i.e. Convention & Visitors Bureau)
• Identify collaborative agritourism opportunities
• Research the development of a consolidated farmers’ market
Leverage Bartholomew County’s advantage of location, infrastructure
and agribusiness expertise to attract and/or expand the food
processing sector.
• Investigate development opportunity for agriculture park
• Target school systems as market for locally-grown products
• Assemble information for Web site and brochures
• Identify markets for crops and by-products
Identify opportunities for bioenergy plants and markets for byproducts
of bioenergy plants.
• Identify value-added processing opportunities
• Develop targeted recruitment plan
• Pursue rail infrastructure development
• Leverage synergies of by-products and users

Jim West
(812) 537-0814
Rita Cutter
Brad Dawson
Mike Heffelmire
Nick Held
Jeff Hughes
Mike Kohlsdorf
John Kruse
Ken Lane
Bryan Messmore
Mike Rozow
Vickie Smith
Jan Uhlmanseick
Kris Vance
Jim West
Reconvene agriculture council and populate with additional
economic development partners.
• Conduct situational analysis of status of agriculture and economic value of agriculture
• Develop clear definitions for farms and agriculture
• Raise agriculture profile in community via marketing and communication
• Market Purdue’s “Ways to Grow” program and specialty crops
• Identify sources for updated agriculture statistics
• Leverage the new and growing winery businesses as part of agriculture roundtable
and agritourism efforts
Identify crops and/or potential resources in the region for food
processing and other production facilities to maximize job creation
and return on investment.
• Collaborate with current RC&D feasibility study
• Leverage Seagrams facility and workforce for future food processing opportunities for
• Target food processing for local industrial parks
• Partner with economic development and Department of Agriculture for recruitment of
USDA meat processing plant
• Target new uses and users for distiller’s grain
Determine the county’s competitive advantage for local/regional
bioenergy facility.
• Research requirements for bioenergy facilities
• Identify markets for distiller’s grain
• Identify infrastructure requirements and potential funding
• Determine opportunities for cellulosic ethanol plant
• Work with AEP for value-added opportunities that could use hot water from the power
• Partner with fuel dealers to identify locations for alternative fuel pumps

Development Initiative
Vicki Kellerman
(812) 222-2520
Matt Ackerman
Albert Armand
Erica Bright
Gary Campbell
Bob Dawson
Roger DuMond
Cleo Duncan
Steve Freeman
Wanda Heath
Jean Johannigman
Vicki Kellerman
Tony Marsh
Jon Martin
Melanie Maxwell
David Miers
David Neuman
Darrell Nicholson
Gary Reding
Brad Reed
George Reiger
John Richards
Bryan Robbins
Merrill Smith
Jennifer Sturges
Bob White
Dan Wilson
Kathleen Weissenberger
Develop a consistent marketing plan to include agriculture as an
industry in all communications and incorporate facts on jobs,
investments and impact on the economy.
• Partner with ISDA on newspaper inserts
• Market Ag Day
• Develop packet of agriculture information for new residents
• Increase participation of agriculture representatives in career fairs
• Grow FFA opportunities
• Adopt and market Agriculture Certificate for zoning
• Expand Agriculture Committee and add AEDI participants
Conduct feasibility study for one, central, well-structured alternative
energy plant.
• Develop list of animal farmers in Decatur County
• Determine the energy flow (methane)
• Partner with ISDA and the Office of Energy and Defense Development
• Identify grant resources
• Complete pre-feasibility study
Develop communications plans for modern hardwoods agriculture.
• Identify markets for wood waste and communicate to area hardwoods growers
and loggers
• Develop forums and programs for discussion of hardwood values and market
• Communicate the status of the ash borer in the area and provide regular updates
• Partner with the Soil and Water Conservation office on a field day/small timber

Rene Stivers
Franklin County
Development Corporation
(765) 647-5340
Greg Orschell
Franklin County Farm Bureau
(765) 647-1221
Roger Bommer
Daryl Drake
Louis Egbert
John Estridge
Calvin Finch
Larry Franzman
Darrell Harvey
Maurice Kaiser
Dennis Kolb
Randy Kolb
Mike Kolhsdorf
Greg Kunkel
Jean Leising
Gene Meyer
Mark Oglesby
Greg Orschell
Mindy Orschell
Kermit Paris
Richard Placke
Angie Riffle
Eric Roberts
Doug Schwab
Mike Schwab
Doug Singer
Steve Sourbeer
Rene Stivers
Frank Thompson
Don Vonder Meulen
Philip Wendel
Terry Wilds
Franklin County Commissioners
Franklin County Council
Provide resources and support needed to initiate and grow food.
• Conduct needs assessment to identify potential markets
• Build education of available markets
• Develop mentoring network database
• Create business planning/financial support/resources through local leaders
• Educate potential strategic partners and networks
Make agriculture and development compatible in Franklin County.
• Make zoning user friendly
• Educate public about land use
• Conduct annual review of zoning meeting
• Give strong consideration for cluster subdivision
Promote the education and proper management of our county woodlands.
• Educate landowners about hardwoods through hosting Timber Field Day
• Have a booth at a home show
• Work with Ag Day and Antique Tractor Show
• Educate public about ag as a whole
Integrate livestock production into Franklin County to be profitable and
accepted in the county.
• Educate youth through schools, talk to school board to establish classroom education
about agriculture
• Find sponsors to organize farm/city banquet
• Promote farm/city banquet
• Create letters to the editor by livestock producers
• Develop Franklin County Web site
• Promote livestock through Franklin County Economic Development
Agricultural Economic Development Initiative

Richard Beckort
Purdue Extension
(812) 358-6101
Bill Bailey
Richard Beckort
Gary Callaway
Laura Fribley
Dr. Bob Gillespie
David Gottbrath
Thelma Greathouse
Thomas Hallow
Doug Hanner
Trina Hanner
Wanda Heath
Mark Isaacs
Tom Kabrich
Doris Kovener
Joe Miller
Jonathon Pollert
Don Shoemaker
Tom Snyder
Tina Stark
Brian Thompson
Richard Whitesell
Mary Winburn
Brian Wolka
Kathleen Weissenberger

Encourage agriculture representatives and farmers to participate in the
development of zoning ordinances and promotion of agriculture.
• Establish collaborative, county-wide agriculture roundtable/committee
• Coordinate with Jackson County planning officials to create balance between
comprehensive plan and updated zoning for agriculture
• Demonstrate flooding impact on crops to state and regional entities
• Provide education forums, field trips and materials about agriculture, animals, farms
and agribusiness
• Arrange for tours of grain elevators, confined animal feeding operations, etc. for local
elected officials and plan commission members
Develop, promote and maximize agriculture assets of Jackson County.
• Identify new crop opportunities including specialized grains
• Continue development of a regional farmers’ market with value-added products and
regional audience
• Investigate utilization of school kitchens as commercial kitchens for food processing
and value-added products
• Partner with other agencies including school corporations and FFA to raise
awareness of agricultural careers
• Partner with neighboring counties in recruitment of USDA inspection/grading for meat
processing facility
Identify and communicate Best Practice Management for modern
hardwoods agriculture.
• Host a forum with state forester, Jeff Settle and Mike Seidl to share information
about available resources for landowners with hardwoods
• Identify markets for wood waste
• Establish Web site and marketing materials for hardwood agriculture in partnership
with ISDA
• Identify new hardwood crop opportunities
• Create education and awareness campaign for modern hardwoods agriculture

Richard Adrian
(812) 346-2123
Ken Salkeld
Purdue Extension
(812) 352-3033
Richard Adrian
Joe Diekoff
Max Oogle
Brad Ponsler
Ken Salkeld

Educate the public about opportunities in
• Develop and implement programs in elementary and middle
schools to develop skills and knowledge about agricultural
opportunities. (Could include materials in the following
classes/subjects: math, economics, business, chemistry,
biology, science, social studies, consumer and family
science, etc.)
• Conduct county research study on what is important in
promoting agriculture
• Evaluate and create more ways to market and educate
people regarding the direct market program

Brad Ponsler
Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.
(812) 592-2121
Lonnie Mason
Purdue Extension
(812) 265-4769
Dave Adams
Julie Berry
Dennis Bowyer
Greg Brawner
Greg Bremer
Susan Craig
Lowell Day
Dave Ferguson
Laura Fribley
Mark Goley
Jerry Hay
Steve Kleopfer
Bob Kuppler
Lonnie Mason
Corey Murphy
Tom Pietrykowski
Brad Ponsler
Norbert Schafer
Mike Schafer
Greg Schneider
Linda Wood

Positively educate and increase awareness of agriculture/related
issues to the citizens and elected officials of Jefferson County by
providing credible and correct information.
• Use FFA/4-H to promote Food for America program in classrooms.
• Promote the Hoosier Homestead Award program
• Produce a monthly “Spotlight on Agriculture” piece that promotes local
agriculture business, producers, and agriculture supporters in collaboration
with local media.
• Organize a clearinghouse of credible, reliable agriculture related information
similar to the database being built by Region 6/Eastern Indiana Development
District (EIDD).
Lead the region in identifying diversification strategies that enhance
the economic viability of producers of different sizes and areas of
• ID and coordinate working models of success through market research and
through exploring and contacting groups such as Jennings County Growers/
Hoosier Hills Meat Coop.
• Organize a Jefferson County Agriculture Roundtable to locate potential
markets for locally-produced products and to serve as a support network for
all areas of agriculture.
• Encourage local producers to participate in the new ISDA market maker
Educate woodland owners in the economic value of woodlots and
promote proper management of assets.
• Continue to keep hardwoods and local needs associated with hardwoods on
the agenda of the working group. As other tactics are accomplished, develop
tactics for hardwoods

Michele Conyer
Purdue Extension
(812) 438-369
Mike Kohlsdorf
(812) 926-2406
Mike Andrew
Michele Conyer
Sue Fisher
Howard Fletcher
Mike Kohlsdorf
Brad Ponsler
Beth Terrell
Gene Weaver
Determine the capability to produce alternative animal products
in Ohio County.
• Partner and work cooperatively with neighboring counties on a meat
processing facility
• Investigate a cost share program for fencing
• Provide educational opportunities about herd health and pasture
management through partners including Purdue Extension, Soil and
Water Conservation District (SWCD), Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Laughery Valley
Develop user-friendly process for small scale producers to get
into business.
• Support state and federal financing programs for beginning farmers
• Develop public relations materials
• Discuss agriculture zoning with local planning and elected officials
Establish coalition of local officials, farmers and economic
development partners to collect information about conservation
and hardwoods development and communicate the information
throughout Ohio County.
• Pull together and set meeting with education, soil conservation and
economic development
• Identify available information on Web sites
• Pursue an Ohio County office for soil and water conservation with a
contact person
• Host state forester to evaluate and develop a managed harvest plan
Southeast Region — February 26, 2007
Agricultural Economic Development Initiative

Brad Buening
Ripley County Economic
Development Corporation
(812) 689-4344
Jerry and Rose Gauck
(812) 654-3710
Paul Anderson
Jim Benham
Brad Buening
Duane Drockelman
Cleo Duncan
Leonard Eckstein
Bea Fry
Gerald Gauck
Rose Gauck
Irvin Harmeyer
Larry Huffmeyer
Pat McKettrick
Owen Menchhofer
David Osborne
Becky Reatherford
Robert Schickel
Tim Schwipps
Encourage interactive practices that positively promote
the image of agriculture in Ripley County.
• Support agriculturists and “ag under fire” as they encounter zoning,
planning and potential public disapproval
• Communicate to general public where their food comes from through
cool and fun methods such as media columns and community events
• Educate woodlot owners on the value of their product through a
targeted piece for heirs and coordinate a county forestry/field day
Market and increase sales of Ripley County grown and
processed value-added products.
• Conduct technical assessment of suitable products produced from
Ripley County
• Identify potential niche markets through consumer and business
• Establish framework for “How to Build a Market” (best practices)
Promote availability of local-grown products to Ripley
County citizens.
• Secure funds to update current processing equipment in county for
increased productivity
• Secure facilities to chill and preserve produce
• Promote current local product availability through advertising in local
Southeast Region — February 26, 2007
Agricultural Economic Development Initiative

Nathan Crane
Purdue Extension
(812) 427-3152
Jon Bond
Switzerland County
Economic Development
(812) 427-9100
Vicki Althoff
David Attaway
KC Banta
Erica Bright
Jim Cole
Bill Cordes
Steve Crabtree
Greg Curlin
John Keeton
Ruth Lohide
Angie Satterfield
John Schroer
Identify and pursue present and future financially viable alternative
agriculture opportunities, products and services while retaining the
uniqueness of Switzerland County.
• Increase available resources – financial, literacy and networking
• Conduct a feasibility study to locate markets for local products and
research if the public wants the product.
• Establish an “Agriculture Welcome Wagon” to improve public relations
of agriculture in county
• Identify organic producers to share information and educate potential
interested producers
• Conduct a land use survey – do you want people or animals?
Attract more local producers of small livestock, meat, poultry and
aquaculture by securing funding for a processing facility and
support resources.
• Promote greater use of Venture Out commercial kitchen
• Start a Market Mentors marketing program
• Establish an ag literacy resource center for potential growers
• Market local products and services through Market Maker
• Establish a restaurant/producers partners database
• Utilize results of USDA funded Small Animal Processing Viability
Introduce the Switzerland County Agriculture Economic
Development plan to the citizens, elected officials and other
interested parties at the FFA Community Breakfast on April 21, 2007.

Want To Become a Honda Supplier?

Date: April 10, 2007

To: Chamber Members

From: Michael Rozow, Jr.

Subject: Honda

If you or your business is interested in “How to become a Honda supplier,” please go to their website; for detailed information.

Monday, April 09, 2007

April Express Newsletter from Chamber of Commerce

April Express Newsletter from the Chamber of Commerce carried the following:

A Special Message from Chamber President Mike Rozow

The good news is that economic development efforts are moving forward. The not-so-good news is that the process seems to be painfully slow. A Chamber member called last week and asked, “What makes us (Dearborn County) so different? Others seem to understand and get on with what needs to happen. Getting on takes forever here.”

The call was in response to a guest column I wrote for the Dearborn County Register. The title: “Rural Charm or Economic Development? We Can Have Both.” (The article is posted on the Chamber’s web site … go to and click Straight Talk on the left side menu.)

I want to thank everyone who called and emailed to say they appreciated someone finally speaking up for the “silent majority” of Dearborn County residents who enjoy aspects of our “rural” setting but also understand that we need economic development.

Anti-growth supporters paint a romantic picture of Dearborn County and farms and
agriculture, but what is that picture costing us? Let me share a few facts from the State of Indiana. 676 farms in Dearborn County account for about 75,000 acres (the average size farm is 110 acres). These farms pay “nearly $1 million in worker wages” and “farmers pay $1.2 million in property taxes.” Now, do the math. Each farm accounts for about $1,500 in annual worker wages. Each farm pays $1,775 in annual property taxes … or about $16 an acre. Doesn’t it seem reasonable that a few acres of farmland in strategic locations might be used to attract appropriate commercial and industrial development?

I want to encourage Chamber members and others to get more involved in the “growth” and “economic development” discussion. A small-but-very-vocal minority has created the impression that Dearborn County can continue along its current path. The truth is that without an increase in the commercial and industrial property tax base, the only alternative will be higher residential property taxes and/or a reduction in services, affecting our quality of life. Opportunities like the new Honda plant are at hand, and we need to put ourselves in a position to attract the kind of investment and jobs that will create a sustainable economy and the kind of lifestyle and amenities most of our residents want.

What can you do? Here are some thoughts.

􀂄 If you have not filled out the Dearborn County Land Use Survey being circulated by the Plan Commission’s Advisory Committee, do it now before the March 30 deadline. Three land use maps have been developed. 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. The survey is available on the Chamber’s web site …

􀂄 Don’t be shy about expressing your support for balanced growth. Economic development, job creation and growth are vital to local businesses and our community’s future. Become an ambassador for economic development. Let elected and other government officials know your views. Talk to your friends, co-workers and neighbors. And when those with an opposing view challenge you, counter their emotional arguments with facts that make the case for growing our economy so all of us can enjoy a greater quality of life. If you need information, call me at the Chamber.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

3 April 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

3 April 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, President, Fox, and Thompson.

Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.
Dick Robertson, Vieste/Level 5 Engineering was in attendance.
A uniformed police officer was also present.

1. CASA- Citizens Against Substance Abuse- Donna Thacker read the proclamation for the Too Smart To Start Alcohol Awareness Program proclaiming April as Alcohol Awareness Month. Commissioners signed the proclamation. [NOTE: Several Interesting points in the proclamation such as- children will see 100,000 beer commercials before they reach age 18.]

2. INDOT- Brandy Fishvogt (local plan coordinator Seymour District) and Cathy Eaton (Seymour office INDOT) – delivered the news that they have been mandated by the Fed Hwy to get all state projects fiscally constrained. INDOT is changing the way they do business. At the local annual development meeting on May 22- they will be going through the project lists heavily. Counties are going to have to enter into a contract on each project with a timeline and scope to keep costs from escalating. Projects will be evaluated in today’s dollars and then INDOT will calculate the future costs per the timeline.
There are $131 million projects “programmed” and only $20 million available – statewide to 2009. They need info on each project and are looking to see what can be eliminated. Elimination means funding is lost. She said one project on the list has $1 funding- so it won’t be considered. They are no longer allowing $1 as placeholders. This is for G3,G4 and Transportation Enhancement funds outside the urban areas. MPO operates inside urban area. (even though whole county is part of it)
Dick Robertson spoke up at this point on the $1 placeholder and said- it has a DES number! Cathy Eaton said- but it’s not funded. Robertson said- No not yet. [NOTE: This $1 is in reference to the placeholder and DES number assigned to the North Dearborn Road realignment project. It seems late in the process for INDOT to be giving the county this “bad news.” Didn’t we have the funding in place?]Projects are granted as first come first served. Listerman asked to get with Brandy Fishvogt on projects already to be let. Eaton noted that we have to settle all this BEFORE a call is made for future projects.

3. Old Business- Tax payments by credit card. Gayle Pennington was not present- Ewbank presented the reviewed and amended contract for Certified IT, LLC and commissioners signed it. Pennington will be bonded for this and insured. (See notes on last meeting for details on how this will work at tax time)

4. Transportation Dept- Todd Listerman:

1.Old project on Whites Hill has an outstanding claim for $4200 for O’Mara for the difference in cost of a 10 in vs. an 8 in pipe replaced there under negotiations after it was broken in construction of the road. St. Leon is to reimburse the county for this cost minus any costs they incurred for supervising the installation. [NOTE: So will their supervisory costs equal or exceed this amount?]
The leftover funding in this project went to the Stateline Stephens intersection project. Ewbank said the contract was a good faith effort to resolve s bad situation. Hughes was part of negotiations and will go with Listerman to St, Leon to see what supervisory costs were.
Pickens said they better look for backup in case Council doesn’t fund it. You can’t keep going to Council for things missed in contracts.
Listerman said he’d go to the 147 account. Ewbank offered to talk to St, Leon’s attorney if needed- though he was sure it would be unneeded. Listerman approved to check with St. Leon for supervisory costs and then to go to Council for the funding.

2. Collier Ridge Slip is working its way up the road. It will take about $35-45K to stabilize the additional 300 ft of embankment. Will put a slotted drain in and more baskets on the hillside- should fix it for a number of years. Wilson Creek should take about $40K to fix that slip by Jacobsen’s. Commissioners approved Collier Ridge work.

3. The updated signal plans for Stateline and Stephens will be coordinated with Macke- the Sugar Ridge developer. The developer will then go to bid for installation costs- their part of the project.

4. Fox asked if they can approach Council to chip seal the through rods that have heavy traffic at times – even those with few homes.
Listerman said there are 19.6 miles of chip seal roads at $16-20K per mile- so costs would be in the $180-200K range.
Thompson said it doesn’t hurt to ask, but gets the feeling that we’re pushing the upper limits of what Council can fund. Listerman will see how to prioritize those roads. Fox and Thompson agreed that at least it may get them funded for the next year. Hughes would rather blacktop. Fox and Thompson approved Listerman to ask Council and Hughes voted Nay.

5. Listerman dropped off the right of entry order with the property owner on Wilson Creek for the slip fix. Owner is looking it over.

5. Hughes presented the Lifetime Resources grant modifications and 90 day extension for their Housing Community Dev. Grant. Approved and signed.

6. Claims- Thompson moved to approve all claims except for # 101624- London Witte for $22,500. He had no problem with the claim and thought the itemization was well done. Pickens was concerned because he thought the check was mailed on Friday because it was a contracted claim. [NOTE: They mail checks ahead of commissioner approval?] Fox conferred in a whisper back and forth with Ewbank during this exchange [NOTE: This needs to be audible to the audience as it's a public meeting] and lots of paper was being passed around the commissioners.
Thompson said he wasn’t comfortable making the motion on that particular claim as it was before his term as commissioner.
Pickens said- is it because of the deferred payment on the original contract? Thompson said yes. Fox asked if there was anything wrong with the billing or itemization. Thompson said- no that was OK. Fox and Hughes approved the London Witte claim with Thompson abstaining.
[NOTE: What happened to the Vieste claim for $67K+ and the PSA Dewberry Claim for $11K+? Those were not mentioned in any of this approval.]

Minutes approved with corrections.

7. Messmore presented 4 additional claims from Vieste before the Stop Work Order. Thompson asked Messmore to give them individual copies of these claims to review. Messmore said they could have them before they left tonight. Fox agreed that would be better. Tabled these claims to allow time for review. No one was passed the claims then.
[NOTE: Pickens informed me that I needed to fill out a separate request for public records forms each time I want these Vieste project claims. He has 7 days to fulfill that request and was willing to take it by email. I needed to know what I was asking for specifically so I asked Messmore after the meeting in his office if those claims were new or were they the old ones. I specifically asked about the $67K and $11K etc. He and Robertson said they were the March 1-31 claims.]

Messmore also detailed the alleged animal abuse situation over the weekend and wasn’t sure why the state police were involved. Lohmiller and Lusby will fill out incident reports for the animal shelter and the sheriff’s dept.
Also mentioned the car wrecking into the jail and that the building withstood the hit.

Fox mentioned the claims earlier from Bryan and Higgins (London Witte) and that they all need better access to them. Pickens said if there’s even one problem- we hold them.

8. Ewbank – no new lawsuits.
The Anchor Glass bankruptcy was filed in FL court and the fed judge will decide if the real estate lien was filed before the bankruptcy was filed.

Thompson asked if they’d gotten the letter from Frank Kramer (of Ewbank and Kramer) on a tort claim. Ewbank hadn’t seen it and noted it was reserving the right to sue. No other details mentioned.

9. Hughes said PAWS was doing a business gathering and needed a rep on Apr 11th from 11:30-1. They also need a Council rep. Fox will be off that day and said he’d represent commissioners.

Meeting adjourned at 8 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, April 02, 2007

Register Publications Announces Their Own Blog Site

Register Publications has set up a blog site for commenting on local news articles in the paper. The site address listed in last Thursday's paper is: