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


Anonymous said...

Hankins: We’ve been instructed to address the problem areas for economic development.

Kraus Sr.: WHO instructed you to do this?

Hankins: Everyone…


Everyone with vested interests armed with business plans which require the taxpayers to buffer their bottom lines!!!!

Anonymous said...


To strategically and advantageously position the taxpayers’ collective wallets for easy fleecing by card carrying members of the DCEDI.

Anonymous said...

Cheek and Ullrich motioned to deny the $2.4 million for St. Leon sewer until the dust settles on the lawsuit on hook-ups.

I wonder what side of that particular "dust-up" Hankins, Maxwell, Dennerline and Jan and Bob's little boy is rooting for?

It is a safe bet, they are not on the side of the average, taxpaying citizen of St. Leon!

Anonymous said...

Hankins: We’ve been instructed to address the problem areas for economic development.

Kraus Sr.: WHO instructed you to do this?

Hankins: Everyone…

"Everyone" if your only circle of aquaintences are realtors, developers and bankers!

"Everyone" I am aquainted with are against forcing sewers on the many for enrichment of the few!