Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Greendale Responds to VRUC Board President

The following letter was sent by Al Abdon for Greendale to Jack Arduin, new President of the VRUC Board. The Stan mentioned in the letter is Stan Beeler- also on VRUC's Board. (Beeler has a posting on the PUBLIC FORUM just prior to VRUC elections) VRUC recently turned down Greendale's contract for service.

July 25, 2007

Valley Rural Utility Company
Hidden Valley Lake
Lawrenceburg, Indiana 47025

Re: Water / Sewer Negotiations


This correspondence is in reply to our discussion on Friday, July 20th wherein you informed me that, at your Thursday, July 19th VRUC Board Meeting, the VRUC Board again voted down the contract for water & sewer service, and failed to propose a counter offer. It has become increasingly obvious that no matter how many concessions Greendale makes VRUC is not interested in getting an agreement. Every time we come to agreement on each new VRUC issue, the Board rejects the agreement. It has gone so far as VRUC Board Member Armbrectd calling me on my personal cell phone before a meeting stating that he and Board Member Bittner were ready to vote for the agreement, and then both voted against it.

Greendale has offered VRUC a thirty-year agreement which guarantees long-term rate stability for both water and sewer service to VRUC customers, relieves VRUC of its contractual obligation to spend millions of dollars on a new water treatment plant, and offers VRUC the ability to serve hundreds of new customers inside your CTA, including the Red Pines developer, who is currently before the IURC to opt out of your CTA because of your inability to provide service. Finally, in an effort to help save VRUC money by avoiding future action by IDEM against VRUC, Greendale has offered technical assistance, and to accompany and support VRUC efforts to acquire low interest funding to fix your current collection system problems.

Greendale feels that to continue to spend valuable time on fruitless negotiations with VRUC is time that we could spend doing more productive work for the City. We plan to move forward with alternate plans, including service to Red Pine, and wish you luck in the future.

Jack, it has been my pleasure to work with both you and Stan and we applaud your common sense, intellect and especially your noble efforts on behalf of the good people of Hidden Valley, as well as the other VRUC customers…but you and I both know that you can only bang against the wall so long and eventually you have to walk around it…it’s time to walk around. That said, if at some point VRUC wishes to submit a contract proposal to Greendale, we will give it just consideration, but we will not continue down the long road already traveled.

Kindest regards,

Al Abdon


Thursday, July 26, 2007


submitted by:
Chet Wolgamot
Manchester Township

This editorial appeared this week in the Tuesday Journal Press.

July 18, 2007

Three innocent human beings were violently killed, children orphaned and others seriously hurt in the triple fatality accident on SR 350 on June 9th. Yet a hand slap by Dearborn County Prosecutor Negangard for the responsible driver appears to be the sole atonement and proposed end of story for these killings.

I’m disappointed in the public response to this judgment by Prosecutor Negangard. Who will speak for the victims of this heinous act?

One of the contributing factors of the crash, as reported by investigating ISP officer Sgt. Dan Goris at the press conference of July 9th, was vehicles pulling to the side of the road in response to “the police escort vehicle using it’s emergency lights and the driver waving to traffic to slow down”.

Why was the reserve officer using an uncommon hand wave in addition to his emergency lights? Did this extraneous hand waving cause the oncoming traffic to become confused as to the officers intent and pull over and stop vs. merely slowing their rate of speed, thereby directly contributing to the crash,? No witness statements, review of the officers qualifications or statement as to the adherence to proper and safe policy for this assignment have been offered by the authorities. It appears as if the authorities are not being forthcoming concerning their own contributing role in this tragedy

The other contributing factors cited by Sgt. Goris, were that “the driver had only been driving alone for about eight months and was not an experienced driver” and “the driver was diverted to watching the large number of passing motorcycles” . These findings seem more attuned to mitigating Brian Withers degree of involvement than assigning responsibility? Are the victims and their fellow riders responsible by diverting Brian Withers attention?

Brian Withers had just passed a lighted emergency vehicle and it’s hand waving officer. Why was he still at or above the posted speed limit per the findings of the investigation instead of lowering his speed per state law? And doesn’t this clear violation of state law “meet the standard for reckless disregard for the consequences” that Prosecutor Negangard fails to find?

The prosecutors office is supposed to speak for the victims, not the offenders. Law enforcement investigating themselves can be suspect. A quick ruling of accidental is great news for Brian Withers and does eliminate the risk law enforcements role may be scrutinized at a potential criminal trial.

Unfortunately, the forgotten victims families are left with nothing but tragic memories of loved ones lives violently cut short and we’re all left with the lingering suspicion that this investigation might have been about “what was best” rather than “what served justice”?

Given the severity of the accident, the repercussions to so many lives and the many unanswered questions, I would think Prosecutor Negangard would be prudent to revisit his decision to judge this case himself and instead offer a grand jury the opportunity to weigh the factual evidence. If he feels he cannot pursue prosecution in the case, he should step aside. The victims families and the citizens of Dearborn County deserve a fair opportunity to acquire retribution for this violent event.

Chet Wolgamot
Manchester Township

The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 10 and June 11, 2007
The Journal Press, June 13, 2007, July 10, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

DCRSD's Lawyer Answers SDRSD's Lawyer

The following letter was in answer to the letter posted at the bottom of the most recent DCRSD meeting notes:

July 20,2007

Mr. Matthew P. Zerbe
Attorney at Law
30 East High Street
P.O. Box 4066
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025


Dear Matt:

Thank you for your letter of July 18,2007.

Except by agreement, the South Dearborn Regional Sewer District (SDRSD) cannot legally serve outside the corporate boundaries of Aurora, Greendale and Lawrenceburg. Enclosed is a copy of Court Order entered January 26, 1972, which fixes the boundaries of SDRSD. The area outside those corporate boundaries are served by the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District (DCRSD), other than the private utilities.

13-26-5-7 allows a governmental or private body owning and operating facilities for water supply, sewage or solid waste disposal, recovery or treatment may contract to supply water or treat all or part of the sewage or solid waste of a District. Greendale has offered to enter into a contract with the DCRSD to serve some of the subdivisions in close proximity to Greendale. However, Greendale does not own a treatment plant and, therefore, is not authorized to enter into such a contract. That is why the DCRSD wrote to your client in March seeking this service.

Please reconsider your position. The DCRSD meets on August 2, 2007, and I would appreciate a response before that date.

Very truly yours,

Frank G. Kramer
pc: Mr. Jeff Hughes
Mr. Rick Fox
Mr. Ralph Thompson
SDRSD Board Members

24 July 2007 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

24 July 2007 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Meeting began at 6 PM- Fehrman had to leave by 9 PM

Present: Fehrman, Chairman, Ullrich, Lansing, Morris, Cheek, Maynard Barrott (replacing Mark Mitter), and Kraus, Sr, (arrived at 7:30 PM)

Also present: Cary Pickens, Auditor and Messmore, Administrator.

1. Probation Dept- Judge Jim Humphrey presenting for Steve Bradley- $487.25 approved to bring computer maintenance account back to zero.
Upgrade for computers used since 1997 using 3 quotes for hardware and 2 for software. PBS is current software provider and will probably be selected due to ease of conversion. Council approved $22-25,000 total with $10,000 from the county funds and $12-15,000 from the Adult Probation funds.

2. Humphrey advised Council of need for new recording equipment in courtrooms as Judge Witte’s system died and both his and Witte’s systems will be unrepairable as of next year. They are considering the county’s system currently in use in commissioner’s meeting room. No money budgeted for this yet.

3. LOIT tax- Jeff Dossett- president of AIC (Ass’n of Ind Counties) also with previous experience as Councilman, Auditor and Clerk in Montgomery County gave an overview of 3 options for LOIT taxes to help offset property taxes. HEA (House Enrolled Act) 1478 allows them to use this by putting it back on COIT or CAGIT. Basically, it’s a way to have COIT taxes increased to decrease property taxes by about 4%. It does NOT lower the school tax, which is about 80% of the property tax bill. This affects low-income families the most.

As Councilman Cheek put it- I’m paying COIT to offset my own property taxes. Liz Morris went a step further calling it a “shell game.”

Only Option B had any degree of flexibility and the taxes are collected by the state and then redistributed. So this would create more bureaucracy and paperwork. [NOTE: Why not just lower the taxes?]

Dossett said his county had a 4 % reduction in property taxes with a 0.1% increase in COIT taxes. Some on Council were noting the percentages as” pay .1% and get 4% back- a no-brainer”- which is NOT mathematically correct. (.1% of your income, which is a larger number (example $40,000) does not = 4% of your property taxes, which is a smaller number (example $3,000.)

4. Andrew Harrison- Schneider Corp- for GIS. Harrison said Pickens invited him to present to Council. Harrison said Schneider is the oldest GIS company in Indiana- since 1962. He showed a list of 10 counties including Dearborn and about 10 other political entities that they serve with GIS. Harrison noted more counties doing this and more pressure to get it done form the public as it saves time and improves access to information both inside and outside the courthouse. The CADASTRAL fabric is what is needed as the foundation to tie our current data together. He estimates about a year to get it all done and about $500,000 or so.

Margaret Minzner noted that it takes about 6 months for a property split to be places on Mylar now. With this system, it could get down to 2 weeks.

Thompson spoke in support as well as letters from P/Z, Assessor, and Auditor’s offices.
Minzner got ordinances approved to establish funds for her part time help hired with GIS grants.

No decision yet on GIS services- perhaps at budget hearings.

5. Frank Kramer- attorney for DCRSD- presented – as Mike Hankins was recovering from medical procedure. Kramer noted that DCRSD serves the unincorporated areas of Dearborn County except for those served by VRUC and LMH. Several years ago a study was done by Woolpert and completed early this year showing critical areas needing sewers: High Ridge Estates, Guilford, Stewart and Cole Lane (discovered later) , and unincorporated area around St. Leon and the West Harrison TIF. There are no sewer lines serving these areas.[NOTE: St. Leon has sewer lines in much of that region.]

St. Leon has a treatment plant in the Longnecker, Barber road SR 52 area with a 300,000gpd capacity. They are looking to expand to 600,000 gpd total and we negotiated to participate in that expansion. This does NOT address the NW Quad area- which is separate in Jackson Township. DCRSD is looking to buy 45% of the 300,000gpd capacity or 135,000 gpd. Financially this was discussed with John Watson also- the attorney for St. Leon. 45% of 5,429,000 = $2,433,000 which is our share of the capacity. We also have 45% of $50,000 depreciation fund= $22,500. We would get a wholesale rate of $3.51/1000gal. Current rates in St, Leon at $52 base rate for first 4000 gal which is $13/1000 gal and $4.72/1000 after that. We stopped discussion with St. Leon- no funding- so if we have funding we could resume negotiations. Watson’s letter indicates St. Leon is ready to talk. Costs are engineering estimates – not construction costs. The operating cost of the plant is $3.51/1000gal.

There is uncertainty in the future- and St. Leon plans another 500,000gpd expansion. We are going to be sure we are not locked into the 2nd expansion if we don’t need it. We want the county to get their money back. Stewart St/Cole Lane pay about $10-11 per month in addition to their bill to pay back the county. This will take 40 years or so to accomplish at that rate. The costs for additional line to the West Harrison TIF are $870,000. DCRSD is asking for 45% of the $5mil to be released.

Ullrich: Is there resolution on the forced hook-up situation?

Kramer: We need a fund to loan them and then put a lien on houses or taxes to pay it back. Of course there are drawbacks to selling homes then.
We would have to establish a county ordinance on tap in fees to repay money to the county.

Cheek: DCRSD was to do High Ridge as first priority- how do you pay for it now?

Doug Baer: I’ll be addressing that next.

Fehrman: There’s $4.5 mil in the account.

Lansing: We’re gaining 135,000 gpd capacity. Woolpert says we need 300,000 for the West Harrison TIF! We keep talking about economic development. If this is for homes then I’m not in favor of it. [NOTE: There are several references to homes vs. businesses using the sewage dollars in tonight’s meeting. It looks like the Council thinks the West Harrison TIF usage might be more of a red herring than the real need for the capacity purchase. If DCRSD is pushing to get sewage around St. Leon and not getting enough capacity for the TIF even- then who exactly will be benefitting from this capacity purchase? There are county developers in that area and it would be a conflict of interest for one of them to be involved in this.]

Richard Butler- Attorney for Greendale (and also for the County Redevelopment Commission) - Greendale gets maligned for being in the way of DCRSD. We think we should sewer the most efficient way possible. We also think that people who already have it should not have to pay for others to get it. Is there a cheaper way to do this? You have fixed costs and depreciation of the plant and incremental treatment costs. The more customers you have to spread the fixed costs over- the better. If it costs $870,000 to put lines in the ground then put it in the ground and say to St. Leon- HERE- they are your customers now. If the county puts $900,000 in pipe in the ground, Greendale would take Guilford’s sewage too.

Your costs at St. Leon figure to $18,000 per dwelling and our costs at SDRSD are at $3,000 per dwelling. That’s a 600% difference.

Fehrman: But the county can be involved- it puts the county legitimately in the discussion.

Rozow: Wish Jim West were here to answer this- sometimes we just have to bite the bullet.
It costs $2.1 mil for a pipe from High Ridge to Dillsboro. Batesville and Ripley County are tearing us up in economic development. They have it all in place.

Thompson: The DCRSD was formed to take care of Cole Lane/Stewart St. and High Ridge. It became a countywide district without any public notice and wasn’t even listed on the agenda of commissioner’s meeting. There was no public input. I have previously talked about the irregularities on Cole Lane and Stewart St and payments there. DCEDI’s website does NOT do anything to promote TIF districts- not like their other properties. I have a problem- how are we to pay for economic development? Existing citizens are paying for those lines. We need a more comprehensive plan- I have advocated a countywide coalition- no warfare on service areas and costly lawsuits. I’d vote NO if this were to service housing- that’s not economic development. The additional pipes operations etc are not in this figure. Look at ALL the factors. IF YOU PUT SEWER OUT THERE, WHERE IS THE REST OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE- SCHOOLS, ROADS, WATER, AND EMS ETC.? You need to be ready for it all.

Morris: Are there provisions for them to buy us out if we don’t use it?

Kramer: we’re negotiating that.

Morris: The County is looked at unfavorably from the outside- we need to take some actions on some fronts.

Kraus: Mike Rozow- where is all this Ripley County development going on besides Batesville?

Rozow: Well they have shovel ready sites.

Kraus: They have Hillenbrands, which is better than having Argosy.

Butler: Lend your money to the Redevelopment Commission- get a document- an agreement- that REQUIRES payback. Structure it so that you are certain to get taxpayer’s dollars back.

Morris motioned and Barrott 2nd to approve $2,433,000 for St. Leon Expansion. 2 Ayes (Morris and Barrott), 1 Abstain (Kraus who arrived late), and 3 Nays (Ullrich, Lansing, and Cheek) Fehrman didn’t vote- no tie to break. MOTION FAILED.

Doug Baer presented the option for High Ridge Estates where the county would expand and modify the existing permit at Walston’s Trailer Park owned by Rollins and Noel. This could serve High Ridge, Huesman Road and Walstons. The county would operate the package plant and would use 50,000 gpd of the capacity. They can use the other 50,000 gpd for a transfer station to Aurora eventually. The plant will be designed for 100,000 gpd.
Total cost $1.5 mil with 140 users at $10,750 each.
Kraus motioned for $116,000 for design engineering on the sewer package plant.

Thompson noted that 50,000 gpd will be for Gabbard Estates and that high Ridge residents haven’t paid their fees for the past 12 years. High Ridge owns their own distribution lines. [NOTE: If there are 100 homes in Phase 1 Gabbard Estates Development that would average 310 gpd each = 31,000 gpd of the 50,000 excess capacity in the treatment plant.]

Cheek 2nd the motion. 3 ayes (Cheek, Kraus and Ullrich) and 3 Nays (Lansing, Morris, and Barrott) Fehrman broke the tie and voted Aye- Motion Passed.
Morris told Fehrman that she voted Nay because this was for houses- not economic development.

6. Phil Weaver- Clerk- $54,000 approved for voting machines for the visually impaired. 46 machines cost $290,000 and this is what is left for county to pay.
$35,000 was approved from the clerk perpetuation fun (which contains $45,000) to use for imaging equipment to get all court documents digitized for computer storage and eventual microfilm. CSI will furnish the software.

7. Will Stevens for Camp Chazon in Dillsboro requested $3300 from Youth Services fund (which normally only grants $1,000 per year to each requester) for chemicals to treat duckweed blooms on 2 fishing lakes. The Camp is primarily a church camp which also serves Boy Scouts, Respect for Law, and other groups. They have spent $1800 treating the surface problem and bow need $3300 to get at the root of the problem. Approved. Fehrman abstained as he has directed the camp in years past. Stevens noted that he first met Cary Pickens’s daughter, Amanda, when they were both at Camp Chazon.

[NOTE: WOOSH! - That’s the sound of taxpayer money being flushed. Duck weed is next to impossible to eradicate. Some people use it as fertilizer or livestock feed. Perhaps the scouts could consider that project when it grows back.]

8. Aurora Lions requested $1000 from Youth Services for Farmers Fair activities. Approved.

9. Auditor- Cary Pickens- requested $25,000 in legal fees on bankruptcy cases and PSEG appeals. Approved. $26,000 for PERF increases approved. $5,000 from Perpetuation Fund for Minute books approved. $54,000 from old 203 fund ($93,000) in it) for 3 recording systems for judges at $18,000 each. Approved. (See Humphrey’s request for background on this above)

10. Highway- Todd Listerman- Triple Whipple let in Oct and $260,000 transferred into the account to cover this. 80/20 with the state and most will be reimbursed to us later. Approved.
Transfer $100,000 approved from MVHA on equipment insurance that was reduced this year to use for repair and maintenance. Line striping has to be advertised to be transferred for next meeting.

Listerman announced his hiring of Tim Grieve as ass’t hwy supervisor for $39,000 instead of the $54,000 for previous position.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

23 July 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

23 July 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mike Hall, Chairman, Dennis Kraus, Jr., Nick Held, Robert Laws, Tarry Feiss, Patrick De Maynadier, Ken Nelson, and Ralph Thompson.
Also present: Mark McCormack, Planning Director, Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.

Council has not appointed a member to replace Mark Mitter, who resigned from Council as he has a new job in the Indianapolis area.

Meeting started late (7:20) due to US 50 repaving and traffic issues. Laws arrived at 7:25 and Thompson arrived at 7:35.

Old Business re-opened- Villages of Sugar Ridge on Lot 156 with dimensional variances requested for front yard setbacks and sidewalk location and distance between two proposed intersections. Location- Augusta Drive in Miller Township on 7.013 acres zoned PUD (Planned Unit Development). Owner is TBS Development, LLC and the applicant is Hrezo Engineering. Lisa Lehner is the attorney representing the owners. She had a letter that was in the boards packets.

Material presented was only new information. Board members updated themselves on the previous meeting information. [NOTE: It became obvious later that the old minutes on the acceptance of Sugar Ridge and subsequent meetings would have been useful in the commission’s packets.] The density for this section is less than proposed initially (now 4.28 units/acre vs. 4.4) This does NOT translate into increased density somewhere else in the PUD however, per the commission at the previous meeting.


DeMaynadier: Where is the bond?

Todd Listerman, Transportation Director: We’re working with Mr. Macke, the developer, to secure letters of credit for $300,000, which is 25% of the original $1.2 million bond. Macke’s engineer is Land Consultants (formerly the Survey Co) and they are working with the county to figure the bonds. [NOTE: Why is the APPLICANT’S engineer telling the COUNTY what to charge for a bond? I thought the COUNTY is supposed to charge an amount to protect the taxpayers from having to pay for improvements should it become necessary to call the bond in.]

Nelson: Why did the bond expire?

Listerman: The developer or institution is supposed to notify us when the bond is due to lapse. They didn’t. We didn’t catch it or follow up on it. We are working on fixing that procedure. [NOTE: That procedure was fixed- someone in the staff didn’t do their job.]

Mike Macke: I didn’t know the letter of credit expired. I do business with a different bank now. I should have it in a couple weeks. I’d like to put the bike trail in now- there is no HOA to maintain the bike trail, the county is supposed to maintain that and the storm water areas.

Feiss: I thought the HOA was set up to do this.

Macke: No. We’ve invested $24 million up there to date. We’ve done everything we’ve been told to do. I’m staying here at the meeting to address every issue you have. (Macke was on his way to Indy and turned around to attend meeting at TBS’s request)

TBS- Paul Raney of Hrezo Eng: We’re asking to put in an intersection at a distance less than design code to use a naturally occurring highpoint for sight distance. We’re asking to put buildings closer to the street and some will only have 19 ft from the sidewalk to the garage so as to take advantage of terrain for walk outs and for increased greenspace in the back for golf view.

Nelson: What are the deed restrictions?

Macke: We have things in there about golf balls hitting properties so that homeowners know the risks. We concentrated the homes on the ridges to get the views. We will maintain the golf course where it is.

Nelson: Retention ponds?

Macke: It’s 90 % golf course- we want to collect water and keep it. If that’s an issue, we can work it out with you. If we have to maintain storm sewers, we’ll do it.

Nelson: You’re saying the GOLF COURSE will collect the water when they aren’t causing it?

Macke: That’s cheaper for us than buying water.
[NOTE: There is NO AGREEMENT between the owners of these sections sold off and the golf course or the county on storm water runoff. This was NOT the way it was presented in the original zone change and primary plat acceptance. The HOA was to maintain this.]

Nelson: What about bike trails?

Macke: We will build them to county specs and the county will maintain it. We can switch to sidewalks if you want- probably would be cheaper. [NOTE: Macke could have pulled this ruse off in OHIO maybe- but in Dearborn County in the last 12 years for sure, as I have attended meetings at the PC there have been NO INSTANCES of the county maintaining any sidewalks, trails, or storm water ponds.]

Each condo group has an HOA. There is a larger HOA but not for the single- family homes. [NOTE: There is a problem of overlapping HOA’s- this is a legal mess.]

Thompson: Mark (McCormack), did our original plans have the county encumbered to maintain bike trails and stormwater?

McCormack: All our cases have private HOA’s maintaining stormwater. There are also 4-5 private streets in this and the separate HOA’s per Macke are Villages of Sugar Glen, the one looking at tonight, the area on Oakmont, Cottages of Sugar Ridge, etc.

Lisa Lehner: Attorney for TBS, LLC. The two owners are in the audience in the orange shirt and in eth black shirt. [NOTE: Why not introduce them by name?] TBS feels caught between the PC and Macke. TBS is not the PUD developer. The bond lapsed through no fault of TBS and TBS is not part of the discussion on bike paths etc. I don’t know legally if the prohibition on the permit is on TBS. There doesn’t seem to be any opposition voice to anything on TBS’s application. I have a couple questions I’d like directed to Arnie McGill (board att’y). Has the PC been delegated authority by the county to make these changes?

McGill: Yes- it’s in our ordinance.

Lehner: A denial of this does not preclude TBS from proceeding with no changes made and no variances?

Board: If the improvement bond is NOT posted, then they still can’t proceed. (In either case)

Nelson: We should straighten out the HOA issues now before something snowballs into something worse.

Lehner: TBS appreciates that- they wish it had been fixed 6 months ago too.

DeMaynadier: can we have a list of all the parties involved?

Lehner: TBS bought property from Jason Guard… Discussion continued showing a mish-mash of property names and owners- ultimately:
Eagle Golf sold to TBS, LLC of Kenton County. MT Investments owns the golf course. (MT is Macke and Carl Tuke (sp?)) They also own Eagle Golf.

Thompson: How many other entities are involved in this whole PUD?

Macke: Villages of Sugar Ridge is about 100 lots. Sold condos to Robert Irwin (?) of Coach Development. The third phase is Sugar View, LLC. MT Investments is the golf course, Sugar Heights, Eagle Golf, Sugar Ridge Construction, and 100 or so lots owned by individuals. These were all set up separately for individual loans- most of them are really the same owner.


Laws: Concerned with HOA, lapsed bonds, and bike trail responsibility.

Feiss: In addition to Laws comments also the conformity and consistency in the whole PUD.

Thompson: No bonds in place, the county is indicated as doing maintenance and it’s out of the ROW and storm sewer maintenance are concerns. Multiple HOA’s is a future nightmare. Uniformity with all the different groups.

DeMaynadier: I see 2 buckets of issues: The applicant and his variances and the bond, trail, stormwater and consistency of the PUD itself. The standards of variances in section 160 have not been addressed either.

Thompson: The intersection issue was safety related.

Nelson: Part of the PUD receives its zoning THOUGHT the PUD. The variance seeks to amend the requirements of the Villages of Sugar Ridge. It must be consistent with the PUD plat. The HOA is part of Sugar Ridge. Land vision requires the improvement plan to be filed and BONDING TO BE IN PLACE to assure the improvements are made. If there is a violation – section 645 of our code requires a suspension until this is fixed.

Nelson: I move to continue this petition (table it) until the PC attorney assures us that the bonding and platting requirements and maintenance requirements are in place and a budget also. There should be an appropriate schedule for improvements supplied. If this is not completed by Sept 30, then ALL PERMITS to this entire PUD will cease until it is accomplished. In addition, we will notify the county commissioners of this.
Thompson: I second that motion.

Lehner: Interrupts- wanting the PC to approve the variances conditionally.

[NOTE: A motion was on the table-this was not in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. And it only got worse- see below for more input from the applicant while the motion is still on the table.]

Nelson: Would have done this a week ago, but there is a larger issue and you have to demonstrate how this variance fits the code.

Lehner: My clients need to know where they stand- if they need to redesign or not.
Mike Hrezo: I thought they addressed the variances thoroughly safety for the intersection and also utilizing walkouts and greenspace behind for the golf course- a 13 ft variance total.

Nelson: We can’t entertain ANYTHING- UNTIL THE VIOLATION IS CURED! [NOTE: Nelson is 100% correct.]

McGill: A motion was made?

Mike Hall: YES

McGill: There’s discussion- who is having it?

Hall: It’s proliferated.

[NOTE: McGill is trying to get the board back to order.]

There was a 10-minute recess here to get the audio fixed for the tape.

McCormack: Reiterates what McGill said- discussion is closed. We can take issue on the variance but they can’t proceed until there is a bond- so no site plan can be reviewed. Section 460 covers bond expiration. We should table to a specific month or else we have to notify all adjoiners again- and that’s about a $500 expense for applicant. [NOTE: Not including their attorney fees for tonight.]

Nelson: I disagree- we have to consider both together- we wouldn’t be seeing the rest of this had they not applied for this in the first place.

Motion was voted on to get it off the table to start over with 5 nays and 3 ayes.

Discussion re-opened:

Bob Hrezo: passed out the variance details in a page to all members, which they read silently.

Lehner: Suggested they vote on variance tonight and then get a senses of whether these variances will work or not. That won’t prevent you from enforcing the bond issues. Also requested tabling to a date so applicant doesn’t have to pay again for notification and less staff time involved.
[NOTE: The County never seems to learn this lesson. Conditional acceptances lead to bigger messes- note Ameritech on the Gabbard Property, Schmidt with White’s Hill Development, and Maxwell with Barber Road Development. This merely puts the county in the middle of two potentially suing parties.]

McCormack: Some tech review items were not completed- though minor in nature.

Thompson: How did this get here with tech review incomplete?

McCormack: They are minor and not related to the variance specifically.
[NOTE: Still they’ve had two months to get that done. And if it’s minor details- it should be easy.]

Closed public discussion.

Nelson motioned and DeMaynadier 2nd to approve the variance requested based on improved safety, improved site views of units in topography with a better view of the golf course. In accordance with articles 440 and 645 acceptance is conditioned upon NO development plan being permitted until the PUD issues are resolved. Bonds in place. There should be scheduled items necessary to complete the PUD and an assignment of responsibilities for maintenance of greenspace, bike trails, storm water, snow removal, street cleaning, retention basin cleaning, storm water collection, etc. If after September these are not addressed, then ALL PERMITS in Villages of Sugar Ridge shall cease and county commissioners will be notified.
All ayes.

[NOTE: Why does Macke’s permits continue until Sept 30 and TBS can’t? Who is the real violator here?]

Thompson motioned and Feiss 2nd to open discussion of the history of actions on the PUD with Mike Macke. All ayes.

Feiss: What do you anticipate the PUD consisting of? Consistency in homes? Decreased greenspace?

Macke: The greenspace is the same amount as in the beginning, and our engineers sent this number to McCormack. [NOTE: Calculations reportedly included private yards as greenspace.]

Feiss: You didn’t cut trees?

Macke: We cut less trees, but we moved things around so we shouldn’t have to cut ALL the trees on the 20 acres where that would go. Driving range would have required taking all trees to the creek. Depends on how you treat greenspace. Building 40 smaller condos so the rest is greenspace. No black top parking lot- we combined it with an existing one.

Question: When you sell to TBS etc are they all aware of the covenants you had- the golf course, the banquet facility, the practice range, the certain number of homes and condos, patio homes etc.?

Feiss: I see nothing different from a regular old subdivision.

Macke: VIEWS!

Feiss: View doesn’t make it a PUD. [NOTE: Macke does not seem to understand that a PUD is a trade –off to get certain amenities, the county lessens density restrictions.]

Macke: We started with 315 homes- you can’t do that in this market now. We’re at a 10-year buildout now. We have the golf course, but we haven’t built the banquet facility. We sold eth commercial site to someone who specializes in that and so that is built. We can’t do the banquet until cash is in and the market turns around. [NOTE: This contradicts Mark Rosenberger’s assertion in a previous blog entry about what is really stymied the development in the county.] We want to start the sidewalks and bike paths the county needed 75% buildout first to maintain these. [NOTE: WHAT??? Where is he getting this drivel?] Macke is going to check the Survey Co and notes first on this he says. The bike path goes up the hill just like the road- topography here was no secret.

Four current PC members were involved in the initial approval of this PUD.

Feiss: The picture we were painted is not what I see. It looks just like a subdivision.

Macke: There is one master association for the condos- I have no problem having several HOAS. There are small private drives and each condo HOA set pays for them.

VINCE KARSTETTER- I am the problem neighbor Macke referred to. A driving range is not the same as a practice range. He cleared the land behind me and had Sizemore Landscaping put in sod there. T- boxes were in place. Travis Miller- who is not here to defend himself- supposedly approved all these changes on Dec 27, 2005- his last day of work here. Then they were going to build condos. Gehring moved dirt for 3-4-5 months. They took out lots of trees and burned daily, a neighbor called the Bright Fire Dept to complain each day that happened because ash was raining on our homes. It’s not quite the way Mr. Macke says it was.

Macke: When we initially clear property we are required to seed and straw that.

Karstetter: It was sod!

Macke: You’ve got to be kidding me.

End discussion. No decisions.

Proposed amendments to DC Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance were discussed.

Language to be addressed in clarifying PUD requirements and major and minor changes. McCormack will also redraft and address buffers, density, POAs etc in more detail. There is no way the county can pay to maintain private amenities per Listerman.

Bonds and letters of credit and that entire section is being reworked. They are looking at 3 years- as no construction seems to be less than that historically. Listerman noted that Macke is looking at bringing in 6 different letters of credit from 6 different banks. [ NOTE: WHOA! It takes 6 different banks to cover a $300,000 bond? Something doesn’t smell right here.] Notifications of lapsing are being strongly worded. Performance bonds are to be 20% over construction cost estimates per section 405.

I left at this point and called PC office to see what else was covered.

Article 3 and 5 were approved to proceed to Commissioners for approval.

The master plan will be discussed with the Advisory Board in August and hearings are tentatively set for September.

Meeting adjourned at about 11:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Sunday, July 22, 2007

19 July 2007 DCRSD Meeting Notes

Submitted by Ralph Thompson
Commissioner District 3
Washington Township

The following notes are provided in an effort to record the transactions of the meeting without editorial comment, except clarification of events.

19 July 2007 DCRSD Meeting Notes

Present: Chairman, Hankins (MH), Enzweiler (DE), Pruss (BP), Dennerline (RD), and Adams (JA). Maxwell and Fehrman were not present.
Also Present: Quinn (TQ), Quinn Engineering; Benning (VB), Secretary; Frank Kramer (FK), Board Attorney; Robert Hrezo, Hrezo Engineering; Woolpert representative; Chuck Andres; 2 others and Ralph Thompson.

Secretary, Doug Baer, Health Dept. was absent due to wife's recent heart attack.

Meeting started at approximately 7:00 PM in the Commissioner's Meeting Room. Meeting was not recorded.

Meeting Notes
Meeting Notes for June 17, 2007 approved (Several people were talking and it was difficult to determine who moved and seconded).


On July 10, 2007, SDRSD held a scheduled Board meeting. Dennerline, Fehrman and Kramer attended that meeting. SDRSD had formed a subcommittee regarding DCRSD's membership in SDRSD. SDRSD indicated they would offer a non voting, planning seat to the County.SDRSD sent a letter to Mr. Kramer. The letter offers a non voting seat to the County, not DCRSD and will not work through DCRSD to serve new customers adjacent to SDRSD's borders, as they feel one district serving customers through another is duplication and not to the advantage of the customers. Kramer had presented a copy of SDRSD's letter to the Board members. A copy of the SDRSD letter is appended to these notes (see below).

West Aurora Project

Discussion on the proposed package treatment plant at the old Walston's trailer court. "It's time to move forward with planning. This is the most expeditious way to move forward." A copy of Woolpert's study should be sent to IDEM for permitting. (Note: In a prior meeting DCRSD had decided to ignore Woolpert recommendation for a package treatment plant and negotiate with Dillsboro for sewage to be handled by Dillsboro. Dillsboro indicated they would serve Highridge Estates, but would not serve areas outside their water district including the proposed Gabbard Estates subdivision - the land on the south side of US 50 where Brett Fehrman's realty sign is displayed.) To amend the discharge permit, a full set of design documents will be needed. It is easier to amend an existing permit than obtain a new one. To avoid delay they need to move forward.
The question was asked "What was needed to go to the Lawrenceburg Bond Bank and IDEM for a December permit?" A complete set of plans and how to pay it would be needed. They had a proposal from Quinn Engineering from the last meeting. DE: I thought we were going to send it out for an RFP. RD:What's the quickest way to turn it around? The purpose of an RFP was to get competitive bids for such a large project. ( Note: At the last meeting this was preferred to show an above board process and TQ's proposal was asked to be kept confidential to allow him to compete - even though the proposal was a public document since it had been submitted to the Board.) RD: That would delay the project. Do we have to do that (an RFP)? FK: Professional services do not have to be bid.
The discussion continued on whether to put out an RFP or proceed with TQ. Chuck Andres (CA) said from the audience, they should contact RCAP(?) regarding help. The question was asked if RCAP had worked locally. CA: RCAP has worked in neighboring counties. VB: Met with Susan Craig(?) - no way they can help right now; but, will continue searching(?). RD: Need to proceed, to move forward with plans and permit; but, not construction. Start design. We don't have a clue on getting money from anybody. Someday the state will come down on Highridge Estates.
RD moved to proceed, JA seconded. All aye except DE. TQ was asked how long to complete. TQ: Four months to complete design and amendment to discharge permit to NPDES. Proposal was not available for amount. VB offered to get a copy. Postponed till later in the meeting.

Serenity Ridge

LMH has forwarded concerns on the revised contract to DCRSD. No signed contract and rates yet. FK drafted a letter to the residents missing the information from LMH. RD wanted to know about maintenance. Should they contract with LMH? or charge individuals? MH: Maintenance of the line will be up to DCRSD. Underground Utility Repair Corp. will be used. He has a schedule of charges.
Not sure how to bill monthly. Could DCRSD master meter? TQ: Would cost more to measure low flow and it is very inaccurate. It was suggested to use water bills. TriTown Water(?) can provide the usage. Average design flows are 310 GPD (gallons per day). Need to get back in touch with Jay (or Jake) (?) to get precise numbers. TQ: Need to add individual house connection charge (tap in fee). FK: Separate tap in charges? TQ: Yes, the cost is the construction cost divided by the number or houses, approximately $8,000. RD: Money must be in the bank to start construction. It was noted that some may have to contribute more initially to get the project going if everyone did not participate. They would get rebates later as others joined and paid. Would waive tap in fee for construction charge. Need to contact property Owners to make arrangements to pick up the information.
TQ has submitted a $5,000 proposal to proceed with construction administration. Didn't have a copy of the proposal available from the last meeting present at this meeting. VB offered to get it. TQ: Bid next week (for construction?), even though we don't have the LMH contract.
Need collection and maintenance costs. Will an inter-governmental agreement be needed with the water company to provide the numbers (water usage). No, but TTW will not bill. Can Tucker bill for sewage? MH: DCRSD will have to send out bills .With the small number (18) DCRSD can handle the billing in house. Board decided to leave it to MH's discretion as to when to bring in the Homeowners.

St. Leon

Build out of the St. Leon waste water treatment plant (WWTP) was next on the agenda. MH was asked to again talk to Council about funding for 130,000 GPD share of capacity. DCRSD's cost: $2.4 million or $155,000 per year. This would allow them to provide service to development in the north. They would need to be hard enough about capacity charges to set up capital improvement fund and repay Council. Should they pay lump sum ($2.4M) or annual. Lump sum would save about $200,000 in interest. That doesn't cover annual treatment costs. Should they go back to Council? Want to move forward; but, how to repay Council. Don't have any customers. RD: If a 200 or 500 home subdivision comes in will they have tap in fees? MH: DCRSD can develop own fee schedule, don't know what amounts now. They tried to do as an investment in the future; but, the TIF districts could be a flop. How will they pay it back then. "DCRSD will be holding the barrel." " Without customers, there is no sense spending the money." There will be a long amortization period. Need to know conditions up front.

MH then said to Ralph Thompson (RT) in the audience, that last time he went before Council RT had a lot to say. Has RT changed his stance? RT: With the current constitution of the Board and members, I have not changed my opinion. MH: Would you care to elaborate? RT: No.

New Business

SEIRPC as a possible source of funds?


DE(?) moved to pay claims, JA seconded. Approved.

West Aurora Project

DE left to get a copy of the Quinn Engineering proposal for the West Aurora Project.
Quinn Engineering's proposal for design is $116,000 with 10% retainage(?).
At this point, MH and DE had quiet discussion that could not be overheard from the audience.
MH: We were talking about the WWTP proposal. It (the proposal?) lacks definition for certain design costs, surveying and site preparation. It lacks specificity to site preparation costs, construction costs. TQ: The proposal does not include construction services.
DE: Is site feasible? MH: GRW had evaluated (before they were replaced). There is site prep(aration) needed and a road from US 50 for service or from Lower Dillsboro Rd. That access is too steep. RD: How much land is required? TQ: About 1/2 acre for 100,000GPD with sand filters.
RD: How much is required to get a permit from IDEM? TQ: Construction plans.
RD: May be cheaper to buy out Highridge Estates, than to fix the problem. The people at Highridge Estates have no options. I would hate to be in their shoes.
It was determined DCRSD doesn't have $116,000 in accounts. And can't get construction permit without plans. No action without money. (Note: Lehner, as previous Board Attorney was paid almost $100,000 from accounts.) They have been turned down by Lawrenceburg for more funds. DCF (who provided initial funding) has denied request for a grant this time around. VB: They also turned down GIS request.
RD: Project dead until we can secure funding how do we undo. MH: Recant. RD(?) moved to recant West Aurora Project (including Highridge Estates).

CA from audience said funds are available from Rural Affairs, State Revolving Fund and RDA(?). They may even include funds for preliminary engineering costs. RD moved to put on hold seeking funding. BP seconded. Approved.

Adjourned at approximately 9:00 PM.

Matthew P. Zerbe Letter for SDRSD

Attorney & Mediator
30 E. High Street. P. O. Box 4066
Lawrenceburg. Indiana. 47025
(812)537-LA WS (5297) www.zerbelaw.com matt@zerbelaw.com

July 18,2007

Frank Kramer
Ewbank, Kramer, & Dornette
114 W. High St.
P. O. Box 4200
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025-4200


Dear Frank:

Thank you for your letter of March 21, 2007 regarding the provision of sewer service. The South Dearborn Regional Sewer District (SDRSD) formed a subcommittee of its members to explore the SDRSD's role in providing sewer service to areas adjacent to or near the districts borders. This subcommittee met and provided its findings to the entire SDRSD Board on June 12, 2007 with DCRSD members present. The SDRSD Board concurred with the subcommittee's findings which are as follows.

1) The SDRSD has the expertise and financial ability to provide sewer service to areas adjacent or near the District boundaries.

2) Sewer service by the SDRSD will be the most economical means to perform this task.

3) Having another sewer district join an existing district to provide sewer service appears to be duplication of governmental services and will only increase costs to the residents of the County.

4)The SDRSD has offered in years past and more recently to allow some type of advisory membership of the County, not the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District (DCRSD), to the SDRSD to provide input and guidance on extending sewer service to areas of the County adjacent or near the SDRSD borders.

5) The DCRSD operations should be directed to areas of the County not adjacent to municipalities and sewer districts that can economically serve the area in need.

If you propose to obtain capacity at the SDRSD to serve areas that the SDRSD can now easily serve, the SDRSD does not see the merit. Again, this is a duplication of governmental services and will only lead to higher sewer costs for the residents of the County. The SDRSD agrees with your assessment of the minimal needs of the DCRSD in the near future. Per the DCRSD Woolpert Report, two of the 4 priority areas for improvements are near St. Leon and the other two areas that have minimal sewer demands and can most likely be served by the SDRSD directly.

We appreciate your interest in the SDRSD's operations. We do feel there is common ground that we can work together on in providing such an important service to our County residents in an economical manner.


Matthew P. Zerbe

Cc: Ralph Thompson
Jeffery Hughes
Richard Fox
Bryan Messmore

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Dearborn County Home Builders Association
P.O. Box 21 Aurora, IN 47001
Phone: 812-926-3375
Website: www.dchba.com


July 12, 2007

Dearborn County Commissioners
215 B West High Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

Re: Home Building Industry in the County

Dear Commissioners:

As you are aware the Dearborn County Home Builder’s Association has created a sub-committee called the development council. This council was chartered to provide better value to the people of Dearborn County and the members of the association.
We are forwarding this letter to your attention because we want to be a part of the decisions made in the county. DCHBA can provide professional assistance on matters that relate to the home construction business.

We are also providing this letter to bring to your attention a serious concern to the business climate in the county. Residential home construction starts for the year 2005 numbered 301 single-family homes. Last year housing starts in the county experienced a downward turn with 206 single-family units started. This year we are on pace to have the lowest number of housing starts in over 20 years: 150 single-family starts. This dramatic decrease is producing serious consequences to the job market of some 2500 plus workers in the County.

We believe that the majority of the problem lies in the county not moving in a positive direction. We need to move this county forward. We cannot afford status quo anymore.

We appreciate your time and civic duty and want to meet with you to discuss further. If you have any questions, please contact me at 537-9064.


Mark A. Rosenberger

Cc: Commissioner Fox
Commissioner Hughes
Commissioner Thompson
DCHBA Board of Directors

Comments Section on Blog Entries Improved

Comments Section on Blog Improved

When you enter the comment section you CAN now post with initials (made up ones or real ones- you choose) or a pen name.

Your email and identity are still unknown unless you choose to reveal them.

To make it easier for responses to particular postings it would be helpful for all commenters to use this feature.

Just log in as OTHER rather than ANONYMOUS. Then underneath put in your pen name or initials you choose to use.

Christine Brauer Mueller
LAwrenceburg Township

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

17 July 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

17 July 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

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

A uniformed police officer was also present.

Mike Rozow - Chamber of Commerce was present in the audience.
Jim West of DCEDI removed himself from the agenda earlier. [NOTE: Does this mean he won't pesent to Council next week?]
Vieste representative- Dick Robertson was NOT present.

1. Don Townsend- Building Dept. presented a repeat hearing on a burned out house at 5345 Dutch Hollow Road to allow for notification of 2 other parties with an interest in the property- JP Morgan Chase Bank and Countrywide Home Loans. (Keaton is owner- somewhere in California- but unable to be found). Ewbank swore Townsend in again- no one was present to testify or comment for or against the demolition. There is a 60-day window for the owner to show and/or take control and demolish the home. If not- the county will take money and do it with the bill being added to the property taxes. If unpaid, the property will go for tax sale. Thompson motioned and Fox 2nd to proceed with demolishing the home in 60 days for health and safety reasons. All ayes.

2. Veterans Officer- Bill Ewbank- gave an update on the veteran’s transport van. Briefly- the new Windstar they were to obtain through donations was caught in a mess of red tape and bureaucratic rules. They had to give back donations and are back to using the 1998 Econoline van. Ewbank has volunteers to drive- and ridership has doubled, but the VA regulations are proving to be a problem. [NOTE: Would a few well –orchestrated calls and emails and letters to state and federal representatives help fix this problem for ALL VA officers?]

3. Hylant Group- the Property and Casualty Carrier for the county gave a mid-term report showing claims and costs and a reported savings of up to $45,000 this year on $265,000 total. ( It was unclear if the $265,000 was premium or something else) Loss ratio was 18% at $23,244. Fifteen suggestions were made for safety and maintenance in the county and Messmore and the Safety Committee have implemented many. The County is using the IN Municipal Ins Program with Argonaut as the carrier and Hylant/Trident as Agents.
We are carrying $1 million in insurance in case something happens to Argosy.

Thompson asked what Argosy income was- Pickens said $ 7 million from Argosy and $5 million from Lawrenceburg. It would appear we are underinsured. The insurer is looking into a quote for increasing this amount. [NOTE: This insurance covers various things (as result of flood, fire, etc), but does it covers the loss of the riverboat as in it goes out of business or declines in revenue?]

4. Todd Listerman was not present- no highway report. [NOTE: Thus a very short meeting!]

5. Claims paid and Minutes approved.

6. Messmore- Letters from Listerman to INDOT approved at last meeting were signed- requesting an option of restricting trucks to RIGHT lane only on US 50 unless turning left.

7. Messmore also presented info on replacing commissioner’s chairs as several have broken and are unsafe to sit in (they tip over) The chairs are expensive- Messmore will proceed with a not to exceed $7,000 option. They will also find lower chairs for the conference table. Fox and Thompson voted aye and Hughes Nay- he thought the chairs were comfortable.
[NOTE: Unfortunately, the public chairs will stay the same. Hopefully Messmore can take advantage of August being a big month for furniture sales.]

8. Ewbank updated commissioners on the continuing saga of Anchor Glass bankruptcy filings. They will pay the $100,000+ in real estate taxes, but the federal judge will likely disallow the personal property taxes of nearly $400,000 in an effort to keep Anchor Glass operational.
Ewbank said this was called a CRAM DOWN- as they cram it down on us- local gov’ts are treated pretty much like any other citizen creditor. [ NOTE: I suppose we could just pretend this is a $400,000 tax abatement… to keep them here in business.]

Meeting adjourned 7:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vieste Writes Their Own Letter of Recommendation

Vieste Writes Their Own Letter of Recommendation

The following is a letter drafted BY Vieste, LLC and delivered TO the County by Dick Robertson. They want the County Commissioners to sign this as part of their separation agreement.

The separation agreement has a clause, which states:

“Section 5. No Disparagement. The parties agree their determination to terminate the Service Agreement was mutual and the separation is amicable. As a result, each party will refrain from making any disparaging or derogatory statements about the other except as may be required by subpoena or in connection with any investigation by a law enforcement or regulatory agency. In addition, CLIENT will provide CONSULTANT with a letter of recommendation covering CONSULTANT’S services in form and content satisfactory to CLIENT.”

It is important to note that CLIENT is the COUNTY and CONSULTANT is VIESTE, LLC.

This letter was drawn up by Vieste and emailed to the County be printed on County letterhead:

June 25, 2007

RE: Letter of Recommendation – Vieste, LLC

To Whom It May Concern:

On September 12, 2006, the Dearborn County Board of Commissioners (“County”) engaged VIESTE, LLC to develop a Comprehensive Capital Program Management Plan for the County.

Phase I of the project included an assessment of immediate, mid-term and long-term capital requirements for the County. An audit of the County’s financial processes, along with alternative funding strategy recommendations, was developed and submitted by VIESTE and the County’s financial advisor. The comprehensive plan that was developed by VIESTE is a critical piece of the economic development in Dearborn County.

However, because of the lack of political consensus within the community, it was the joint conclusion of the entire team, including VIESTE, that more time was needed by County government to garner sufficient community support to ensure a successful Phase II implementation.

Phase II of the project was scheduled to commence after completion of the assessment. VIESTE and the Capital Program Management team were to oversee implementation and execution of all capital projects, including those identified during the Phase I study.

For the record, Dearborn County was very pleased with the deliverables and overall work performed by Vieste, LLC, and would enthusiastically endorse the use of the firm to others. The Dearborn County Board of Commissioners thanks VIESTE and its team for their time and efforts in furthering the interests of Dearborn County.


Jeff Hughes, President Dearborn County Commissioners

Rick Fox

Ralph Thompson

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Some County Sewer Issues to be Covered in Thursday Paper

This morning at 10 AM there was a meeting at the SDRSD (South Dearborn Regional Sewer District) Office. Greendale, Lawrenceburg,and Aurora reps were present as usual. County Commissioner Ralph Thompson, DCRSD (Dearborn County Regional Sewer District) was represented by their attorney Frank Kramer along with Brett Fehrman and Rodney Dennerline, DCRSD board members. VRUC from HVL also had representatives in attendance.

Rather than give second hand information on the details of this meeting I strongly encourage those interested in sewer issues to pick up this Thursday's edition of the Register. They had a reporter in attendance. I asked when they'd do their report and they told me that they plan to do the story this week.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

3 July 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

3 July 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, Chairman, Fox, and Thompson
Also present: Pickens, Auditor
A uniformed officer was present.

ABSENT: Messmore, Administrator and Ewbank, Attorney

1. Fox motioned and Thompson 2nd to TABLE again- Jim West and DCEDI’s request to go to Council for $80,000. West was not present.

2. Transportation – Todd Listerman gave a 30-minute report.

1. Introduced the new assistant highway supervisor who works directly under Listerman- Tim Grieve is a lifetime resident of Dearborn and came from a previous position as the Assistant Superintendent of Roads for West Chester Township in Cincinnati. He has an associate’s degree in horticulture management and is a graduate of SDHS in Aurora. Tim started work June 23. Commissioners welcomed Grieve.

2. Hughes was OK’d to sign the contract agreements for county paving with O’Mara to be completed in 50 days. Listerman hopes to have it completed before school starts in August.

3. Supplemental agreement for $7900 for Bells Branch Bridge was approved. There were issues of archaeological areas to be staked, the approaches to the bridge needed variances,etc.

4. A change order of $8100.09 for the HVL entrance radius improvement to accommodate wide trailers was approved for safety reasons. The gravel shoulder will be paved.

5. Listerman was OK’d to send a letter to INDOT (Bob Williams) to see if they can get the trucks on US 50 to have to use the R lane to increase traffic flow. Listerman is asking their engineers to see if it will help congestion.

6. Cook Road has cul –de- sac turn around installed at owner’s expense at the end. ROW is already dedicated. Fox noted the old road that extends beyond that looks like an Indian trail. Hughes said he didn’t know of any roads around here that don’t look like that.

7. Hoffman Road also has cul-de-sac in place and it matches the road inventory for maintenance.

8. Commissioners OK’d Listerman to continue to check on using the Rack properties on Randall Avenue for consolidating Highway districts. It has sewer and is Industrial zoned. This would help with EPA compliance issues. Listerman has put this possibility into his budget request. Payment can be worked out over time with Rack possibly. He will follow procedures with Messmore on this.

9. Fox wants to explore moving Collier Ridge over the hill on the adjoining property rather than an expensive fix that won’t be permanent. Apparently, Fox thinks the adjoining owner would be amenable to this idea.

3. Pickens had commissioners sign his computer Disaster recovery plan. They also signed claims and minutes.

4. Fox told commissioners that Animal Control is re-evaluating their whole budget process. Pickens asked him to get them to issue one check to him rather than the bad checks that some have sent in. (Unclear – perhaps these are donations?)

5. Thompson just wished everyone a happy holiday for tomorrow.

6. Hughes had another Lifetime Resources letter to be signed on a home.

Meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, July 02, 2007


submitted by Alan S Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township

Now, they are being told they have to go to the expense of capping? their septic system, and paying for excavation, sewer line, hookup fees, just a lot of stuff, not counting paying whatever the monthly sewer bill will be. How can our government representatives allow this to happen to honest, church going people?
The above portion of a blog comment says it all.

In the case of the ST. Leon sewer system I have long wondered whether the town council members who signed the documents to sell revenue bonds to finance their sewer system really knew what they were signing. Did they really know the potential hardship and hard feelings that they were engendering, or were they led down the garden path by a revenue hungry sewer operating company and/or developers.

The bond documents which they signed are somewhat complicated lengthy and more boring than say a copy of playboy magazine. One must wonder whether those three men who signed for the bonds actually read and attempted to digest the ramifications or the consequences of their actions. How many times did they personally read the documents, alone without interpretation by a sewer company official, a developer or their agents such as accountants ,lawyers, smooth talkers or all of them. After multiple reading of the bond documents did they consult their bond council concerning the potential consequences of signing for the bonds? Then did their bond council actually explain the potential of the anguish, misery, financial hardships and hard feelings demanded by the bonds’ agreement? Was the bond council simply interested in its fee which could be 7% of sale of the bonds or were they truly interested in the welfare of the citizens whose property is within the jurisdiction of St. Leon?

IT is difficult to imagine that the councilmen of St. Leon, a small community, would knowingly sign a document compelling their neighbors, their former classmates, friends and the brothers and sisters in the Parish to unnecessary, cruel court ordered payments for what purpose?

There are two solutions to this egregious unnecessary situation.

First we could let the system fall into bankruptcy. A receiver would be appointed and he’d try to get a court to reinstate this oppression of our citizens—a fat chance!

A more civilized solution would be for the State of Indiana to come to the rescue of its injured and potentially injured citizens by simply buying back the bonds from the bond holders. It would be a few million dollars, a huge sum to our neighbors but an inconsequential sum to the state of Indiana. The state legislature wastes more of our money weekly than the amount of money required to rescue our friends and neighbors.

I have tried to get this plan started. However our two unemployables, oops I mean our State Senator and State Representative have shown no interest. The county Commissioners have shown no interest.

This leads one to believe that our elected officials with rare exception after a having had a few ouches of Lawrenceburg’s’ best product visualize, a Dearborn County that would make Florence. Kentucky, by comparison appear to be an elegiac field.

Alan S Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township