Wednesday, October 03, 2007

2 October 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

2 October 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, Chairman, Thompson, and Fox.
Also present: Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.
Stephanie Disbro took minutes for Pickens who was in Indy.
A uniformed police officer was present.

Hughes called an executive session prior to this meeting concerning highway dept grievance process. Commissioners decided at this public meeting that they intend to follow the policy already in place, but will authorize the county adm. to waive the 15-day reporting procedure to be fair to those complaining. No further details were given.

[NOTE: Information gathered from various sources outside the adm. bldg: Workers have been lobbying with some local citizens about their issues. Some highway workers are complaining about combining work forces from what were previously three districts. Some workers have issues with cross coverage training. Dearborn County is one of a handful or less of county highway depts. that had used the district system. Most have combined for greater efficiency and to save funds. Change seems to come hard to depts. where workers have been there for a long time and “have always done it that way.”]

Harrison Fire and EMS Contract was signed. It is an annually renewing contract that can be stopped with 30 days notice prior to each year-end. It also provides for renegotiation if the county can provide services in all or part of that area.

Craig Beckley from Heart House- came to explain the audit issue and federal findings with their procedures. Corrections have been made- none were concerned with money- only the paperwork supporting the draw downs from the federal grant funds. He asked Commissioners to sign a letter showing they have provided itemization and certification for all their draws and corrective action was taken. Commissioners signed.

Citizen concerns citizen was not present- but issues regarding road carcasses, trash, and paramedics were discussed.
Hughes was concerned that we do not have paramedic training and Mary Margaret Hospital works with Ripley County EMS to do this. Paramedics can administer medications. Thompson asked Messmore to get a database of factual info on the EMS volunteers to see what their training is. Hughes and Thompson rehashed briefly their disagreement on Dillsboro EMS contract issues.

Listerman spent about 15 minutes answering questions and explaining what other counties do with regard to road kill and trash in the county ROW. The bottom line- the county only removes what is a road hazard. They usually just push the carcass over the bank or away from homes to decompose. Health Dept does not indicate there is a health issue. (Though it stinks) Highway Dept. is not going to be in the trash pickup business. [NOTE: Littering and trash in the ROW is also a hazard for mowing equipment on county roads. It used to be thrown in out of the way (rural) areas. Now I see it in yards and along main streets. It is too bad litterers cannot be caught because there is a fine that can be assessed.]

Mark McCormack- Planning and Zoning: commented that there is a provision in county ordinance for fining people for trash dumping. Sometimes the trash dumped has a way of identifying the owner.

McCormack told Commissioners that he has 2 PC members up for renewal or replacement this year. Patrick DeMaynadier indicated he was willing to continue to serve. Tarry Feiss indicated she would rather be replaced. One of these two has to be a Republican, but the other can be either office per state law on politically balancing the board. There were three people in the past who indicated they would like to serve- Rick Pope, a former PC member, Jane Ohlmansiek, also a former member, and Dennis Sparks, who has not contacted the PZ office recently- but had sent his resume in a while back. Commissioners reappoint in Jan 2008.

Sugar Ridge Enforcement issues were detailed for Commissioners. The bond lapse and stoplight issues were also brought up. No permits will be given out from building or planning depts. Ewbank said that we need to enjoin him- file in court so that he cannot sell any more property. This will also show up on title searches for people buying land so they know a problem exists. The light should stay up – we need to settle this, Ewbank said.
McCormack asked about condos starting etc. – Ewbank reiterated that they need to take SWIFT ACTION to stop any further problems and get injunctive relief in the courts on this.

Listerman asked about stopping letters of credit and just having surety bonds. Thompson agreed. Listerman asked to be sure the commissioners were in agreement on this. Ewbank said the bond should be surety with NO EXPIRATION DATE! Thompson said – if they are financially unstable, they are unlikely to get a bond. Ewbank said- that is a point.

McCormack will bring in the ordinance revision on this. The PC attorney (McGill) to file for injunctive relief possibly and Ewbank is willing to help on this.
[NOTE: Letters of credit were a big issue over 10 years ago and have come up repeatedly as being risky for the county as there is no good system to see that they are kept current. It also allows for less financially stable developers to get involved in the county. Sugar Ridge was apparently going for several letters of credit from several different banks to add up to the total needed. Apparently that has not even been possible. What happens to the people who have invested in this development and built homes there? What about the subdevelopers who own sections- are they able to continue their work? Perhaps we need to get a list of all the owners and interests in this development and have the PC and their attorney assess their strategy. Some of this plan may be salvageable- and stopping all work may prevent another developer from taking over and buying it up – should that be the necessary next step.]

McCormack discussed the I-74 bridge at SR 1 rehab plans that PC feels is inadequate. INDOT consultants are estimating another 1000 vpd and with the plans in the area for commercial/industrial uses here and in Franklin County (industry on 59 acres), this estimate is far too low. The turn lane addition is not enough- PC thinks 4 lanes are needed. McCormack said this is just like what happened in Batesville and Harrison- we need to fix this so that in 2009 to 2010 when they build this rehab- they do it right. Commissioners will sign the letter and send it to Seymour and to Mr. Williams, head of INDOT. [NOTE: Why not add Chamber of Commerce, Redevelopment Commission (they declared the TIF up there), the school system, OKI with the MPO, and St. Leon? In addition, send copies to business friendly Gov Mitch Daniels and Rural Development head- Lieutenant Gov Becky Skillman. Get them all on board. Why waste the money on an inadequate fix?]

Transportation Dept- Todd Listerman- presented an hour’s worth of road work.

Listerman stated for the record that his house was on Carlee Acres Drive (1164 ft) and then presented it and Tree Top Drive by Happy Hollow (2030 ft) for acceptance into the county inventory. Testing results etc. were given. Tree Top was accepted under old requirements for specs in place at the time it was developed. Accepted.

Fox said- Do not accept anything that will be a maintenance problem in the future.

Cambridge Road will be set up as a two way in and out utilizing north (from 1960s) and south ( from 1937 or earlier) sections onto Georgetown Road. Site distance issues and safety are the reasons given for this. Craig does not own the south approach- it goes through another neighbor’s lands. It’s county ROW and the county is starting to maintain it again. Fox wants Listerman to send Craig’s a letter on this. Commissioners motioned to set Cambridge Road up this way for safety. Listerman asked Craigs why they had not asked the county for help in opening the south road- they said it would not have done any good then.

Randall Avenue appraisals (for highway offices and garage)were given out and Messmore and Listerman were given the OK to negotiate a price using the rules regarding appraisals. Two appraisals were received- Atlas and Thomas Appraisals. Total for 12 acres and the building were $1,060,000 – 1,085,000. Rack is the property owner. Fox and Thompson voted Aye to get an agreeable price. Hughes Nay- no reason given why. Listerman said there is $400K in Major Moves coming and $450K in 2008 hwy budget for capital improvements. (This still will not cover it all- unless it is spread out over a few years)

To get a complete list of the roads in these categories- contact the highway dept.
The county stressed that they are not giving up the ROW (right of way) just giving up the maintenance of these roads. People on these roads can upgrade them and bring them back in for acceptance per Fox. Listerman agreed.

The first batch was 26 roads that were accepted into inventory but do not exist. These are creek crossings and roads that didn’t get built or sections of roads that didn’t get built. Fox asked how roads were accepted if they did not exist. That means they could not have been tested either. There are 3 roads in HVL that were taken off this list (Cathy, Golfview, and Putter) because they need a letter from Mr Keller (the manager of HVL) to be sure they are HVL POA payers and not county roads. Commissioners approved removing the non-existent roads and sections.

The next batch is 30 roads and sections that we maintain but were not on the inventory lists. Commissioners approved these.

The third batch is 24 roads whose mileages do not match the inventory- so their mileages are corrected. Commissioners approved these.

The final batch are roads that were maintained but Listerman wants to remove them from maintenance. Many of these are roads that have issues- too narrow, inability to handle a car safely, etc. Some have no houses or just one. Mentioned out loud were Grady Anderson, Darling, Fly Run, Chapin, Carrie, Disbro, Lower Probst, and part of Happy Hollow. Commissioners refused to do anything with these until owners had been notified. Fox was concerned that out of town owners may have plans for the future for these lands.

[NOTE: It would seem that this would essentially land-lock some properties. Some of these roads run THRU one owner’s property to another’s. Some have water lines and public utilities along them- including fire hydrants. If some of these owners were issued permits by the county to build on these roads, it seems unfair to take that away now.]

Listerman updated Commissioners on progress with interlocal agreements with Aurora and L-bg on snow removal of some roads in both districts.

Safety shirts ordered at savings form INDOT supplier. CPR training to occur at $10 per person for all hwy workers.

Hughes asked Listerman about the NO PARKING signs in cul de sacs. Listerman explained that the county police can’t enforce the law without them. They need them for snow removal, buses etc. Hughes said he thought it was unnecessary gov’t spending. [NOTE: Kind of like unnecessary spending to have a police officer at every commissioner meeting?]

Listerman is also getting an ordinance together on speed limits for all county roads.

Claims and minutes were signed. Hughes voted NAY on the minutes he tried to shorten from early Sept. Bright EMS contract signed.

Messmore said the prepaid legal services were highlighted on Court TV in Sept and they are a good value as a protection against identity theft.

Messmore completed application and got supporting letters for Hometown Competitiveness Program presented last month.

Messmore said others in the building are trained to work with the new recording system now. And that it is fixed. (There was an echo still from the podium speaker throughout the entire meeting tonight)

Ewbank asked Thompson to get with him on the Vieste letter of recommendation. Thompson said he was busy this week- the secretary will contact him with a meeting time.

Hughes asked about the forced sewer hook-up letter.

Ewbank said there was a case pending with St. Leon and he’d talked to that attorney about it. He did not want to make a local law less restrictive than the state law. [NOTE: Restrictive from whose perspective? The Sewer Company or the citizen?]

Thompson said it hinged on the “MAY” in the state law. He had talked to people from the state and got no answer.

Ewbank said 300 ft from the property boundary could be excessive.

No conclusion on this issue.

Thompson asked about when they’d lift the No Burning Ban. Commissioners decided to keep it in effect as it’s still too dry to be safe. Local fire chiefs can be contacted for individual issues.

Meeting adjourned 9:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

Ewbank, quit running inference for the Development Interest on and off the DCRSD Board!

Just write the letter, such as the one below:

“We, the undersigned Commissioners do hereby state, that relative to forced sewer hook-ups, which would cause a great financial burden to County Citizens/Taxpayers, currently in no need of sewer, or requesting such sewers, we publicly state that such alternative not be exercised by DCRSD. We view it as our solemn fiduciary duty as elected County Officials to protect and insure the financial interests of the County Citizen/Taxpayer. We will exercise our right to not re-appoint those DCRSD Board members who may act contrary to our stated objective. Further, we will publicly encourage other County Boards, Cities and Towns who have a right of appointment to the DCRSD, to do the same.”

Anonymous said...

Does the SDRSD force sewer hookups?

This whole idea of forcing those on working septic systems, who played by all the rules, jumped through all the Health Dept. hoops, to have their systems installed, to now force these folks to spend the kind of dollars required to hook up to pressure sewers and macerating pumps, with all the excavation costs and mess, just seems absolutely ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

If developers want to develop rural areas, let them pay for their sewers. Or build closer to existing infrastructure. It is not the responsibility of the rest of us to cushion the financial impact of sewering these developers' subdivisions so far from existing sewer lines and capacity.

Anonymous said...

Just write the letter Ewbank! Although we know you "own" two of the Commissioners!

Anonymous said...

"...just seems absolutely ridiculous."

Support the Development Republicans next election if you prefer more ridiculousness in County politics!

They will offer both ridiculousness and high's what they are good at!

Buy it pays the realtor/developer/banker/lawyers' bills!

But it does leave the rest of us unable to pay our own bill!

But, who are we, in the greater scheme of things?

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank Christine Brauer Mueller for this blog. Thank you for opening up the inner workings of Dearborn County Government. While it is somewhat sad to see the depths of where my beloved County has sunk, due to your hard work, I think we still have a chance of regaining our once rural and honest heritage. Please Lord, do not let the wicked take over this County.

Anonymous said...

Ewbank said 300 ft from the property boundary could be excessive.

Earth to Bob..."forcing" anyone onto the sewers of another, to subsidize the profits of, for example, a Land Title Attorney, is excessive!

Step back...and step down from the entire process...we are no longer a backwater burg, where your actions will go unnoticed by those in places higher up than your little "Hooterville" that you have so nurtured!

Those flashing strobe lights you see in your rear-view mirror, may be beckoning you to pull over to the side of the highway!

If they ask you to walk the straight and narrow line of honesty, plead retardation and babble on about an acute sinus condition, that makes you zig when you zeg during such tests of dexterity!

Anonymous said...

How do you become a County Attorney?

Hope that Ewbank and Lehner find a more attractive racket to prosper via the hard work of other, similarly situated taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

similarly situated taxpayers!

Maybe a few more "taxpayers" could possibly get low interest loans to support these lawyers' interests?

Anonymous said...

" Please Lord, do not let the wicked take over this County."






Anonymous said...

Boy, somebody is sure mad at God! Not a very intelligent stand to take!

Anonymous said...

What is a JEJUS FREAK?

Anonymous said...

"A fool has said in his heart there is to God", and you say he is a "sillyass superstition". What part of nowhere did you come from?

Anonymous said...

Boy, somebody is sure mad at God! Not a very intelligent stand to take!


Some may feel God is the absolute aspect on their land holdings, that gives no reason for those,who are unbelieving, to make light of those who have a Godly connection to their land!

Land is not always a mere checking account to be drawn upon when some of us need another material good to build our self-esteem!

Anonymous said...


Explain to us all this "purpose?"

Anonymous said...

"Land is not always a mere checking account to be drawn upon when some of us need another material good to build our self-esteem!"

My ass!

Try showing up at Argosy with a couple of chicks, sans the ole lady, with less!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"My ass!"

Shouldn't you be out buying a politician?

Anonymous said...

Jobs? The county is losing them.


Anonymous said...

Jobs? The county is losing them.


Work for less income not $20.00/hr for a floor sweeper. That LOOSES jobs! Look at what Pernod-Richard can do to/just did, to the Unions.

Anonymous said...

Forcing sewer hook-ups will not help the job situation, especially those who may now require a second job to pay for such sewers.

Wasting tax dollars on self-serving enterprises such as Vieste, will not help the job situation.

Refusing to work with anyone who is not for unrestrained development, is not going to help the job situation.

As it stands, it seems that our County Officials are only concerned with the bottom lines of a handful of realtors/developers/bankers/lawyers. It would seem all their efforts are directed towards amplifying these folks’ earnings, with little regard to the ultimate costs to the taxpayers.

The NW Quadrant calamity made it obvious to all, that the interest of the Developers was paramount to the landowners and taxpayers in the Quadrant.

Development will reach its nadir in the next few years. Not because of the “do nothings,” but because of the mortgage industry bust. It is not the province of the taxpayers to mitigate this downturn for the benefit of Developers.

Jobs are being created in this County.

But many of these jobs are not creating financial windfalls for some of our politically connected Development Interests in this County.

So, of course, these Interests paint the bleakest and most austere picture of our local economy.

Anonymous said...

Jobs? The county is losing them.

So lets hand over the County to developers to do as they please with our land and tax dollars!

This economy could tank, but if a few developers were making a fortune, we would not be hearing all these woeful lamentations of our County’s welfare!

Anonymous said...

The DCRSD is situating itself to be the most expensive sewer district in the State, for no other reason than to provide some profits for a handful of "connected" development interests!

The DCRSD was put together by development interests, for development interests and is being protected and enabled by development interests!

Good job Mr. Ewbank and Ms. Lehner!!!

Anonymous said...

"Good job Mr. Ewbank and Ms. Lehner!!!"

Don't expect Ewbank to come to the aid of those who may be forced unto the DCRSD's sewers! One wonders how much he has to gain by all those "new" subdivisions, filled with houses, needing title work! The fact others will have to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt to subsidize these subdivisions means nothing to him!

jb said...

"Jobs? The county is losing them."

Could you back that statement up?

Also- it would appear that the development industry in this county is NOT providing many jobs for the county workers. Look at the job sites. Look at the workers. Look at the license plates.

Do NOT play games with this job scam. It's not about county jobs.
It's about making a buck and to heck with the community and it's resources.
And God did have something to do with creating this beautiful place- and he left us as stewards of the earth- we have to find ways to not wreck it.
It's not about doing nothing- it's about doing things thoughtfully- with an eye to the future of the planet.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

The DCRSD has it's monthly meeting tonight at 7:00 pm in the council chambers in the courthouse annex. We need people to show up and voice their opinions in person. This gets your voice heard on the recorded minutes of their meeting.

Tonight at 7:00 pm. Voice your opinion and learn what the DCRSD is "Dreaming" to do with your tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

”It's not about county jobs.”

Well, apparently, it has become the “job” of all of us to insure the profits of all those Development Interests in this County who have worked so hard networking with and glad-handing our public officials.

“Hard work” such as that cannot be ignored by us mere taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Think how much work was involved for some of our local Development “Movers and Shakers” to feign interest in and pretend the relevancy of, some of our past and present Commissioners?

If there is a Dearborn County Academy Award for excellence in acting, these notable and persuasive manipulators deserve the Award with all the attending accolades.

Anonymous said...

I saw that the City of Lawrenecburg is going to use eminent domain to condemn the CVS property to contruct the new U.S. 50 bridge for the good of the public.

I cannot believe that use of eminent domain is going to take their land. That's horrible.

What's next forced sewer hookups?

Anonymous said...

"What's next forced sewer hookups?"

Go bait somewhere else, will ya honey?

Slow learner humor, while it may be all you got, it is more than we need!

With your aptitude and propensity, no wonder you need all the political connections you can muster, to make a buck!

Anonymous said...

"...for the good of the public."

Which is a light years apart from "for the good of a down on his luck Realtor/Developer," is it not?

Maybe you can force sewers on cemetaries?

With all those lazy folks just lying around, refusing to do their part for your development interests!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard, if you provide enough sewers to cemetaries, that will help pay for our new jail!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Or maybe we can just dig them up and use the land for condos.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe we can just dig them up and use the land for condos."

Or dig them up to vote for Fox and Hughes!

The once buried dead voting for the walking brain dead!

Anonymous said...

I can picture Ewbank out front, preening for the local press, with his magnifying glass, looking over all the loose chads, verifying all those “dead” votes for Fox and Hughes and disclaiming all those living, breathing votes, purportedly for the true, Conservative Republicans in the race.

Ewbank likes “HIS” voters stinky and ripe!!!!!!!!!!!

As well as “HIS” politicians!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe we can just dig them up and use the land for condos."

It was just poor planning by the "Do Nothings" to place all those useless dead "Do Nothings" on prime developable land in the first place!

And according to Doug Baer, every home surrounding these cemeteries, are on failing septic systems!

Would some realtor/developer step up and save us from these septic surging and spurting “gushers” of pestilence and disease and the uneconomic manner of the scattering of the dead and departed on all these “shovel ready” sites ?

Because of the jobs(I was ordered to put that in at the last minute by Messmore)!!!

Anonymous said...

River View Cemetery would be a lovely place for a sewer treatment plant. And with the close proximity of Laughery Creek, an avenue for the dumping of raw sewage of the soon to be over-taxed plant, would be both close and convenient.

Anonymous said...

Thirty years from now the County will be tasked with fixing the sewer problems of “River View Estates,” with one of Brett’s kid appointed to the Board to do the fixing while finagling a way to hook up two or three more subdivisions on the back of this “fix!”

Oh, the “circle of life” in Dearborn County!

Anonymous said...


What happened at the DCRSD meeting last evening, some of us had to work?

Anonymous said...

"jb said...

"Jobs? The county is losing them."

Could you back that statement up?"

How about starting with the reduction in jobs when Seagrams sold out to Pernod Richard and then from 400 jobs down to less than 150 when Pernod Richard sold out to Lawrenceburg Distributers. Is that sufficient proof we are loosing jobs? And West called that a success!!!