Saturday, December 22, 2007


A Christmas Cease Fire

This year I propose a new twist on an old tradition. Think of it as an experiment where we try a time period on the blog for nothing but positive comment from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

I’ll leave the creativity to the bloggers on how to achieve this, because from what I read at times, I know there are bloggers out there with good things to say about our county life and our neighbors.

Merry Christmas!

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

18 December 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

18 December 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

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

A uniformed police officer was present.

This meeting took a little over 4 hours and there are 9 typed pages- so get yourself some refreshment if you plan to read it all.

The agenda that was put out was also revised sat the meeting to remove two items, as those two citizens cancelled for various reasons. The next commissioner’s meeting will be for signing claims in December. The first meeting of 2008 will be on WEDNESDAY- January 2.

Jenny Lynn Drive and Old Orchard- Citizens of the Jenny Lynn area presented a petition to Commissioners. Hughes did not read it aloud. Listerman outlined the county actions to post Emergency Vehicles Only signs- Tucker will be billed- and Tucker (working with Hwy dept) will have grass over the stone base for this emergency exit by springtime.

Chamber of Commerce – Rozow had revisions worked into the contract so that the CVTB $50,000 contribution is for recreational and tourism activities only per Thompson’s request. Others concurred and signed the contract for annual services with the Chamber of Commerce.

Gary Collins of Collier Ridge- told Commissioners they have had no lines painted on their road in several years. Most of his neighbors want the slip fixed and not a full re-route of the road. They like the historic old red iron bridge and would like to reinforce it rather than scrap it altogether. They think it fits the rural character of their area. He thinks the money to re route and the aesthetics should be main considerations. He also asked for a guardrail at the bridge for safety reasons.

Fox said they will cheat the road to the right and look at the bridge IF FEASIBLE.

Listerman recommended Alternative 3 in phases and asked permission to go to Council for $500,000. He described that as covering engineering, geotech , and the caissons to shore up the road. He plans to seek federal funding, now that they are more tuned in to failing bridges on the federal level, for the bridge to be replaced. They may get the money before the 6-8 years the bridge might last. Listerman was given the OK to go to Council for $500,000 for Alternative 3 and to apply for the federal grant for a bridge in January.

Emergency Management- Commissioners signed the Level One Snow Emergency from last weekend- for Bill Black.

John Zeidan- Starlight Reception Hall – gave an impassioned speech on moving Dearborn County forward. ( Zeidan owns the reception hall, which has an unapproved septic treatment and is currently on a pump and haul for his sewage. He has been actively working with DCRSD since its inception to get sewage to his business.)

Zeidan said: he has a business in the county and owned land here for 22 years, He has lived here for 16 years. He has 4 kids who graduated from high school and college. He said 500 or more graduate from high school here and in his personal poll of his kids friends he thinks maybe zero stay here after graduation. Soon we will be a county of senior citizens. There are too many taxes- enough is enough. Dearborn County has been sleeping and is going backward. We have gained one or two companies- and Argosy. When I look around I feel like I am in a senior citizen community as in Florida, except the weather is different. All I see are gas stations, restaurants, and a few small businesses. There are only 3 families with kids at my Lutheran church. We need young blood and jobs here. We need to get companies here, even if we give them tax abatements.

I don’t want to watch turkey and deer from my porch- I want to watch my grandchildren from my porch. [NOTE: But grandchildren might want to play in the woods and climb trees. Kids and young people are more than just our entertainment and a way to pay for our social security.]

The county is good at studying things- we spend lots of money on studies, get different answers, and don’t do anything. We can’t agree on anything. People can’t build, they don’t want sewers and we are turning away builders.

When I took over the property on US 50 it was a junkyard- I fixed it and my taxes went from $20/mo to $1000 per month. People don’t want to be in N KY or Cinti. Times change and we lose our kids- who will take care of us? Plan A,Z, or B – it makes no difference if we don’t have the infrastructure and utilities.

I would like the idea that the media- radio and paper- tell the citizens what you do each month. We want to see what you DO. I want to see sewage out Aurora to High Ridge. There’s lots of land left out this way to build.

Fox- interjected:- We hear from the same people month after month and until we hear from people like you and church groups… Inflationary costs on basic infrastructure are going to kill you. The small group that is most vocal is running around here like heroes. You should go to a sewer meeting and see who is stopping things. Study study study- and delay until it dies. People on fixed incomes- you will get murdered on taxes. People don’t respond to those editorials- you got to respond!

Zeidan: People don’t care about the environment- sewers are needed. You can’t eat fish from the river. [NOTE: And what is dumping into the river and our tributaries? Industrial waste and sewer plant overflows.] I am paying too many taxes and seeing no improvement. This is America- do whatever you want- but do we want to be back 20 years in time?

Thom Hammond- CASE- That’s a hard act to follow (referring to Zeidan’s speech). John has the right to want this- he’s lived here 16 years. We’ve seen some positive changes- we brought on Mr., Thompson- and change comes slowly. Commissioners reminded Hammond to address then and not the audience.

Hammond continued: I represent CASE- Citizens Against Sewer Enforcement. We formed to defeat the imposition of enforced sewer connection in Dearborn County. We’ve been together 2.5 years. Hammond asked about the letter that commissioners referenced in their April 17, 2007 meeting.

Fox: Bob (Ewbank) and I did a lot of research on that this week. [NOTE: Ewbank is county attorney. His partner Kramer is the DCRSD attorney. The attorney representing the CASE group and those families sued by St. Leon to hook-up is Leininger- a former associate of Ewbank and Kramer. Should Ewbank recuse himself from this?]

Ewbank: First- you are fighting a municipal law- not a county law.
Second- The regional sewer district has a 300 ft provision with an exception for a NEW system and a unique way to spread the payments over 20 years. [NOTE: Payments last longer than the grinder pumps!]

Hammond: The commissioners made a statement that they are NOT wanting forced sewer hookups. I want you to sign this letter that you talk about. You said a precedent would be set…

Ewbank: You are asking them to do something they don’t have the jurisdiction to do. [NOTE: There are several points here where Ewbank answers for commissioners. He and Hammond also went back and forth about who should be listening to who as Ewbank tried to explain it all so that Hammond wouldn’t need to present.]

Fox: Thompson had a letter- I don’t have a problem signing it.

Ewbank: Individually- they can sign an opinion letter.

Hammond: I asked about the commissioner’s letter and you juggernauted into legal issues. This is a public meeting.

Hughes: I don’t like forced hook-ups.

Fox: Me either. You can use the public minutes to show our opinion on this.

Ewbank: I don’t like forced hook-ups- but you have to go to the state legislature to get it fixed. [NOTE: So why do our 3 commissioners and the attorney not offer to represent their citizens and help with that? Talk is cheap.]

Hammond: This resistance to sewers is causing a lot of the non-growth feeling.

Ewbank: Who’s your attorney? [NOTE: As if he doesn’t know?- Ewbank has provided him with info already.]

Hammond: Leininger

Ewbank: He was a former associate of mine.

Hammond: (answering Ewbank’s comment about being argumentative). I’m not being argumentative- I’m being passionate. $2.3 million was turned down for DCRSD because of lawsuits.

Ewbank: Because of High Ridge Estates DCRSD was formed. The downside is the state legislature has this law. If there was a county sewer district where you live we could affect this. But the municipal sewer law covers this.

Hammond: The eyes of the world will come down on you.

Ewbank: The judge will only listen to relevant issues.

Hammond: Are you aware of HB 1671?

Ewbank: No

Hammond: HB 1671 talks about regional….

Ewbank: But this is municipal- and you need to get the 10-mile radius on municipals fixed. Commissioners can testify on their OPINION.

Hammond: If I were in Bright I wouldn’t have to hook-up.

Ewbank: Bright is not a municipality.

Hammond: St, Leon with a little over 500 people is a municipality…

Hammond: the second issue is John Maxwell.

Ewbank: This is an “ad hominem” issue- you are attacking the character of John Maxwell.

Hammond: What about the fact that he’s not hooked up.

Ewbank: This is almost slander- then he accused Hammond if accusing Maxwell of “moral turpitude” and Hammond never used those words at all. [NOTE: Ewbank is throwing around a lot of Latin and legalese at this point and took charge of answering for commissioners. The issue here appears to be conflict of interest and what the code calls pecuniary (financial) interests- NOT moral turpitude.]

Hammond: I am saying that John Maxwell asked Council for a favorable letter for a $2.3 million expansion of St. Leon’s sewer plant. He’s not hooked up either.

Ewbank: Slandering…

Hammond: I am not slandering.

Ewbank: Now you are politicking.

Hughes: I will go on record. I don’t like forced hook-ups. I don’t know why municipalities are allowed to force hook-ups and have a 10-mile radius. [NOTE: Allowed to- but not required to by law.] The DCRSD helps now. In High Ridge Estates the county let people down

Hammond: Do you know what they are doing about it?

More interchange with Ewbank and Hammond says: This does not pass the smell test. Any person will agree, except maybe Bob (Ewbank). In one sewer district we have to hook-up and we can’t even sit on the board. We have a hook in us- we’re not going anywhere as we are being sued. So we are going to bring as much attention to the legal issues and corruption involved. And if we sully the reputation of Dearborn County…

Hughes: I think we’ve answered your questions.

Ewbank: Do you mean corruption?

Hammond: Keep in mind the First Amendment.

Ewbank: I’m trying to help you here. Anything you say can be held against you.
[NOTE: This is starting to sound like Ewbank was reading Hammond his rights.]

Messmore- presented HiTech and Midwest Data bids- for 3 years each. Midwest was $44,700 and HiTech was $39,780. Hitech was accepted and apparently is about $30,000 less than their previous contract. Hughes said- If you keep doing this we won’t have to increase taxes. Thompson asked if all the parameters bid were equal and was told yes. Fox said that everyone in Admin building is content with HiTech’s services, Pickens ALREADY signed with HiTech and his contracts included in the bid price.

Commissioners signed off on inspections for Triple Whipple Bridge #95. Not to exceed $157,164.17.

GIS bids were opened and no decision was made on award yet.

Mark McCormack- Planning and Zoning presented the White Farm Zone change background and slides as in the PC hearing.

Fox asked what the 4 nays were concerned with. McCormack said mainly density was too high. The vote for Favorable was 5-4 on this.

Tucker reiterated his comments from the PC hearing where her went through the 5 criteria for a zone change. He said his development met these as it keeps development where development exists, there is adequate infrastructure, it is comparable to the density and price range of homes in Harley Springs directly to the south, has homes in the same or better range than those along Short Road, is close to I-74and that the land is suitable for R or maybe B-1 in that area. He said the homes will pay for themselves in taxes as they are in the $240 range and up. The lots will sell for $50,000 each. They will buffer around the 3 county roads.

Fox asked about the $1/4 million house paying for itself and was satisfied that this would be a good thing.


Shana Keller- lives in Harley Springs and bought into Harley Springs Estates- which is now a SUBDIVISION. She was unhappy with the increased phase added to her original investment. She said she was speaking because she lives here and works in Cinti and had to show her father that if you want things to change you have to speak up. (Her father had attempted to get her to not talk by holding her back and covering her mouth at first.) Keller said that her oldest in high school had 21 -23 kids in her elementary classes. The youngest kids now have 33.. She didn’t like the congestion on the roads trying to pull out of Harley Springs onto North Dearborn in the AM. She said they have restrictions on their homes and wondered if Tucker would. She said we need you to protect us! I voted for Mr. Thompson because he’s out to protect us. I bought into an estate at Harley Springs- Now it’s a subdivision. Even the sign changed.

Tom Gaynor: discussed his sons and he operating a cattle farm and that they live here for the rural atmosphere. Are the developers or taxpayers going to pay for these increased services? New homeowners want these amenities now- not after they’ve paid enough taxes to cover them. Just because the sewer is there doesn’t mean we have to have increased density. There have been no major improvements in 50 years on these roads- (the infrastructure isn’t all there. )Gaynor Ridge has 4 right angle turns and only one car can safely pass at a time. Hard to move farm equipment on it now. Cars drive into our fields. School is overloaded and traffic safety are big issues. 2.5 kids per home in this part of the county and subdivision is a more realistic estimate than the .6 they say in the plan. Remember not all zoning members agreed with this density.

Diana Hays- lots of concerns, but feel like we are ignored. For school issues we get told to go see the school board. I have 3 kids. She said EC’s good numbers on tests etc. reflect those earlier years when kids had smaller classes years ago and wonders what the test numbers will be by the time her youngest graduates. This will only continue and the trickle down effect will eat away at all the greenspace. This subdivision has density only on ONE SIDE now.

Steve Kuhn- This has dragged on- and when it is all done we have to live with it. Harley Springs has lower density than this. It does not fit with the comprehensive plan. There are school issues, traffic issues, noise, increased crime, increased taxes. If we don’t increase our needs maybe we won’t need to increase our taxes so much. This change will affect the rural farm area we know and love. The Short Road intersection should be fixed FIRST before the subdivision is built. Gaynor Ridge has areas where cars have to stop to let others pass. Passed out road pictures and fields damaged. North Dearborn Rd. project is cancelled- these people have to drive that road and there is no money for roads per Mr. Fox at the last meeting.

Bob Gaynor- There are 7 livestock and 3 horse farms here. (Character issues) Road issues. On the Comp Plan map this sticks out like a sore thumb. All other houses are set back . He performed calculations showing the lot sizes average less than ¾ acre and that’s way too many.

Glenn Crocker- Dearborn County resident for many years. Was disappointed in the 5-4 vote- it took a long time- 10 minutes for the presider to vote to break the tie. Always look at the net- not the gross- and these lots NET 2/3 acre after ROW taken out. All the amenities were reduced. This is a nice beautiful parcel- we all have different perspectives on its potential use. The comp plan is ongoing and we are not in a race to get somewhere fast. Why jump at 75 homes- high density it sticks out like a sore thumb as Gaynor said. I spoke to Hughes about why they can sell their land (property rights) Why not leave it at Ag and develop it as estates on 1 or more acres each? We can have rural elbow room.

Crocker passed out illustrations showing the densities in the surrounding area. Farmland- 18 houses- 1+ acres. FalconWay 65-70 acres and 45 + homes. Harley Springs- football field size frontage as buffer and set back from road. Was estate sized. Now a subdivision. Look to the east to Bright and all that development. Passed out another illustration. Now look to the west. He went further and further out with large lots and farms to get to Stonegate in Dover and Valley Vista- both with 1+ acres. THIS PARCEL IS THE TRANSITION ZONE! It shouldn’t be high density. He wrote PC members and asked them to go out and look at this. We feel this should develop as a Ag rural homes. Mr. Hughes- they still have the ability to develop. We want to keep a rural neighborhood. Any questions- I’m ready! (No one had any)

Mike Kuhn- Traffic and schools issues. This property was bought at a private auction. We’re here for the long haul- in 4-5 years this will be developed and they are done. We’re left with the problems.

Tucker- we’re not going to slap something up – probably 6-7 years. We have a good reputation for homes and so does Schmidt.

Fox- we’ve been through this before at a long meeting. We’re never going to make everyone happy. We did a poll and suggested ¾ acre and the value of a home to pay its way. I’ll be the bad guy he read each of the 5 criteria for a zone change and motioned to approve. Thompson wouldn’t second. Hughes seconded. – 2 ayes. Thompson Nay as he said it still exceeds the density for the area and the school issues.

RECESS to 9:25PM

McCormack presented articles for ordinance changes. Commissioners approved 305B on private streets but the articles on bond maintenance were sent back to the PC and ROW dedication was tabled to talk to McGill.

McCormack gave 4 names for reappointment or appointment to the PC ( Sparks, Ohlmansiek, Pope and DeMaynadier. Fox has more. BZA has one appointment- Patty Baker. McCormack doesn’t know if she wants to be reappointed as they have had trouble getting her to attend lately.

McCormack said one can be R and the other can be either party. Nelson and Hall go to BZA also. McCormack to meet with Ewbank this week on ordinance changes.

Listerman- Highway Dept- gave 30 minute presentation.

He sent certified letters to property owners- received responses from most. As a result:
Chapin and Darling Road waiting to get response- no action to remove maintenance.

Disbro, Fly Run and Happy Hollow N end will cease to be maintained- though county ROW remains. Lower Probst Road- removed from maintenance.

Carrie Lane and Happy Hollow South end remain on maintenance and already have 50 ft ROW dedicated.

Brady Anderson, Depot and Wesling are gaining the 50 ft ROW dedication and will be maintained.

Falcon’s Nest Subdivision roads were accepted- Viking Dr, Blair Dr, and Falcon’s Way after asphalt was added after core samples done.

Listerman was approved to get a part time seasonal worker instead of filling the full time driver vacant position. Fox know people he’s sending to apply for this. He also talked about moving the ass’t bridge engineer with surveyor license to help with in-house projects and get him certified for INDOT inspections.

Lastly he wanted to increase the salary of the Highway Supervisor to be comparable to the LOW side of the Northern KY area. Cinti and N KY run form $49-58,000.
Listerman asked for $48,000 from $40,374. Said they are still saving $9,202. Fox can’t justify giving him $8,000- workers won’t see it as Ok or increased responsibility. Denied.

Listerman was given permission to go to Council to convert full time to seasonal help and to get Wallace’s position at $16,100 for a HWY worker special rate.

Ewbank reviewed the appraisals and contract offer for Randall Avenue property 2.3 acres N and 14 acres S of existing HWY property. They will have sewer and become EPA compliant. Listerman wants to move entire dept. there. Trucks will be covered and stay there also instead of being sent home with workers.

Thompson motioned to allow Listerman to make the offer on the 2 parcels on Randall Ave. Fox says he wants to do it- but no money for it, He wants to use the money for roads now. [NOTE: So why did they let Listerman get this far with appraisals etc?]Listerman estimated a 15-20 year payback and savings of $100,000 per year.

Hughes voted against it initially and won’t second. Motion dies.

Claims and minutes signed. Employee handbooks in 3 parts for courthouse, jail, and adm bldg were passed out for review. NACO has saved $125,000 in prescriptions so far. Hughes wants it advertised. Pickens said he’ll do better – he’ll put it on the radio.

Ewbank described how they were going to stutter step to get the employee payroll fixed by going 3-4 weeks out and then paying back. They still have to absorb a week at some point. All were confused on how this would work. Ewbank wasn’t describing it well.

Ewbank said the illegal search suit at the jail was settled. The HVL light installer suit is still out there from the Macke contract. ($80,000)

Pickens reminded commissioners they may have to sign claims before year end, 2008 first meeting is WED Jan 2.

Meeting adjourned at 10:35 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dearborn County Economic Initiative News Release

West Leaving DCEDI

10:00 A.M. EDT, December 17, 2007.

Dearborn County, IN, December 17, 2007. William F. Ritzmann, chairman of the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative (DCEDI), announced today that president James F. West, Jr. has submitted his resignation effective December 31, 2007.

"The DCEDI board truly regrets the resignation of our first executive leader and particularly this consummate professional. Jim has helped this community identify and respond to some challenging economic development issues over the last three years. He leaves our community with a much better understanding of the actions we must now take to pursue quality economic development," stated Ritzmann.

West announced to the board that his biggest challenge for past three years was not having his wife of thirty-seven years with him in Dearborn County. West noted that she had remained in Augusta, Georgia, to care for elderly parents. He would be seeking new opportunities closer to home and family.

West served in a similar capacity in Northern Kentucky from 1987 - 1998 as the first president of the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED), working to locate such notable projects as Fidelity Investments, Toyota US Manufacturing headquarters and Citicorp Financial Services.

Monday, December 17, 2007

17 December 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

17 December 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Hall, Chairman, Feiss, Held, Nelson, Thompson, Kraus, Jr., Laws, and Cheek.
Absent: DeMaynadier.

Also present: McCormack, Planning Director, Rademacher, Enforcement Officer/Planner, and McGill, Attorney.

Feiss mentioned in the roll call that this was her last meeting. (She has given notice that she does not wish to be reappointed.)

Proposed changes to the zoning and subdivision ordinance were discussed. The fence ordinance changes proposed because of issues with line of sight and high fences with visibility issues were tabled and the PC wants to see the state law on these also. They were concerned with fences in the Ag zone and not wanting to cause problems there.

Section 236 and 2335 on drainage on coordination with Soil and Water were given favorable recommendations to go to the commissioners. Due to some enforcement problems, the PZ and the Building Inspector will be meeting with Soil and Water also to iron out procedures and policy.

The 2008 PC meeting schedule was approved.

The annual report is nearly finished and will be distributed in January to the PC.
Mark McCormack attended the Home Town Competitiveness Program Meeting with The Community and Rural Affairs and Purdue. They are using the pillars as discussed in RISE 2020 also. He will keep the PC updated on their progress and see if the county proceeds with the plans.

McCormack will be the PZ rep to the OKI Fiscal Impact Study.

St Leon is not pursuing the buffer zone and they are holding on approving their Comp Plan till we finish ours. West Harrison and St. Leon renewed their contracts with the county and Mike Ionna will continue to help them as their planner.

Vehicle update- the “new” car will be arriving this week. Commissioners gave permission to trade in the old vehicle as part of this.

The commissioners indefinitely tabled the Comp Plan Map. Once they act on it – if they send it back to the PC the clock starts ticking and they have 60 days to get back to the commissioners. McCormack met with Hughes and Fox separately to help answer questions.

There is a list of 4 people interested in serving on the PC that McCormack will give to the commissioners at their next meeting for their consideration.

McGill advised the board that Macke filed bankruptcy and so the county cannot proceed with their suit against him. Anyone working in this PUD will have to comply with the PUD requirements. The lapsed bond is still an issue. Thompson mentioned that LLC and corporations should probably be required to list their “players” so that the board knows whom they are dealing with. Some of the LLC’s in Sugar Ridge could be Macke for all they know.

Kraus, Jr. wants the PC to look at access points on collectors with low vpd traffic counts. (Yorkridge and Lake Tambo)

McCormack brought it up and some PC members were considering a social dinner or beverage tonight as a yearend event. No business to be discussed.

Lastly, the staff had been given copies of all the news articles on the Master Plan since Sept 2006 for the purposes of showing that it was widely publicized. McCormack will present these materials the next time the Map Amendment is considered by the Commissioners.

Cheek plans to be at the January 2008 meeting as the Council meets the next night and will appoint his replacement then.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Sign up to run for Public Office!

According to the Dearborn County Clerk's Office the first day candidates can sign up to run for public office is January 23rd.

The DEADLINE - final day to sign up- is February 22nd AT NOON.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sewer Issues to Be Presented at Commissioners Meeting

Sewer Issues to Be Presented at Commissioners Meeting

For all you anti forced sewer hook-up bloggers, you have an opportunity to show up and demonstrate your support at the Commissioners Meeting Tuesday Dec 18th at 6:30 PM in the County Administration Building.

Thom Hammond is on the agenda and will address Commissioners regarding the St. Leon Sewer issues and request that they sign their no forced hook-ups letter. Hammond is a spokesperson for CASE (Citizens Against Sewer Enforcement) He will also be presenting concerns of conflict of interest and the DCRSD (Dearborn County Regional Sewer District ) Board.

DCEDI Actions by Written Consent Signed by Commissioners

DCEDI Actions by Written Consent Signed by Commissioners

Members & Directors,
Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative

From: James F. West, Jr., President
Date: December 3,2007
Re: Actions by Written Consent

Please find enclosed documents that will facilitate written consents by the members and the board of directors of the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative in lieu of an annual meeting.

With these documents all current investors in the corporation will ratify the board of directors. Board members will also ratify the corporate officers and the members of the executive committee.

Please sign on behalf of your company or organization and return that signature page(s) only. A return envelope is enclosed for your convenience. Your response is needed before Friday. December 14'h.

Please call me at 812-537-0814 x. 128 if you have any questions.

Below is the form the County Commissioners Signed at their last meeting:



Lawrenceburg, IN
December 17, 2007

The undersigned, being the Directors of DEARBORN COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE, INC., do hereby consent to the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, that the officers of the Corporation be, and they hereby are, elected to serve as officers of the Corporation in the capacity indicated and to hold office until the next meeting of the directors (or directors' unanimous written consent in lieu thereof) for the purpose of the election of officers and until their successors are duly elected and qualified:





FURTHER RESOLVED, the following individuals are elected to serve on the Executive Committee until the next meeting of the directors (or directors' unanimous written consent in lieu thereof) for the purpose of the election of Executive Committee members and until their successors are duly elected and qualified:


FURTHER RESOLVED, that the officers of this Corporation be, and they hereby are, authorized to do any and all things necessary and incidental to the general management, control and operation of this Corporation which are within the purposes for which the same was formed.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that all contracts entered into by the Corporation are hereby ratified and approved.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that all acts and proceedings of the directors and officers of the Corporation during the last fiscal year are approved and confirmed.

Argosy Casino & Hotel
Bayer Becker
Duke Energy / Indiana
Dearborn County Hospital
Ivy Tech State College
Land Consultants
Lawrenceburg Gas
Main Source Bank
Maxwell Construction Company
Messer Construction Company
Peoples Community Bank
Perfect North Slopes
United Community Bank
US Bank
City of Aurora
City of Greendale
City of Lawrenceburg
Town of Dillsboro
Town of Moores Hill
Town of St. Leon
Town of West Harrison
Dearborn County Commission
Dearborn County Council
Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce
Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau
President of Corporation


Lawrenceburg, IN
December 17, 2007

The undersigned, being the Members of DEARBORN COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE, INC., do hereby affirmatively vote for, consent to, adopt and approve the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, that the following members are the directors of the Corporation, in compliance with the Bylaws, and shall hold office until the next meeting of the members (or members' unanimous written consent in lieu thereof) for the purpose of naming the directors and until their successors are duly elected and qualified:

Argosy Casino & Hotel
Bayer Becker
Dearborn County Hospital
Duke Energy / Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College
Land Consultants
Lawrenceburg Gas
Main Source Bank
Maxwell Construction Company
Messer Construction Company
Peoples Community Bank
Perfect North Slopes
United Community Bank
US Bank
City of Aurora
City of Greendale
City of Lawrenceburg
Town of Dillsboro
Town of Moores Hill
Town of St. Leon
Town of West Harrison
Dearborn County Commission
Dearborn County Council
Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau
President of Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce
President of Corporation

FURTHER RESOLVED, that all contracts entered into by the Corporation are hereby ratified and approved.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that all acts and proceedings of the directors and officers of the Corporation during the last fiscal year are hereby approved and confirmed.

Ameritek Custom Homes
Argosy Casino & Hotel
Bayer Becker
Dearborn County Hospital
Dearborn Savings Association
Dearborn Title Insurance
DeVille Pharmacy
Duke Energy / Indiana
Eagle Broadcasting/WSCH
Ivy Tech Community College
Land Consultants
Lawrenceburg Gas
Main Source Bank
Maxwell Construction Company
Messer Construction Company
Midwest Data, Inc.
Peoples Community Bank
Perfect North Slopes
Pinnacle Advisory Group
Register Publications
RQAW Corporation
Richard Schmidt Builders
United Community Bank
US Bank
Wood Lamping & Lehner, LLP
City of Aurora
City of Greendale
City of Lawrenceburg
Town of Dillsboro
Town of Moores Hill
Town of SI. Leon
Town of West Harrison
Dearborn County Commission
Dearborn County Council
Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau
Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce

Sunday, December 09, 2007

7 December 2007 DCRSD Meeting Notes

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

7 December 2007 DCRSD Meeting Notes

Present: Acting Chairman, Fehrman, Maxwell, Pruss, Dennerline. Adams and Enzweiler were not present.
Also Present: Executive Secretary, Doug Baer; Tom Quinn, Quinn Engineering; Benning, Secretary; Frank Kramer, Board Attorney; Robert Hrezo, Hrezo Engineering; Julia Barber, Sherman, Barber & Mullikin - CPA (part time); and Ralph Thompson.

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

Meeting Notes
Meeting Notes for November, 2007 approved (Moved by Maxwell and seconded by Dennerline).

Treasurer's Report
The report is the same as last month except that the DCRSD Savings account balance is $77,572.42.

Public Comment
Fehrman asked if there was any public comment. No response.

Julia Barber, Sherman, Barber & Mullikin - CPA was present to provide a firm profile and indicate some of the services they can provide. They are located in Madison, IN and work for municipalities, water and waste water districts. Their services include setting utility rates and bond issues. They work on an hourly rate, that they feel is less than that of Umbaugh. They are subject to State Board of Accounts (Note: this is now Department of Local Government Finance - DLGF) and have helped with State Revolving Fund and Rural Development. She left after her presentation.

Serenity Ridge

Tom Quinn indicated the prebid meeting was attended by four potential bidders:
Logan Creek Construction (3550 North Dearborn Rd.)
Ty Harold
Myer(sp?) Property & Development
Mike Seavers(sp?) of Dave O'Mara

Bid due date is 12/31/2007 at 2:00 PM. Since this project is under the state minimum, prevailing wage is not required. The plans have filed with the Highway Engineer. The line is only crossing the road once diagonally under the pavement.
Also have a draft contract for LMH. On page 3 the correct number should be $5,000 in lieu of $30,000. It will be corrected. It is the same format used for Stewart Rd and Cole Ln. Kramer has not yet had a chance to review the contract.

West Aurora Project
Quinn indicated flowmeter measurements had been obtained at Randall and US 50 for approximately 17 days including 3 rain days. There is something 'spooky' in the readings. The higher peak flows were on non rain days. He thinks there is plenty of capacity for DCRSD. They referenced the USDA(sp?) rain gauge. He will complete the analysis and submit the report.

He has a proposed addendum for the PER. There are questions he cannot answer on the comments in the Larry Adams letter. The first paragraph describes the changes. GRW had 290 users, a house count comes to 141, taking out Texas Gas Rd and Mt. Tabor Church Rd. ( discussion on whether it is Mt. Tabor Church or Mt Tabor Rd. - latter is current.) The east-west section of Mt. Tabor is eliminated.

He asked if the financial reports had been audited - never done. The response to the Larry Adams letter to cause the PER to remain alive and current.

Maxwell found the volume and order of information commendable. Under GRW, he felt DCRSD was not getting the attention it should.

Quinn indicated the PER will establish Quinn Engineering as the engineer of record. Same questions were asked of GRW in 2004.

(Several people talking) _____ faster and easier than State Revolving Fund. What to do ___ optimize to use force main.

Fehrman asked when can they count houses and ask for a variance from state. Aurora project will be done January 1, 2008.

Maxwell indicated Dave planned to go to Indy CID(??). Maxwell wants to go along. If Greendale is going to 'blow' them off and not approve it, he doesn't want to go and waste time. They need to powwow to try to see if they can get agreement and go together or it is a waste of time. They want to get SDRSD or a couple of the members to go together and get it done.

Dennerline thinks it will happen immediately, as they (the state?) want Highridge fixed.

Maxwell asked about the contract fee on Serenity Ridge for the size.

(Quinn indicated the force main is 2900 feet long for 10- 15 houses in the entire subdivision.) It was a great deal of money.
Quinn indicated it was the same process to get it to bid, as a larger project.

The members have copies of the questions and assumptions for the treatment plant. Some answers will require input from the Board.

Fehrman suggested members take them home, make comments and get them back to Benning.

Maxwell asked if they should hold or proceed with Hardeback (sp?), since they are on a different tack. Benning indicated there were a lot of questions; but, they ought to proceed with the appraisal.

The issue of the road being private was raised and the Board will need an easement to access and maintain the treatment plant.

Maxwell suggested, given the current path, they suspend the questions for 60 days.
Benning indicated they should proceed with the questions so that the man can move forward (Hardeback?).

Some questions are engineering problems. Dennerline indicated someone else is interested in buying the property.

For appraisal, if another parcel is selected what is the value of a private plant - answer $0.

Quinn: Bids for Serenity Ridge will be handled on 1/3/2008.

Fehrman asked about Ordinance 2007-1 to require mandatory connection/fee for Stewart Rd. and Cole Ln.

Kramer said the availability fee assessment needs an ordinance, which will require a public hearing and notification. He has a draft. They could be ready at the next meeting. The customers are customers of Aurora. They do not have contracts with those who are not hooked on. The power of law allows them to require hookups. They can allow exceptions for new septics. Also, have the power to require people with property line within 300 feet to hookup. What does that mean.

Dennerline suggested sending letters to people who haven't hooked up. Need another group of people. There is an increase for those that would hook up now, $600 on pumps and $2,500 hook up fee. Have to talk to Randy(Turner).

Maxwell asked if DCRSD wants to permit, it's a Health Department issue. DCRSD could allow, not permit. If DCRSD invokes ordinance and not enforce, leave line out of first paragraph. May have to have paragraph to have Health Board review.

Dennerline: Oh, thanks.

Fehrman: Intent is to collect availability fee.

Kramer: Have two issues:
Do you want to force hook on?
Not require hook on; but, require annual fee?

Dennerline: Do they make application to the District, not the Health Board.

Fehrman: If application made, need to get input from the Health Board.

Maxwell: What about the Commissioner letter.

Kramer: I talked to Bob Ewbank, this is not the Commissioners' bailiwick. The Commissioners are not empowered.

Maxwell asked Thompson about the letter.

Thompson: The letter is composed; but not signed yet. The letter references the State Ordinance that says 'May' require and then references the existing County Ordinance, that says the resident cannot be forced to connect if they have a working system or a repairable system that is repaired.

Dennerline: Randy (Turner) doesn't want it (enforced hook up), want the availability fee, not to force hook up.

Maxwell: Can we do separate ordinances or one?
(several people talking didn't get all the statements.)

Baer: Which rates, State Law or County Ordinance?

Maxwell: Focus on availability and leave out mandatory.

Fehrman: DCRSD wants Health Board more involved than District.

Dennerline: ___average repairs are $8,000 to $12,000.

_______: Consider only last three paragraphs, eliminate mandatory hook ups.

Kramer: Wording came from the Regulations. Lehner had obtained the Regulation. Without our own lines we don't need the Regulation. Will need them for Highridge.
Serenity Ridge are customers of LMH. We're under different pressure. The requirement to pay when they hook on will pay back the other residents. They will put pressure on the neighbors to get their money back.

Fehrman asked if Stewart Rd. and Cole Ln. will set a precedent.

Kramer: Serenity Ridge is not DCRSD money, would like to others hook on, not forced. It is assumed people would want to hook on.

Maxwell: Couldn't this be broader? Or $12.35 per month for this project, this location. Could also cover lines in other places specific to dollar amounts.

Kramer indicated they can give notice to consider at the next meeting without the first paragraph.

Baer: How do we collect the money? Under interlocal agreement it is added to the water bill. They could pay the water only. Would Aurora turn off the water? (discussion by several people if Aurora could or would turn off water.) Would paragraph 2 force payment? This Board could force hook on, if they don't pay debt service. Otherwise, we couldn't force to pay - what will happen?

Some one asked Maxwell if he was on sewer. It is in front of his house; but, he's not hooked on.

Baer: It's wrong not to hook on.

Maxwell: Need to say________ need to hook on, if notice by the Board of Health. There has to be a process to force hook on.

Baer: If you don't who will force.

Dennerline: Need to do two ordinances. Need one to require hook on. Baer can go condemn whoever is not hooked on. (Baer didn't seem to like this.)

Baer said only three have hooked on on Stewart Rd.

Dennerline indicated St. Leon promised everybody would be hooked on to get the grant money (bond money??). They sued to save the grant money. Let people know DCRSD_______. They got to hook on, they missed out on the lower offer. Funding from Rural Development required high participation, Have to allow someone with operating system to not hook on. (Talked about high $ cost systems.)

Baer: Have option to not force hook on. Don't know how to put in ordinance, use common sense.

Fehrman: Can we have availability fee?

Dennerline: Need debt service. Can't run on negative profit and loss.

Kramer will start publication for tentative approval and schedule hearing.

Dennerline: Unless they plan on working on it.

Kramer: Only publish the first (ordinance). Hook on requires 90 days notice. If we don't proceed we lose a month's dollars.

Dennerline motioned to table, Maxwell seconded, all approved.

Board Membership
Kramer had, as requested at the last meeting, done an evaluation on expanding the Board membership. The law allows 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 or 13 members. Seven are currently appointed by various entities as approved by IDEM. Any change must be approved by IDEM. An amended petition must be sent to IDEM. A petition to amend is at IDEM. Under the original, the Commissioners appoint two members from two groups of townships and the petition was to move Sparta to the second group of townships. IDEM has never acted on this. The Board could do no requirements for appointees to be a member of the Board. Should it be left at 7 or increase to 9 to add Greendale and Lawrenceburg. Getting quorum is a concern. He doesn't know if Greendale and Lawrenceburg are interested.

Fehrman: Would they be appointed by them?

Kramer: If effluent is treated elsewhere in a municipality, the municipality shall appoint the member. Should it be Lawrenceburg or SDRSD? Would have made more sense for SDRSD, since they handle treatment and they are knowledgeable.

Dennerline said Newlon (IDEM) said they needed Aurora, when Baer, Benning and he were working to set up the Board. While it was weighted toward Dillsboro, it was heavily weighted toward US 50 and Aurora. We are at the point to be more diversified. We'll need to add St. Leon, Moores Hill and Dillsboro.

Kramer suggested they not have districts, just must be residents of the County, and own real estate. RSDs are not a democratic society.

Dennerline: Benning, Baer and he went through all of this and all the political of the County. Sewer district is another governmental agency.

Kramer: It is a governmental corporation, not subject to politics.

Fehrman: Should it be SDRSD in lieu of Greendale and Lawrenceburg?

Dennerline: Send letters to the governing bodies to see if they are interested. We've got a bunch of things coming down (from State) with all kinds of demands for Sewer Districts and treatment.

Maxwell: Get input from the municipalities.

Kramer: Then we can file a modification with IDEM.

Dennerline moved and ______ seconded to have Kramer draft a letter to Greendale and Lawrenceburg.

Dennerline: SDRSD is the brainchild of the three, since Seagrams is gone. It behaves as a facility for treatment rather than a district

Maxwell: Lawrenceburg and Greendale are municipals and members of SDRSD, wouldn't want them contrary to SDRSD.

Dennerline: If they don't agree. Lawrenceburg and Greendale are extending now and need to get them on board and get their input. Guilford is a pressure and the State will come in. Greendale is the logical one to serve it. Aurora had to be on because it was served through Aurora.

Kramer: Petition will be amended to name Aurora. (It listed municipality in the petition.)

Motion passed.

Fehrman: Dave Enzweiler is up for reappointment by 12/31/07. Asked that Dave be reappointed.

Dennerline moved ______seconded that Benning draft a letter to the Commissioners asking to reappoint Enzweiler.

Benning: Has he agreed?

The question was also asked about a letter recommending Steve Renn(?) for Hankins replacement. He has asked for the position. There was a question about realigning the Board. Maxwell asked if the Jimmie Adams spot was vacant. Kramer suggested, rather than expanding the the Board, pick up the municipalities. He was concerned about quorum issues. It was decided not to act till a response from Lawrenceburg and Greendale.

Maxwell asked about Adams missing all the meetings, any action?


Baer indicated claims to County were due Tuesday, so they submitted miscellaneous claims. These came in after. He wants to take the advertising for the Serenity Ridge bidding out of the Serenity Ridge account. They received $100 from the plan sets and the advertising cost $68. Also toner for the printer for $180.08.
Benning: Umbaugh will probably present a bill for services in 2007. Don't have money budgeted. About $20,000.

Baer: No money for Umbaugh. Umbaugh has done work, if they present a bill. Umbaugh will probably submit when the West Aurora loan is obtained.

Dennerline moved, Maxwell(?) seconded to pay claims. Approved.

2008 Meeting Schedule

Dennerline suggested to advertise for two meetings a month and cancel the second in January, to save cost of re advertising. Advertise the first and third Thursday and in January decide the status of the second meeting. This will reserve the room as well.

Dennerline moved and Maxwell seconded to adjourn. Approved.

Adjourned at approximately 9:00 PM.

After the adjournment, Maxwell was talking to Fehrman saying they needed to fix Highridge. Then they could pickup Cheeks vote. Everybody wants Highridge fixed.

Ralph Thompson
Washington Township

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce Financial information

The Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce is an organization that is exempt from Income Tax 501c6 and therefore files tax form 990.

They list their primary purpose : To assist and promote the businesses of Dearborn County

Information below is from 2006 which was filed Aug 6, 2007. This information is part of what was requested to review at Tuesday Commissioner meeting before signing their contract and giving them $25,000 from Commissioners and $50,000 from Redevelopment Commission- the same as last year. Note the government contributions are listed as $13,000. Perhaps the direct public support line contains the rest. The itemized expenses of this organization appear reasonable.

Total revenue: $382,286

Gross receipts: $411,522

Direct Public support: $124,614

Membership dues: $118,312

Net Assets End of Year: $479,139

Expenses: $271,609 (Program services $144,738 + Management and general $126,874)

Gov’t contributions: $13,000

Compensation of Director: $93,679

Benefits of Director: $2,799 (pension)

Salary other staff: $43,004

Benefits staff: $7,177

Interest on savings and temporary cash investments: $55,007

Savings: 0

Cash- Non-interest bearing: $361,452


For county residents interested in the master plan process, check out the editorial page of the Dec 4th Journal Press.
4 December 2007 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

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

Kuebel Road – Commissioners signed a letter to Mr. White detailing the county’s position on the matter and Mark Siler (Hwy Dept) will mail it.

The Future Land Use Map amending the Master Plan was tabled again. Fox stated he wanted more time to review it and that he wanted to be certain that proper notice was given before they consider it at a meeting. Hughes agreed. Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd. All 3 voted Aye to table. There was some discussion again about notices to the radio and wanting then to use the press releases as written. Hughes laughed when he asked McCormack if the radio had told McCormack to “jazz it up” a little.

[NOTE: In fairness to the media- they were probably unaware of the effect a small change in wording had on that notice. Another point to consider is that it is hard to get the public’s attention with a dry press release or a public notice. The public is used to pictures, ads, sound bites, etc. They need a REASON to go these meetings. The wording of the announcement can affect attendance.]

Planning and Zoning- Mark McCormack- was given permission to trade in the old vehicle and negotiate a price for a “new” one. The new one will be about $9,000. The old vehicle has transmission issues among other problems.

American Structure Point- Kurt Fowerbaugh- presented the draft of the Bridge Inspection Inventory Report. He wanted Commissioners to have it now- as it was going to take some time to get the final report approved by INDOT. The binder was about 4 inches think and they have pdf files available for those who want digital and easily searchable copies. There are several bridges rated scour critical and others that need to be replaced- but money is not available. 15 bridges in our 145-150 bridge inventory have lives of less than 10 years. They did summaries to help prioritize the Transportation Dept.’s work.

Heapy Engineering- on Walnut Street in Lawrenceburg- John O’Brien- turned the podium over to Michael Berning to present LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system and sustainable design.

Berning detailed several large public corporations winning LEED classification as Silver, Gold, or Platinum design. Walmart, Ford, Honda, Toyota, etc. He talked about the east and west coasts leading the country in LEED designs and that 22 states require it. (IN missed it by one vote last session- IN is still modeled on the 1992 code and they currently are up to 2004 in other states) He said 30 colleges and universities also do this. The most significant part of this presentation was that LEED could actually increase productivity and save costs long term. The idea that being “green” saves money (the other “green”) was mentioned a couple times throughout the presentation. Commissioners took the information under advisement- no action.
[NOTE: Are grinder pumps considered to be "green"?]

Commissioners approved the 2008 Calendar for their meetings. Check the newspaper for publication in the future.

Dearborn Chamber of Commerce- Mike Rozow asked Commissioners to sign their 2008 contract- same as last years’ and approve the $75,000 budgeted to them. They get $25,000 from the county commissioners, $50,000 from CVTB via the Redevelopment Commission, and in addition $18,000 from CVTB as a management fee for them. [NOTE: Why does the COUNTY Redevelopment Commission meet at the chamber offices and not in a county meeting room?]
Thompson asked if they file tax form 990 (nor non-profits.) Rozow said yes- Thompson asked to table this until he had a chance to review that form. Commissioners voted to table.

Gary Hensley- Assessor- (not present- but Thompson presented for him)-Update on the DGLF-(DGLF – Dept. of government and local finance- is the old SBOA- state board of accounts.) Threatening letters from DGLF were sent stating they might revoke Hensley’s certification. Thompson talked to several offices in INDY and they now understand the work load we are under. Pickens noted that the young lady who was sending the letters was finding out that this was not the way to get things done. He also stated that Hensley walked into one heck of a mess. Hughes said Hensley is doing a good job- straightening things out. The PTABOA is hearing 100-125 appeals a day now.

Mark Siler- Transportation Dept. - gave a 20-minute report. (Listerman was not present).

Golden Road Acres (3 homes) at the end of Maune Road was accepted into the county road system as a 150 ft cul de sac.

Dakota, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado of Rocky Mountain Estates were accepted in to the county road system also. They have 91 homes of the 129 lots built out.

Jenny Lynn Drive and Old Orchard Subdivision was discussed. Decision was to place signs at the end of the existing road, put a stone base in and cover it with 2 inches of topsoil seed and straw so it doesn’t look like a through road. This is for emergency access only to Old Orchard. The county will rely on neighbors to tell them if it is being used for non- emergencies and they will contact sheriff to enforce that. Hughes wanted an ordinance with a fine for that. Thompson wanted the developer to pay the cost of stone, soil and seed, as part of their subdivision. Siler will call Tucker and advise them at the next meeting of his response. Cost will be less than $1,000. Thompson said- it’s still Tucker’s responsibility.

Artimis letter was signed and sent to INDOT. Hughes asked Thompson to stay on as point man on this project with OKI and INDOT, the Feds, KY and OH as well.

Ewbank is reviewing the contract with INDOT and the county on the Triple Whipple.

Asphalt, fuel, and stone bids were opened last week and the commissioners voted to accept ALL the bids.

Nugent called the Transportation Dept and is interested in helping with Artimis funding issue.

The DCEDI board of directors and executive board were acknowledged by written consent from the commissioners. (The county is a member of DCEDI) All three voted to accept this.

Claims approved. Minutes are not finished due to tax calls. Pickens hasn’t had time to look at the GIS tax items yet with the one township that was completed.

Messmore- Hometown Competitiveness Update- made it to the final round and final selection will be in December. Phase 1 assessment takes 4 months. He said many county people were at the meeting on this- the Chamber, Planning Dept, Purdue Extension, Greendale, Lawrenceburg, IVY Tech, and local bank representatives, etc. [NOTE: Any CITIZENS?] Messmore was also at a rural summit in INDY talking about teaming up regionally on projects to get match money.

Ewbank- no new lawsuits. He will have an annual list for commissioners of all actions pending at the year’s end. There is one suit on strip-searches still out. The county insurance is defending the county in most of these claims.

Thompson- congratulated Commissioner Hughes on all his wife’s hard work on the birth of their son.
Fox concurred and added plus his name is a mile long.

Hughes responded to a question from the public- that the boy’s name was Henry Alexander James Hughes- named for his grandfathers.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

December 3, 2007

Counties Testify About House Bill 1001

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Allen County Clerk of the Circuit Court Therese Brown testified before the House Ways and Means Committee today on behalf of the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) regarding the AIC’s position on House Bill 1001.

The AIC does support elements of House Bill 1001, but has serious concerns regarding much language in the legislation. Brown who has also served as Allen County Auditor and currently serves on the AIC Executive Board said overall, property tax increases had less to do with county government spending and were actually attributable to several other factors, including: the first assessment update of residential property in six years, the repeal of the inventory tax and the state’s change to the formula for providing property tax relief.

“Homeowners are being asked to pick up more of the share of property taxes because the business share of property taxes has decreased. Overall, business liability is nearly the same as it was in 1991, but their share of the property tax pie has decreased, putting more pressure on homeowners. On Average, if you subtract welfare from property taxes, county government accounts for just 17 percent of property taxes,” said Brown.

The AIC has concerns about the following provisions:
• Circuit Breakers: The legislature has already approved property tax caps to go into effect in 2008 and 2010. We believe the proposed 1%, 2% and 3% property tax caps will extremely limit funding to local governments. The new caps in House Bill 1001 are estimated to cost local governments $5.3 (m) million in 2008, $747.5 (m) million in 2009 and $747.7 (m) million in 2010.
• County Board of Tax & Capital Projects Review: The AIC believes there is merit to having a body review and coordinate significant capital projects. However, House Bill 1001 complicates the process by adding a new layer of government with 184 additional elected officials. Many taxpayers will not be able to vote for the majority of these board members, creating less accountability. We believe the County Council should fulfill this role since they are elected to serve the entire county.
• Spending Limits: We oppose limits on local spending and the use of referendum to approve capital projects because we believe there will be a negative impact on local services and economic development. For instance, if a referendum is required to spend money for economic development, the process for attracting new businesses to a community could be threatened. We also foresee serious problems in cases of natural disaster. If extra spending would be needed for a flood cleanup, the use of referendum could create serious hardships.

The AIC encourages legislators to work with the county officials in their districts; they are eager to partner with the state in finding long-term solutions.

The Association of Indiana Counties, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 1957 for the betterment of county government. The various functions of the AIC include lobbying the Indiana General Assembly on behalf of counties, serving as liaison among counties, state and federal agencies as well as providing technical assistance and training to county officials and employees.