Wednesday, March 26, 2008

25 March 2008 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

25 March 2008 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Fehrman, Chairman, Cheek, Kraus, Ullrich, Morris, and Barrott.
ABSENT: Lansing

Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, Listerman, Transportation Director, and all three commissioners

Also present in the audience were CANDIDATES: Phil Darling, Council, Tom Orschel, D-2 Commissioner, and Kathy Scott, D-1 Commissioner.

Judge Blankenship and Prosecutor Negangard were in the audience

This special meeting was primarily for Capital Projects and lasted nearly 3 hours. IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE ROAD PRIORITY LISTS CONTACT THE HIGHWAY DEPT.

Scott Fortner of the Park Board presented a request for Riverboat Revenue to help with the wash out of Guilford Park in the recent flood. They need wiring and rip rap and the county hwy dept. will help with a backhoe etc to get the park usable again. Council asked them to come back in May with an estimate.

Rick Fox began the Capital Projects Discussion and stated that Liz Morris, Maynard Barrott, and Dennis Kraus sat in on the Capital Projects group. They looked at the 2030 plan for road improvements and he thought it would be beneficial to show the people that they are starting to do something.

Fox said the traffic counts on Stateline and Jamison are about 6,000 (Listerman said 6300) and the project to fix that area with turn lanes was $2.5 million. Cheek thought that 5 years ago we had set aside money to do this. Pickens said there was money to do it. But at some point we have to tackle these long-range plans like North Dearborn too.

Listerman said we use the OKI ranking system to prioritize the roads- using 7-8 categories and a point system.

Stateline is the only one off line from the Special Capital Project’s Committee’s list. [NOTE: How did that become added to tonight’s requests- without the committee’s approval? Who added it?]

Fox went on to discuss the Special projects list of slips- Collier Ridge for ½ million, West Laughery for $50,000 using county labor, and Wilson Creek geotech work only for $100,000. The Wilson Creek construction project may cost $1-1.5 million per Listerman.

Pickens said there is $816,000 in Major Moves money (this is the last year of that- it was a 2-year program)

Cheek asked if the work on Wilson Creek itself by Walmart was contributing to that slip. Listerman said it didn’t help – but it would be hard to prove.

Cheek said the North Hogan and Lower Dillsboro slips with closed roads- where are they on this list? Listerman said- those all occurred AFTER we did this list.
Pickens tried to get the Council focused back onto the list.

Listerman- we also have Bridge 15 on Bell’s Branch, which will be let in July now per INDOT. Cum Bridge will cover the $300,000 match we need for that.

Fox presented the handwritten list for bridges which Listerman said were prioritized and they’d set aside the ones they could get federal money for. Bridges to be done included Cold Springs, Collier Ridge and Bonnell.

Striping list was $125,000, Equipment was $410,000 and paving existing arterial upgrades on Mt Pleasant, Huseman, and Johnson Fork was 1.06 Million.

Fox said- People want to see some results- some improvements. We want to return some money to unimproved roads for about $1.5 million a year and keep this in place to keep up on a priority system. I’m sure all of you are getting calls. This is a chance to take some of the money you’ve saved and give it back. Fox doesn’t want it perceived that we use old data- he wants new road counts on these gravel roads. [NOTE: Traffic counts from one year to the next are not likely to change much on these little roads.]

Fox said he didn’t want them to allocate the money to CERTAIN ROADS- just give us a number and we’ll do the ones with the highest priority first. He wants to use traffic volume as a priority. Fox later said something about counts needing to be done while school was in session like on Ennis Ridge.

Listerman said there are 80 miles of unimproved roads- this list is the THROUGH ROADS that are unimproved and is about 30 miles.

Fox wants a system that we can defend.

Cheek said the Riverboat revenue was to fix roads- we should do that. What’s to say that a higher traffic count road is in greater need than a lower one?

Fehrman asked each member to weigh in on whether Major Moves should be spent on one time repair or on an ongoing project. Most said one time capital expense.

Pickens gave info: Major moves has $650,000. The MVHA will be used for line striping, equipment and paving for 3 roads. The highway dept. has $1.5 million in county general, which can only be used to pay salaries. They wanted to swap this with MVHA and use the contingency fund also. There is also a projected $1.2 million surplus in county general this year. This leaves $166,000 in Major Moves to perhaps work on Lower Dillsboro Road etc.
[NOTE: Now here’s an example of accounting in motion. Can’t this be more straightforward?]

Fehrman told Listerman that for fixing those slips- if he gets the grant we’ll fund the match for federal funding.

Council then took the following actions:
1. They approved $650,000 from MVHA (using the Major Moves portion from there, leaving $166,000 in Major Moves.

2. They approved $300,000 for Bells Branch bridge match.

3. They approved $1,635 million for line striping, equipment, and paving 3 roads.

They then discussed what to do with the unimproved roads list. Listerman said 4.5 inches of asphalt would be put on after they mill off the olds stuff that is crumbled. Pipes and ditching will be done but they will only pave existing lengths and widths.

Kraus said- people just want to drive on a road without choking on the dust.
Fox- We’re asking for $1.5 million to start. Listerman said we’ll do the top 4 roads (they were already listed.)

Fehrman said- the money we’ve saved for N Dearborn for 5 years- the federal money is not there anymore. Should we use this for something else? Messmore concurred.
The Bright project- Stateline- is all local- no federal and 10 years old!

Fehrman asked about the rainy day fund, then said- forget I said that.

Pickens said we could use the contingency fund and spend all $900,000 out of that. Listerman said- INDOT capped their projects at #3million and we won’t get that until 2015-2016. Fehrman said – take $600,000 from County General and $900,000 from contingency to get $1.5 million for unimproved roads.

Thompson said- Remember the tax appeals finish in 3 weeks or so- some appeals may reduce this. Don’t spend it all – we have road slips to fix.

COUNCIL APPROVED $750,000 with 600,000 from county general and 150,000 from contingency. (1/2 of what Fox asked for) Listerman will have updated vehicle counts in May.

Fox said he’d like to thank you guys- wise move- basically Dennis’s idea to get the ball rolling. Barrott said this was the way to do it- there were disagreements, but a tremendous idea.

Fehrman said we have to wait on the 2030 list until we hear what RQAW- Brett Dodd has to tell us. (Stateline project was essentially tabled.)

Pickens introduced Dodd from RQAW who was doing this design for free rather than paying for a study. Costs of construction up to $150/sq ft. Plans were passed out for renovation of courthouse [NOTE: Didn’t we just do that a few years ago? Are the bonds even paid off yet?] , Adm Bldg, the area across the RR tracks possibly etc.

Dodd said we could move probation out and make the courthouse essentially a court area with a secure access elevator. He wasn’t sure if the elevator could actually be done there yet. The Adm Bldg would become Probation, Prosecutors and Community Corrections. Prosecutor would have the entire top floor- 6,000 sq ft.

The potential new building will be the Adm Bldg Annex built on the old scrap heap from L-bg on Maple and William St. It would cost $10-12,000 to see what contaminants are there. [NOTE: Or we could ASK Lawrenceburg what’s in it!]

The annex could have 50 parking spaces and 2-3 floors plus add 90-100 spaces where the house and trailer are on that street perhaps. We’d keep the building development groups together- for one stop permitting etc. Perhaps add a FITNESS PLACE for employee health. [NOTE: At taxpayer expense? Though perhaps the county administrator would be more accessible if he could exercise in the building.]

Total costs would be $8-9 million contingency percentages built in. They could schedule this all out with the new annex being first built so that they could move in, then prosecutor, probation could move, and then courthouse could be renovated. Total finish date Oct 2010 if they start in April.

Dodd said- We are also studying another option now.

Council talked about taking $12,000 out of econ dev fund to see if contaminants are on the old dumpsite for the annex. Ullrich said he was having a hard time seeing this across the RR tracks with those houses around it.

Dodd from RQAW said- We’re talking to Maxwell to see what they can do also – looking at the Shumway Bldg again. [NOTE: Benning wanted this building during her term. This building was appraised, inspected, and found to be a bad choice just a few years ago. What changed?]

When asked their opinion Fox said- we’re just looking at this like you are. Thompson said I don’t know anything about this yet.

It was then stated that the contractor (Maxwell???) saw deficiencies first hand when on jury duty. They are looking to work this out with Lawrenceburg and maybe get a 1.5% loan. The contractor is representing the attorney and Fortune Management.
Dodd said the jail would then be next. 80% of the inmates were drug offenses and could go for work-release programs. Cheek asked if the judges know about this. What about Witte? Negangard said this was the first he saw it.

Cheek asked- Where is this coming from? The commissioners are in charge of buildings and this is the 1st they knew of it. People have tax increases.

Fox said- I’m not insulted- Cary – whatever- Lawrenceburg approached us with free ground. It’s low cost to look. Cary said he’d heard from the mayor. Cheek said he talked to Mario Todd at Solid Waste 2 weeks ago and he didn’t know of land for sale.

Fehrman said- I heard the mayor say we could work out a deal for a $1 on that. [NOTE: Where and when and with whom did he hear that?]

Dodd said- wait on the $12,000 till we look at the other option. Ullrich said- the city of Lawrenceburg probably knows what’s under it. Morris said- they wouldn’t give us something bad.

Fehrman- should we schedule another joint meeting to look at other options.

Meeting set for APRIL 22nd at 7:30 PM in ADM Bldg

Judge Blankenship said she’s not familiar with this either- she appreciates Cary doing this. Pickens said he did it to get the ball rolling- nothing was going on.

Thompson said there were discussions with RQAW and Messmore last year so there wasn’t “nothing going on.”

GIS- Margaret Minzner- approved $394,000 from Growth and Dev fund for Sidwell from St. Charles, IL to do our GIS mapping. They were lowest bidder.

Pickens got salary ordinances signed and got rid of deputy titles and created two new ones for professional positions in his office- financial controller (plus $2500) and the other one for increase of $1500 per year.

Pickens got the rainy day fund resolution signed to get the extra COIT distribution of $2.1million. There is a $3.9 million surplus and can use 10% of that for rainy day fund also. The uses are same as county general and you can always add up to 10% of your total budget if you have a surplus any year. Approved as written. [NOTE: We keep getting told there is no money- but then we see these SURPLUS funds…]

Sheriff Lusby sent info that they need $14,000 to upgrade and improve security cameras to eliminate a 4-minute delay. Vote for next meeting- not tonight.

County Farm will advertise for $16,000 for mower and money to enclose the firing range.

Negangard presented request for $10,880 that will later be reimbursed to put reception area out into the Courthouse lobby to secure the flow of traffic. Approved with Cheek NAY.

Bill Black got low bid for gutters and downspouts from Your and Kuhn Sheetmetal for $27,273 approved. Cheek NAY.

Black was glad GIS done as Fire and EMS have been complaining about needing the maps.

Cheek brought up a lawsuit letter he received and also the one settled for strip search at the jail. It costs the county as they pay the $5,000 deductible and the premium increases. He hoped the offending officer was fired.

Pickens said the assessor will need another employee in July as township assessors are being eliminated by state law. Thompson said Assessor is asking for another vehicle also.

Council approved the addition of 6 line items in the budget for probation costs in the dept of child services.

Meeting adjourned at 10:25 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

Who died and left Pickens in charge.

Anonymous said...

Is it November yet?

Anonymous said...

somsbody needs to light a match under somebody ass and fix the county its waisting away the state way is not the right way.

Anonymous said...

Why is Pickens allowed to say anything at these meetings? He should be sitting with the deputy on duty. What good is his information? He should only say if there is or if there isn't money for the project. Why is he given the floor when no other person can offer their opinion?

Anonymous said...

Chris, are you saying the county admin is exercising on county time? If so, he should be revising his resume like the cop involved in the strip search fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Why has a building plan been proposed without going through the Commissioners?

Is Pickens now running the county?

And why is Fox all of a sudden presenting for Highway? Is he trying to make a grand stand play after three years of doing nothing?

Anonymous said...

Fox has done one thing. He cost the county thousands of dollars on the Vieste scam.

Anonymous said...

Have you?

Anonymous said...

Cost the county thousands? uhh. no.

Anonymous said...

Cost the county thousands? uhh. no.

Try hundreds of thousands of dollars. And wait when the taxpayers start getting forced hookup letters from the dcrsd, one of rick's more sordid creations, that will cost the taxpayers millions.

Anonymous said...

Where was Mr Hughes is all this presentation?
How come the roads are suddenly so important? Is it because none oftheir other schemes have come to fruition, so now they are going to give us all some road work?

Anonymous said...

do you ever have a good day? it's always something, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Where was Mr Hughes is all this presentation?
How come the roads are suddenly so important? Is it because none oftheir other schemes have come to fruition, so now they are going to give us all some "

"do you ever have a good day? it's always something, isn't it?"

Thats because "You can't handle the truth"

Anonymous said...

HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW ouch truth hurts

Anonymous said...

i bet the ear phone melting from the calls now good job .I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY

Anonymous said...

what was in the paper this week MESSMORE is this the RED zone you and LISTERMAN was talking about?

Anonymous said...

Read Chris Mueller "Guest Column"

She hits the nail on the head.

It is amazing how she does her reporting on certain politicall individuals. She is not a concerned citizen she is just like every other politically connected developer with different cause.

Anonymous said...

She is not a concerned citizen she is just like every other politically connected developer with different cause.

Not quite, Mueller is not always trying to devise ways of having me pay for her needs like our crooked realtor/developers do at every available opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Chris keeps her agenda open and public, maybe you would like her more if she tended toward backroom deals and closed door politics like our "politically connected developers?"

Anonymous said...

What next?

Will we hear our local development interest whiners and their in-pocket politicians crying that only those with the time and money have the time to write guest columns?

Put some ice on it crooks!

Anonymous said...

Fox, Hughes, Ewbank and Messmore got "owned" by Chris' guest column!!!

Honesty is the best policy...unless you are being honest about Fox, Hughes, Ewbank and Messmore!!!

Honesty, when it comes to Fox, Hughes, Ewbank and Messmore's actions over the last few years leaves them lamely flustering and blustering and flailing away!!!

Anonymous said...

Not quite, Mueller is not always trying to devise ways of having me pay for her needs like our crooked realtor/developers do at every available opportunity.

When was the last time Christine promoted forcing "availability fees" on HER neigbors to pay to improve HER property?

Contrast that with the scoundrels on the DCRSD board.

Anonymous said...

Rick and Jeff's guest column is being written for them by some dcedi hack as we speak.

Anonymous said...

"Come to the light Rick and Jeff (the Carol Anne twins), come to the light!" Beckons the now and forever politically dead Vera

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I believe, that after "much debate," Bryan Messmore will be handed his pink slip by the new commissioners.

Ewbank is most certainly already drafting his letter of resignation as county attorney for reasons of spending more time with his family and John Maxwell.

Anonymous said...

"A hardy welcome to Mike Rozow as the new DCEDI President.

We look forward to the "same old...same old" from you as we expected from past President Jim West.

Remember, you work for us, not the good of the average taxpayer.

Never forget, the average taxpayer only exists to be tapped and coerced for all their worth for our benefit."


The DCEDI Membership

Anonymous said...

Dennridge Acres




Anonymous said...

Speaking of the dcrsd, whatever happened to the third commissioner who helped created the dcrsd? Did she land on her feet after losing office? Is she gainfully employed somewhere not associated with the dcrsd or some form of crony welfare? Or is she still sucking on and gulping down on that political patronage sow's teat?

Anonymous said...

Rodney's dam failed.

May that portend for more "good" things to also happen to the DCRSD.

All things eventually fail that are built upon corrupt foundations.

Anonymous said...

"Come to the light Rick and Jeff (the Carol Anne twins), come to the light!" Beckons the now and forever politically dead Vera"

And on their political gravestones will be written:




Anonymous said...

Rick Fox wanted the property owners up in the N.W. Quadrant to remain in the dark as politically connected realtors, developers and other assorted and a sundry crooks tried to buy up their land ahead of the Vieste's plans became public to turn the Quadrant into a commercially zoned free-for-all...

...but Rick Fox wants top dollar for his family's piddly 90 acres for development purposes.

What a swell guy Rick Fox is...

...good people of the N.W. Quadrant, remember how "swell" a guy Rick Fox is this election season!

Anonymous said...

Fox is and will always be a backwater idiot hoping to reach the level Rodney Dennerline in political influence and respect.

Anonymous said...

Correction: level of Rodney Dennerline

Sewage always strives to reach its own level, don't ya know!!!!!!!

That is, nature always tries to move material to fill a vacuum!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"It is amazing how she does her reporting on certain politically individuals."

We will be waiting, anxiously, for your guest column(s) on Rick and Jeff's opponents.

Maybe you can label them "anti-everythings" and "do-nothings?"

That would be both creative and unique on your part.

Anonymous said...

"It is amazing how she does her reporting on certain politically individuals."

Yip...yip...yip as the mongrel development owned political dogs snap at those honest citizen/taxpayer lovable hounds as such honest and lovable hounds relieve them of their ill-gained political power bones... today is surely a "bitch" (mind you, no disrespect intended toward our local Lhasa Apso Legal Eagle Beagle mongrel Lisa or her four-footed News Howler Liz) for our county ethically mangy and mongrel dogs...

Anonymous said...

Are you a republican?

Would you like to get elected to political office in dearborn county?

Then, walk away, run away...hell... better you gallop away from any and all endorsements from our current county republican leadership.

Anonymous said...

dont matter rep or dem wrong is wrong tax payers allways pay for it or am i wrong thank about it.

Anonymous said...

We all need to enrich our local politically entrenched greedy bastards.

Or so says Ewbank and that sick-cute little drooling hand-holding couple of commissioners Ewbank has forever walking two steps behind him at all times.

Anonymous said...

pickens you need something for assessor to drive call the highway dept they are going to have new trucks just sitting around.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Trucks should be used for the county's work. This quibbling over the trucks not going home with county employees is getting old.
How much liability does the county have when their trucks are parked overnight and over weekends at employee's homes?
Lawrenceburg has a practice of letting employees sign out equipment to use at home too.
Where did all this come from? Extra wear and tear on TAXPAYER financed equipment and vehicles.
This needs to be corrected.

Anonymous said...

dearborn county not lawrenceburg

Anonymous said...

same as a police cruser.

Anonymous said...

the people needs to wake up in dearborn county we cant afford to have these people run the county anymore they have gambled away enough tax money clean house council needs to send back to ohio and seymore they have put us in the red with there ways.