Thursday, January 29, 2009
DEARBORN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING
February 3, 2009
7:00 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
II. CALL TO ORDER
III. OLD BUSINESS
1. GIS Data Sharing Agreement – tabled from 1/20/09
2. Bright Fire Protection District – tabled from 1/20/09
3. Contract for PAWS Animal Shelter – tabled from 1/20/09
IV. NEW BUSINESS
1. Bill Black – Emergency Management
Signatures for Level Two Snow Emergency
2. Mark McCormack – Planning and Zoning
Proposed amendments to:
Article 2, Sections 216, 232, 244, 260 & 280 and
Article 7 of the DC Subdivision Control Ordinance
3. Signature for LifeTime Housing Group to DNR
V. HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT – Todd Listerman
VI. AUDITOR - Cary Pickens
VII. ATTORNEY - G. Michael Witte
VIII. COMMISSIONER – Jeff Hughes
IX. COMMISSIONER – Tom Orschell
X. COMMISSIONER – Ralph Thompson, Jr.
XI. LATE ARRIVAL INFORMATION
XII. PUBLIC COMMENT
Tom Orschell- $0 additional. Total spent on election $3112.62
Richard Fox- $4700 additional ( Rick Fox $2700, Bob and Mary Ewbank- $1000, Violet Fox-$100, and Barnes and Thornburg (lobbyists)- $1000.) Total spent on election $6250.09
Doug Taylor- $522.66 additional from himself and unitemized. Final report.
Jeff Hughes- $1554.51 additional (Mr/Mrs Bob Ewbank- $1000, Fred Schmits-$200, Jeff Hughes- $354.51.) Total spent on election- $15,168.72
Council – at Large-
Phil Darling- $300 additional (Asbestos Wkrs Local.) Final Report
Charlie Fehrman- $0 Final Report
Maynard Barrett- $288.45 from himself- Final Report- Total spent on election $4768.45
Bill Ullrich- $0 final report
James Humphrey $37.66 interest from UCB CD – total fund $1131.18 (annual report only- did not run in 2008)
G Michael Witte- $1114 unitemized + 1900 itemized ( Eric/Deb Werner-$500, Marty Pieratt- $600, Tony Witte-$300, Kevin/Linda Murname- $500) Total spent on election- $22,594.97.
Barb Wyly- $7640.07 additional from Jim Wyly. Total spent on election - $21,309.55
Thom Blondell- sent $418.81 to Election for Ann Brady Cook Cty Judge campaign. Had $50.95 left in fund. Total spent - $6409.27.
Jon Cleary- sent ck to Gene Cleary $2279.09 and had $426.22 unitemized. FINAL report- Total spent on campaign- $32,626,31.
Clerk of Courts-
Phil Weaver- final $0
Citizens for Dearborn County- Final report filed Nov. 2008- $0. Total spent- $3480.75.
Dearborn County Positive Growth PAC- Final report one sheet dated 1/14/09 shows $400 in and spent but no attached sheets to see who contributed or what was purchased. The treasurer is Kim Roell, the chairman is Mark Rosenberger, and the Custodian of Records is Vera Benning.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Also present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, and Mark McCormack, Plan Director.
Mike Hall was reelected chairman and Dennis Kraus Jr. was reelected vice chairman.
Mike Hall was reappointed to the BZA.
Minutes were approved with Hoog abstaining, as he is the new member.
Though advertised the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance were only briefly discussed and will be handled at the next meeting. The packets of info were not mailed due to McCormack’s daughter’s birth. Congratulations were bestowed on both him and Mark Lehman, whose son was also born this month.
1. Welcome to Jake Hoog, replacing Bob Laws. Also noted that Lansing was reappointed form Council and Thompson from Commissioners. Rick Pope was appointed to BZA (formerly on PC)
2. Bond report passed out. Waiver request coming from Tucker and also working on a fix for Seldom Seen. Most bonds will soon be OK except Sugar Ridge. Elvin Miller will have one coming up in the fall.
3. Fiscal Impact Study is slow due to GIS holdup- and inability to get some of the raw data needed to run the test. McCormack is meeting with OKI to check into this more in Feb. The parcel maps are being worked on- Council just approved $60,000 in part time labor to correct the deed errors.
4. Two out of three commissioners asked about re-introducing the master plan map amendments. PC went over most of Hughes’s objections. Lehman noted that half the board wasn’t there when it started. PC decided that the commissioners should re-introduce it and will have a PUBLIC HEARING announced and advertised, since it has been tabled for a year!
5. 2008 final report will be out in February- most data ready in draft form. Mark is just finishing it up.
Meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Friday, January 23, 2009
Present: Dennis Kraus, Sr, new President, Maynard Barrett, new VP, Charlie Fehrman, Liz Morris, Bill Ullrich, and Dan Lansing.
ABSENT: Tom Cheek
Also present: Cary Pickens, Auditor.
Commissioners Thompson and Orschell were in attendance and had attended the previous executive session as had Mike Witte, County Attorney.
Board Appointments- made by consensus- there were no motions or “votes”
Advisory Board- Dennis Kraus, Sr.
Alcohol Board- Ralph Shaffer
Animal Control- Bill Ullrich
BZA- Rick Pope
CVTB- Maynard Barrett
Economic Development- Dennis Kraus, Sr.
Emergency Mgmt- Bill Ullrich
Juvenile Detention- Liz Morris
OKI – Mark McCormack
Planning Commission- Dan Lansing
PTABOA- Mary Booker and Ken Maddin
Redevelopment Commission- Kevin Lynch
SEI Regional Planning- Mark McCormack
Solid Waste- Tom Cheek
Sewer Board- Art Wenzel and Jeff Stenger (both surveyors- Kraus, Sr , who is also a surveyor, said this was a good qualification for this board) [NOTE: These 2 replace John Maxwell and Mike Hankins]
Margaret Minzner- GIS- ( and Cary Pickens, Auditor) – request for $60,000 for part time qualified help to deed research to get the parcel map back on track. Numerous plats wee rejected and have to be fixed to fit the maps. GIS wants this process to get back on track. Current rates would take 3 years to complete. This will speed that up considerably. Approved out of contingency fund, as the auditor’s budget only had $20,000 left for this.
Jessica Tibbetts- Auditor’s office- obtained Kraus’s signature for the non binding resolution to keep St. Leon’s budget at 4% increase or less.
Tibbets’ had them approve salary ordinances for circuit court and others that were corrections. Morris questioned the 2 from Community Corrections as she said there were to be no new spots created without Council approval. They were approved.
Overtime for Auditor’s office was reviewed by the county attorney was granted at $18,473 plus FICA- 1414 and PERF 1113. Jessica will send a memo out warning all dept. heads about these inclusions in overtime requests etc.
Tibbetts also noted the new software that will replace the excel files used for budget will be much easier to use and see on screen.
Jewell DuBonis- Lewis and Kappes- Lobbyists- went through an update similar to Tues at Commissioner’s meeting. She noted that state budget will be $700 million short by June 30 and in tough economic times they will look to the boats for revenue. The easiest money to take is the hold harmless money, which is $3.75 million of the county’s fund. She said our 3 representatives – Knollman, Nugent, and Bischoff are with us on keeping this. The new vice-chair of Ways and Means is from Michigan City which has a boat- and that will be helpful.
DuBonis does not see a lot of support for eliminating commissioners to have just one super commissioner. She said the boat money revolves around what we will give in trade to keep the revenue. She said Nugent traded his votes last time- like for Daylight Savings Time, etc.
The Gaming Commission wants control of Economic Development Incentive Payments, but has been defeated several times. This could give them control over reviewing the Argosy to Lawrenceburg special funds and if they wee not used for economic development in their opinion- they could be taken. Barrett asked if Jean Leising was helping- Du Bonis said yes.
She also said that we can’t win this in a fight on the floor of the legislature. You have to do this – how shall I say it- (since the media is here)- “in the back room!” Du Bonis stressed this is all about horse-trading. [NOTE: And folks that’s the way it goes with lobbyists- so what do you think they are trading in the “back room” that can’t be discussed in the light of day on the floor of the legislature?] Council later voted to renew the lobbyist funds per contract.
Tracy Agner- Juvenile Center- Approval granted for youth specialist ($2,000) and Matrix raises- $6490
Carl Fryman- Building Dept- $11,000 granted for part time help with Argosy inspections, vacations, etc.
Highway Dept- Todd Listerman- NO REQUEST FOR MONEY- Listerman gave an overview of some possible ways to raise money for operations so that highway work could go back to using riverboat funds for that instead of operations. Listerman stated that the highway budget from the state decreased 4% in 2007, 3 % in 2008, and 10% in 2009. He has frozen all positions and eliminated 2.
A wheel tax of $25 per car and $40 per truck were discussed. Even if enacted – we would collect in 2010 and not see it till 2011. ALL MONEY from this comes back to the county, cities and towns. County gets 83% and cities and towns share the other 17%. It is based on road miles and population. Listerman estimates about $1million a year from this for the county alone with our current licenses.
Majority of our revenue comes from fuel tax now and 60% of that collected goes to state police fund.
Since 1999 this fund has gone down EVERY year!
He noted also we have 103 bridges to maintain and Chesterville alone too $900,000 to repair.
Council also approved a transfer of funds of $300,000 from 147 account for ROW acquisition for North Dearborn and Stateline.
Mike Rozow- Redevelopment Commission and DCEDI and Chamber- requested $1.5 million for land acquisition to match the $1.5 million that L-bg granted them for the Redevelopment Commission. They intend to purchase land in or around the TIF areas. They are setting up a task force to oversee this of Pres of Council, Pres of Commissioners, Pres of Redev Commission, someone from L-bg, and Kevin Lynch- appraiser from US Bank and also on Redev Commission. Council approved a pledge of $1.5 million in a special account earmarked for this and contingent on the approval of the 5 member task force. [NOTE: This item was NOT ON THE AGENDA and was not advertised. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE $300,000 THAT THEY RECEIVED ABOUT A YEAR AGO FOR LAND OPTIONS?]
Gayle Pennington Treasurer, via Charlie Fehrman presenting, received approval for $10,000 for part time help – advertised from previous meeting.
Sewer Funds transferred from 207 to 162 for $38,979 for part time person, bonds, legals, etc.
Bill Ullrich and several other councilmen thanked Charlie for his years of service as Chairman.
Adult Probation Users fund of $2680 for furniture for Judge Humphrey’s Court approved.
Children’s Psychiatric Residential Treatment- $50,000 approved.
Family and Children- Child Welfare Services- $424,319 approved
Probation- $98,502 approved
Maynard Barrett- asked for $56,364 plus travel exp not to exceed $3200 – rounded to about $60,000 for Kent Irwin and company to do a job classification study and rewrite the personnel handbook. [NOTE: AGAIN!!!- this has been done twice before since 1995]
In the discussion that ensued it became obvious that there is a large rift occurring between the courthouse and the adm building over employees being “taken” for higher wages to the courthouse. Apparently the judges can pay whatever they want for the same classifications of workers and they lure away good adm bldg employees. Barrett said the model is the sheriff’s office with a matrix and job descriptions etc. He noted that Cary Pickens had to create 2 positions to keep good people who were qualified there. They want to do this job with the best and Kent Irwin is the best, according to Pickens and Barrett.
Pickens went on to say that this will have dept. heads doing job performance appraisals or they get no raises. It will have parity with the courthouse- so no more raiding.
Fehrman cautioned them that when they vote for this- they are agreeing to enact it when complete. [NOTE: Fehrman seemed to be cautioning them about the politics involved here. Personally, I am not sure HOW they are going to get around the fact that the judges seem to be able to mandate whatever they need- or want. Creating a salary ordinance never stopped this practice- so how will this do it? The Courthouse depts. are moving employees around now with the new judge. Who is monitoring that set of salaries and duties?]
Fehrman advised Council that Gary Hensley- Assessor was questioning the $4,000 for certification. He was informed that $1,000 was for him and the rest was for others who get certified.
NEXT meeting is scheduled for May 26th. Others will be advertised if scheduled.
Meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I invite you to view our county's promotional video with respect to Project Lead The Way and the EcO15 Inititiative efforts to help our young people be aware of careers in Advanced Manufacturing.
1.Go to EcO15 Web Site : http://www.eco15.org
2.Under "Main Navigation" click on "SE Indiana Counties".
3.Go to map on the right side of the screen and click on "Dearborn County".
4.Scroll-down to Streaming Video.....Watch and Enjoy!
Mark J. Neff
Dearborn County EcO15 Coordinator
Dearborn Community Foundation
322 Walnut Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
(812) 539-4115 Foundation Office
(812) 539-4119 Fax
(812) 584-7629 Cell Phone
Present: Thompson, President, Hughes, and Orschell.
Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Departing Administrator.
ABSENT: Witte, County Attorney (previous commitment)
American Farm Products Manufacturing- (Hall Farms)- Thompson reported that Katie Rademacher, Zoning Enforcement Officer, had inspected the operations and found it to be in compliance with Article 9 Section 910 #9 of the Zoning Code, which means it is allowed in that zone.
Margaret Minzner- GIS- briefly stated they were having issues with the parcel project, due to many parcels needing correction. Sidwell, the vendor, may not meet the July deadline. She is requesting more money from Council to hire more part time help to get the parcel data corrected to finish the project.
Pickens actually upped her request to $60,000 instead of $48,000 for Council to review Thursday. OK’d to go to Council.
Commissioners TABLED the data sharing agreement with Fountain Town Gas until they could get Witte’s opinion.
Jewell DuBonis of Lewis and Kappes- Lobbyists for the County- reviewed their lobbying activities. She passed out a list of challenges for the county in 2009. They have someone at all the hearings. She listed several bills such as SB541, SB 30, SB289 as affecting our Riverboat Revenue potentially and Lawrenceburg’s local agreement with the boat as well. She mentioned Tax assessment of flood plain areas (that the boat is in) and winery bills.
Orschell asked her how a new official such as himself could help with this.
DuBonis said that getting the information out that the streets are not paved with gold here (Pickens said- Close- they have salt on them (referring to the high price of salt). DuBonis said the sharing plans that L-bg has for their revenue in the region is helpful too. She recommended he get the word out on what it COSTS to have a boat here with courts, jail space, patrols, the new bridge, etc. [NOTE: Perhaps the county should add changing the forced sewer hook-up laws to the lobbyist’s activities…]
Later in the meeting, the Commissioners signed the annual agreement with Lewis and Kappes.
Carl Fryman- Building Department- was approved to go to Council for $11,000 for part time help to cover increased inspections at Argosy etc. They are self-funding, but apparently need this to get staff up front. He is hiring Tony Murray (sp?) Argosy takes about 4 hours per day and about 3-4 days a week.
Nancy Weldon- CASA -received signatures on their proposed budget and grant list. For their funding ¼ is adm and ¾ is grants to the community for prevention and treatment of substance abuse and education.
Jeff Bittner- INDICOM- presented an $8,025 telephone upgrade proposal for ISDNPRI digital trunk line replacement. He said it would save the county about $15,000 or more a year in phone costs. He received approval for this. There was nothing in this request that indicated new phones or equipment would be necessary for this upgrade.
Darryl Sears- PAWS Animal Shelter Contract- was tabled until Witte could review the REVISED contract. Pickens said he had their first invoice for $30,420.
Mark Gillespie- Bright Fire Dept- request for a Bright Fire Prevention District. strong>>[NOTE: Several people mentioned this as a public hearing for their fire district. The only notice they said they had given was in the Bright Beacon. The largest circulating paper in the county is Register Publications and without a legal notice there, I don’t believe this meeting “counts” as the public hearing. It is possible that to get to the public in that area, that the Fire Dept and EMS needs to put notices in both monthly periodicals as well – Echoes and the Beacon, and perhaps the Harrison Press, as many in Bright read it as well. Notices sent through the schools and signs in prominent traffic locations would be helpful. The commissioners hope to have a public hearing in the Bright area.]
Gary Theurer - Fire Chief-presented information- he is on Bright FD since 1985. The meeting room was full of Bright Fire and EMS volunteers in uniform and other county EMS volunteers. (approximately 60 people, some non- volunteers) Reedy and Peters were the accountants hired to look at financials and Steve Bushman was the lawyer. New Trenton was covering the Bright area for them tonight.
The area to be covered in the proposed district is portions of Miller, portions of Logan, and portions of Harrison Townships. They estimate 22,000 people there and 54 square miles. The FD has 50 members and two paid people on staff. They pay $7.50/ hr for emt volunteers when called out. They are trying to get the 4-6 minute national standard, but cannot accomplish it during the day with volunteers often. The national fire standard is to get 10 firefighters within 10 minutes of the call. Most people take their FD and EMS for granted. They plan to keep their volunteers and pay them for training and responses. They currently have 23 at firefighter levels 1 and 2.
Their expenses have gone up 12% and they cannot balance their books. They cannot upgrade the newest place in Logan, their equipment is aging, and there are no replacement funds. Last week it cost $5,000 to fix their 15-year-old fire truck. They want to be there on time and have 8 daytime and 6 at night- on site. They plan to reduce the insurance rates from a 6/9 to a 4/9. This would save about $36 on a $200,000 house in annual premium. There is no paramedic service in the county. The hospital doesn’t want to support it, even though there are trained paramedics on some units. [NOTE: This needs to be checked into- are there insurance issues or staffing issues at Dearborn County Hospital?]
They want to also do extra services for the county- like smoke detector inspections, CO inspections, child safety seats, CPR training, and school visits. They spent a lot on consultants (heard a $20,000 number, but that is not verified) the cost of this in taxes would be about $240 on a $150,000 home assessed value. They give and receive mutual aid in the county and this can’t be a levy in IN like OH does. They want the commissioners to approve this, as they have no other options to keep the people safe. The days of people doing this for free are almost gone. Most homes need both incomes and leaves little time for volunteers. Consider this as a realignment of tax money as other taxes drop off, instead of considering it as a new tax.
JEFF PETERS- the accounting firm of Reedy and Peters- experienced- 14 years doing this kind of work. Used to work for DLGF (formerly the State Board of Accounts). Peters went into the concept of 3 funds to create- the General fund, the Cum Cap fund, and the Debt fund. They looked at the property tax impact and used Bargersville where Peters lives as a comparison. The Fire Dept, has some debt rolled into these figures. There is an assessed value of $750 million in this district. [NOTE: Did they draw the lines for biggest value or for density? Does the boundary of this district change easily, once created, like the county sewer district did?]
Of the assessed value- the breakdown by their share of the district was:
Harrison Township $ 118,812,770
Logan Township $132,887,240
Kelso Township- $353,000 (small)
Miller Township- $ 499,181,510
[NOTE: Why is Kelso figured here? They didn’t list it as part of the district before.]
Growth factors varied from over 2 to 4 %.
Tom Orschell asked numerous questions after all three commissioners thanked the Bright fire and EMS:
Who was at the meeting in INDY on Fire Districts? Mark Gillespie.
Bright FD took a vote to do this. What was the vote? No number given, but the majority is on board now.
What will you pay the full time fire chief? $65-70,000
For the 18 full timers you hire, what will the pay be? $50,000 each
How will they schedule them? 6 persons per shift- working 24 hours on and 48 off. All benefits paid.
In 2008, there were about 350 FD runs and 775 EMS runs. This is different from the 911 call numbers.
Three trustees would have to be appointed. Fire district would generate about $2.3 million in taxes per year.
What is your debt? $960,000 on the property for Logan station 3- their reserve was built up to satisfy that debt but it disintegrated. There was discussion of whether they could pay old debt off with the new tax- legally. Apparently, they don’t consider this township debt, so legal per code IC 36-8-11-20.
When you split these townships up, how do we know who gets taxed? Go address by address. [NOTE:That is time consuming for the assessor.]
How did you get the population estimates? By the district lines, not by township. (so they went address by address?)
Harrison Fire and EMS covers areas of Harrison Township for $92,000 a year. Will Bright do this area? No, they cannot get to them I the standard time desired. Harrison Township covered by Harrison will not be taxed for Bright.
The tax rate is a fire tax only? Yes and the district will get COIT tax.
Will Agricultural lands be taxed too? Yes
Hughes asked at this point- Will you continue to get the $40,000 for two EMS? Yes.
Orschell went on with questions- He had asked about figured for a $200, 250, 300, 350, 400 thousand dollar house and taxes. They said it was NOT linear- it was a graduated tax. Orschell said that means using your rates that a 200,000 home pays $381, 250 pays $506, 300 pays $632, 350 pays $757, and 400 pays $882 a year? They didn’t have the actual numbers available…
The budget in 2008 for Bright FD was $585,850 with income of only 465,850. For 2009 they project a budget of $625,669.
STEVE BUSHMAN- attorney for Bright FD and EMS- has been in practice 34 years, taught a class on this recently and passed out the materials he uses for that to commissioners.
Focus on 2 things- the checks and balances in this and the procedure to set it up.
He gave 5 checks and balances: fire districts are governed by a board of trustees, one per township or municipality involved. 1. They are appointed to a 4-year term by the board of commissioners. 2. You cannot appoint a person that serves the fire district as a trustee. 3. The district is appointed by commissioners and county council must approve the budget. 4. The fire district must set a levy in the beginning and are under the same rules and levy controls as everyone else. They can’t get unlimited money. 5. There cannot be a duplication of taxes, so a fire district will not pay a township fire levy, but will pay a civil levy (??) This is NOT and open checkbook.
Bushman said the procedure is that up to Jan 9 a petition was required. Now it isn’t due to an IN Supreme Court ruling on Saunders vs. Brown County 892-NE 2nd 1249.
From any time on tonight, you can adopt the ordinance establishing this. [NOTE: NOT IF THIS WAS NOT A PUBLIC HEARING LEGALLY!] We want you to do this by March 1 so they can collect taxes in 2010. They have 600 signatures now. The provision in the law states that it takes 51% of the people to get a remonstrance.
There are 25-30 districts in IN and 7-8 territories.
Thompson said- I see a lot of fire and EMS people here. Was this advertized anywhere besides the Beacon? NO.
Orschell- I am compassionate to fire people but I have to be a good steward of the people- I want the people in this district to know- let them all know what is going on.
PUBLIC COMMENT: (summarized)
Mike Cushman- lived here 16 yrs- 14 years on FD. Volunteered to get 30 homes signed. About 1/3 didn’t want extra tax- but later did sign. Spoke passionately about getting to some scenes too late etc. Wanted to provide top service. Was originally against the idea- but now is for it.
Dan Bole- (sp?) 18 years in IN – wanted to know about the EMT/Paramedic gap. Paramedics can give drugs, read a strip, override a defibrillator, etc. The intermediate EMTs or advance EMTs can push a few drugs and do finger sticks. There are no paramedics in Bright dept. There are some throughout the county squads apparently. Some confusion on this- can they even function without hospital back-up?
Stephanie Ketcham- is a paramedic- wants hospital to support the paramedics.
Connie Keens- Paramedics save lives and EMTs save paramedics. She is a former paramedic with Colerain Township. She received an email circulated by Commissioner Jeff Hughes saying the Bright FD wants to raise their taxes significantly. This is tantamount to yelling FIRE! Thompson stopped the accusations at this point and wanted them to get back on point. [NOTE: However- the people do need to know about this tax increase.]
Unknown man- asked about billing for EMS services- they bill for transports but not for calls where they do not transport anyone. [NOTE: But they did have to make the run to the home- perhaps bill a reduced rate?]
Mr Keens- wants to see paramedics
Gary Hessler- was a former Ham Co fire chief in a 1 sq mile area of 7500 people.
Unknown man- Concerns with other depts.- would like to get some of the $40,000 that Bright gets if they don’t need it any more.
Lonnie Baker- Have lived my whole life here in IN and I cannot afford to pay any more taxes, people need this service, but expenses occur as they do in L-bg- some BIG expenses occur, like $100,000 heating systems. Do the taxes increase to pay for that? It cost $1600 to transport his 2 daughters after a wreck. With the economy being what it is, I don’t think we should do this without asking. Did a tour in the military and I understand what these people have to do- the volunteers. Please don’t take all my money in taxes- find another way to pay for this.
Craig Beckley- My township is the only one with a fire cum assessment. All the money in there may be dumped on you if townships go away- and you will be responsible for it.
End Public discussion at 9:30 PM
Hughes- read a statement from Mitch Daniels- Governor- on no tax increases, esp. in a recession. This will be a significant tax. This one public meeting isn’t enough. Just went through a campaign, where all I saw was inaccurate info. I don’t want that to continue- I speak straight out. I want to put a task force together- the March 1 date is fast.
Orschell- I am for the FD, but there are delinquent taxes out there- There are 323 delinquent in Miller for $446.204; 81 in Logan for $131,988; and 71 in Harrison for $178,692. These people could be taxed out of their homes. The County HWY Budget is reduced to $2 million and we had to lay 2 more people off. You want a $2.3 million budget- which is more than the hwy dept gets now, and they cover the whole county. You won’t be able to put out many fires with no roads.
Thompson- familiar with Bridgetown/Mack FD and how they went public. Overwhelmed with all the data that needs to be reviewed. I would like to see what people think out there. Maybe we should consider this county wide.
Pickens- get the rest of your signatures- can use them as ammo. Told them what to include so he can verify them.
TABLED for further info and to schedule more public hearings. [NOTE: This will be a good test of the public process and public access to information about services and taxation policies that will affect them. It may also open the door for other solutions for the county as a whole.]
9:50 PM- brief recess
Todd Listerman- HWY updates- Got the Triple Whipple Bridge supplemental agreement signed- not to exceed $14,000. Also informed commissioners they laid off two workers effective Feb 6. They have $140,000 less revenue than expected.
Pickens- Claims and minutes signed. Interlocal agreement signed with Sunman for 2008 and 09 Fire/EMS and signed L-bg and Aurora’s. Lewis and Kappes lobbyists signed at this time also.
Messmore- Departing Administrator- gave the update on Hylant Insurance and the 2009 property and casualty renewal- which noted rates being flat but an increase in costs due to 18 vehicles added and an increased value of $867,000 including the mobile command unit and hwy trucks. The renewal is 7% increase from 2008. $291,293. They commissioners decided against another $5,000 for nuclear attack insurance. [NOTE: I didn’t make this up- that was for real!] Commissioners signed the statement of values, declined nuclear attack insurance, kept the terrorism coverage. Messmore advised a 2% per year increase for budgeting for insurance and to get bid specs out in June 2009 for the next contract.
Thompson brought up redoing CVTB and PTABOA board appointments per the code. Maynard Barrott will be left for Council to appoint to CVTB and Commissioners affirmed Hartwell and Neff to PTABOA using Hensley as their exemption for certified member. That leaves Booker and Madden for the Council to appoint if they so choose. Booker is certified and they need one certified.
Doug Taylor gave out numbers on Aurora’s dispatch volume for the past several years ranging from 2906 to 3203 in 2008. He stressed that commissioners should hire enough personnel to cover the heavy call volume times- esp. weekends. If we get MTVs on our laptops, the police can do license plate checks in their cars and not call dispatch.
Phil Darling asked about SR 1 at Yorkridge to get guardrail fixed- Listerman will check with INDOT.
Pickens said they need to get redone figures on Bright FD and Messmore suggested they get Bright Elementary for a meeting.
Mark Hall addressed Hughes directly concerning his business – American Farm Products that Hughes had turned over for possible zoning violation at the end of 2008. Hughes told him he brought it up because people asked how he could have a manufacturing operation there and not them. Hall asked who. Hughes said- he wouldn’t say- they were afraid of reprisals. Hall said- In this country, I thought we had a right to face our accusers. Thompson said at this point that they should continue this off the record. [NOTE: See the last meeting of Dec 2008 for the original record of this. Hall appeared to be upset, as Hughes had gone after his family farm business.]
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Thursday, January 15, 2009
DEARBORN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING
JANUARY 20, 2008
7:00 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
II. CALL TO ORDER
III. OLD BUSINESS
IV. NEW BUSINESS
1. Margaret Minzner – GIS
B. Data Sharing Agreement
C. Approval to go to Council
2. Jewell DeBonis – Lewis & Kappes / Lobbyist
Review of lobbying activities
3. Carl Fryman – Building Department
Request to go to Council
4. Donna Thacker – Citizens Against Substance Abuse (CASA)
A. Proposed Budget
B. Grant Recommendations
5. Jeff Bittner – INDICOM
Telephone Upgrade proposal
6. Darryl Sears
Contract for PAWS / New Animal Shelter
7. Mark Gillespie – Bright Fire Department
Bright Fire Protection District
V. HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT – Todd Listerman
2. Supplemental Agreement – Triple Whipple Bridge
VI. AUDITOR - Cary Pickens
VII. ADMINISTRATOR - Bryan Messmore
Hylant Insurance – Property/Casualty Renewal
VIII. ATTORNEY - G. Michael Witte
IX. COMMISSIONER – Jeff Hughes
X. COMMISSIONER – Tom Orschell
XI. COMMISSIONER – Ralph Thompson, Jr.
XII. LATE ARRIVAL INFORMATION
XIII. PUBLIC COMMENT
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
ABSENT: Jake Hoog (recently appointed to PC) and Arnie McGill, Attorney
Also present: Katie Rademacher, Enforcement Officer
Election of Officers and appointment of attorney were tabled until February, when BZA positions will be filled. All current positions will hold as is until then.
1. A front yard dimensional variance of 15 ft was granted for Carl Dewberry on Woodland Hills Drive in Sparta Township on 6.2033 acres of AG zoned land. Dewberry plans to build a 720 sq ft garage there. Nelson motioned and Deaton 2nd to approve the 15 ft. variance for the accessory building, deemed necessary due to topography issues and found that it doesn’t give him any special advantage that the neighbors wouldn’t have. All ayes.
2. Kevin McCord of Signarama presented the conditional use request for Dave House of HOCO Development for an existing electronic message board sign at Stateline Rd. near HVL entrance in Lawrenceburg Township. The land is part of the Sugar Ridge PUD and has 5.699 acres.
The Sizemores living next door spoke against it, since they contend that the bufferyards etc that were to be planted have either died or been inadequate. Some of these were to be done by Sugar Ridge, which is bankrupt, and some were to be by HOCO. They allege that the parking lot of the strip retail area has 34 lights and each business has a lighted sign also. These lights are a nuisance to them.
The board found that they couldn’t force HOCO to redo Macke’s work on the Sugar Ridge buffer (dead trees), but they did want to be sure that HOCO completed their landscaping.
Nelson motioned and Daily 2nd to approve the conditional use for the sign and directed the enforcement officer to be sure they were in compliance will all buffering and screening before the sign is allowed to be turned on. All ayes.
3. Dan Fugate presented a conditional use request for a 60-unit assisted living retirement facility on SR 48 across from the entrance to Sunrise Estates on 10.7 acres zoned R in Lawrenceburg Township. The previous multi-family request for this property in 1997 had expired.
The building is to have an Alzheimer’s Care Wing for Memory Care.
The 10.7 acres is part of a total tract of 87 acres. It has sewer provided by Lawrenceburg and the roadway in it will become a dedicated street. It has two access points to adjoining sections of Fugate’s 87 acres. If the housing market improves, they will add Independent Living Cottages.
Fugate’s partner in this endeavor is Bill Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Mynatt, a realty firm in Alpharetta, GA.
Jim Deaton excused himself at this point as he felt he might have a conflict of interest.
Fitzpatrick said they plan 20 full time employees and that most of the residents will not be driving. Density was harder to figure on this as it is all in one facility and not really apartments etc. Fugate says he wants this to be a nice comfortable place- not institutional.
Hall noted there is a good road leading to the hospital down the road. He noted the risk in not planning the full project at this point, as it might not all work out later, including a possible required 2nd access point to SR 48 needed if the project expands for more housing.
The board held them to the 60 units as advertised. They will have to come back if they need more.
Nelson motioned and Daily 2nd to approve the request for a 60- unit Assisted Living Facility INCLUDING the Alzheimer’s space on 10.7 acres split from an 87-acre tract. This does not give any commitments for future land use on the larger part of the 87 acres remaining. It acknowledges that the multifamily use for 252 units has expired and is NOT part of this decision. Any changes have to come back to the BZA. All ayes.
ADMINISTRATION:Rademacher passed out enforcement reports.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
We gather annually to review the state of our state, but rarely at a time of such national and even international alarm. For Indiana, tonight is of course a night for facing difficulties, but doing so with confidence, and even pride.
I awake every day glad for many reasons that I am a Hoosier. And though we meet tonight in an hour of great stress, we have cause if not for gladness then at least for relief, that it is in Indiana we are meeting. For, thanks in large part to the people here assembled, we can speak tonight of challenge, but not crisis; issues, but not emergencies. We will examine the state of our state soberly, but with satisfaction in the knowledge that here the people's business has been handled better than in so many other places. We will speak realistically, but positively, recognizing that in predicament there is opportunity, and in tough times the possibility to separate from the pack and emerge stronger than before.
No assignment will test us all more than our most basic one, the proper stewardship of the people's money. Global trends set in motion far from here have severely reduced the revenue available for public purposes in the indefinite future. So be it. Thanks to the prudence, and the courage, of people present, Indiana faces this recession in far different shape than it did on past occasions, and far different condition than our sister states. People on this floor crafted with us consecutively two of the tightest budgets in state history. People in those balconies have managed government with businesslike care for every tax dollar. Together, you not only brought our state out of bankruptcy, you placed it in strong condition to weather the difficulties ahead. You merit the thanks of those who sent you here for a job well done.
We must apply the principles that have served us so well to the tasks now before us. I have submitted to you a budget proposal that meets the test of honest balance, by spending no more than it takes in. It does so despite the daunting projection that revenues will still be lower two years from now than we were told to expect in this fiscal year.
This budget is full of hard decisions and unwelcome choices. But many of its provisions would make sense in the best of times: to stop spending taxpayers' dollars on programs that have fulfilled their purpose, or are failing to accomplish their purpose, or were never essential public purposes in the first place.
As always, we will approach these decisions in a spirit of compromise and shared responsibility. But for clarity's sake, let me establish some boundary conditions, a framework within which all sorts of alternatives would be acceptable.
First, no tax increases. A state striving for economic greatness should constantly be looking for ways to reduce its burden on workers and enterprise. A time of recession is the very last time at which government should add to the struggles of the citizens for whom it works.
Preserving government intact at the expense of families and businesses would be wrong in human terms and backwards in economic terms. The dollars claimed by higher taxes would come from families who need them more than ever to get by. They would come from businesses which would otherwise use them to keep someone on the payroll, or add a new job. Let's agree right now that, whatever course we take this budget year, higher taxes will play no part in it.
With equal resolution we must reject the use of gimmickry. Delaying payments to schools, siphoning dollars from pension funds, and other such practices must be left in the museum of bad government where we sent them four years ago. And we must preserve and safeguard the reserve funds which together we have rebuilt. The forecasters missed in the current year by a billion dollars; who is to say it cannot happen again? None of us knows how long this downturn will last, or how much tougher it may become to protect essential services in the next few years. If we ran through our balances now, where would we be if better times did not return soon?
One area for special care is public education. The commitment of Indiana taxpayers to our schools is virtually unsurpassed. We now spend $11,000 per student, and as a share of Hoosier incomes, we dig deeper than the taxpayers of every state but four. As we meet tonight, states all over America are slashing education spending: by $2 billion in New York, $2.3 billion in Florida, $2.5 billion in California so far. Virginia last week cut per pupil spending by seven percent. In this environment, protecting education funding at this year's levels would be a significant victory and we should aim for it.
Besides, there is a massive new funding source available to us that won't cost taxpayers an additional cent, and that is to begin spending the education dollar more efficiently than we do today. Especially when basic academic programs are lacking, it is totally unacceptable that 39 cents of every education dollar is spent outside the classroom. It is inexcusable that fewer than half of school employees are teachers, the third worst ratio in America. The longer the payrolls of non-teaching adults, the more we shortchange the life preparation of our young people.
One dollar per year health insurance for school board members? That's not right - put the children first. A superintendent and staff for 800, 600, 500 students but only one choice of foreign language? That's not right - put the children first. Three, four, five school bureaucracies in counties that do not provide modern science labs, Advanced Placement courses, or licensed physics teachers? No, put the children first. The goal is smaller schools, smaller classrooms, more and better paid teachers, better academic opportunities for our kids, through lower overhead.
Superintendent Bennett and I have submitted legislation to you to move tax dollars out of the back office and into the classroom; no one who obstructs that goal can claim to be an advocate of children and learning. But, let's state the case more positively. We have here a huge opportunity; with each single percentage point of improvement we could hire two thousand more teachers. I invite every legislator to help us shape an effective new approach that sends many more education dollars into the classrooms where our kids' futures are being determined.
There is something else we must do that will not cost a single new dollar. Education cannot begin until disorder and chaos ends, so I ask this Assembly to approve the bill I have sent you to reestablish complete, unquestioned discipline in the schools of our state.
We ask so much of our teachers already. It is just not tolerable to make them put up with misbehavior and insubordination, to say nothing of profanity, physical threats, and the risk of legal harassment if they attempt to control the students under their authority. It is time Indiana said to its children, sit down and hush up; to their parents, if your child is causing trouble and harming some other student's education, take it up with your kid, not the teacher or principal. And to the lawyers, butt out; you expect order in the courts where you practice your profession, we are going to have order in the classrooms where our teachers practice theirs.
A time of fiscal austerity regrettably will require each of us to forgo for now priorities about which we feel strongly. With disappointment, I am postponing asking this Assembly to provide complete state funding of Full-Day Kindergarten. We have made huge, sixfold advances in state spending for this purpose, and now more than two-thirds of our five-year-olds attend. Completion of this goal remains essential in my judgment, and if room for the last step can be found within a responsible budget, I will be thrilled to sign it. But we saw no way to accommodate the final expansion this year without reducing other education funding, so my budget recommendation omits it.
Likewise with the idea of guaranteed college tuition. This plan as I proposed it would not have involved additional state spending, but here external events intervened. First, a startling and frankly senseless federal legal opinion cast a cloud over our preferred financing option. Then, the collapse of world credit markets, and the decline of Hoosier Lottery revenues, makes our backup approach impractical for now. I intend to revive it as soon as favorable conditions return.
But as we await better days, we should be positive, even exhilarated, by two undeniable truths. First, times of stringency are optimal times for new thinking and breakthroughs in spending the same dollars more wisely. We are rightly encouraged to think of a budget bind as an opportunity to innovate.
Second, there are so many important actions we can take that cost nothing at all. 2009 is a great year to move on major reforms that place no strain on the budgets of today, and promise to make the budgets of tomorrow more manageable and friendly to taxpayers.
The single most obvious opening is simply to continue the historic progress this Assembly made last year in controlling property taxes in our state. By overwhelming bipartisan majorities, you reduced property taxes by more than a third. You reduced monthly mortgage payments significantly, sometimes dramatically. You undoubtedly saved many homeowners from hardship or even foreclosure.
But you did something even more important. You provided taxpayers the long-term protection of caps, guarding against a return of the exploitative, unaffordable local tax rates we had known. But those caps, until written not only in statute but also into our state's constitution, will always be vulnerable to a judge's whim or to retraction by some future legislature.
Our wisely deliberative process for amending the state's constitution requires three separate steps, and your part is half done. Now you must vote a second time to submit this new system of taxpayer protection to the judgment of our fellow citizens, and I ask you to do so promptly. What was such a good idea last March cannot suddenly be a bad one nine months later.
It is argued, correctly, that a couple years' experience will be valuable in making a final decision, but that is not in question. Even if passed tomorrow morning, your second resolution will afford us three full years of information before a final vote occurs in public referendum late next year. Your procrastination will add nothing to what we know. So the only real question is, do you trust the people of Indiana to weigh the evidence and make this decision, or don't you? Show your faith in our fellow citizens by affirming now what you voted for so proudly just months ago.
The property tax cuts of 2008 have already set Indiana apart as a place that puts taxpayers first. Another cost-free reform to further our reputation for taxpayer protection is an automatic refund of tax dollars when state government has all that it reasonably needs. I offered this idea to our fellow citizens in the election just passed, and consider its endorsement part of the verdict they rendered.
With revenues under pressure, there is no prospect of a refund being triggered any year soon. But that just makes now an appropriate time to enact it, when we can examine it purely on its merits, as a tool for keeping government within reasonable limits. With its passage, Indiana would establish the principle that, past some point, government should stop taking money it does not need from working families who do need it. And it would guard against the mistakes, now on sad display, of so many other states which let spending balloon when revenues were plentiful and now are painfully unwinding those excesses. In the days since we first proposed it, this idea has sparked interest around the country. Let's take yet another step that shows America where the best new ideas come from, and happen first.
The largest and most momentous of our opportunities lies in the area of governmental reform. The cost in dollars, confusion, and just plain bad government of our 150-year-old system is by now completely beyond dispute. The report so ably researched and written by former Governor Joe Kernan, Chief Justice Shepard, and five other outstanding citizens lays out the folly of too many politicians, too many layers, too many taxing units, all producing too little accountability and too few results. If there is anyone present who, given a blank slate, would draw up our system just as it is, please stand up now. I thought not.
As intended at the outset, we have all had a full year to study the report and meditate on its recommendations. The public has spoken loudly, in referenda, in opinion surveys, and in the most recent general election, each time in clear favor of change. The hour for action has arrived.
After a year of listening to you, to local officials, and to our fellow citizens, I have sent you a package comprising some two-thirds of the Commission's 27 recommendations, either as proposed or in some close variation. Treat it as a starting point, but please treat it seriously, in a spirit of reform. This area is ideally suited to bipartisan cooperation and craftsmanship. Let's move forward together, and boldly. The only motion out of order is no motion at all.
In an all-too-typical criticism, one author wrote "Hoosiers have been resisting change since the first settlers arrived." Bringing local and school government out of the pioneer days will provide conclusive proof that we truly have left such a self-defeating outlook in the history books where it belongs.
It's not just the historians who will need to update their views of our state. As recently as 2007, an essayist wrote, "More than any state I know of, Indiana suffers from a crippling inferiority complex...Hoosiers struggle desperately to prove to themselves and the world that they have a higher function than simply filling up the space between Cincinnati and Chicago." That's Cincinnati, as in Ohio, with its $7 billion deficit and downgraded credit rating, begging Washington for a massive handout. That's Chicago, as in Illinois, a perennial ethical embarrassment where the government is floating billions in suspect paper just to pay its back bills.
Across America tonight, there are dozens of states that would gladly change places with Indiana. We are fiscally steady, they are crawling to Congress for bailouts. We are building the infrastructure of a prosperous future, they are pleading for money just to maintain the roads and bridges they have now. They are raising state taxes of all kinds, while we are holding the line. Their property taxes are exploding, while ours are coming down for good. Who here feels inferior to that?
Two years ago on this occasion, I quoted Governor Schwarzenegger as saying that, unlike his so-called Golden State, if anyone spoke of an Indiana dream no one would know what that meant. Tonight, when the California state deficit is three times as large as the entire state budget we will be working on, their dreams out there must be of a situation like ours.
No one ever wishes for a recession. No one here is blind to the severity of the problems we now confront. Tonight we say to those who are struggling, those who are fearful, our hearts and our every thought are with you. In the ways in which public action can bring relief, no one will work harder. And to those in a position to add private assistance, we say rise to this moment: give an extra dollar, spend an extra hour, grasp another hand. The only true compassion is in those who give voluntarily of themselves, and these are the times when we need it most.
But tough times are also times for differentiation, for separating winners from whiners, the brave from the weak of will. In down markets, good businesses capture share from weaker ones. In high seas, the best crews bring their ships to port safely, and first.
Besides, we Hoosiers have had practice; as we showed in the floods of June and the storms of September, we know how to handle trouble. Just as we guarded against these economic times better than other states, so we will wade through them now with greater success.
The Indiana of 2009 is a state in motion, against its problems and with an alacrity beyond our counterparts. Not despite but because of the difficulties of the day, this legislature must make this another year of reform, in which still more cornerstones of a better future are put in place.
We must never miss a chance to move, to make improvements, to modernize. Doing so while others are paralyzed will demonstrate yet again that ours is a state where change is much more than a slogan. A state that faces forward, fearlessly. A state to whom the future belongs.
These two Houses have done so much to distinguish themselves, and Indiana, these last few years. This is a year not for intermission but for encores. Anyone can see the dangers before us. We must be among those who see through trouble to opportunity, beyond hurdles to the winner's circle that awaits us.
God bless this Assembly and this great state.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Present: Ralph Thompson, President, Tom Orschell, and Jeff Hughes
Also Present: Cary Pickens, Auditor, Bryan Messmore, Departing Administrator, and G. Michael Witte, Attorney
The meeting was covered by Register Publications (Denise Freitag Burdette) and well attended by several citizens and some office holders.
Jeff Hughes held the election for President and Ralph Thompson was elected. He took over the meeting at that point.
The commissioners then voted to deny the Med Ben appeal that they had discussed in executive session preceding the meeting.
Sheriff Lusby presented his three bids for food service at the jail and asked to accept all three. Ellenbee Leggett, Gordon Foods, and US Foods were all accepted.
Bill Black- EMA- Service contract signed for $8,000 for Greater Cincinnati HAZMAT unit to respond as needed to spills in the county. Black serves on their Board also. Witte had reviewed the contract. Black is working on more grants and he reported on issues with the IN-KY Bridge icing up and the barge hitting it Christmas Day.
Bonds for Phil Weaver (Clerk) and for Gayle Pennington (Treasurer) were signed.
COUNTY APPOINTMENTS: (all unanimous unless noted)
Ralph Thompson thanked all the citizens who sent in resumes and letters for their interest in serving in the government.
County Administrator- Orschell motioned to leave the County Adm position open at this time and not fill it. Hughes wanted to reappoint Messmore- reading a long list of what he called his accomplishments, ending with the ideas that he had lowered costs( no mention of Vieste increased costs),worked on the jail expansion, made the offices a lot more public oriented and friendly, and was a trusted resource for many on a daily basis. [NOTE: The list sounded like a regurgitation of the items Fox and Hughes used in their campaign ads. Hughes denied a request for that list so that I could give all details here. Messmore’s inaccessibility to the public is legendary in some circles as is his long lunch “hour” workouts and jogs. Communications with ALL THREE commissioners was not equal. This position, or whatever version of coordination is decided upon, needs to be filled with a NON- POLITICAL HIRE- someone who is a conduit of information – not a political filter for it.]
Thompson and Hughes voted to not fill the position at this time. Hughes Nay.
Then Thompson turned to Messmore and asked the commissioners, if Messmore was willing, to fill out the rest of the week. Hughes pushed for a month. Orschell though a bit and then seconded that. Motion passed. Messmore is to serve until the end of January in order to transition the information to commissioners.
County Attorney- G. Michael Witte (Hughes abstained after saying, it seemed like he was already here.)
Director or Transportation- Todd Listerman
Building Inspector- Carl Fryman
GIS Specialist- Margaret Minzner
Animal Control Director- temporarily overseen by Thompson until the Animal Board goes over resumes etc. They meet on Thursday. Witte advised against Thompson being temporary director and recommended overseeing instead.
Emergency Mgt. Director- Bill Black, Jr.
Maintenance Supervisor- Eric Hartman
Veterans Officer- Bill Ewbank
911 Communications Director- Charles Ashley
Convention Visitors and Tourism Bureau- Dave Lorey, Charlotte Hastings, Debbie Morris, Maynard Barrett
Plan Commission- had to be a Democrat to maintain political neutrality- Jake Hoog
PTABOA (Tax Appeals Board) - 2 or 4 members plus the Assessor by law to make up the3 or 5 member board. Assessor does not vote. If there is a tie- it goes to the state tax board. Mary Booker and Gary Hensley are the only two certified. – William Hartwell, Ken Maddin, Mark Neff, and Mary Booker were unanimously reappointed to the board.
Alcohol Beverage Board- Jim Dole
Cemetery Board- Milton Massing
Park Board- Shawn Simonson
911 Communications Board- Ed Opp and Glenn Brandt
SE Regional Community Correction Advisory Board- Donnie Hastings, John Mallery, Hassell Brashears, Kevin Smith, and H Bruce Williams.
Health Board- Harban S Gill, MD and Jerold Miller
BOARDS WITH COMMISSIONERS ON THEM:
SIRPC- (Regional Plan Commission) – Hughes- with Margaret Minzner as alternate
Common Construction Wage Board- Hughes
Plan Commission- Thompson
Animal Control- Thompson
Juvenile Advisory Board- Thompson
Redevelopment Commission- Orschell
County Farm- Orschell (will be absorbed into Parks in 2 years as contracts expire)
Emergency Mgmt Board- Orschell
Solid Waste- all three commissioners
Orschell said he had talked to all boards and thought they did a good job. Thompson complimented Sue Hayden for handling resume paperwork and the list of appointments.
Transportation Dept- Todd Listerman gave a 10-minute report. Premier Ag and Laughery Ag Coop were both accepted for fuel bids.
INDOT letter telling the dept they had a grant award for RR crossing markings and bars. The application was for $9379. They will know the amount awarded at the end of January.
Bad news from the state is that the MVHA and Local road and street funds will need to be reestimated for budget due to the loss of tax revenue on gas tax. Last year we lost $100,000 and received $96,000 in FEMA funds to help prop that up. This year losses are projected at $186,000 for MVHA and 46,000 for local road and street. Cut estimates are 10.4% and 8 % on these two funds. HIGHWAY IS NOT GOING TO HIRE THE 1.5 PERSONS THAT COUNCIL APPROVED LAST MONTH. THOSE 1.5 PERSONS WERE REPLACING 3 THAT LEFT.
Orschell asked about getting survey holes filled in roads or having an ordinance or something to mandate they be filled. Concern was with enforcement. Hughes said Steuben County has one- they can check on that.
Pickens- Auditor- Covered Bridge certification signed to get $2000 from state on maintenance of it. Signed contract for software maintenance for Superior Court 1 with CSI.
Verbatim transcript of minutes section that Hughes was concerned with on Dec1 meeting was approved as were other minutes. Orschell abstained from all.
Messmore-Departing Administrator- discussed with Hughes and will have property and liability insurance renewals on the agenda for next meeting. Also heard from Daryl Sears, Architect for Animal Control Shelter and will get all involved to be at the next commissioners meeting.
County Attorney- Witte- nothing yet.
Thompson- would like to insert public comment again on the agenda. Hughes- I always listen to the people- so I will motion for it. Orschell 2nd. All ayes.
Report an American Farm Products (Mark Hall’s ag business) will be tabled till next meeting. Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer, was on vacation and she need to have time to research.
Orschell- would like the commissioners to send a letter to legislators to offer our support and to get the ordinance signed for the Artemis on I-275.
Hughes- talked to Aurora Clerk Treasurer to go to the county for all of their dispatch and not just late night. Still considering it.
Doug Taylor- wanted commissioners to make sure they consider the number of dispatchers needed when they add more areas to cover. He noted that on Friday and Saturday nights it is especially overloaded with just 3 dispatchers. [NOTE: Commissioners may need to get a printout of numbers of calls and the radio communications with police to see where they need to add staffing.]
Cliff Eibeck- Thank you for putting the comment section back- before this for the past administration you could not say anything.
Meeting adjourned at 8:07 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller