Wednesday, May 27, 2009

26 May 2009 County Council Meeting Notes

26 May 2009 County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Dennis Kraus Sr., Charlie Fehrman, Bill Ullrich, Liz Morris, Maynard Barrett, Dan Lansing, and Tom Cheek.

Also Present: Cary Pickens, Auditor (and Jessica Tibbetts, Financial Controller)

[NOTE: This meeting was 4.25 hours long. There are items that were discussed that were not on the agenda and there were items advertised and discussed that were not on the agenda. The agenda needs to be accurate.
The sound system was not working properly- several microphones were out.
The length of this meeting also seems to indicate that Council should meet more often. It is difficult to maintain concentration and make good decisions toward the end of a 4.25 hour meeting.
Also worthy of note- nearly everything advertised was taken out of Riverboat Revenue Contingency Funding and not the normal fund where they were advertised. Some were advertised under both funds. Council is using Riverboat Revenue Contingency Funds to cover nearly all extras. So what happens when or if those funds dry up or decrease? Are we living within our means or are we playing a shell game with the Gambing money?]

1. Ruth Ann Batta- Summer art project ( 22 years in existence) for about 100 kids – 4 classes- $2,000 approved from Riverboat Youth Fund.

2. Kathy Piche- YES HOME- $1,000 approved form Youth Fund for Washington DC trip for children in Independent Living program there. They also receive funding from other sources.

3. Greg Townsend with Joey Casteltine- Special Olympics representing 21 athletes- $1,000 from Youth Fund.

4. Aurora Lions for Farmer’s Fair Grandpa Cratchit for kids- $1,000 from Youth Fund.

5. Pat Acra for Pregnancy Crisis Center- $1,000 from Youth Fund for Baby Quilts made by Amazing Grace Quilters for 90% of the pregnant girls there who are under 18.

6. Aaron Negangard- Prosecutor- additional appropriations- is using “burn money” of $58,000 that is figured from the federal gov’t for two years salary for an adm. ass’t to the special crimes unit.

Negangard requested a salary ordinance amendment allowing him to pay Bryan Messmore the ENTIRE annual salary allotted for Victim’s Advocate Coordinator for about 10.5 months of actual work. Discussion ensued and Negangard answered that the bottom line was that he promised that pay amount, he said the money had to be spent or it would be “lost” and that it would NOT be reimbursed the following year at the same rate if they used less this year.

[NOTE: The Taxpayer’s tea party people would have fun with this policy- as it does NOTHING to help curb spending. What if the person hired is less qualified for the job? What if it went unfilled for 6 months? What if the employee had not been Messmore? Their logic fails to explain this.]

This item was further discussed under Jessica Tibbetts time and eventually passed with Morris and Ullrich motioning and Cheek and Lansing voting NAY.

[NOTE: There is an apparent political element to this, concerning Messmore, his previous position as County Adm. and his brief time out and rehire as Victim’s Advocate Coordinator. Council asked about the ongoing investigation and Commissioner Thompson said the county attorney was researching it before and should have an answer in July, when he returns. Negangard indicated he would have to negotiate for an even higher salary next year for this spot and would “find” the money in that grant somehow. Cheek felt that Messmore was being paid twice essentially, as he was getting the full year's salary and that was allotted for time that Messmore had been working as Administrator for the County.]

Negangard was approved for $2972 out of 4D budget for office furniture, which will get 2/3 back from state to that fund. ( Cheek and Lansing were Nays)
$10,915 for intern was approved from pre-trial diversion fund. [NOTE: There are many little funds that the courts and prosecutors have.]
$17,000 form Riverboat Contingency for a document server to get started on Prosecutor’s paperless office files. Thompson spoke in support of this for Prosecutor’s office to help with space issues, etc.
Copier was denied and will be requested at budget time for 2010.

7. Jessica Tibbetts, Financial Controller/Payroll- was referred to as our magna cum laude CPA by Cary Pickens. Tibbetts went through several materials in the packets the Council had including fund sheets with fund balances, why she was adding benefits to the requests for salaries so the entire picture of costs were available, etc. They discussed several salary ordinances- beyond Messmore’s. The Animal Control Officer – a part timer that will be requested as full time for 2010 after the Shelter is up and running. Pickens thought they might need a dog tax. Thompson said the Board was looking at $20 adoption fee increase to fund this. Greendale has turned their animal control over to the county with an interlocal agreement. No money.
Tibbetts received teh following approvals:

Planning and Zoning approved for $20/hr for minute taker.
Treasurer approved for $ for part time help.
Building Dept for $10-15/hour for part time.
Animal Control Officer part time FAILED with 3 NAYS, Lansing, Cheek and Kraus. (Needs 5 to pass)
Health dept- part time nurse $17.20/hour.
Child Advocacy Center Coordinator passed IF the grant comes in.
Jessica Tibbetts then gave short presentation and will use LOWS software instead if Excel at Budget time and will be there to add all info in for the Council.

8. Mary Alice Horton (Aurora Library) and Sally Stenger ( Lawrenceburg Library)- received signatures on the 2nd year of the Library Capital Projects Plan.

9. Carl Fryman- Building Inspector- Is mostly self funded from inspection fees. A good year for commercial inspections as businesses are relocating from the area around the new bridge. By the end of 2009 there will be one full timer and 3 part time inspectors- saving $120,000. He’s paying the part timers $24,000 total for 3.

10. Wesley Holt- Coroner- answered questions on autopsies and noted they are required in drug relate deaths- he has 207 deaths in 2008 and 42 autopsies. In 2009 97 deaths and 33 autopsies for drugs. $15,000 was granted from Riverboat Contingency to cover autopsies.

11. Suzanne Ullrich- gave information on Mental Health Board and Tom Cheek agreed to serve as Council’s appointee. Ullrich read the list of board members and noted they were a prestigious group. Cheek joked- “well there goes the neighborhood” at his appointment.

12. Judge Sally Blankenship- Superior 2- addressed her space issues again and is implementing some changes to help with it in the interim. Her office space is tight with not enough electric and about 6 inches of space to get behind desks.
She was granted:
$4662 for office furniture and $1600 for an evidence storage cabinet, $7,000 plus benefits for overtime for court reporter, all out of Riverboat Contingency.
County General was the source for $936, $72, and $64 to clean up some funding on Special Court Program Coordinator. Blankenship will apply for the probation officer $32,000 and intern at budget time.

13. Gary Hensley- Assessor and Troy Fryman of Tyler Technologies received approval for the contract Commissioners signed for $449,353 for Reassessment. Contract was due by April 1st.

14. Gayle Pennington- Treasurer- had Council approve and sign the ordinance transferring congressional school funds to the state. The CD of funds totals $29,221. This is mostly a bookkeeping issue.

15. Ric Hartman- Maintenance- received approval for $10,000 plus benefits for overtime request missed in the budget hearings from Riverboat Contingency.

16. Overtime for 911 Communications was approved for $7500 plus benefits.

17. Communications Matrix errors fixed for about $15,000.

18. Clerk of Courts Perpetuation Fun- $6778.50.

19. Circuit Court transferred $600 to Central Supply.

20. Judge Humphrey wants a Council rep on Community Corrections Board. Ullrich to research the meeting times etc.

21. $5,000 in legal fees approved for Pickens Auditor out of Riverboat Contingency.

22. Council approved keeping COIT tax the same- no increase.

23. Council signed contract with Frank Cummings, GFC for Auditor’s office.

24. Parks Board- Steve Walker, President, with Jim RedElk and ?? Stephens presented budget issues with Parks. Walker expressed gratitude for Council helping them out of budget woes in Nov, 2008. They requested $27,370 for operational budget for 2009. They had been allotted $25,000 and traditionally they operate on $42-52,000. The parks have gone from 170 acres to 450.

Parks Board did NOT receive approval for capital expenditures yet, but will be requesting it again at budget hearings for almost $70,000 of equipment needed to mow and care for the grounds. They have volunteers on their board to help- but only one large tractor. They contracted for $14,000 to get mowing done this year. They will bid this out next year.
Council approved $1,000 for lights, $1100 for water faucet, $450 for chainsaw, and $7,000 for picnic tables from Riverboat Contingency. They also approved $5,000 from Youth fund for picnic Shelter at the Bright Park per Liz Morris’s suggestions.

25. Ralph Thompson-President Commissioners- went into detail on the Animal Control Issues in another attempt to get the animal control officer approved for the rest of this year and added at budget for next year.
He said they NEED 4 ACO’s and a director. They currently have 3 and the new director. The previous director was acting as an ACO thus unable to really handle directing the facility.

County Commissioners accepted the new adm. job description and will be running ads, unless Council objects. No one objected. He noted Sue Hayden was covering a lot of slack and so was he- they needed someone in that spot.

He said the court fire that Jefferson County had in Madison reminds us we do NOT have plans for things like this. Need to address that.

Space issues are critical in courts etc. They had wanted $32-40 million to do this, and he is working on finding solutions. Blankenship has insufficient space, we could move the building dept to the North End of the EMA building temporarily, and put Blankenship’s probation right next to community corrections in adm building then. Basement of the courthouse is available for storage, but no one has used that option yet.

He has some budget costs and is NOT going to pursue video arraignment, as no one seems interested.

Jeff Lyness and John Maxwell gave budget estimates on the project of $81-82,000 for a temp facility and it would have to come out of cum cap. Pickens agreed they should meet in July again and proceed ASAP.

Council reiterated it was OK to pursue administrator and that ACO for Animal Shelter should be pursued at budget hearings.

26. Todd Listerman- Transportation Director- Said the stimulus money is capped at $3million max and they will let all 4 projects by the end of June. Anything over the $3million has to be covered locally. There are differences of opinion on that number- it could be $200-700,000. As all bids were below estimates before- hoping it’s the low side. He needs $500,000 set aside for this match- from 147 and there is $1.267million in there now. Projects are sections of Old US 52, Weisberg, Yorkridge, North Dearborn, and North Hogan.

Fehrman argued to NOT raid 147 as it was for Stateline and North Dearborn projects. Said they could use 172 blacktop money for that. Council also asked if Larry Smith and others were donating ROW. Council approved taking $500,000 out of bituminous to match and will reimburse it when riverboat money comes in.

Approval granted for the following:
Stripes on roads of 3000vpd now- so saves about $60,000.

Need one more snow plow truck to swap out the 1997 set for $120,000.

New crack seal machine for $60,000

Need $3,500 for oil filter crusher due to new Rumpke recycle rules. (Someone suggested they run over the filters.)

Approved to use millings for some less travelled roads from Rohe Paving SR 46 project for $100,000

Approved to use $500,000 on Carolina Trace, Stout, and Pribble hill if stimulus match doesn’t use it up.

He will need a design engineer for Stateline @ August budget meeting.

Council agreed with the move to Randall Avenue with $450,000 as down payment and possibility of securing rest from L-bg bond bank. They can pay for loan with savings from the move. Cost should be less than $1million. Pickens said – NO LOAN- we’ll find funding somewhere. Thompson noted they would move EMA out there too.

Meeting adjourned at 11:45 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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