Wednesday, November 18, 2009

17 November 2009 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

17 November 2009 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Thompson, President, Orschell, and Hughes
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, and Witte, Attorney


Hogan Water Corp remained tabled from 8/18/09

East Fork Road off SR1- Todd Listerman reported that Ed Cox from INDOT’s Seymour office said it would be reopened only if the safety issues were corrected. Listerman stated those would be too costly. He will report to Mr. Scharold and see if the parking lot could be created by the church for the Memorial Day ceremonies.

YES HOME lease was signed- for 25 years. It included a change regarding insurance of items the YES Home had added.

Happy Hollow- per Todd Listerman will be discussed at Dec 3 morning meeting for Commissioners.

J-cap grant application signature by Ralph Thompson was ratified by commissioners.


Plan Commission- Mark McCormack presented the vacation of alleys and streets in the old town of Chesterville. This came from the Plan Commission with all six of the nine PC members voting for a favorable recommendation. Commissioners concurred and approved this- with no public wishing to speak on it at the public hearing.

Ron Stegman and Michelle Stegman along with 2 other neighbors addressed the commissioners regarding the closing of Kuebel Road. Stegmans lived there 33 years and stated that the closing with 2 days notice has impacted the people along the road. Gas costs for the increased mileage to drive an additional 50 miles a week (2400 miles a year) for their jobs etc. One of his neighbors just below him now is essentially an 8-mile drive away. EMS response issue for children and elderly on the road are issues. Road blockage from windstorm in the past- this was the only way out at the time. Shopping has shifted out of the county as it is easier than going all the way around.
Discussion with Listerman and commissioners included the bridge rating of zero on a scale of 100, costs to fix the bridge, and money issues for highway work and deteriorating bridges in general. Stegmans praised commissioners for their efforts and they will continue to look at options. This is the third bridge to close a road in the last 2 years. [NOTE: Highway funding is a big issue- in a growing county we keep adding subdivision road but we are not keeping up with the old ones we have. Ignoring this problem will only lead to a bigger one down the road, no pun intended. I foresee a tax increase or else Council will have to take a look at all the other expenses and see what can be cut.]

Highway Dept- Todd Listerman gave a 25-minute report:
1. Change order with no money involved was signed to clean up paperwork on Bells Branch Bridge.

2. North Dearborn agreement with INDOT was signed and is shelf ready in case anything opens up before 2013, when it is scheduled to start. This is an 80/20 project and Council has set aside the 20 %.

3. Yorkridge was awarded for resurface- the last of the stimulus money- set for the spring of 2010.

4. ITS cameras etc will be completed on I-275 by spring 2010. This is 100% fed funding.

5. Several new roads were accepted into the county road inventory for maintenance. Three Maxwell subdivisions and one Linkmeyer one. Commissioners approved the following:
HARLEY SPRINGS: EZ Way (0.65mi), Kboy ( 0.12 mi), Shadow ( 0.14 mil), and Heritage Trail 0.15 mi)
HARVEST RIDGE PHASE 1: This includes a bond on Harvest Ridge to stay in place for construction damage for Phase 2. Harvest Ridge West ( 0.02 mi), Winterberry Way ( 0.09 mi), and Hummingbird Court ( 0.15 mi)
CHAPPELLOW Ridge Road- added 100 ft for 0.02 mi
ROOKWOOD ESTATES: Rookwood Dr ( 0.61 mi), Rolling Rolling Ridge Court (0.03 mi), and Valley Ridge Court ( 0.09 mi)

6. Randall Avenue Property for Highway Dept etc. passed inspections on land and building. Building will be upgraded to garage, but that was in budget and known. Thompson will sign for the county at closing with Witte in attendance. [NOTE: There has been talk of using that site for the animal shelter as it has better access and visibility.]

7. INDOT Thurs- 1-5 PM open house in Seymour for highway projects 2010 - 2013 in the county and surrounding area. Listerman will attend. These can be viewed online also at INDOT site.

8. Box culvert installed on Trackville, pipe structure replaced on North Dearborn and also on Bonnell-(costs in the $10-30,000 range)

9. Zimmer Tractor had lowest of three quotes for loader at $35,795. Accepted. Other quotes were CAT and Smith from Rushville. Listerman noted the business was local- also a good thing.

10. Speed limits will be reassigned throughout the county with engineering studies to comply with state law. New school limits per the state code will be 30 mph. Ordinance including all signage and locations will be written when this is completed. Current state law allows 55 mph on state roads!

Pickens- Auditor- claims and minutes signed. He had also signed off on health plan renewal. Thompson noted some new insurance was required for scuba activities with EMA being a liability.

Witte- Attorney- no new litigation. One tort claim for a US 50 wreck- no problem.

Meeting with Tucker regarding Seldom Seen bond issues and roads set for this week.

Went over Bill Black's contracts for Homeland Security grants and a woman (Tracy Lightfield) hired as administrator who is NOT a salaried employee, but works out of her home for the district 9. All approved and signed. These are reimbursed to the county at 100% but Pickens said “the state is like STP- slow to pay”

Black also had this week declared as Winter Weather Preparedness Week. Proclamation signed.

Witte- also advised the Commissioners with appointments coming up that he and Sheldon Rox have a database of people who are willing to serve on boards etc to include more diversity.

Thompson said he will try to get the paper to announce the boards and positions open for appointments so people can submit their names and credentials.

Thompson- said Ch 19 answered their letter and they are willing to help once a month with pet adoptions. WSCH does also. Local rescues are being contacted and so are sources for food and supplies for freebies and lower rates.

LATE ARRIVAL: Mr. Turner of Main St Property Group- the real estate group handling the multi-tiered living site for the nursing home, assisted, and memory care units along SR 48 by the hospital presented their stats including 150 jobs and 4.5 million payroll in Phase 1 and 35-50 jobs and $2 million payroll in Phase 2. Their attorney (Jeremy ??) and Rich Starkey of Barnes and Thornburgh worked through DCEDI etc to get financing set up.
They have a NEW POSSIBILITY under the stimulus act for tax-exempt bonds as they can qualify as a RECOVERY ZONE FACILITY- for anyone that faced an economic hardship. They normally do not qualify for tax-exempt status as a private entity. They need an additional $2.7 million to finish the project and want to seek that in bonds. He claims this does NOT impact any debt limits the county has. [NOTE: If not- why not go through Lawrenceburg- most of the project is in city limits and the rest will be annexed after the 2010 census is completed. Did Lawrenceburg say no? Lawrenceburg already helped finance the excavation of that site as there was a LARGE amount of earth to be moved.]

Main Street Propert Group also wants the county to consider making this a TIF district so they can use the increased tax revenue (over and above the current revenue only) to help pay off the bonds. [NOTE: Again- why isn’t Lawrenceburg doing that- it is going to be mostly their district and revenue. This also hurts the local schools, library, EMS funds, etc.]
Pickens said- you are basically paying yourselves. Answer- YES. A private organization- Main Street Real Estate Management will get this. [NOTE: What about the other local nursing homes and assisted living along SR 48. There was a new one proposed across from Sunrise Estates also on SR 48. Is it fair or even desirable to help one private entity in competition with others in the area? This is a good project- but we have to be careful about mixing public interests with private companies, especially ones with this many local competitors.]

Next step is to get more info to commissioners on this. DCEDI consultant Jim Kinnett accompanied Main Street to this meeting. For info on Main Street see

Phil Darling asked about how to get legislature to take the $85 million from state police that comes out of highway funds. AIC and others have lobbied for this per Pickens- to no avail. They did ask him to add his voice to their – the more squeaky wheels- the more chance of change. Aging infrastructure issues abound all over the country- funding needs to be sought. [NOTE- Now that is what a tax-exempt bond would be better used for!]

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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