Wednesday, December 08, 2010

7 December 2010 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

7 December 2010 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes
Present: Ralph Thompson, President, Tom Orschell, and Jeff Hughes
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Bill Ewbank, County Coordinator, and Jack Gay, Attorney.

Commissioners began with a moment of silence commemorating Pearl Harbor day.

Tucker Development- Seldom Seen and Old Orchard- continued tabled

Maximus Consulting Services- continued tabled at Hughes’s request

Langley Heights-Jack Gay said ordinance should have included all those streets that were included in Tom Orschell’s motion- Chambers, Gibson, and Cobb. He rechecked the minutes and the ordinance vacating the streets can be signed as is. Hughes said there were people who wanted to speak to that. Commissioners agreed to allow it.

John Hoskins spoke and asked about York Avenue- especially the western part of York. There has been an issue with garbage not being picked up for a month- due to a person claiming he owns the property. Thompson said Bill Ewbank sent a letter to the garbage companies advising them of the ROW still being in county hands and the garbage can be picked up. Gay concurred.

Traffic Control Device Ordinance- public notice has been given regarding all the signage and traffic signals per IC 9-21 so this ordinance can be signed now. Thompson read the ordinance into the record. Manual of uniform traffic control devices was included as part of this. Effective upon posting of any sign or signal. Violations are a class C infraction. Commissioners approved and signed the ordinance.


Brett Dodd RQAW- Jail statistical data appendix C presentation- This affects sentencing and length of stay. Inmate capacity determination was analyzed. Found some anomalies and trends that are not typically seen. They spent some time talking with jail personnel to clarify. Mark- his “jail expert” spoke about general demographics of community. 94% of people are still in house they own. This is a stable community. 2010 population is a little over 50,000. Kelley Business School of IU gave projections of population that shows a plateau around 2035 to about 8.4% growth. This would change if perhaps a large industry came in.

Dearborn County arrest trends show 600 felony arrests in 2005 and by 2010 had a 150% increase in felony arrests. These felonies take longer to prosecute. Misdemeanors are decreasing in the county. 2000 misdemeanors in 2005 and down to 1350 in 2010. Annual jail bookings show a drop of about 200 from 2005-2010.

Average length of stay from 2005 (40 days) to over 50 days in 2009, but dropped back a bit in 2010. The second district court added in 2006 did not shorten this length of stay number.
Average daily population can fluctuate significantly even in a day. Average daily population tracked along with the capacity until 2009-2010. People are considered innocent until proven guilty- and some in there are technically innocent and are protected under 8th amendment. Try to separate the populations based on security risks etc. Want about 15% of jail empty so that the sheriff can do this without shifting entire housing blocks. “If you don’t have any empty beds you are crowded.”

Inmate composition- 60%- now 50% misdemeanants. Felons went from 20% to about 32%. Felons get moved and there are other diversions for road crews and work release etc. Male to female ratios pretty much constant over time.

Projected needs were done using a logarithmic progression. Need to add about 175 beds to current capacity. Today we actually need 85 beds to meet current needs. 250 beds is the upper limit of beds possibly needed for the future. [NOTE: It was unclear how they got from 175 to 250 bed estimate.] Current facility is in compliance with state in every way except for capacity and the discontinuation of the GED program due to finances. [NOTE: If we want to prevent reincarceration, why would we discontinue GED program? High school diplomas are needed for most jobs!]

Projections are based only on what is occurring in the jail itself and not population trends. Rumors are out there that say C and D felonies ( lower grade ones) may be coming back to the county. Sentencing guidelines could affect this too.

Commissioners took the information under advisement. RQAW will be back at the next meeting with more information.

Bill Black- EMA- ratify lifting burn ban and grant signatures- Burn Ban was cancelled on Nov 24th and commissioners ratified this and signed it.
Black also presented 2010 Grant for $3750 for equipment for a damage assessment team- computers, cameras, and GPS. Money cannot be spent until signed and back to the state. “Management Performance Grant subgrant agreement” was signed.
Black turned in his resignation from district as manager and $1.7 milliion has gone thru when the county was the agent,. Another county will be selected now.

Seig Associates- vacate portion of Happy Hollow Road- not addressed because the proper notice and procedures haven’t been followed per Jack Gay.

Employee Policy Manual Acceptance- Committee has forwarded this for approval. Thompson read the statement accepting it into the record. Commissioner Thompson, Maynard Barrett from Council and several office holders and staff served on the community. Commissioners approved and accepted the policy manual.

HIGHWAY DEPT- Todd Listerman gave a 15-minute report:
Supplemental inspection agreement for Bridge 15- Bells Branch with DLZ Engineers. Project took longer and so the inspections took longer. Contract extended to cost $95,799.04 as the not to exceed amount which is approx. $24K increase. Commissioners approved.

Holt road Bridge 219 contract bids opened last week. Lowest of 6 bids- McAllister Excavating out of Patriot for 196,838.25. Hope to have this open by early summer 2011.

Bridge 24 Cold Springs Road to Howard Barth and Associates Greensburg was approved last meeting and the contract was signed tonight.

Ordinance discussed restricting vehicular traffic on Kaiser road due to sharp curves by bridge #61 on it. They have an ordinance saying the max 40 ft for single and 45 ft combination vehicle. Infractions to cost $1000 max. Approved and signed.

Materials bids all came in on fuel, asphalt, aggregates, etc. he asked to accept any and all bids to find suitable sources and trucking locations.. Approved.

School warning flashers FUNDING for Sunman Dearborn schools on county roads were approved. They will now select a design consultant.

Last week lost 2 highway workers. He wants to approach Council to fill these. He also needs to fill the lower classified staff spot to get the data for signage etc done by 2013. Hughes has no problem filling two laborers but no new office staff. Orschell said he wants to give permission to go to Council to fill all 3 positions. Approved with Hughes voting Nay.

AUDITOR – Gayle Pennington- minutes and claims approved.

ATTORNEY- Jack Gay- prepared the agreement for Hoosier Square purchase
and there are time constraints for the seller. To address this in a special meeting very shortly after Council meets on the 14th to approve funding.

Gay also presented the bonding and financial guarantees ordinance for Article 4 and 7 of the Subdivision ordinance. Commissioners approved and signed it.

COUNTY COORDINATOR- Bill Ewbank- nothing


Jeff Hughes- Collier Ridge Bridge Alternative- talked to American Structurepoint and wanted the commissioners to look at all options. Hughes wants them to take a road trip and look at bridges that E&H have designed in other counties. They and American Structurepoint are both here tonight.

Chris Ott with American Structurepoint -who submitted the winning proposal for the bridge said that if you want to use federal funding there are procedures you have to go thru. He detailed the permits needed as well. You also have to have an open bid process and you will have to have engineer stamped plans even if you don’t use federal money. Hughes wanted to have Ott evaluate leaving the bridge where it is at. Ott said the footprint of the bridge gets longer when you replace it where it is. If commissioners want to accept liability of doing something that is not according to accepted bridge standards, the state might allow that. He seemed concerned with the geometry of the bridge as is. Try to stay out of RR ROW to keep from having a long project. 18 months to design with fed dollars and local money- 8-10 months design. In the fed project land can be bought after environmental documentation is approved. There is also another bridge out there that is deficient that will need to be replaced. [NOTE: The current abutments are apparently not wide enough to accommodate a redone bridge structure there.]

Orschell willing to take road trip but is VERY uncomfortable with the liability of using local money and by-passing state bridge standards. Orschell and Thompson favored the federal money as it is less of local money used than the local option that estimates $738,000.

Marty Hon spoke trying to pitch their E&H bridge option. [NOTE: Hon is the local sales rep for E&H- he is also a TWICE former county highway superintendent and former local Republican party chairman.] Thompson and Orschell said an engineer has to study it first. [NOTE: This would increase costs again- there have been several engineers looking at this situation- both formally and informally at the repeated requests of the residents there.] The Public can speak under public comment.

Ralph Thompson signed Lifetime Housing documents for Cochran St and Dietrich Crescent Dr in Greendale with Commissioners approval.

PUBLIC COMMENT- Cathy Albert- Collier Ridge- said Commissioners are to make best decisions for the county- but they are also to listen to the wishes of the residents. She stressed that Orschell is their commissioner but does not agree with the residents. No one is talking about eminent domain. And she says that will take a long time. Why is there no interest in looking in to E&H’s version? Also have a letter from Jim Barker saying that he thought the piers looked good. Barker is an expert on historic bridges. She mentioned taking 8 years to get the project done federally. The current bridge functioned beautifully for 90 years. Why are we not considering keeping it where it is. She accused Tom Orschell of being closed minded. Orschell told her that Barker told her he wouldn’t recommend doing it. She said that we didn’t bring him up again after that. ( and yet she just did) She said- listen to the residents- it’s our money, our road, and you should listen to us. She asked the people in the room who do not want the bridge to be moved to raise their hands. Most hands went up.

Orshell said he wants to listen to what the engineers recommend. Cathy Albert left the podium stating that Hughes is the only one who agrees and is trying to help them. [Note: Hughes wants to look at options- he said he was willing to check out E&H’s other bridges. It might have been more expedient for him to have done that PRIOR to bringing this to the meeting.]

Gary Collins- no one yet has thanked the residents for their work on this. SD Schools is costing $21,000 for extra bus gas on detour of this road. If it takes 5 years, that’s over $100,000. [NOTE: Commissioners estimated 3 years.] He also said their detour on Kaiser has a sharp bend by a bridge there and they are eliminating trucks form that road. Why spend all this money on Collier Ridge Bridge when Kaiser needs one too. [NOTE: Why not fix Collier Ridge so it is NOT like Kaiser? He objects to Kaiser’s sharp bridge access, and yet wants to keep one on Collier Ridge?] Using county money for this bridge can circumvent a 3-5 year delay. Bridge 54 does not have to be replaced now. Not as critical. Is there any way to have an engineering firm see if those bridge abutments will hold the load as needed? [NOTE: Commissioners informed me after the meeting that these abutments are too small for a redone bridge. I’m not sure why they did not state that at the meeting itself, other than that the presentation got contentious in tone and perhaps they chose to say nothing rather than reargue their decision.] If they won’t- well then we are off the books on this. He said these are Indiana limestone- they have stood the test of time- same as the ones under the suspension bridge in Cincinnati. Take a look at this and see if this is even a possibility. No one is complaining about the alignment. We could straighten out the approach a little bit. If you want us to go away- then take the steps to investigate this. This would save magnificent trees and also not have to take property.

Commissioners did not comment other than to thank them for their comments.

Meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

more bullshit just cant tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

will they have CDL if you hire 3 more rules are rules?

Anonymous said...

jeff you need to look in this we need cdl drivers to help with winter it will save on overtime and tax money but who cares not more labors?