Wednesday, March 23, 2011

22 March 2011 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

22 March 2011 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Dennis Kraus. Sr., President, Jim Hughes, Liz Morris, Maynard Barrett, Bryan Messmore, and Bill Ullrich.
Absent: Dan Lansing (recent death in the family)

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Bill Ewbank, County Coordinator

County commissioners Orschell and McHenry were present. Hughes was on vacation

1. PAWS gave an overview of their progress noting that Sears, the architect, was able to reconfigure the new building to accommodate the original plans and naming rights for rooms. Maxwell Construction did the remodeling. ( John Maxwell was present) They will bring in their funding requirements and negotiate at the May 24the council meeting. PAWS will be raising twice their usual amounts to accommodate the facility. PAWS will be handling the animal care and the county will be doing animal control. The county will have space on the left side of the front of the building with a garage entry. PAWS will have microchip software and provide one month free pet insurance. They plan to use the facility to teach and train as well. Officials can tour in April. The rummage sale to raise funds is April 15-17 at Agner Hall at the Fairgrounds.

2. Bill Ewbank updated Council on the Hoosier Sqaure purchase and Votaw and Shumway. He stated that there will be about 6,000 additional square ft to work with and the Votaw and Shumway buildings will get torn down with Lawrenceburg’s help by the fall. They are trying to get similar services consolidated in areas close together and trying to figure out Superior Court II’s space in the Courthouse. They allotted $1.25 million and will have $219,000 left to do renovations. That may not cut it. He hopes to have that budget nailed down by the May 24th meeting.

3. Ewbank noted the lighting improvement in the meeting room- others will get the improved fluorescents too.

4. Collette from Umbaugh and Associates presented more scenarios for the jail payment options. In a detailed presentation she outlined several ways to do the 3 main options. The jail is coming in under the county’s debt limit. The Pay 2011 certified net assessed valuation of the county is $2,332,311,076. Divide that by 3 and take 2% and you get a debt limit of $15,548,741. The jail estimates are all around $14.9 million. This includes hard and soft construction costs and financing costs.
The 3 scenarios were downpay $5 million and borrow $9.9 million; downpay $7 million and borrow $7.9 million; and down pay $9 million and borrow $5.9 million. Debt service rates were between 2 and 3.33 cents . In the first case riverboat would be needed beyond the down payment, the other two did not require that. The other scenarios using the bonds we are finishing up could get paid off in as little as 5 years or as long as 9 years.
Kraus noted that with the competition for gambling it might be best to minimize the use of riverboat to just the down payments.
Liz Morris noted that the original jail was above the debt service limit when it was built- so it was a lease back.
The maximum riverboat expense in any of the scenarios that used it for monthly payments was $590,000 per year. Council made no decision on this.

5. Jeff from Umbaugh and Associates also gave a presentation explain the banking industry issues with public money and savings accounts due to new laws with the feds and the state. These have supposedly been causing our local banks to say they don’t want our county savings accounts.

The commissioners, treasurer, and the auditor are the Financial Board of the County. They have to adopt an investment policy for the county. What do the public funds codes allow the county to invest in?
With high unemployment, stricter lending standards, households not borrowing as much, and businesses not ready to hire, the banks have a lot of deposits on hand and few wanting to borrow.
The Dodd-Frank Act created 250 new regulations and 70 studies, plus 13 new agencies, higher capital requirements for banks and higher costs for the banks. HEA 1336-2010 created new rules for collateralization based on a rating of the bank. Indiana is using HighLine ratings. They require a certain amount of collateral for public funds based upon the banks ratings. Indiana had a PBIF Public Deposit Insurance Fund that had $300million. When one of the bigh banks had $800million in public deposits and was about to fail in 2009, new rules got set up as the PBIF couldn’t cover the losses.
The High Line rating for banks rates then from 0-99 with 99 being the highest and best rating. There are 188 banks in Indiana and 63% of them rate from40-99 no additional collateral. 22% rate from 22-39 requiring the Average balance of the previous year. And 15% rate 0-19 and require 100% collateral. Indiana may decide to go to a 100% collateral state like KY.
Indiana Public Funds code does give some options for local investments of public money IC 5-13-9: Government securities, treasuries and agencies, municipal securities added in 2010, money market mutual funds like Goldman Sachs, repurchase agreements, expanded CD bidding (requires a resolution), CDARS added in2010 and are FDIC insured (requires a resolution)- there are 30 banks in IN that have these, and local gov’t investment pool like TRUST IN for short term use, and IC 36-1-7 Interlocal Agreement like the Hoosier Fund ( requires a resolution).
Jeff noted you can pass all these resolutions and not use them unless needed. For any public money the rules are in order- first safety, second liquidity, and third rate of return.


1. Joanne Curasik (sp?) , Aurora, spoke to council regarding her experiences with referendum on jail in Hamilton County, OH. She noted the high incarceration in both the US and Indiana compared to the rest of the civilized world
. She discussed reducing incarcerations due to drugs (particularly marijuana)and alcohol and using other forms of treatment such as halfway houses. Talked about the law that allowed property to be impounded with drug arrests and that money going to the state.
Kraus, Sr. and Ullrich explained to her that this was not the board or forum for this discussion- that it belonged in the state legislature.
She went on to emphasize that with the economy being what it is- can our citizens even get it together to finance this and also with the gambling in Cincinnati and competition for gambling dollars, will our riverboat revenue be enough?
Kraus, Sr. assured her that they do know about these things and that income tax was down in the county by $600,000 last year.

2. BJ Ault from Solid Waste Management District came to get Council’s blessing on their additional appropriation for $82,500 to purchase a building and 2 acres adjoining the property. The money is in place from DC foundation grant and Lawrenceburg each for ½ of the total. They council approved the ordinance that she read into the record.

3. Ruth Ann Batta was approved for $2,000 for the Summer Art program at Sunman Dearborn that is in it’s 24th year. All ayes except Messmore Nay.

4. Steve Walker from Dearborn County Park Board said that it was humbling to listen to the millions of dollars discussed earlier realizing it would be enough to fund the parks for years and years. There was a long discussion on parks funding stemming from an issue with non-reverting funds turning into reverting funds if they were transferred for payment and then they didn’t use them all. Park Board gets a lot of volunteer help so sometimes they save onlabor costs for projects. Pennington and Messmore volunteered to go to their meeting and go over the workings of funding and how to accomplish their transfers in a better way to suit their needs. It seems that the Park Board had hoped to have their projects approved at budget time and then be able to work with their funds without having to wait for Council to meet to get approvals again specifically for each project.
Council meets irregularly in between their scheduled 4 times a year, and this works a hardship for projects and planning, particularly in good weather months.
Walker told Council they were repurposing the Guilford Fort funds for restrooms at parks that do not have sewer infrastructure. Council seemed to think that was a better plan.
He said the board also was trying to get bright Park fenced and a shelter built for about $15,000 each estimated cost.
He was told to come back to the May 24 meeting with 3 bids for projects and advertize the requests in advance.

5. Bill Shelton- Building Commissioner- received approval to bump up an employee to the top slot that is now open and leave the bottom inspector spot unfilled for now. The cost difference is $2846 for the bump up. Total costs will be down due to one less employee. Approved.

6. Assessor Gary Hensley sent a letter to Council- he wants to hire to fill a vacancy and is still one less than he had before. All ayes except Messmore Nay- passed.

7. Auditor- Gayle Pennington said they are going thru an audit with SBOA right now and needed approval to close out accounts that haven’t been used in over 3 years. Total amounts in the 3 accounts were $30.80, 0.40, and 0.42. Approved.

8. Council signed off on the Lewes and Kappes contract for lobbyist for the county. She noted that cities and towns pay back their portion to us. Signed.

9. Minutes approved.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The audit wouldn't have anything to do with the 25,000 doller's that was stolen would it ?