Wednesday, September 07, 2011

6 September 2011 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

6 September 2011 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Jeff Hughes, President, Tom Orschell, and Shane McHenry (arrived late- at 6:50PM due to a home robbery and shooting in the county)

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Bill Ewbank, County Coordinator, and Andy Baudendistel, Attorney.

Rearranged the 4H item due to McHenry being tied up on an incident for the sheriff’s dept.


State Drainage Law- Baudendistel had rewritten the ordinance as requested and commissioners approved it. They also approved the fees for investigating a storm water nuisance- $50. These will also go to council for their approval due to the fees involved. They also need to be advertised for two weeks after council approves.

Private Real Property Rights Preservation Ordinance- Hughes had an email that he wanted to pass on that a state did and not a county. Just more information- tabled it AGAIN.

Revised Jail Expansion Project- Orschell will meet with RQAW and the sheriff on Sept 14- tabled AGAIN until after that meeting.


Sheriff’s dept- Beautification Project- wants to put two awnings up to cover the keypad at entry and also the picnic area. These are removable. It is all funded by the Main Street Lawrenceburg ( about $16,000) and some ($1310) out of jail fund. Commissioners approved.

Animal Control Truck Purchase request- Marlene Underwood had a grant for $22,400. Haag Ford truck for $27,028 will be what they purchase including the money in Animal Control fund. It will have the Animal Control part put in the chassis in Texas and then shipped.Approved.

Mike Burgess- Veteran’s Officer- Vehicle Purchase Request- Has received a grant $73,500 from the DC Foundation for the purchase of 2 vans. Superior Van and Mobiles will be using Ford units and equip it for them . $83,354 is total cost- he has some funds already to cover this and he will reimburse the foundation for any unused funds. Commissioners approved the purchase.

Lifetime Housing- Ratify Owner Occupied rehabilitation Property Declarations- several had come in and Bill Ewbank had Hughes sign them as they were time sensitive. There were several properties that qualified for these. Commissioners ratified Hughes’s signatures from before.

4H Shooting Range lease- Mike Heffelmire- Hughes had hoped to wait for McHenry- but he still had not arrived.

Heffelmire sent an email letter with maps from the County Farm/park Board meeting to commissioners and 4H:

Wanted to let you know that during our last joint meeting “The County Park Board” informed us that they intend to close the Youth Complex and purchase land at the end of Latire Road to build a new “Public Range”, I’m on the agenda for the Commissioners Meeting Tuesday Evening, at 6:30 to try and talk them into taking the Youth complex out of the Park Boards Control and lease or deed it to County 4-H. It was suppose to be removed from the County Farm at the same time the YES Home, Highway Department and Dog pound was.
It may help if we show up in numbers to protest closing it. Bring everyone you can. An estimate of how much time and money you guys have put into it would be nice also. I have what we have spent and the Foundation.

CF Proposed Land Use Plan.pdf
782 kb Download

Preliminary Range Plan .pdf
638 kb Download

Heffelmire , a member of 4H and the County Farm Committee said that on Feb 21, 1985 they incorporated the DC Youth Complex. $38,000 plus has been spent since the Park board took over by the 4H range. The Park Board was in favor of these expenditures. On July 6th they met and found out the Park Board wanted to remove it as it was unsafe. The road they graveled only goes to Youth Complex and to a local farmer who has an easement there for access. County Parks wants to purchase land along Lattire road. They want to move the shooting range there and the 4H does not want to move there. They want a new lease to keep this totally in 4H hands. They do not want a public shooting range for the kids. Baudendistel said that it has been deeded to the Park Board but it is still County land. Their old lease expired.

Jim RedElk of the Park Board gave an overview of what the Park Board was up to. The County Farm Committee is a subcommittee of the Park Board. They are updating their 5 year plan. They have compiled all the ideas that have come to them in a map. They think that as time goes on more people will use the parks and the shooting range may become an issue in its current location. Some of these uses may never happen and County Farm may remain as is. In deference to the County Farm Committee due to their years managing it, the Park Board decided to involve the County Farm Committee in the long range planning for that park. That map showed all these ideas preliminarily. At the end of it there were not any real specific objections to it at that time. They also were trying to make sure recreation was available to everyone. We found out they came to you with their objections rather than us. That’s where we are in this process. The other piece is 13 acres and council was helping finance that so the 4 H has more land. It is also hilly rather than flat as is the current range.

At 6:50 PM McHenry arrived.

4H/Park Board continued. Red Elk said they would build the new range first and then move.

Steve Walker- Park Board President- passed out the following letter that went to 4H participants:

To 4H Shooting Sports Participants,

Having recently received a request from Mike Heffelmire requesting your attendance at the Commissioner's meeting tomorrow, the Park Board believes that there are a number of corrections that need to be made and issues that need to be addressed. We hope you will consider these carefully before committing to the public action that has been requested.

1) First, and most emphatically, the Park Board has no intention of closing the facility currently used for 4H shooting sports at any time in the near future, likely measured in years, and possibly never for the archery component. At no time do we anticipate that anything in this process will be permitted to interfere with ongoing 4H shooting sports activities.
2) While we have begun the process of planning for the conversion of the County Farm property for use as a public park, all such plans and proposals are preliminary. So that you will know the general tenor of our discussions and the full nature of the information we provided to the County Farm Committee, drawings and other materials have been included to detail the uses for which the Board believes the landscape of County Farm may best be suited. Please keep in mind that the drawings represent very preliminary usage suggestions. You should expect to see more of this in months (and years) to come in the form of surveys and public meetings as we attempt to assess and meet the needs and desires of area and regional residents.

3) This being said, the one true thread of the e-mail is that our preliminary assessment of land use has forced us to evaluate the role of the range at it's present location. It is our opinion at this time that the current location of the range for firearms sports represents a significant impediment to ANY use of the property north of Co. Farm Road for public recreation, both for psychological as well as safety reasons. As you will see on the attached map of suggested uses, the area east of the range is the segment of the property best suited for field sports given the flat topography.
4) The Board recognizes the significant personal investment that 4H and its volunteers have made to that facility. You should know that the Board has been and will continue to be a strong supporter of organized youth activities. Accordingly, we have made a commitment and repeatedly affirmed that the Board intends to replace the infrastructure with equivalent or better facilities at any new location. It is our hope that 4H will view this as an opportunity. We will be counting on the experience and expertise of SAFE and others to make any new facility a success.

5) A new facility, at the Lattire location or anywhere else, would likely only be public in the sense that it would also be open to other public organizations contributing to its success, perhaps including Boy Scouts, area police departments and similar organizations able to regulate and insure their members. Given the long standing investment of 4H in the shooting sports and youth training, the Board intends to continue operations in such a manner that 4H will have priority in scheduling.

6) Our actions have not been preemptive or without consultation. The preliminary plan to acquire the property on Lattire and its purpose in the overall plan for the future of the park system has been presented and matching funds approved by County Council. This necessary first step to ensure that the possibility existed was followed by a joint meeting with the CFC as the legacy managers of the property to let them know our thoughts give them an opportunity to offer theirs. Our impressions from that meeting were that, given our commitment to provide an installation "as good or better", the general direction of our planning was acceptable to those gathered.

These are the facts of the situation from the viewpoint of the Dearborn County Park Board. We hope you will take the time to review the attached materials. If you do, given the beautiful setting and a topography nearly purpose-built for shooting sports of the location we have been looking at, it is my expectation that you will come to see the same opportunities in this new location that I do. Much is yet to be resolved and will likely be years in the making, but the Board views this as an effort requiring 4H as an active partner. We hope you are looking forward to teaming with the Park Board as well.

If you have forwarded the e-mail from Mr. Heffelmire to others not in the distribution list for this message, the Board would ask that you forward this message to those persons as well, or to anyone you may have advised by other means.

Please visit us occasionally at, send us an e-mail or attend one of our monthly public meetings. We will make every effort to provide updates on events and progress at your county parks.

Sincere Regards,

James S. Walker
Dearborn County Park Board.

NOTE: For a photo tour of the Lattire property under acquisition visit: (this file is over 9mb in size)

Walker stressed that they were not asking 4H to go anywhere. And certainly not anytime soon. They are committed to building one as good or better, if they build a new Shooting Range. The current range is 2-3 acres right in the middle of a larger portion that could be used. There haven’t been any accidents because no one has been on the property. It’s likely that this will conflict with future public uses. The terrain on Lattire Road property would help control any possible accidents due to the hills. DNR has up to $100,000 available for shooting ranges. The Park board members are committed to 4H and youth activities.

Mike Heffelmire said the current range is not in the middle of the farm it’s on the edge. He does NOT want to share the 4H range with the public. He wants the 4H to be safe.

McHenry says he has been out there and wants to speak with Walker and Heffelmire.

A park board member also suggested researching Title 14 in Indiana Code.

Heffelmire said this year the range was used 14 times and for 3 hours at the longest time. That would be 42 hours or less for about ¾ of a year.

Commissioners said they want to go out and view it- they will make it a public noticed meeting so the commissioners can go together. Baudendistel can’t commit to the next meeting due to the impending birth of his child. He will have research by the 2nd October meeting on Oct 18th at 9 AM.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Todd Listerman, Highway Engineer reported:

Had a meeting with INDOT and Fed Hwy Adm. Dept of Justice are making all public agencies develop a transition plan that was supposed to happen in 1995 regarding ADA compliance. (Handicapped accessible) All county roads and sidewalks are to be compliant as are all parks etc. He and Bill Ewbank will be meeting with all the local agencies and departments to get a plan to get us in compliance. We haven’t gotten it done in the last 16 years. This will affect all our federal grants and funds if we do not have this up-to-date transition plan. Cities and towns have to do this as well. This will affect the 2013 budget.

Three change orders as they relate to George St Bridge. 80/20 each:
South abutment mortar repointed- $2500. Approved.
Sidewalk had to be widened to be ADA compliant and had to adjust existing sidewalk $4724.60 Approved.
No charge change order but specs for painting changed due to new Indiana standards – but the changes had to go in the contract. Approved.

The bridge should open in by end of Sept- BEFORE Farmer’s Fair.

AUDITOR: Gayle Pennington- claims approved.

ATTORNEY: Andy Baudendistel- nothing

COUNTY COORDINATOR: Bill Ewbank- requested 2012 Holiday schedule because the Courts are scheduling and need it. This is the same as last years but with revised dates. Approved.

Orschell asked Ewbank to send thank you letters to the DC Foundation for the significant grants the county has received. He agreed and also will mention the GIS one as well.

Letter to attorney for Frick and Associates proposing settlement as discussed in their last executive session. Baudendistel to review.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- McHenry said this has been a tragic day in DC and to keep those folks in your thoughts.

LATE ARRIVAL INFORMATION- Andrea (??last name)- introduced Beth Carpenter and spoke of her son Jack who was hit by a distracted driver last year. They are organizing a run to raise money for this cause on education about driver distractions at Bright Christian Church Saturday. They have a final route and the road has been marked. There was some concern atroad safety on Sneakville and part of Stateline which is closed. They will only take 2 hours tops. They will mark the roads with cones etc. Orschell will try to get informational signs on those closed roads. Bill Ewbank will also be a contact for questions from neighbors on the letter they are distributing on Thursday.


Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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