Friday, January 10, 2014

County Redevelopment Commission Reorganizes and Changes Leadership

9 January 2014 Dearborn County Redevelopment Commission Meeting Notes

Present: John Rahe, Chairman (arrived 15 minutes late after Maxwell report), Kevin Lynch,Vice Chairman, Jim Helms, Dave Deddins, Jim Deaton

Also present: Terri Randall, and Sue Hayden

ABSENT: Andrea Ewan- who arrived at 5:15 PM and left after her report and Maynard Barrett

Audience: Randy Maxwell, Chris Mueller, and Denise Freitag-Burdette

Maxwell Consulting Updates- Randy Maxwell- slow month in December- started the flood plain study- preliminary draft- Terri and he met with flood plain study person in Blue Ash today. He’s taking a few different approaches in analyzing this. He will finalize this in the next 30 days. We want to know how much ground is affected by this.  Land acquisition from last exec session- the adjoiner to the mill property has decided now that he has no interest in selling his property after 3-4 months of negotiations. Deaton asked if we could get the little piece across the road. That is still in motion. Those discussions are ongoing. Bill Rudisell owns the one to the east that does not want to sell. He wants to just let it go to auction at his death. Deaton says it may be more advantageous to his heirs after his death. Maxwell said everything happens for a reason and this will be OK. Randall said that the mill doesn’t need any of this any time soon as they haven’t gotten the plant built yet. Maxwell then departed for Batesville for his son’s game.  

Election of 2014 Officers: Helms suggested Rahe might want to be relieved of the post as he has been in that position for a long time. Rahe listened but did not concur. Helms nominated Dave Deddins and he was elected Chairman. Vice Chairman was Jim Deaton. Secretary is Jim Helms again. [NOTE: Rahe did not turn over the meeting to Deddins at this point- as is the custom. He continued to run the meeting.]

Land acquisition funds, EDI, and keeping grants separate require a treasurer per Randall. Angie Walters does treasurer for Greendale Redevelopment and Randall will meet with her and see what is needed. They want to get a non-member of the commission as treasurer. Lynch thinks Sue Hayden could learn how to do it from Angie. She also would be available when people need to see her. They will address this officially at the next meeting. Tabled for now.

Minutes of December 12 meeting approved.

Unfinished Business: none

New Business:

Maxwell –covered above as he had to leave

Financials- Cash balance was stated, TIF balances are unchanged. This starts a new budget year. There is $25,000 funded by Council which does not show on this report thru Dec 31, 2013. Report  taken as information.

Claims- approved 4 claims. Randall did not state the names or amounts of these for the public to hear. Randall said that Maxwell gave them a major discount on their fee for December because this was fair. They do have a maximum monthly fee even if he works extra on some other months. Randall stated that she warned him that if he worked beyond the maximum some months he wouldn’t get any extra money for that even though he had charged less in December. [NOTE: Whose money is this? If Maxwell is charging fairly, then why encourage him to take the full amount now IN CASE he works more hours some other month?]

County Administrator Report-Terri Randall-  Returned Funds from Land purchase- when the Stone property was purchased in 2012- half was a Law’bg grant and half from County Council. When EDI was reconciling they split the total and $10,855.54 is returned to us. The other half went back into the Lawrenceburg grant account. Approved.  Deaton asked what would happen if we didn’t return it to Lawrenceburg. Randall said it is part of interlocal agreement. She said we want to keep good relations with Lawrenceburg. [NOTE: Interesting how we view this grant money vs. taxpayer funds above under claims.]

Andrea Ewan arrived at this point at 5:15 PM.

EDI had a meeting and disbanded and they are closing down the books also. EDI wanted to know if the county wanted to take over any of their activities. They have a $1000 lease for a billboard promoting the Stone property. Discussion on whether or not people buy property based on that sign. EDI was the marketing arm for redevelopment. Kelli Boiman did the website and the radio spots to keep up with marketing. Randall talked with her visioning cohorts in the 3 cities. EDI brought in all the contacts for economic development. She sees the county as a neutral place for those contacts to go to now. The Committee of county and mayors reps would be monthly meeting to get together with that employee that is hired with the grant to be the contact for all Economic leads. Andrea Ewan said she could help with work force development. She is with a group that gets data from College Success Coalition to get county data on the county work force. Lynch, Maxwell, Deddins, and Randall, and Scott Fortner and Tom Walker from Dillsboro are going to Muncie for the week long educational course of economic development. Deddins will review the billboard agreement with Stone to see what he can negotiate. Either party can terminate with 30 days notice. Redevelopment voted to pay the fee for one more month to keep it up for negotiation. They will notify of cancellation if they need it. They could see if Hirlinger wants to use it possibly too per Lynch.

Ground breaking for Whitewater Milles is Jan 31st. Governor can’t come. They might get another official from the state agriculture director and maybe bring the Lt Governor per Lynch. He will also be down for the Farm Bureau in April as their keynote speaker. Jud McMillin and Randy Freye have committed to be there. Randall will put together a budget for the ceremony. They want this to look professional as it is a big deal.

File for a LOMAR or a LOMA form (she couldn’t remember the form name)  for Mills to get them considered as being out of the flood plain as they have raised the site above it now. For banks to loan they need to get it recognized as being different from what shows on FEMA flood maps.

Minor things to sign off on London- Witte’s work on the bonds etc.

 Annual report that has to be filed with commissioners each year by March. She will bring that to them at Feb meeting to get that to Commissioners. Maybe have a redevelopment person present that to commissioners then.

We don’t have the $50,000 that comes annually from CVTB. She and maybe commissioners need to go to their next meeting to seek that support still. They meet at 8:30 AM on the 21st.

Attorney’s report- Ewan said that Thursday is now a good day for her to be at their meetings. She apologized earlier for her tardiness. She is attorney for her mother’s friend out of town and had several closings to attend to.

Rahe said that this new person we are going to hire will be for marketing.

 Randall added- and website management, center for all IEDC leads, networking to get leads, and branding. This person is not just hired by the county- but hired by the 3 mayors also. The caveat is that this is not for a county employee who works just for the county.

Rahe said- WHO oversees this person? Who hires and fires? That will be as problem. Rahe also wanted to know if we should be advertizing on radios in Cincinnati again?

Randall said that a lot of leads come from existing business. The Mills – is one we got one from one of their partners. Maybe pulling in information from our businesses too. Use local redevelopment groups to help.

 Rahe said the chamber of commerce promotes local business. Deddins will now go to that. The Chamber does not have a new director yet.

Deaton said we should also partner with adjoining county redevelopments too.

Lynch said we need to visit the statehouse more too. We want them to refer to us too.

2014 Meeting Dates and Times- 2nd Thursday at 8 AM meeting times being considered. Feb 13th at 8 AM is the next meeting. They will poll other members to see what date and time works best for them. I brought up that the newspaper might not be open by then. It was discussed that the newspaper might not be able to cover them that early. Comment was that that was not their problem. (unless you want transparency I stated to them.)Randall does not anticipate many executive sessions. [NOTE: Why not- does she see no new business to negotiate with all year?] They can set executive sessions any time- not just before meetings. [NOTE: So we will bend over backwards to accommodate business prospects- just not the public?] Randall went on to tell the board that they could set meeting times that suited their schedules. [NOTE: This is starting to get ridiculous with the county. Have they forgotten that they serve the PUBLIC and setting all meetings when the public has little chance to attend is not a good idea. Even WORKING board members will have trouble being there at 8 AM and coming to work late. Anyone getting kids to school might also.  Commissioners are also doing this- morning meetings after people are at work in the morning and evening meetings that start right about the time work ends so that people aren’t home yet. Isn’t is the employed county residents that pay the bulk of the taxes? Isn’t it the employed business owners they are trying to bring to the county for economic development? The pervasive attitude here is not transparency and wide open doors. If you discount coverage of your meetings you are shutting down a source that gets the word out of your existence and your plans so that business gets to know your procedures and how to approach your board. Not everything needs to be behind closed doors. Just out of curiosity- when do other City and Town Redevelopment Boards meet? How will the minute taker- Sue Hayden - operate within the law when she is employed form 8:30 - 4:30 by the county and paid separately by the Redevelopment board? If she works as their treasurer also they need her for the meeting. Does she come to work late on those days? Who covers her county duties then?]

By statute have a school board member- Dusty Burress will come to redevelopment as non-voting member. Maynard Barrett is now a voting member. Andrea Ewan and the county attorney were part of checking this statute per Randall.

5 members-  appointed 2 by council and 3 by commissioners and 6th member is non-voting school board member. We now have one too many. We can have a 5 or 7 person board.  If 7 then commissioners are 4 appointments and council gets 3 appointments.

Nothing more on Project C- per Randall and Lynch.

Meeting adjourned at 6:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

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