Thursday, March 12, 2015


Committee Meeting for Annex Project
 10 AM March 12, 2015

Present: John Maxwell, Art Little, Liz Morris , Shane McHenry Terri Randall, Scott Carnegie, Alissa Rullman, Randy Lyness, Andy Baudendistel, Dennis Kraus, Sr., Bill Ullrich, Phil Weaver, Gayle Pennington, Brad Rullman, Leah Bailey.
 14 people were in the audience.

This meeting began with Terri Randall instructing the architect to set the Computer TV screen up in the left corner of the room so that the committee could sit around the large table in the alcove there. The audience could not see the screen or hear the discussion well. Chris McHenry said something to Bill Ullrich about that being a problem for the public in attendance and he tried to get them to reconsider. Randall told him he could join them at the table. And then someone decided that arrangement needed to change and they sat at the regular meeting chairs and faced the public. Shane McHenry directed and ran the meeting then. [NOTE: This meeting was a public meeting and is being held during the work day when most of the public cannot attend. To then not face the public seems to demonstrate an attitude that runs contrary to what we expect at a public meeting. This  same arrangement happens at the Redevelopment Commission meetings which Randall also sets up. It just makes attendees feel less than welcome.]

[NOTE:RANDY LYNESS - Council President - did not step back from this discussion or address any conflict of interest issues. Maxwell Construction has a contract with the county for $343,000 for this project and Lyness’s son Jeff is listed as the Project Manager for it. Looking up the principals and staff of Maxwell Construction shows 3 Maxwells and 4 Lynesses. Lyness has a brother in law, son, brother, and nephews working for that company. Was this a violation of the nepotism law?] 

Randall said- The purpose was to figure out where they want to go next. Questions about options and funding. Drawings and info are available.
Randall made sure Maxwell, Alissa, and Scott Carnegie sat with her to answer questions.

Dennis Kraus, Sr asked the first questions showing that 20-21,000 sq ft were determined to be needed. He showed it in several emails and meeting notes. He compared it to Ripley County building. 
Alissa said the 20,700 sq ft were for the depths. The 12,000 sq ft are in the extra basement. They have 16,000 over that. Included is the basement and 3000 sq ft The inmate transport is in the basement. Entryway level one and lobby level 2 has more public space for congregation and security required for the single entry.

Shane McHenry asked why they are looking at the basement option. Alissa went on to talk about inmate transport and holding areas, inmate restrooms and the secure elevator. 

Shane McHenry asked what the cost differential was without basement and with it. Maxwell said they based it on 2004 study and reviewed it. He was’t sure how to fit buildings together and see how to do it with infill or not. It’s a third more gross area than asked for. Our duty was to sort thru the hundreds of thousands of dollars of studies previously done. They didn’t consider a basement in the studies. The transport came thru after consult with DLZ. They found a better way via the basement approach. 

Shane answered Dennis that video arraignment can only be used for initial hearings. Ullrich said there is activity once a day for that. 

Ullrich went on that this design does an excellent job of maintaining the security of prisoners and the staff and the public. Perhaps this could be turned into underground parking?

Lyness said that this would not be a lot of parking? Hardly any parking could fit per Scott Carnegie.

Lyness asked if Denny was satisfied with that answer to the square footage?Denny said- he didn’t think anyone could satisfy that. It’s just too much gross sq footage!

Carnegie said that they wanted to have the courts on one floor to get all walking easier to courts etc with staff.

Dennis Kraus said- all the security is for the courts- so why not separate the courts from administrative people like Ripley and Decatur county? Ullrich said the general public will be separated from prisoners. 

Liz Morris said we can adjoin buildings and are blessed to have that space.
She said the cost of housing adm people elsewhere wouldn’t save much. [NOTE: Has anyone priced this out?]

Lyness asked about parking. Shane said the EMA lot will be paved to get 36 more spots  as they got a good price on that and will make up for the 8 lost in this building. They need to get employees to use the lots appropriately. 

Randall said someone needs to address how Lawrenceburg will require a formal parking study. Liz said Lawrenceburg may not have allowed enough for the event center.

Lyness asked about more parking- McHenry said that there are options for some land. 

Andy Baudendistel said that our 3 courts are doing work above an average court load per INDY evaluation. There could be a 4th court at some time. 

Kraus asked about the rotunda taking 17% of the building. Carnegie said it was a security issue. 

Kraus said- we are not afraid to come here to work. 

Randall said she is here many nights and anyone can walk in. She went on at length about how anyone can come in etc, (This was a real eye opener about how afraid she thinks we all are.) Costs of active shooters etc. She said they haven’t be able to come to a better solution tan this to get all this. Insurance rates are better by doing all this. They have to sign that they are doing things to stay safe.

Based on that - every bank should have an armed guard at the door.!- Dennis Kraus

Glenn Wright- we did have an issue in the recorders office once. They called the sheriff’s dept and have one of their officer’s step over here. The sheriff said they are not in the county jurisdiction- It was Lawrenceburg’s. This ADM building with taxes, auditor etc. has no security.

 McHenry said that the it was ignorant of sheriff employee that said that. 

Ullrich agreed. 

Shane said Dennis and Terri have points. He doesn’t want to do things based on fear on insurance issues or whatever. 

Dennis said he thinks this is going overboard. 

Shane said we are talking about the cost of the extra basement. 

Dennis said- don’t build something we aren’t going to use. 

Art Little went on about the cheapness of the basement space in construction. Like Shane said- the space will get used- we will go again. If this building lasts as long as the Courthouse- it will be used. 

Lyness asked about taking square footage out of that. Can we cut each floor down.

I asked about the ongoing maintenance of the extra space for heat/cooling, cleaning, the cost of security for night meetings. I asked about the ongoing costs to the taxpayers. 

Randall asked about the space needs. 

Liz said that the amount of space Maxwell asked for originally is solid. The basement is an expense because of inmate transport. So financially it makes sense to expend it now to get the extra space. 

Dennis asked if Prosecutor would mix with this building. NO- he gets the first floor of new annex.

Lyness said he is comfortable with this design. We picked someone we trusted to look at this. [NOTE: He is related to the people "we" trust.]

Randall went on at length again justifying all the costs of the other ideas- and we just want direction on this. 

I asked about paper load vs computer storage. It seems like the medical profession has gone paperless, is the legal profession getting to do this yet? 

Slowly getting there per Baudendistel and Probst.

I asked about whether we are going to move the back wall in again and cut more space? 

Lyness said he is comfortable with the basement space and it doesn’t cost that much. 

I asked- if they knew the cost difference? Because facts would be useful. 

No. But.. and then Maxwell spoke about how many times they went around this. And the cost is ugly he said. But this maintains the functions the best way they know how. The empty space in the basement is 7,000 sq ft for $500,000 difference for that vs infill and slab per Maxwell and Alissa. Maxwell stressed that they listened to DLZ as they were the experts on this. 

Randall said the Construction Manager gets a lump sum price so they don’t get anything more for extra sq footage. And its an extremely reasonable fee. He beats on the architects and there was great dialogue. It has been argued about with great sincerity. [NOTE: And though Maxwell has a lump sum price to do the management, DLZ does not. Their fee is based on the project cost per their contract with the county.] 

Audience question- what is sq footage of each courtroom in new annex. It is big enough for trial courts. 

Liz thought they are 2800 sq ft. They could flip courtrooms for less populous hearings. 

Shane said the judges seem to want to keep their own as they keep going back and forth. 

Dennis asked if we attach to Courthouse will it no longer be allowed to get historical grants again.

Scott Carnegie said that depends on which entity is the grantor. 

Chris McHenry said that they could eliminate the columns and echo the rounded doors and windows and have a plainer front.The architect said They will continue to refine as they meet with more depth etc. [NOTE: Then they could perhaps join the two buildings with a complementary color of brick  like the library did also and not have to do some brick staining etc.]

Eric Hartman asked about the ADA items and if all the buildings will have to be revamped. Essentially - they should think about doing that for the public anyway.They were also concerned about HVAC system upgrades needed also. 

Randall and Carnegie said they want to get this on a central system. 

In answer to my question they said- This HVAC for ADM BLDG is NOT part of the scope of his system. And the ADA is NOT part of the scope for the ADM building. 

I asked about the joining of the buildings then if they are not in the scope of the project. Since it was causing issues with the grade elevation and requiring the extra basement and all, would it be better to keep the adm bldg separate. 

Randall said that they joined it for the single entrance and security.

Randall said that the longer we wait the more it costs.

Art Little also agreed.

Randall did not have money sources for funding this project. 

Dennis asked about the money in Riverboat savings. $10million but jail is not finished paying out it’s final allowance. 

Lyness said- Cost is $11.4 million and if we make changes and save money that’s good. Our revenues are going down. 

Gayle Pennington said that the funds that Terri copied from the treasurer were not funds that could be used for a project. They are all checking accounts that serve other purposes. The fund balances on Leah’s other report were up to date. 

Hartman asked about the time frame on this project. Shane said he wants it sooner rather than later. He doesn’t want to just shove it down someone’s throat. He wants to bring it before his board.

How much money is available?

Answer- 10 million in various savings accounts. In all the ones there is $16 million but that would deplete it all.

Liz explained that Growth and Development has amounts that are used for highway a very few times. 

Carnegie said 5.5 months to get construction documents set up. Then a few weeks for bids etc. Construction is about 15-16 months. 

Tax and bonding questions- I asked if they would be raising taxes to pay for this. 

McHenry and the rest of the committee did not want to do that. 

Then I asked if they intended to bond it. They are thinking of a mix of savings account and bonding. Then I asked who was responsible for paying off the bonds- answer taxpayers. So essentially this comes back to the people of the county to pay for this out of OUR savings and taxes. 

Liz Morris explained how that works. They also will get numbers from Umbaugh to see the impact. I reminded them that the county has an aging population and it would be a shame to have elderly people taxed out of their homes or off their farms. 

Lyness said maybe we can get more people involved and see what to do.He wants to chew on this for a while. He does want to talk about numbers.

Randall said that they have meetings for Council and Commissioners next week. 

Lyness said they need to get with Umbaugh to see what they recommend. Council can’t act on this for next week. He thinks there should be another one of these committee meetings. 

Dennis said they can reduce some of the extravagance of this. There are things they still need to talk about.

Meeting adjourned at 12:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

Where was Lynch at Cinn. ohio, Indy, or maybe Washington D.C. that he could not attend.Maybe he knew that there was not going to be any pictures taken.

jb said...

Thank God for Chris McHenry- she knows how a public meeting should be running. And she isn't afraid to speak up.

working stiff said...

How can we have input on government business if they don't have meetings at times that working people can get to after work?

Anonymous said...

You think it is any better working for the county?
Terri Randall tries to stick her nose in every project!!!
She always seems to get her way.

Anonymous said...

A huge thanks to Christine Mueller for her great reporting of these meetings. Love her comments & questions!
Certainly is keeping some transparency to our local government.

Anonymous said...

that's why they have the mettings at that time so public has no say so.