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BE IT REMEMBERED that a regular meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building in Monticello at 9:00 A.M. on January 21, 2014 for the purpose of discussing the additional appropriations and other business that might come before the membership.

Council President Dennis Carter called the Council meeting to order in joint session with the Commissioners. The following members were present:

 

Dennis E Carter Kevin L Crabb Art A Anderson

Bruce D Clear Raymond L Kramer Jr James G Annis

James B Davis

HIGHLIGHTS OF JOINT SESSION:

Area Plan/Building Director Joe Rogers passed out annual reports. He said the number of building permits issued in 2013 was about the same on average as the past five years. Today Jennifer Hill begins working in the office. She replaces Erin Owens, who is now working with Eric Storm in the newly-formed position in Information Technology.

Environmental Officer James Reynolds said he is working with Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District trying to get 50 to 60 homeowners to pump and fill old septic tanks, which are becoming a health hazard.

Soil and Water Conservation Director Sharon Watson invited everyone to the annual meeting on February 13, 2014. Speaker Joshua Dukart is from North Dakota.

Emergency 911 Director Terri Brooks complimented White County Highway Department Superintendent BJ Propes for his cordial demeanor and quick response to clear streets and driveways of those who needed dialysis treatments during the snowstorms.

Director Brooks got a quote per Councilor Anderson’s request for fourteen emergency vehicles to be fitted with a tracking system. The quote from Hosted Think AVL for the GPS units, software, installation, configuration & training is $14,855. This program would allow Emergency 911 dispatchers to know who is nearest to the emergencies. Director Brooks said if the County wishes to pursue this program, it should be through the Sheriff’s Department, not 911. A heads up: the Officers do not want it.

Director Brooks is once again concerned about losing dispatchers. Three, with 21 years of experience between them, recently quit. That amount of experience cannot be replaced for years. One person is taking a pay cut to work in Area Plan at a day job with holidays off. When asked if an increase in pay for the dispatcher position would help, she said only a significant increase would. It has to be high enough to make them think twice about leaving. It’s difficult to work all hours including holidays at a high stress level. When a dispatcher makes a mistake, she can’t say, “Oops” and retype it; it could cost a life. Turnover in this department is a nationwide problem, but she feels it is worse in White County.

White County Recycling Coordinator Dawn Girard said the three largest collections in 2013 were Cardboard, then newspapers, and glass. Most of the center’s expenses were equipment repairs.

Council on Aging Director Gale Spry gave an annual report for the transportation service they provide. Total expenses for this service are $270,911. Total operating income is $26,936.

White County Economic Development Director Randy Mitchell invited everyone to the annual luncheon on February 21st at the Brandywine Convention Center.

White County Highway Department Supervisor BJ Propes shared a report he was required to give the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the snowstorm on January 5th and 6th. Total expenses estimated for the 48 hours were $39,156. Supervisor Propes said he had anticipated 104 hours of overtime per employee, but they are at 130 hours already. He has one employee over 200 hours year-to-date. Employees working on the weekend or holidays automatically receive overtime in this Department (and Monday was a holiday). The amount of fuel costs for a typical six weeks has been used in a two-week period. Salt is $54 a ton, and sand is $6. He usually mixes a 4/1 ratio, but he has gone to 5/1. Councilor Crabb, who works at REMC, said their crews cannot get power back on without clear roads.

For more detailed content of joint session, see Commissioners’ minutes.

ELECTION OF COUNCIL OFFICERS

Councilor Kramer opened the floor for nominations for the office of President of the White County Council. Councilor Clear nominated Councilor Carter. Councilor Davis seconded the nomination. Councilor Crabb moved to close the nominations. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: 5 Aye, 1 Nay Councilor Anderson

 

A vote was taken to elect Councilor Carter as President of White County Council. Vote: Unanimous

 

Dennis Carter is hereby elected to serve as President of the White County Council for 2014.

President Carter opened the floor for nominations for the position of Vice President of the White County Council. Councilor Crabb nominated Councilor Kramer. Councilor Clear seconded the nomination. Councilor Annis made a motion to close the nominations for Vice President of the White County Council. Councilor Clear seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Raymond Kramer is hereby elected to serve as President Pro Tempore of the White County Council for 2014.

 

MINUTES

Councilor Kramer made a motion to accept the December 16, 2013 minutes. Councilor Clear seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

TRANSFERS

The following transfers were received:

 

AMOUNT FROM TO

White County Veterans Department

$ 9.19 1-24-2-1 1-24-3-4

Flags Mileage

White County Airport $ 9.55 1-24-3-1 1-24-3-7 Conferences Dues & Subscriptions

 

$ 256.51 1-24-3-1 1-24-3-4 Conferences Mileage

Probation Department $ 398.00 19-419-3-2 19-419-3-5

Newspapers Telephone

$ 683.00 19-419-3-4 19-419-3-5

Probation Transition Telephone

$ 136.00 19-419-3-4 19-419-3-1

Probation Transition Travel

$ 150.00 18-1000-2-2 18-1000-4-1

Juvenile Prob. Special New Equipment

$ 700.00 146 138

First Offenders Out-of-School Suspen.

White County Treasurer $ 398.31 1-22-3-7 1-22-3-5

Office Printing Bank Fees

$ 335.48 1-22-1-4 1-22-3-5

Part-time Bank Fees

$ 244.01 1-22-1-2 1-22-3-5

1st Deputy Bank Fees

White County Circuit Court $ 603.95 174-4-1-10 01-04-01-10

Circuit Court Petit Jury Petit Jury

$ 41.15 174-4-1-12 01-04-01-12

Circuit Court Food for Jury Food for Jury

$ 5,300.00 174-4-1-10 01-04-04-03

Circuit Court Petit Jury Law Books

$ 500.00 01-04-04-01 01-04-04-03

Equipment Law Books

$ 900.00 174-4-1-12 1-4-1-15

Food for Jury Guardian Ad Litem

White County Sheriff Dept. $ 1,373.00 1-15-1-15 1-15-1-9

P/T Receptionist Ryan Hurd

$ 2,188.78 1-15-1-15 1-15-1-19

P/T Receptionist Ryan Onax

$ 133.73 1-15-1-15 1-15-1-17

P/T Receptionist Overtime Pay

$ 148.22 1-15-1-15 1-15-1-31

P/T Receptionist Alexis Jones

$ 283.18 1-15-3-6 1-15-3-3

Laundry Utilities

White County Coroner $ 30.00 001-09-02-01 001-09-01-03

Postage 2nd Deputy (on call)

White County Prosecutor $ 14.21 1-27-1-3 1-27-1-2

Linda Robledo Fisher Jamie McKean

 

All of the above transfers were done in December through the Auditor with the authority given by the Council in December. She can reverse any the Council would chose not to approve.

Councilor Davis made a motion to approve the above transfers. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

White County Emergency 911 $ 650.00 256-494-1-19 256-494-1-13

Part-time Pay Dispatcher Scrivens

Councilor Anderson made a motion to approve the above transfer. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UP

Environmental Officer James Reynolds said he has a Court Order from 2009 to raze a house in Idaville. He could use the funding the Council put into his budget this year toward this project, but it will use the majority of those clean-up funds. The White County Highway will help to save costs, and the Landfill will probably give him a good price. Then he will put a lien on it, but no one will buy it for $15,000. It had sold on tax sale, but the buyer didn’t follow through with a deed to take possession. At one time it had $19,000 in liens. Councilor Annis suggested a controlled burn. Officer Reynolds said the regulations for a controlled burn are so strict, they are not worth doing. Auditor Rogers said the taxes and liens can be stripped for the Commissioners certificate tax sale. Council President Carter said to move ahead with the project, and Officer Reynolds can come to the Council later if more funds are necessary.

 

WHITE COUNTY TREASURER REPORTS

White County Treasurer Jill Guingrich passed out a Fund Report along with the December month-end report of account balances at each of the banks.

Wells Fargo used to collect taxes for the County. Since they no longer do, she has closed that account.

Wells Fargo License is just license excise tax that gets dispersed twice a year after settlements.

Farmers State Bank of Brookston, Bank of Wolcott, State Bank of Burnettsville, and Alliance Bank take tax payments. The balances in those accounts have since been transferred, and each is left with $2,500.

Lafayette Bank & Trust is the main account. Everything gets paid out of it. It is currently a sweep account so that part of it is able to earn interest. Auditor Guingrich’s State contact suggests the money not be in a sweep account, but rather in interest bearing accounts. The two accounts associated with this balance are broken down into funds that are needed to pay the bills in one account, and the rest to earn interest as the bank sweeps it over to use temporarily.

Lafayette Bank & Trust Innkeepers is used by Shafer & Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation (SFLECC). SFLECC pays its bills out of that account.

Lockbox money has been transferred.

The money in Area Plan was for Meadow Lake Subdivision. The balance is what was left after the County built part of the road there. Auditor Rogers said Area Plan Commission is figuring out what to do with the leftover funds. Treasurer Guingrich said although the Area Plan account, White County Promotional account, and the Innkeepers account are their own individual accounts, the Treasurer’s Office issues the checks.

The last page of the Fund Report has the breakdown of the County’s Certificate of Deposits (CDs). CD #999 that has $4,900,000 is made up of a part of all the funds and is called Total Monies. CD #950: State View Cemetery no longer exists. Treasurer Guingrich said only $5 million of the County’s $50 million is invested in CDs. She said funds continue to accumulate money that never gets invested, and it’s been this way for years. Investing funds is decided by the White County Board of Finance Committee, made up of the Treasurer and the Commissioners. Commissioner Dave Diener has suggested a determined amount of money should be invested each month. CDs would then become available, if needed, on a monthly basis.

Councilor Kramer said there is a lot of unused money in the two Solid Waste Funds that could be invested. Treasurer Guingrich said the County is currently earning a .4% interest rate on CDs. She said it is hard to find a local bank that will accept $14 million (an amount that could possibly be taken out of Solid Waste Reserve for instance). She is not comfortable investing a huge chunk out of a Fund only to find out the Council had plans to use that money for a big project. Auditor Rogers suggested using a specific total amount out of the total money instead of taking different amounts out of different funds. Councilor Annis said to try local banks first, and then go elsewhere. Treasurer Guingrich said Lafayette Bank & Trust, Wells Fargo, and Farmers Merchants will not do CDs. Alliance Bank will do .1%, but would rather not do CDs. This is not just a White County problem. She said Government money is insured differently.

Councilor Kramer said the almost $3 million invested out of the Solid Waste Management District is in a dozen or more CDs. He would rather invest from named funds. Treasurer Guingrich agreed because the paperwork shows $50 million available, when in fact about $5 million is invested. She said the General Fund is the one that gets all the interest from the swing account, which amounts to about $7,000 a month. Council President Carter knows a Chase Bank representative who said Chase Bank would invest the money. Ms. Guingrich said there is a CD that is due today that she can still get .4% rate on. If the Council was agreeable, a two-year CD might earn a slightly higher interest rate. My Trust Indiana can advise her on where she is legally allowed to invest. There is a representative from Fifth/Third Bank who would like to come and talk to the Council about guaranteed bonds.

2014 COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS

Councilor Kramer said Megan Tribbett agreed to stay on the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA). Councilor Clear talked with Doug Roberts about replacing Kay Kiser since she has moved, and it has to be a Democrat replacement. He did not say “No.” Councilor Annis suggested asking the Democratic Chairperson for ideas. Perhaps the Chairperson, Kathy Altman, would like to serve. Councilor Clear said he would check. Council Secretary Barbara Nydegger said Gordon Denton would like to continue serving on the Alcoholic Beverage Board. She said she is going to add the White County Redevelopment Commission to the Council list. There are two appointments, and both are agreeable to continue serving: Gary Hendryx and Mark Howard. She also checked with Randy Mitchell about the Tax Abatement Board and he said it was going to stay the same: Randy Mitchell, Bill Heiny, Max Eldridge, Dave Stimmel, Larry L Brown, Andy Harmon, and Larry Wiley.

Councilor Kramer made a motion to approve all the above mentioned names as Council Appointments, and for Councilor Clear to continue the search for one more person to serve on PTABOA. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

BUILDING DEPARTMENT CELL PHONE

Auditor Rogers reported to the Council that Building Inspector, Doug Wagner, pays $130 per month for his personal cell phone plan. He is not looking for the County to pay for his phone, but he would prefer to use his personal phone on the job. It is capable of handling documents and drawings. Councilor Davis said other employees get a $240 annual allowance. Councilor Annis would like to keep it the same; just like mileage.

Councilor Annis made a motion to give the Building Inspector a $240 allowance for the use of his personal cell phone on the job. Councilor Davis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

AREA PLAN/BUILDING DEPARTMENT

Auditor Rogers said Jennifer Hill was hired at $24,600. That is the same salary as the other new employee. However, Ms. Hill will have her longevity added on to the base since she comes from another County position.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Auditor Rogers asked the Council to sign the corrected 2013 Salary Ordinance. There were several errors that needed to be corrected or they would perpetuate into following years.

Auditor Rogers asked how the Council wants the Emergency Personnel to be paid for snow days. Currently employees are paid the same whether they work or do not work on snow days. However, Emergency 911 has employees who stayed with friends so they were able to get into work. There is no incentive for them to continue that practice, when others do not make that kind of effort to be there, and are paid the same. Auditor Rogers told the Director to consider asking for a pay increase at budget time for those who go above and beyond to do their job. She said all dispatchers do not necessarily need to make the same salary. Councilor Crabb asked what happened to doing your job. Councilor Anderson said emergency personnel should be plowed out so they can get to work.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Kramer made a motion to adjourn. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

 

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

DENNIS E CARTER, PRESIDENT JAMES ANNIS ART A ANDERSON

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

JAMES B DAVIS KEVIN L CRABB RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

___________________________ Attest: ___________________________

BRUCE D CLEAR GAYLE E ROGERS, AUDITOR