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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, April 4, 2016. The meeting was held at the White County Building, 2nd floor Commissioners’ Conference Room, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Commissioners present were: President John C. Heimlich, Commissioner Steve Burton and Commissioner David Diener. Also present was Auditor Gayle Rogers, Attorney George Loy and the Commissioners’ Assistant Donya Tirpak.

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.


· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the minutes from the regular meeting held on March 21, 2016, seconded by Commissioner Diener. Vote: Unanimous


· Commissioner Diener made a motion to approve payroll for April 4, 2016, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


· Commissioner Diener made a motion to approve and pay the claims as presented, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


Commissioner Diener said that he was contacted by Todd Pekny, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), regarding the abandoned road on N.W. Shafer Drive that was recently closed off to the public.

Mr. Pekny explained that the north side of the Monon Ditch is property that’s owned by DNR, and the south side is owned by Shafer-Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corp (SFLECC). The south side is where they have a ramp to access the lake with their emergency equipment for rescues/body recoveries. He said the public will use the north and south side for public fishing, as well. He understands that the county put up guardrails as a solution to Mr. Griesey’s complaint of illegal activity going on in the area. After doing some research with the Sheriff’s Department, he found that there were only two complaints made to the department in six years. He requested the commissioners to remove the guardrails so they can continue to access the area for their equipment and to also open it back up for public fishing.

Darin Griesey, 7596 N.W. Shafer Drive, argued that DNR and the public are trespassing on private property that is owned by SFLECC. This isn’t something that is allowed anywhere else along the lake, so why should it be allowed here. He is currently working with the Wetland Reserves program to try to preserve the ground on the south side.

Joe Roach, SFLECC, confirmed that they do own the property on the south side, but feels that they really don’t have any say about the property because the county has the right-of-way with the road being there. He discussed the time when SFLECC deeded north side property over to the DNR. The agreement was that if they did not put in a public boat ramp then the property would revert back to SFLECC. A public meeting was held with a lot of opposition opposing a public boat ramp going in on the north side of the Monon Ditch, because the fear of someone getting hurt entering and exiting the site because of the curve. At the time, it ended with DNR not putting in a public boat ramp and they never returned the land.

Mr. Roach said that he would like to see SFLECC be relieved of any liability if DNR decides to put in a public boat ramp and the county decides to allow the public to access the property to fish.

Pat Shafer, White County Sheriff, said that he has been with the department for 31 years now and this location has been used multiple times for emergency calls on the lake. Being that we are a tourist location allows access to lake for first responders.

Commissioner Diener suggested that they take this matter under advisement and try to deal with the easements, right-of-ways and property owners to come up with a plan that will keep everyone happy.

County Attorney Loy said that a title search on the property will sort out ownership, right-of-way, and easements.

Commissioner Heimlich said that they will take this under advisement and have the county attorney to sort out who owns what and try to go from there.


County Attorney Loy said that he has been working with Surveyor Brad Ward and Highway Superintendent Mike Kyburz on agreements with Pioneer Transmission LLC, AEP and Duke Energy for the Greentown-Reynolds Project that will be coming through White County.

The Greentown-Reynolds Project is an electrical line extension that will consist of 13 miles of new transmission line constructed in White County from the border of Carroll and White Counties, near the intersection of Springboro Road, to the Reynolds substation located North of Reynolds. A Road Use Agreement and a Drainage Agreement is necessary because the construction will intersect with about 15 county regulated drains and 26 intersection curb cuts.

Charles W. Hawley, AECOM, and Dennis Walton, Construction Manager with Duke Energy, were present to speak about the project. Mr. Walton said that the 65 mile project will consist of 57 towers in White County. The steel towers will be 135-160 feet tall with a 765 kv transmission line, and 6 conductors per phase running through them. Construction should start in April.

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the Agreement for Use, Repair, and Improvement of White County Roads and Repair of Drainage Facilities during Construction, seconded by Commissioner Diener. Vote: Unanimous


Brooke Johnson, Owner of Little Rascals Daycare, appeared before the commissioners seeking advice on what course of action she should take next.

Ms. Johnson explained that she purchased a home last October in the National Homes addition. Her intentions when she purchased this home was to convert it to a child care facility. She was approved by the Area Plan/Building Department to do this, so she invested $20,000 into the property. This upset the neighbors because this was the third home that she has purchased in the neighborhood for this type of business. She held a meeting with Area Plan Director Joe Rogers to discuss the complaints, which were intensity of use and traffic issues. She has tried to come up with several compliance plans with Director Rogers, but he has rejected them and now he is making amendments to the zoning ordinance. She complained that Director Rogers is making amendments to the zoning ordinance that will shut down her daycare business because she won’t be able to comply with them. She came to the commissioners for advice on where to go from here.

Commissioner Diener criticized Ms. Johnson that she’s abused the system of a home use business from the ordinance by purchasing four homes in a concentrated area and turning them into child care facilities. He said, “I applaud your creativity, but it’s caught up with you. You’ve abused the system for your benefit, and the system is now reacting by creating standards that prevents this concentrated use of houses or businesses in a residential district.”

Ms. Johnson agrees that she has created an issue and things do need to be put in place. However, she doesn’t agree that she should have to close her business, simply because the rules weren’t in place prior to her being approved by the department. She agrees that she shouldn’t be able to expand anymore in the neighborhood, and she agrees that the ordinance should be changed to prevent this from happening in the future, but she doesn’t agree that she should have to close her business because she did follow all the rules according to the ordinance.

Director Joe Rogers said that the permit that was approved for Ms. Johnson never stated that the improvements were going to be for a child care home. She had put on the application that she was going to convert the garage to a living

quarters. He said that after they got rid of all the filtering and looked at all the facts, they looked at the issue and enforced the actions they felt were needed, held two hearings and now it’s time to move on.

Ms. Johnson said that she is trying to keep this location open so children aren’t out of care and she’s looking for alternatives.

Commissioner Burton said that he feels that the county has responded appropriately at this time.

Commissioner Heimlich explained that the appeal process is to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) and the commissioners can’t override their decision because they are a judicial body. The decision for her right now is before the City Council and not the commissioners.


Tracy Cochran, Community Wellness Coordinator/Purdue Extension, said that she is currently working with the local Farmer’s Market group and the Monticello-Union Township Public Library to create a new children’s program called Power on Produce (POP). Starting in May through October, on Tuesday nights, they will have a new and improved Monticello Farmer’s Market where they are expecting to bring in up to 100 children around the courthouse square for this new program. Since the restroom facilities in the county building won’t be available in the evenings, due to safety reasons, they have decided to rent portable restrooms, porta potties. She asked the commissioners where the best location would be to put the portable restrooms.

Commissioner Diener suggested putting the portable restrooms on the north side of the county building under the awning. That way they’ll be out of the rain and accessible to the handicap.

Commissioner Burton said that he understands the need for public restrooms during the summer months and wanted to talk with other people that are involved with different groups to see if something could be worked out.

Commissioner Heimlich said that in the past the festivals have used the area north of the bank. He asked if this location would be suitable. Mrs. Cochran said that this area is not suitable because there will be a lot of young children and they do not want them crossing a high traffic road.

Rod Pool, City of Monticello, said that the city is looking for options on where to put a public restroom and they are currently trying to locate the paperwork on easements for the area north of the bank.

The commissioners said that they will come up with a location and get back to her before the next meeting.


Rod Pool, City of Monticello, presented a plan of building a gazebo on the southwest corner of the courthouse square to hold the historical White County Bell. The bell was stored at the Chamber Building, but since the building was torn down they now need a new place to store it. In the plan, he would like to redo the sidewalk and sitting area to make it look like the southeast corner. The cost of the project is $75,000, which will also include power washing and resealing the whole plaza one more time.

Commissioner Burton said they’ll start working on the funding and get back with him.


Commissioners’ Assistant Donya Tirpak presented two quotes for having new carpet put in the offices on the first floor. Commissioner Diener said that he would like to wait for a third quote and discuss at the next meeting.


· Commissioner Diener made a motion to appoint Dr. Derek Sharvelle to the White County Board of Health filling the unexpired term of Emil Gutwein, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

Dr. Sharvelle’s term will expire December 31, 2017.


Director Joe Rogers announced that Mark Bentlage has accepted the open position as Assistant Director and he will be starting in three weeks.

There being no further business to come before the commissioners, their meeting was adjourned.

___________________________ _____________________________ ____________________________

John C. Heimlich, President Steve Burton, Vice President David Diener, Member

ATTEST: _________________________

Gayle Rogers, Auditor