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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 May 16, 2016 for the purpose of discussing the additional appropriations and other business that might come before the membership.

Council President Butch Kramer called the Council meeting to order in joint session with the Commissioners. The following members were absent: None

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:

White County Area Plan Director Joe Rogers said all surveys for the White County Comprehensive Plan have been turned in. The next step will be reviewing the different communities’ goals. It has been difficult to persuade the consulting company from using a general pattern other counties use. Director Rogers and others on the committee want a plan more tailored to our communities.

Director Rogers said preparing amendments to the 2008 Zoning Ordinance is a time-consuming job. It is more than his Office can do and still be able to keep up with regular duties. He said the Downtown revitalization is difficult as the ordinance stands, especially in regard to a block long building which is segmented into parcels by interior walls.

 

White County Economic Development President Randy Mitchell said two workforce development initiatives are coming. One is called “Ready To Work,” targeted at training those out of work for at least 27 weeks. They would learn new skills and be paid $45 a day while in training by the Department of Labor. The second initiative, “Skills Up,” is training offered to those who have a high school or equivalent diploma to learn additional skills. There’s also a third training for existing workers to learn new skills.

 

White County Environmental Officer Jim Reynolds sent out 27 letters to pool owners and operators for the upcoming season detailing guidelines. He said they send their water testing results in weekly, and he checks all the pools himself at least once or twice through the summer.

 

White County Highway Superintendent Mike Kyburz said the Department is behind fifty to sixty drainage projects. The drainage along 900 East, north of U.S. 24, is a million dollar project at his lowest figures of $300 per foot.

 

White County Emergency 911 Director Terri Brooks said the State Funding from the 911 surtax used to cover 48% - 50% of their budget. In 2015 it covered only 38%.

Director Books would like the Commissioners’ approval to upgrade the dispatch equipment to be compatible with the new upgrades the State has implemented. Emergency Management Director Roberta Yerk received a grant to cover White County’s already completed P25 radio upgrades. Motorola will refigure the price since the deadline for the original quote last year has expired. Councilor Anderson wants to see a discount on the new figures.

There was discussion on having regional communications. Director Brooks said there is no advantage to White County, and the cost would be greater.

There is money appropriated in the Solid Waste Operating fund for this project.

Commissioner Burton made a motion to move forward with the purchase of the Emergency 911 equipment and upgrades. Commissioner Diener seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

White County Information Technology Supervisor Eric Storm said SRI Document Management Services has a software program that most of the offices in county government can use to scan documents for storage and do away with paper documents. The documents can be easily filed and retrieved. The program will integrate with software programs currently used within the Courthouse. He already has hardware in place to support the software. Supervisor Storm said back-ups would be made at least daily and stored in three local buildings (not in the Cloud). He said there is money in his budget to purchase the software and services.

Commissioner Diener made a motion to purchase the software and services from SRI Document Services. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

There was discussion about the one-time Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) refund the County received from the State of which at least 75% must be used for local road and bridge needs. The remaining amount may be used at the County’s discretion. It was suggested that it be used to pave County Road 300 E or possibly toward the million dollar drainage project along 900 E as previously mentioned. The Commissioners suggested making a priority list of road and bridge projects.

 

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

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Council President Kramer opened the regular Council meeting with the Council reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

MINUTES

Councilor Clear made a motion to accept the April 18, 2016 minutes. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

TAX ABATEMENT RESOLUTION FOR MEADOW LAKE WIND FARM PHASE V

Auditor Gayle Rogers said the Tax Abatement Board recommends the Council approve the Declaratory Resolution designating 19 sections in West Point and Princeton Townships as an Economic Revitalization Area for Meadow Lake Wind Farm V, LLC and giving a ten year tax abatement. There will be 50 towers generating two megawatts each. Depending on how the bids come in, building will start either August 2016 or May 2017.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to accept the Declaratory Resolution #2016-05-16-01 designating an economic revitalization area for Meadow Lake Wind Farm V, LLC. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A LOIT SPECIAL DISTRIBUTION FUND

Council President Kramer said he asked Highway Superintendent Kyburz to make a list of roadwork priorities.

Auditor Rogers corrected a statement Highway Superintendent Kyburz made in the April 2016 Council meeting about sending unused Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) money back to the State. She said it does not go back to the State. It can be carried over from year to year.

The State will provide more grant money for towns with populations under 50,000. The one-time LOIT distribution can be used for matching grant funds. Councilor Davis said the 50% matching grant for the highway must be applied for between May and July 2016. He does not want to miss this opportunity, even if it means applying for multiple smaller projects or large, whatever works to make the deadline. Council President Kramer said the LOIT distribution could be set aside until we know if the grant is awarded and for what projects.

Council President Kramer suggested putting the unrestricted 25% of the LOIT refund into Rainy Day, since it’s been hit hard. He said it could still potentially be spent on roads, but would not be obligated.

Councilor Crabb made a motion to suspend the rules to establish Ordinance #2016-04. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Crabb made a motion to accept Ordinance #2016-04 establishing a LOIT 2016-04 Special Distribution Fund as a clearing fund to distribute the one-time LOIT special distribution to the various taxing districts of the County. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A RESTRICTED PORTION OF THE LOIT SPECIAL DISTRIBUTION FUND

Councilor Crabb made a motion to accept Ordinance #2016-05 establishing a LOIT 2016 Special Distribution Fund to hold 75% of funds received from the Indiana State Budget Agency. The remaining 25% shall be added to the Rainy Day Fund. Councilor Carter seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A WHITE COUNTY WHEEL TAX & MOTOR VEHICLE EXCISE SURTAX

This is the first reading of the wheel tax ordinance. Council President Kramer said the State is giving a minimal amount of money to counties that do not implement the wheel tax in comparison to what is given to counties that implement the tax. The State sees it as though counties are not doing all they can to generate road funding if they do not have a wheel tax; therefore basically forcing the tax. Councilor Anderson does not agree with being forced to implement a tax because the State is not distributing the funds fairly between counties. He would rather sue the State to distribute funds fairly between counties regardless of whether the counties have implemented a wheel tax or not. In essence a county not implementing the wheel tax is penalized. Auditor Rogers can talk to other Auditors at the Auditors conference to see how the wheel tax is working for their counties. She does not want to see White County miss out on such a large amount of funding. General consensus was to hold off as long as possible. Councilor Kramer is concerned about the elderly and low income people.

Councilor Clear made a motion to table discussions of Ordinance 2016-03 authorizing the White County Council to impose a Wheel tax & a Motor Vehicle Excise Surtax. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

MEADOW LAKE WIND FARM PHASE I, II, III AND IV ABATEMENT COMPLIANCE

Councilor Carter said people do not realize that every year the Wind Farm pays more taxes, which causes everyone else’s to go down. In fact, they think the County paid to have the wind turbines put in.

Councilor Davis made a motion to accept the continuing abatement compliances for the Meadow Lake Wind Farm Phase I, II, III, and IV. Jim Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

BIO TOWN AG ABATEMENT COMPLIANCE

Councilor Kramer said White County Assessor Lisa Downey was concerned about an abatement compliance form that came to her office for Bio Town Ag. They had $1,000,000 in assessed valuation back in 2010. Council granted an unlimited amount of abatement. Now it has jumped to $7,000,000. She questioned the unlimited amount granted, and if this was Council’s intention. Councilor Anderson remembers Bio Town Ag was going to put in four generators and they ended up putting in several. Assessor Downey suggested they request a waiver, which is more paperwork, and the Council could continue to allow the abatement with the added equipment. Councilor Clear said he was in favor of doing the wavier. Councilor Carter remembers that Bio Town did not know how quickly they might expand and need to install more equipment which would also be included in further abatements. Council President Kramer said Assessor Downey did not grant them the abatement last year.

 

Auditor Rogers said there should be a CF-1 abatement form turned in every year to show compliance from everyone receiving an abatement. She intends to send out a courtesy letter to each company receiving an abatement reminding them to turn in the compliance form.

 

WHITE COUNTY TREASURER 2012 DISCREPANCY

Auditor Rogers said according to the Treasurer’s Office, the 2012 discrepancy was a computer glitch. State Field Examiner Denny Hines who found it in the first place thought it had to do with Inn Keepers Tax that was put in the cash book, but not in the computer system in the same year. President Kramer said at the meeting with the State District Manager Kris Girton she agreed with the assessment. Auditor Rogers said the computer system the Treasurer uses will recalculate figures, whenever a change is made, back to the beginning of any month that is not closed. The Treasurer had not closed for at least nine months in 2013, and the figures were constantly changing. The State will sign off on the Council’s decision, since the number has been consistent since the months were closed in November 2013. The State recognizes there was no criminal action. Councilor Clear wants someone at the top to advise us. President Kramer said Council will table the discussion until the head of the State Board of Accounts advises how to handle this.

 

BUDGET HEARING DATES

Council President Kramer suggested having the regular August Council meeting on the 15th, then to use the afternoon for the initial portion of the hearings and as many days needed thereafter. He wants to give the Clerk and Highway more time this year. Council decided to meet Monday, August (15th), Tuesday (16th), skip Wednesday (17th), meet Thursday (18th ), and Friday (19th) if needed.

Auditor Rogers will contact Department Heads in advance to see if anyone needs extra time. She could also let them know not to make any salary raise recommendations, only individual matrix changes. When she advertises the proposed budget she will add in enough to the overall amount to cover whatever amount the Council chooses. The proposed budget will be advertised at the beginning of August.

Auditor Rogers said Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele & Associates Inc. categorized everyone in similar jobs with the same pay range, instead of recommending where in the pay range each person belonged. She thought they would have used the job descriptions to see where on the scale each person belonged. The County’s matrix does more. She has put together a matrix considering the current salaries, and Councilors Clear, Crabb, and Anderson can go over it with her to make final recommendations. Councilor Clear said it seems like the County did not get their money’s worth. Auditor Rogers said they also did the personnel manual. She and Leah Hull are still working on that.

Auditor Rogers said the Fair Labor Standards Act is being changed. As currently proposed, the exempt salary has to be at a minimum of $50,544. She and Ms. Hull believe two of the nine County employees who would fall into the exempt category should be reclassified. If this passes, it would cause a $9,000 or $10, 000 raise for Roberta Yerk, Sharon Watson, and Tom Hildebrand. Mr. Hildebrand would either need to be made full time or his hours cut back. He works fifty hours a week, and this is a liability to the County. There are a lot more veterans, so the Veterans Service Officer position has grown.

 

ADJOURNMENT

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

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

DENNIS E CARTER JAMES G ANNIS ART A ANDERSON

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

JAMES B DAVIS KEVIN L CRABB RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

President

 

___________________________ Attest: ___________________________

 

BRUCE D CLEAR GAYLE E ROGERS, AUDITOR