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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 7:30 A.M. on September 19, 2016 for the purpose of continued budget discussions.

Council President Butch Kramer called the Council meeting to order.

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

 

Councilor Clear made a motion to accept the salaries proposed by the Assessor. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

White County Clerk Paula Lantz questioned what the Council previously approved for the Clerk’s office salaries. Councilor Crabb made a motion to keep the salaries as approved by Council in their earlier budget hearings. Councilor Carter seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Carter made a motion to wait to add a new position of Assistant Process Server to the Sheriff’s budget until the Sheriff has worked with the new law and can make an informed decision as to the necessity. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Anderson moved to increase the Sheriff’s Chief Deputy’s salary to 80% of the Sheriff’s salary. Councilor Clear seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Annis made a motion to pay the Jail Commander the minimum Fair Labor Standards Act exempt salary. Councilor Crabb seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Annis made a motion to give the Jail Matron the County general increase only. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF JOINT SESSION:

White County Highway Superintendent Mike Kyburz said Bridge 104 south of Monon Road was closed today for refurbishing. He has started the 50/50 grant paperwork process.

 

White County Area Plan Director Joe Rogers said the 53 building inspections were down considerably from last month’s 400. Director Rogers is seeking a mentor to teach the new building inspector.

Director Rogers said the White County Comprehensive Plan is nearly complete. The draft should be ready to distribute soon.

 

White County Environmental Investigator James Reynolds said mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in White County. He said there have been two people in the State of Indiana treated for the West Nile Virus.

 

White County Economic Development President Randy Mitchell said the 41 new jobs are directly related to the five new businesses started this month: Frankie Rupe School of Guitar, Monticello Signs & Screen Printing, Lasting Impressions Dental Studio, Little Ras-kels Learning Center (all in Monticello), and Williams Trucking in Brookston.

 

Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation (SFLECC) Representative John Koppelmann said, in regard to lake levels, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has a draft assessment, and they are waiting for the final assessments. He said Fish and Wildlife is not using a good way to measure levels and therefore their assessments are not going to agree with FERC’s assessments. If Fish & Wildlife will not concur with their assessments, there will be at least another 190-day delay before moving forward. Since September of 2014 when the lake levels versus preserving the muscles issue began, it has cost $300,000; mostly in legal fees. It cost $50,000 alone for just one portion of the protest. Mr. Koppelmann said they are asking for financial help from multiple sources in increments of $10,000. Commissioner President Heimlich said the money could come from the Commissioners’ fund.

Commissioner Dave Diener made a motion to give $10,000 to Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation to help preserve reasonable lake levels to protect our White County Economy (including businesses and lake home properties). Commissioner Steve Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Councilor Art Anderson also made a motion to grant the $10,000 request to the SFLECC.

Councilor Crabb seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

White County Indiana Bicentennial Celebration Coordinator Kean Mac Owan said the Bicentennial Torch will come through White County on October 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM beginning at the Captain Bill Luse Bridge with a vintage tractor parade of different makes/models. There will be a program at the Courthouse at 10:30, and then the torch will make its way to Idaville and Burnettsville. Mr. Mac Owan said there are 22 Torchbearers representing each town or township in White County. Each Torchbearer is either active in community service, is a White County legacy family, outstanding role model and/or plays a leadership role. The torch has a camera inside the Torchbearers can take pictures or video with. White County has 45 volunteers for this event.

 

Commissioner President John Heimlich asked the Council how they wanted to amend the tipping fee percentages. Council President Raymond Kramer said they would like to change it from putting 50% into the Solid Waste Reserve Fund and 50% into the Solid Waste Operating Fund to 25% into the Reserve Fund and 75% into the Operating Fund. He said there is $17.8 million in the Reserve Fund that can only be used for loans. He said the Operating Fund can be used for multiple purposes and is not growing because it is used often.

Commissioner Burton requested the resolution be amended to begin immediately rather than January 1, 2017 as proposed. The amended resolution will be presented at the next Commissioner’s meeting on October 3rd. Everyone was in agreement.

 

White County Attorney George Loy said he met with White County Economic Development President Randy Mitchell, Commissioner Diener and Magnetation Pellet plant CEO Matt Lehtinen to consider what the County might be able to do to prevent the possible shut- down of Magnetation on September 30th due to bankruptcy. There will be a hearing on September 26th to approve a new plan to keep Magnetation going with new ownership. Since they are located in a Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) district and 80% of their property tax is used to eventually pay the TIF bond payment (which Magnetation holds), the County is willing to use money from the Solid Waste Reserve Fund to advance the payment. Such action would take place ten days after Magnetation’s property tax check clears. Once funds are distributed at tax settlement, the money will reimburse the Reserve Fund.

Attorney Loy pointed out the company originally thought they would employ 105 people, but they actually employ 160, and have invested approximately $350,000,000 into White County.

Commissioner Diener made a motion to adopt Resolution #16-09-19-04 in joint effort with White County Council to assist in the continuing operations of the Mag Pellet LLC Reynolds facility. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Councilor Anderson made a motion to adopt Resolution #16-09-19-02 in joint effort with the White County Commissioners to assist in the continuing operations of the Mag Pellet LLC Reynolds facility. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

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

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

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

 

MINUTES

Councilor Clear made a motion to accept the August 15, 2016 minutes. Councilor Carter seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

There were no additional appropriation requests.

 

TRANSFERS

There were no transfer requests.

 

 

BOARD MEETING REPORTS

Councilor Clear said the Emergency Management Agency will be replacing Chantel Henson’s position because she is leaving. Councilor Annis said he has volunteered to direct traffic when there was an accident in Monon. He asked Councilor Clear if he would suggest to the Emergency Management Advisory Board the idea of including businesses to somehow be a part of helping in that capacity.

Councilor Anderson said Community Corrections has four work release prisoners from Carrol County. White County will be receiving $30,000 next year.

Councilor Davis said Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission has dealt mostly with out-of-County money.

Councilor Davis said he plans to meet with the North White Superintendent to see where the Superintendents are with a job description for a shared Counselor. He said whomever is hired for the new position will need to work with Ivy Tech.

Councilor Anderson went to the Regional Work Force Summit. The topic was trying to figure out why kids don’t want to work.

Councilor Annis said he did not have any more to share than what Area Plan reports give. He has heard there will be another confined animal feeding operation coming soon that should be state-of-the-art.

Councilor Carter said Wabash Valley is dealing with a couple of lawsuits that the CEO is handling, and they do not affect Council.

Council President Kramer said the Data Processing Board has not met because they are involved with the comprehensive plan. He said the Innkeepers Tax board meets a couple times. They give money to SFLECC which is leading the fight for the Lakes’ water levels. Councilor Clear said there are about three entities that make up about 3/4s of the funding for Innkeepers Tax, and there is no good way in place to make the other Innkeepers pay. He figures they are missing out on about half of the tax revenue, because so many smaller Innkeepers are not paying. The tax does not take anything from the Innkeepers. . . it should be a pass through as they collect the tax and turn it in. Council President Kramer wondered if they could record a lien and add it onto the tax bills which would include penalties. Auditor Rogers said there are vacation rental homes that the Board may not even be aware of.

Council President Kramer said the Solid Waste Management Board cut the grant program for the schools because tipping fees went down which caused available funds to go down accordingly (change made per 10/17/16 Council meeting). When he was first on the board their investments were $3 million, and now they are $1.5 million. The program used to collect 25 cents a ton from tipping fees and now it is 10 cents a ton from most counties. The County with the largest assessed valuation approves the Solid Waste Management budget (which is Jasper County). Jasper County has a new education coordinator who was a former teacher.

 

WHITE COUNTY 2017 BUDGET ADOPTION

Auditor Gayle Rogers said the State recommends adopting the maximum levy so we don’t lose any of our tax dollars. Whether the Council gives a 1.5% raise or a 3% raise to County employees there will still be $300,000 left in the operating balance, and there needs to be $200,000 to $300,000 in the operating balance. If they adopt the max levy at $5, 250,105 in the General Fund (which is the only fund changing), the tax rate will be at .2649 which includes the property tax replacement. It is currently .2601. There is a $35,004 difference between 1.5% raise to a 3% raise. The difference between raising the levy to the max and keeping it at .2601 is $95,442. If a county does not reach its max, then the County’s max the next year will be based on the lower levy. It just keeps getting a little less. Councilor Anderson does not agree with the State’s recommendation.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to use the County General Fund Tax Levy that leaves the tax rate at .2601. Councilor Crabb seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Councilor Annis made a motion to give the County Employees a 1.5% raise. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Councilor Davis made a motion to adopt the 2017 White County Budget. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

WHITE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNUAL DISBURSEMENT RESOLUTION

Councilor Crabb said the White County Economic Development Organization (WCEDO) is asking for $215,000 which is higher than the past few years of 197,000. He said WCEDO has been completely revamped since Randy Mitchell became President and Councilor Crabb thinks he has done a phenomenal job. WCEDO also receives funds from public and private entities. He said President Mitchell has been disappointed the shell building has not sold, but he continues to work on getting information out about it, including a $25,000 advertising campaign. Councilor Crabb said the talk is to think more regionally instead of just County-wide. In fact WCEDO is looking at taking some private trips to Japan with representatives from WCEDO, Wabash Valley Power, NIPSCO, REMC, five or six rural economic directors along with a power supplier and talking directly with the people of Japan. Councilor Crabb said there are a lot of good things happening in White County: WITCO is expanding in Wolcott, new hospital and fire house, and the Wolcott area is ripe to explode.

Councilor Crabb made a motion to grant Resolution 2016-09-19-01 for $215,000 from the County Economic Development Income Tax to White County Economic Development. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

 

WHITE COUNTY EMERGENCY 911

Council President Kramer said White County Emergency 911 Director Terri Brooks has yet to receive any bids for a new recorder. She was recently informed from the current vendor they are raising the annual maintenance fee to $17,000. She said that is way out of line, and she does not know why.

 

MONTICELLO-UNION TOWNSHIP PUBLIC LIBRARY

Monticello-Union Township Public Library Director Monica Casanova said she will be recommending to her Board in October expanding the library district to include Liberty and Lincoln Townships. With their approval and that of Council’s, then they must collect signatures from 20% of the registered voters in each township. The voters will decide. Then a resolution will come before the Council instead of the Trustees because they will be seeking to include more than one township. Once this passes, there will be a bookmobile making regular visits, additional staff, Sunday hours, and no more late fees. Councilor Anderson suggested they keep the late fees to encourage responsibility. There are currently 130 Liberty Township library cards at $60 annually.

 

TAX ABATEMENT COMPLIANCE FOR JORDAN MANUFACTURING

The Jordan Manufacturing CF-1 abatement compliance form for improvements was reviewed. They originally anticipated having 80 to 170 employees but they actually have 150 to 350. Salaries estimated $2 million went to $5.4 million.

Councilor Clear made a motion to approve the CF-1 for Jordan Manufacturing. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

ADJOURNMENT

Council President reminded the Council about the Emergency 911 Cutover meetings, should they be able to attend. The nearest one is at IU Health White Memorial Hospital on September 21st from 10:00 to 11:30.

 

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Crabb made a motion to adjourn. Councilor Annis 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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