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BE IT REMEMBERED that a special meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building in Monticello at 9:00 A.M. on April 17, 2017 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 Economic Development (WCED) President Randy Mitchell said there has been considerable interest shown recently in the Mid-America Commerce Park shell building.

On April 11, 2017, WCED hosted a delegation from China; they found it interesting that we have art, band, choir, and gym in our school curriculum.  They encouraged the Commissioner President and Council President to visit their county in China.

WCED President Mitchell said White County has plenty of jobs available, but a lack of qualified people to fill the positions.

 

White County Area Plan Director Colin Betts reported that permits are on par with this time last year.

 

White County Council on Aging Director Gale Spry said they had 500 more first quarter boardings on the public transit compared to last year.  She believes it is related to our mild winter.

 

White County Environmental Officer James Reynolds said collections at the landfill were up 1,700 tons from last month as the seasonal people return.  

 

White County Highway Department Superintendent Mike Kyburz said they are working on the second half of the Community Crossings Grant on 300 East replacing tile and will be surfacing soon.  Norway Bridge work will begin in September and go through May, with a chance of finishing sooner if they work weekends and pay overtime.  Superintendent Kyburz is working on another grant to include other bridges.

Superintendent Kyburz was pleased to again purchase stone at a discount of $2.00 per ton.

 

Remington-Wolcott Community Development Commission Executive Director Sara DeYoung said she has been Director for about year and wanted to introduce herself to the Council and Commissioners.  She said the Medical Clinic in Wolcott is doing well, and the nurses working there are happy with how things are going.  Walking traffic in Wolcott has picked up since the sidewalk renovations are finished. There also seems to be a healthy competition with Wolcott and Remington as well as good communication that allows them to learn from one another and share ideas.

Council President Butch Kramer congratulated the Twin Lakes Boys Basketball program for their achievements at the State Championships and for Justin Crabb, Councilor Casey Crabb’s son, receiving the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award.

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.

 

    1. MINUTES

Councilor Clear made a motion to accept the March 20, 2017 minutes.  Councilor Davis   seconded the motion.  Vote:  Unanimous

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE County Council of White County, Indiana that for the expenses of said Municipal Corporation the following additional sums of money are hereby appropriated and set apart out of the fund.  Herein specified and subject to the laws governing the same.

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT CLERK’S OFFICE

 

New Position $    30,626.00 $    27,948.00

TOTAL $    30,626.00 $    27,948.00

 

White County Clerk Paula Lantz’s new employee, Amanda Cosgray, will start part-time May 1, 2017 at $11.20 per hour.  Clerk Lantz would like her to begin full-time on May 21st at $30,626 with Council’s approval, the same amount she hired the last two new employees at.  She said $27,948 would come out of the General Fund and the additional $2,678.00 from the Clerk’s Perpetuation Fund.  Councilor Anderson doesn’t feel they need another person, and he said the Judge is helping in the training process.  Councilor Clear is hearing the same thing about there not being enough work to keep the Clerk’s Office busy, and another hire is not necessary.  Councilor Anderson also said each County has changed the forms for the e-filing, and it is causing confusion and additional work for the offices of those e-filing.  Auditor Rogers explained the amount for a new hire was approved by the Council at budget time.  The funding was transferred to the Sheriff’s Department because of need, with the understanding that Council would come up with the funds if Clerk Lantz still needed to hire someone this year.

Councilor Carter would like to see all the money that’s been spent out of the Clerk’s Perpetuation Fund this year.  Auditor Rogers said she could email a report to them.

Councilor Crabb made a motion to appropriate $27,948 from the General Fund as agreed upon at budget time and no more to be transferred.  Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote:  Unanimous

TRANSFERS

The following transfers were received:

 

AMOUNT FROM TO

White County Area Plan Department

$10,634.48 1-1-3-13 1-1-1-1

Professional Services Director Salary

White County Highway Department

$47,500.00 4-402-1-11 4-404-4-41 Truck Drivers New Equipment

 

Auditor Rogers said the amount for Area Plan will cover salaries through the end of the year including payout of former Director Joe Rogers’ vacation pay and extra month of work.

Auditor Rogers is going to ask the Highway Department to list out the employee names that go with each position on their budget like the rest of the County does.  She brought Superintendent Kyburz in to explain his transfer.  He said he traded in two old Dura Patchers for a newer one with very few miles on it in mint condition for $20,000 less than a new one.  He is taking it out of overtime money.  At budget time he was going to put $150,000 from overtime to new equipment, but the need was greater to use the money for his overall budget to keep it afloat.  He is also leasing a new grader and a new loader.  He said the old ones were ready to breakdown.  The Dura Patcher is used for 99% of the blacktop maintenance work.  Auditor Rogers said he originally had this in his budget but Council cut his budget which forces him to move money around.  She said it is good that he is utilizing highway funds rather than landfill money.

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

MONTICELLO SPRING & PWRTC ABATEMENTS

Council President Kramer said the Pulaski-White Rural Telephone Cooperative Inc. (PWRTC) estimated employing 18 people and their abatement compliance form states they have employed 21.  Councilor Crabb wondered if the salaries listed included benefits.

Monticello Spring Corporation estimated 72 employees and actually has 77.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to approve the continuance of the above abatements for PWRTC and Monticello Spring Corporation.  Councilor Davis seconded the motion.

Vote:  Unanimous

BOARD MEETING REPORTS

White County Emergency 911 Board: Councilor Clear said White County Communications E911 Director Terri Brooks is not getting the answers she wants from the company in Texas with the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system.  Auditor Rogers said some White County agencies want to use the Texas company, but Director Brooks says their system does not do what she needs it to do.

Courthouse Security Committee:  Councilor Clear said there were many ideas offered at the meeting on Courthouse security.  This is something everyone knew was coming with times being as they are.  He said they want to come up with the best possible solution for the least amount of money.  Judge Thacker said his budget could be used to pay someone for security.  There is not a security person at the Courthouse all day because of transporting inmates.  The consensus is to have security on each floor as the potential for upset citizens exists at various Offices on each floor.

White County Economic Development Board: Councilor Crabb said they are going to redo the WCED website so it is more mobile/tablet friendly.

 

Community Corrections Advisory Board: Councilor Anderson said Judge Mrzlack is no longer in charge of the Board.

Councilor Anderson went to the Indiana State Highway regional meeting at LaPorte.  He talked with Marty Blake who is in charge of aviation at the State level about putting in a road to replace Luse Road (part of which was vacated for the runway addition).  Mr. Blake said the road should have been built before the airport runway (when all the approvals were in for the runway).  At that time the distance required from the end of the runway to the road was less. That distance has since increased greatly.  Now the Council will have to go through the Federal Aviation Administration to get a variance, promoting the new road as necessary for emergency vehicles getting to and from the hospital and fire department.  People are upset because they were promised the road.  Councilor Anderson said he left the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) road project report with Gayle if anyone is interested.

 

White County Career Coach Position: Councilor Davis said there is good cooperation with the White County Career Coach Christopher Springer and the Schools.  It may take a little while before there is a change in numbers, as this is still in its infancy.

MONTICELLO-UNION TOWNSHIP PUBLIC LIBRARY

Councilor Anderson asked if Councilors were getting complaints about the Monticello-Union Township Library.  He asked if they heard about the man who was upset that the Library had taken down the United States Flag for a week to avoid insulting Muslims and the Black Lives Matter group.  Council President Kramer said people complain to Councilors, thinking the Council has authority over the Library Board, but the Council simply has one appointee on the Board.  The Council does not oversee the Library.  Councilor Clear said he is not in favor of raising taxes to generate more income for the Library.

2017 SALARY ORDINANCE

Auditor Rogers brought a new 2017 Salary Ordinance for Council to sign with the addition of the $15.00 per hour Transport Officer’s pay that was agreed upon at Budget time and was missed in the Ordinance.

 

RECORDER’S PERPETUATION FUND & ENHANCED ACCESS FUND

Council President Kramer asked if the Recorder’s Perpetuation Funds can be used by Council.  He said one has $128,500 in it, and the Recorder’s Enhanced Access Fund has $60,474.  Auditor Rogers said the Recorder’s Perpetuation Fund is supposed to be used for county government not just the Recorder.  The statute states the Recorder’s Perpetuation Fund is for the perpetuation of county records, which could be for any department that needs to perpetuate their records; scanning, digitizing, etc.   The Recorder uses his Perpetuation Fund to pay his part-time employees and toward software cost.  Council President Kramer pointed out it is the Recorder’s fees that make up those funds, not taxes.  Auditor Rogers said there is legislation that may increase those fees using flat fees instead of a variety of fees based on types of documents and the number of pages.  She said everything has been digitized in the Auditor’s Office and the Recorder’s Office except for some remaining subdivision plats.

 

TAX LEVY FOR WHITE COUNTY COMMUNICATIONS E911

Auditor Rogers said the $100,000 levy for White County Communications E911 needs to be adjusted because their annual budget is approximately $700,000.  Originally the fund was built up to absorb the expenses that the levy did not cover, but that has dwindled over the years.  If the levies get moved around similar to what she had proposed in an email, there will not be a lot of give in the General Fund.  She proposed asking Department Heads to cut the expense portion of their budgets by 10% if they want their employees to receive a general increase.  Councilor Davis said we cannot keep adding personnel and expect to give increases.  Councilor Annis said Department Heads must realize it is not a guarantee they’ll get the raise.

 

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

Councilor Anderson said the 17 or 18 cameras at the Lafayette State Police Post were paid from the White County Prosecutor out of the Deferral or Diversion Fund because the State did not have enough money.

 

Council President Kramer said the State may shift around the tax obligations for the Riverboat fund so that distributions to counties aren’t going to be as much as they have been in the past for non-gaming counties.

 

Councilor Crabb asked about an update on the referendum for Tri-County High School.  Auditor Rogers reported the State said the homestead tax credit in 2017 has to be applied uniformly across the County, which is 8.2954% for White County.  In the past this credit was allocated based on the old inventory tax for each taxing district.  So those who were getting for example a 52% credit before will see an increase in taxes since they now get an 8.2954% tax credit.  West Point Tri-County Township was receiving a 100% credit which is now reduced to 8.2954%.  If the taxing unit’s tax rate went down, however, they will not see as significant of a change.  Tri-County has a debt service tax within the 1% tax cap of $0.2737 that they want to replace at $.2737 with the referendum tax.  The referendum is outside the tax cap so anyone reaching the 1% cap will be taxed above that to accommodate the referendum.  It should total approximately $6,000 for the entire Tri-County taxing district making it appear tax neutral to most.

 

Councilor Carter said the lowering of farm ground assessments will change things at budget time.  Auditor Rogers said Ag assessment went down a year ago, and the residential assessments went up around the lakes, so it did not affect County tax revenues much.  However it is slated to decrease each year going forward.  Councilor Carter said it is going to be shifted to homeowners, not just farmers.

Councilor Crabb asked about the use of Landfill money.  Auditor Rogers said she gets conflicting answers from the State Board of Accounts office staff and their field examiners.  She stated as an example, Newton County floats their entire general budget out of landfill.  But at any rate, the County should not depend on Landfill money in case the Landfill should struggle.  Councilor Annis pointed out that even if the Landfill should begin to struggle, it will continue to generate methane gas as long as the existing garbage is decomposing.  Councilor Crabb said whenever it is the last day for the landfill to be open; it would continue to generate methane for twenty more years.  He said there is more electricity produced from the Landfill than from Shafer and Oakdale dams combined.

ADJOURNMENT

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