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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 July 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 he has made several retention and expansion visits to local businesses. He said the current White County unemployment rate is 2.6% which means everyone who wants a job has one.

WCED President Mitchell said there might be grant opportunities for the County Highway Department to take advantage of thanks to Volkswagen. He will pass information to Highway Department Superintendent Mike Kyburz.

 

Superintendent Kyburz said the Department continues grinding and leveling for 70 to 75 miles of chip and seal projects throughout the County. Work also continues on a drainage project south of Burnettsville and moving and hauling stone. Superintendent Kyburz is billing for road repairs to companies that have caused the damages.

Norway bridge work will begin in September. There are about six bridges in the Monon area to be worked on as well. Federal dollars will pay approximately 80% of the costs.

 

White County Environmental Officer James Reynolds said he has been reviewing weekly pool samples, plus making pool inspections and has made eight Landfill inspections. He went through firearms training recently.

 

White County Communications/E911 Director Terri Brooks said the new radio equipment is installed, with nine radios left over. She will see if Emergency Management could use any. She will then have Ra-Comm clear the frequencies from the rest and sell them at an auction unless the County Commissioners and/or Councilors have other ideas.

The new server is also up and running, but slowly. The County IT Department will have to switch it from the DSL connection to the fiber optic line.

Director Brooks said there have been about 200 more calls this month, but ambulance runs did not change.

 

White County Area Plan (AP) Director Colin Betts reported 103 building inspections and 37 permits issued. He also presented a new fee schedule for the Building and Planning Department. The new schedule consolidates some fees and raises others slightly. This updated schedule was started by former AP Director Joe Rogers several months ago. Director Betts said these fees will help to cover costs and yet not upset taxpayers by inflicting significant increases. Commissioner President Heimlich said they will take this under advisement and put it on the August agenda.

 

White County Prosecutor Robert Guy said the County Courthouse Security Committee has met three times and would like to hire an additional officer for the Courthouse. Judge Thacker has offered the unused Bailiff salary in his budget to be used to pay for the position for the rest of 2017. Thereafter payment could be from the Sheriff’s Department, which would also do the hiring of that position. The Committee is in favor of having only one entrance open to the Courthouse, with a metal detector, through which all visitors would enter.

Investigator Tony Lantz said the Committee is planning safety training for Courthouse employees on August 23, 2017. The Courthouse will be closed to the public beginning at noon on that day. Investigator Lantz said the focus will be on safety procedures in case of an active shooter, a bomb threat, or extreme weather conditions. They plan to have a video for new employees thereafter. Commissioner Diener advised they post notices about the half-day closing for the public.

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 Davis made a motion to accept the June 19, 2017 minutes. Councilor Anderson 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 AIRPORT

 

Utility Building $ 110,000.00 $ 110,000.00

TOTAL $ 110,000.00 $ 110,000.00

 

Council President Kramer said the White County Board of Aviation Commissioners (BOAC) would like to transfer money from the Airport Fund for a Utility building to house equipment instead of using the hangers. BOAC President Phil Gutwein said the space in the hanger now being used for storage is needed for planes. He said the wildlife fence is up, and the taxiway is being blacktopped currently.

Councilor Anderson asked about the road that was promised to replace Luse Road which was closed permanently for the extended runway. BOAC President Gutwein said there is not going to be a new road. He said a letter dated Tuesday April 11, 2017 from the Federal Aviation Administration stated the FAA will not fund a new road. He said it would not be worth $2.5 million to build a road 1/8 of a mile from the next nearest road. Councilor Anderson said had a new road been put in before the runway, it would not have cost as much and could have been built next to the airport fence. Now that regulations have changed, a new road has to be constructed further away.

BOAC President Gutwein said two or three larger jets fly in per week. Just last week, one flew in and bought 600 gallons of jet fuel for $1,800 and rented two cars.

Councilor Dennis Carter made a motion to appropriate $110,000 from the Airport Fund 7. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: 6 Yea, 1 Nay Councilor Anderson

TRANSFERS

The following transfers were received:

 

AMOUNT FROM TO

White County Circuit Court

$1,000.00 1-4-3-6 1-4-1-11

Computer Pauper Attorney

$1,000.00 1-4-1-16 1-4-1-11

Translator Pauper Attorney

$ 500.00 1-4-3-3 1-4-1-11

Bonds Pauper Attorney

$ 500.00 1-4-1-4 1-4-1-11

Dues Pauper Attorney

 

Councilor Crabb made a motion to approve the above transfers. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

INNKEEPERS TAX

Council President Kramer said the Lakes Enhancement Board, which controls 3% of the 5% Innkeepers tax collected, met last month about ideas for other sources of revenue. He said the expense of dredging, the litigation dispute over the mussels, and the science involving the raising and lowering of the lakes has caused concern about having enough funds to continue operations. Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Corporation (SFLECC) President Lee Kreul said if there is no increase in funding, there will be no money left in their budget by December 2021. The average cost for dredging is $320,000 annually and projected to be $375,000 by 2021. Without funds to dredge, access and travel on the lakes would be limited. They remove 70 to 100 tons of silt annually. Mr. Kreul said they are down to $180,000 in the reserve fund which used to be half a million. They are requesting the 5% Innkeepers tax be increased to 7% with the extra 2% being used for lake enhancement. SFLECC will look into possible help from the State as well.

Councilor Clear asked what efforts had been made to collect from those not turning in the tax. Mr. Kreul said in years past they tried to collect from those not turning in the tax, but they now feel it would not be a significant enough amount to pursue. Councilor Anderson said he used to own a resort in New Mexico that had a similar tax. He read in the newspaper how much was taken in for that tax and realized his small resort was paying almost 10% of the tax collected. He said it was obvious there were a lot of businesses not turning in the tax, and it was unfair. Councilor Anderson apologized for not putting any teeth into the collection of this tax when the decision was made to collect it. He said he should have known from his experience that there would be people not doing the right thing. Auditor Gayle Rogers said the ordinance allows for enforcement to collect the tax. She said they should hire someone to collect the tax. SFLECC Representative Gabrielle Haygood is checking with an attorney about pulling shorefront licenses from those not paying the tax. The Board does random checks on-line to seek out locations that should be collecting the Innkeepers tax. When they are confronted they take their advertisement off-line. But before long they are back on-line. SFLECC Board member Jan Faker said Legislators are not interested in increasing taxes, unless White County can show they are collecting the 3% efficiently and effectively. Resort Owner and Innkeepers Tax Board member, Mike Triplett said it is not worth paying someone to collect what they guess to be 5% of the total being collected from those not paying.

Council President Kramer suggested having a committee devise an audit plan. Auditor Rogers said the right person would identify the locations not paying, send out warning letters and continue to follow-up. This person would report to the Innkeepers Board. This would also prove to the Legislators the County is doing all it can to collect the tax. SFLECC Vice President John Engler said they may discover those paying may not be paying the full amount. Council President Kramer suggested asking Attorney Loy if there is some sort of lien that could be put on the property. Auditor Rogers said there is still nothing that would force them to pay unless they want to sell the property. Ms. Haygood said a Judgement Lien has been done and a chain was put across the property. Councilor Annis said that would give a paper trail to report to the IRS, suggesting they conduct an audit.

The Tax Board would have to request the tax increase from the Legislators, and the Council would sign it in support. It was suggested Councilors Kramer, Carter and Clear along with Ms. Haygood, Faker and Rogers serve as the committee to work on finding a way to collect the missing tax and talking to attorney Loy. Ms. Faker said she is working on a press release to update the public and asked if she could include that the Council will be looking into enforcing the ordinance to collect the missing tax. Councilors were favorable. The committee will look into updating the ordinance, if necessary, and ways to enforce the tax collection.

PAYROLL REPLACEMENT EMPLOYEE WAGE RANGES

Auditor Rogers went through the Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele & Associates Inc. (WIS) wage recommendations and assigned a wage range to every County job description. That will establish a base range for every position. Most employees are making about 25% to 30% above the bottom of the range. She will send the Councilors a copy of her chart. Auditor Rogers said the Council needs to vote so it is in the minutes stating no one can hire a replacement employee above the base wage for the position without first seeking approval from the Council. Councilor Davis said he thought that was the existing policy, and yet people have been hiring at the exiting employee’s rate, wherever that is on the scale, without Council approval.

 

The person in the position that Tim McFadden was hired to fill was making $31,961. He was hired at $30,224. The Council advised White County Emergency Management Director Roberta Yerk to come back to Council if Mr. Mc Fadden was doing well after six months and ask for an increase. Council President Kramer said he would rather wait to address this at budget time since it is only a month away. Auditor Rogers reminded the Council that others have hired people into positions at the previous person’s wage, as they will see in the Payroll Request forms today, without seeking Council approval. And yet Director Yerk came to the Council and asked ahead of time, the preferred way, without getting the outcome others received. Councilor Clear said he did not recall this coming before the White County Emergency Management Advisory Board (EMA) as the letter stated.

Councilor Crabb made a motion to table the discussion on White County Emergency Management Deputy Director’s wage increase until Councilor Clear finds out if it was discussed at the EMA Board. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Davis made a motion, effective immediately, replacement employees shall start at the base rate for the job position. Councilor Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

PAYROLL REQUESTS

Auditor Rogers turned in payroll requests: Highway Department - Caleb McCall is switching from Laborer to Truck Driver (which does not change his rate), Sheriff’s Department - Madison Anderson as a Corrections Officer; Dale Rebar as a Corrections Officer; Roger Young as a part-time Transport Officer, Prosecutor’s Office - Jamie Rozzi to replace Cathy Applegate at Ms. Applegate’s wage.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Council President Kramer called the meeting adjourned without objection.

 

 

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL COUNCIL MINUTES

July 17, 2017

 

 

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