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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 March 19, 2018 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 Arthur A Anderson

Bruce D Clear Raymond L Kramer Jr James G Annis

James B Davis

HIGHLIGHTS OF JOINT SESSION:

White County Highway Department Superintendent Mike Kyburz said the Department is cleaning up some of the 400 stone/gravel roads throughout White County that need attention. They are preparing to do some grind, chip and seal to other roads. He said pot holes pop up daily whenever there is frost. Superintendent Kyburz said the Norway Bridge appears to be on target (if not ahead). They need good weather to pour the concrete.

 

White County Economic Development (WCED) President Randy Mitchell said White County will host visitors from Japan looking for green space. Mag Pellet in Reynolds is planning to resume production in the 3rd quarter of this year (should hear more in April).

 

White County Area Plan (AP) Director Colin Betts said he has sent 50 notices of non-substantial damage due to the 70 homes affected by the flood.

 

White County Communications/E911 Director Terri Brooks said the tower they are looking to use as part of the Integrated Public Safety Commission’s statewide P25 (800 MHZ) radio system (so the police, fire and ambulances can communicate with each other on special frequencies) is owned by Verizon and managed by someone else. She said the proposed rent for the two antennas, amplifier, lines, lease area and generator is $1,700 per month. The annual escalator is 3% and the lease would be for an initial 5-year term with three additional terms available. Director Brooks is waiting on a firm quote from Motorola on the equipment costs to attach the antennas.

Director Brooks recognized CPR instructor Ephina Disinger for doing a great job leading a class that all full-time E911 employees attended. Shortly after the class, the newest full-time E911 employee, Courtney Harmon, put the training into action when a 40-year-old man collapsed at Kroger. The store did not have an AED, so Ms. Harmon started CPR on him, and continued until paramedics arrived. The man is home from the hospital with his wife and children, thanks to her quick action. Director Brooks presented Ms. Harmon with a certificate of recognition and a life saving pin.

Joe Rogers, Consultant to the Innkeepers Tax Commission, informed the joint boards that he believes the best way to increase the annual amount of tax collected is to revise the ordinance to include entity types that did not exist when the original ordinance was passed (e.g. vacation homes and AirBnBs). The Tax Commission agrees. If the Commissioners and Council agree, Mr. Rogers will meet with Attorney Loy to ensure the ordinance Mr. Rogers has drafted receives Mr. Loy’s approval. Once adopted by the joint boards, the ordinance must be approved by the State in the form of amending the current statute. Each county’s Innkeepers Tax Ordinance becomes a part of IC 6-9. Mr. Rogers is also sending out letters to collect innkeepers tax from those currently not remitting the tax to the White County Treasurer as required by law. The State gives the county Innkeepers Tax Commission the same remedy for collecting innkeepers tax as the State has for collecting sales tax. Mr. Rogers will pursue.

Councilor Carter made a motion to pursue broadening the tax base by updating language in the Innkeepers ordinance with the State’s approval and sending out letters to notify all entities that should be collecting the Innkeepers Tax. Councilor Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

Career Tech Cooperative Director Jim Stradling said he was not one of the 10 applicants (out of 58) who were awarded the 3 to 1 match grants. He is asking the counties he represents to still provide funding for the program. Without the grant, they will not hire a coordinator as they had planned, and not include the elementary age students. The focus will be more on vocational skills at the high school level and providing the needed equipment for hands on learning that matches the needs of local industry. They will also pursue internships.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to give $50,000 in the Post-Secondary Education line item in the EDIT budget they had previously committed to before applying for the grant. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Commissioner Diener made a motion to give $50,000 from their budget to support the Skill Up education program. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Ameresco Senior Account Executive Mark Heirbrandt said the 43-year-old Courthouse and 20-year-old Jail (which is equivalent to 60-years-old because jails get three times the wear and tear of a normal commercial building) would save $68,000 - $72,000 per year in utilities by utilizing their suggestions contained in their study.

One consideration is using a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system to heat and cool the two buildings. Each room of both buildings would be individually controlled. A crowded courtroom may be using air conditioning while another room is being heated. The VRF system is 25%-30% more efficient than the Hot Water Variable Air Volume Box system (VAV) currently being used. Other considerations were: LED lighting with dual sensing occupancy, switching from conventional hot water heating boilers (40-200º) to a condensing boiler (90-200º), converting 60 showers to low flow components, etc.

Mr. Heibrandt said there would also be $25,000 - $28,000 in utility rebate savings.

The new security system will integrate with the updates. Commissioner President Heimlich said it makes since to take care of whatever needs updated in the ceilings at the same time the lighting and tiles are being done, rather than have the mess more than once.

 

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 Bruce Clear made a motion to accept the February 20, 2018 minutes. Councilor Dennis Carter seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

INNKEEPERS TAX

Council President Kramer asked Mr. Rogers to come to the Council meeting should there be any more questions by Council members. Council President Kramer said the rewritten ordinance referencing State Statute will give the County authority to collect the Innkeepers tax (provided the legislation passes). Mr. Rogers said the current ordinance gives the County the same authority as the State has with sales tax to collect, and even sue if someone does not pay. What is missing is the Tax Commissions are not coming to the Council with their budgets and getting the funding to bring these people into line. Per Indiana Code, both Boards must have budgets appropriated by Council. Neither Board has ever done so. The 3% Enhancement Board gives funding to SFLECC in whatever amount SFLECC requests. The 2% Promotion Board pays their own bills. They come to the White County Treasurer to request funds. This is not proper procedure. Council currently does not see reports because the Tax Boards have their own bank accounts instead of going through the cash management account. When the Auditor writes the checks through the cash management account everything is tracked and shows up on reports.

Auditor Rogers said all of the tax money given to SFLECC was spent on silt dredging. SFLECC spent their other revenue and donations on legal fees in the mussel fight. Mr. Rogers wrote up rules and procedures for the 3% Innkeepers Tax Board, but not for the 2% Tax Board. Mr. Rogers said the Tax Board will need funding to pay someone to do the things he has been doing: get things in order and do the follow up work.

 

ENCUMBRANCES REPORT

Auditor Rogers said the last column on the Encumbrances report is the balance left in each account at the end of 2017. The other column is the amount actually encumbered. If they do not balance, it is because not as much was needed as budgeted. Most of the encumbrances are December wages paid in January. Other encumbrances are specific amounts from various Departments for bills incurred at the end of 2017 that should come from the 2017 budget, but were paid in 2018.

Auditor Rogers said there was a snag in what should have been encumbered for the new Area Plan software. Only $50,000 of the $100,000 set aside was used and Area Plan Director Colin Betts did not think any more was needed. He now realizes the software requires a separate server and there is no money for that. She said the IT Department may be able to figure out another remedy. But if not, more money will be needed. Councilor Annis said an additional appropriation could be done, if necessary.

BOARD MEETING REPORTS

White County Economic Development Board (WCEDO): Councilor Crabb said the Annual WCEDO luncheon had a lot of positive feedback. The Board appreciates hearing everyone’s thoughts. They are changing their website to become a mobile site. This site also provides real time data from the State that can be helpful to those interested in locating their business here.

Councilor Davis met with Charlie Mudd at Vanguard, which has purchased 80 acres of ground. They are desperately seeking employees, and unable to fill current open positions. As in so many organizations, Councilor Davis said there is a need for better communication. He was able to get Vanguard talking to the Monon packing plant about working out a way to provide food services at their factory. It looks like they are putting a plan into action.

Councilor Annis said he encourages students to investigate employment here, but the students do not like the reputation of some of the companies from what they hear from family and friends who have worked there, or from working there themselves. He said students taking the two-year welding program can become certified welders. Councilor Annis said there are several shared classes among the County high schools that are workforce related. Councilor Davis said our County is fortunate to have those types of shared classes among schools, but there needs to be more to keep these students working in White County.

 

Community Corrections Advisory Board: Councilor Anderson said the Board was not happy that Council did not approve the wage they wanted for the Case Manager Administrative Assistant. He told them he assumed the Board was using the matrix to recommend the wage for the position, and that is why he agreed with it. When it was found out during the Council meeting that it was more than the base amount, he was no longer in favor. A higher wage can be considered at budget time.

HIGHWAY NEW ROAD FUND

Auditor Rogers said the Cash Ledger Report shows the Highway New Road fund that was originally started up for the NIPSCO road project. It will continue to be used for new roads. The $495,000 AEP road agreement money is in the fund. The Meadow Lake Phase VI is for 61 wind turbines in Benton County, but the transmission line goes through White County, so there is a road agreement. Phase VII will be northwest of Reynolds to Wolcott.

 

ADJOURNMENT

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