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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, April 16, 2018, in the White County Building, 2nd-floor Commissioners’ Conference Room, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Commissioners present were: President John C. Heimlich and Vice President Steve Burton. Also present was White County Attorney George Loy, White County Auditor Gayle Rogers, and the Commissioners’ Assistant Donya Tirpak. Commissioner David Diener was absent.

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.

MINUTES

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held on April 2, 2018, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve payroll for April 9, 2018, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

CLAIMS

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve and pay the claims as presented, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

PROPOSED ORDINANCE RESTRICTING POSSESSION OF WEAPONS IN THE WHITE COUNTY BUILDING

White County Attorney George Loy presented a draft ordinance that prohibits weapons in the White County Building. The ordinance was requested by the judges and recommended by the Courthouse Security committee. Under Section IV, Penalty, the fine can be set up to $2,500.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 18-___-___-___

WHITE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ ORDINANCE RESTRICTING POSSESSION

OF WEAPONS IN THE WHITE COUNTY COURTHOUSE

WHEREAS, the possession of weapons within the White County Courthouse is detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of the persons with said building; and,

WHEREAS, the White County Board of Commissioners finds that the regulation of weapons within the White County Courthouse is within the jurisdiction of the White County Board of Commissioners.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of White County, as follows:

Section I. DEFINITIONS.

As used in this ordinance, the term “weapon” includes, but is not limited to any of the following:

1. “Deadly Weapon” as defined by Indiana Code §35-41-1-8;

2. “Firearm” as defined by Indiana Code §35-47-1-5;

3. “Electric stun weapon” as defined by Indiana Code §35-47-8-1;

4. “Stun gun” as defined by Indiana Code §35-47-8-2;

5. “Taser” as defined by Indiana Code §35-47-8-3;

6. “Knife”;

7. “Explosive” refers to any agent or substance tending or serving to explode, including, but

not limited to, gunpowder or dynamite;

8. “Club”; or

9. Any other object that in the manner in which it is used, or could ordinarily be used, or is intended to be used, is readily capable of causing serious bodily injury (as defined by Indiana Code §35-41-1-25) as determined by the White County Sheriff’s Officers.

Section II. RESTRICTIONS.

Except as provided in Section III of this Ordinance, a person shall not possess on or about his or her person a weapon within the White County Courthouse.

Section III. EXCEPTIONS.

The following persons are exempt from this order: law enforcement officers under Indiana Code §35-41-1-17, Indiana Department of Correction Officers, Community Correction officers, judicial officers, and probation officers who are in the courthouse for official business and duly authorized to carry deadly weapons. Employees of the courthouse who carry chemical spray devices for personal protection are also exempt.

The persons described as exempt under this Ordinance shall not be exempt if they or any member of their family is a party to any proceeding taking place in court.

Section IV. PENALTY.

Any person violating Section II of this Ordinance shall be subject to punishment for indirect contempt of court pursuant to I.C. §34-47-3 and a fine of $_____ (Note: not to exceed $2,500 pursuant to I.C. §34-28-5-4 and §36-1-3-8.) Any person violating Section II of this Ordinance shall also be subject to having the firearm or weapon forfeited and confiscated by the proper law enforcement officials and thereafter destroyed.

Section V. SEVERABILITY.

Each section, subsection, sentence, clause and phrase of this Ordinance is declared to be an independent section, subsection, sentence, clause and phrase, and the finding or holding of any part to be void, unconstitutional or ineffective for any cause shall not affect any other part of this Ordinance.

Section VI. REPEAL.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

Section VII. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Ordinance shall take effect upon passage, after publication as required by law.

· Commissioner Burton made a motion that the White County Ordinance Restricting Possession of Weapons in the White County Courthouse be approved on the first reading and passed to the second reading, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

AREA PLAN

Director Betts presented the following rezoning request:

Rezone Petition #1075

Jenise Selby is requesting to rezone Lot 1 in Grigsby Acre Subdivision from an R-2 (Single & Two Family Residential District) to an A-1 (General Agriculture District). The property is located at 1985 W. 900 N, Monon.

The Area Plan Commission held a public hearing on April 9, 2018, for this request. The APC made the recommendation by a vote of 10 yes and 0 no for the commissioners to approve this petition.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if anyone was present to speak about the request. No response.

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to rezone Petition #1075, rezoning Lot 1 in Grigsby Acre Subdivision from an R-2 to an A-1, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

Rezone Petition #1076

Jacob and Tina Mecklenburg are requesting to rezone property located at 403 S. East Cross Street, Idaville, from an R-2 (Single & 2-Family Residential District) to an A-1 (General Agriculture District). This property is within the

Idaville jurisdictional boundary and is surrounded by A-1 zoning to the east and south, and R-2 zoning to the north and west.

The homeowner currently operates a dog rescue, and they would like to add horses.

The Area Plan Commission held a public hearing on April 9, 2018, for this request. The APC made the recommendation by a vote of 7 yes and 3 no that the commissioners approve this petition. Attached to this recommendation are conditions that the Mecklenburg’s must maintain the fencing, not to exceed three horses on the property at a time, and no rescue horses are allowed on the property.

The property owner was not present at the meeting to answer questions from the commissioners.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there were letters opposing this request. Director Betts said that there were letters inquiring about the rezoning, but not in support or opposing the request.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there was anyone present to speak about this request.

Sharon Pherson, abutting property owner, said that their fence that separates the two properties is not that great. It’s been there for over 50 years and having horses on the Mecklenburg property is not a good idea. She felt that the property wasn’t big enough, especially if they build a barn for horses.

Joe Rogers, former Area Plan Director, stated that during his time as director there was never a situation where a parcel within a municipality was rezoned from residential district to an agriculture district. He recommended that they don’t approve the rezoning. He felt that if they approved the request, it would set a precedence of returning residential districts to agricultural districts within town limits.

Director Betts said that there is currently R2, Business and Industrial zonings within the municipality, but not agriculture.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there was a discussion about rezoning properties to agriculture within the town limits. Director Betts said that there was some discussion, but most of the discussion from the public hearing was about the nuisance issues from the animals.

Commissioner Heimlich asked how the town boundaries are set for unincorporated towns. Mr. Rogers said that the boundaries were most likely set when the town was platted.

Commissioner Heimlich said that he is reluctant to make a decision today because he has several questions and the applicant isn’t present.

· Commissioner Heimlich made a motion to continue the hearing for Rezone Petition #1076 to the next meeting on May 7, 2018, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

CONSIDERATION OF RELEASE OF NIPSCO PERFORMANCE ASSURANCE FOR REYNOLDS – TOPEKA PROJECT

Highway Superintendent Mike Kyburz submitted a letter from NIPSCO requesting the county to release Bond No. 106498209. The bond was put in place to assure that the road repairs necessitated by NIPSCO’s Reynolds Topeka Electric System Improvement project were completed.

Highway Superintendent Kyburz is satisfied with the road repairs, and after the bond is released, NIPSCO will reimburse the county $104,500.00 for the work.

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the letter from NIPSCO authorizing the release of Bond No. 106498209 posted by NIPSCO to ensure that all road repairs have been completed, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

At this time, Council President Butch Kramer called the council members to order in joint session with the commissioners. Council members present:

President Butch Kramer Bruce Clear Denny Carter Art Anderson Jim Annis Jim Davis Casey Crabb

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

President Randy Mitchell presented a copy of the Business Summary report for April 2018. Currently, a Japanese company is very interested in White County, and representatives from China will be here in May.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEPARTMENT

Environmental Officer Jim Reynolds submitted the Environmental Report for April 2018.

· Received 91 calls/complaints on various issues.

· Issued five septic permits.

· Made eight landfill inspections.

· Training: State Mandates and CPR Recert.

· Working on Nuisance properties.

BUILDING DEPARTMENT

Director Colin Betts said that they issued 31 permits in March, seven of them were for new homes and two were for commercial buildings.

Director Betts said that they had identified 20 properties that are operating some type of vacation home/rental without the proper permits. They are aggressively addressing the issues with the homeowners.

Commissioner Burton asked how the new software is coming for the department. Director Betts said that they are having some issues with the hardware and getting the GIS updated. He said that 39 Degrees North didn’t want to allow a 3rd party vendor, Sidwell, and Accela, to access their server. This issue has recently been resolved by 39 Degrees North creating a new server no additional cost to the county.

COUNCIL ON AGING

Director Gale Spry submitted the first quarter Operating Data Report. They had 3,392 passengers picked-up for the first quarter. They are getting two new vehicles, and she has already raised the $15,000 for matching funds.

AIRPORT

Chad Baumgartner, Board Member, said that the board is still working on changing the classification of the Airport so they can relocate Luse Road farther to the south of the winery. The environmental study has begun.

At the end of the month, trees will be surveyed, homeowners will be notified, and a tree inspector will give the final word on whether or not trees have to be removed.

Mr. Baumgartner said that the board has an opportunity to receive a $5.6M grant to finish the taxiway to the south. The area has to be shovel ready, which it is a problem right now because of the fuel farm. He asked the commissions and council if they would pay the $350-$400k to move the fuel farm so they can apply for the grant. When the primary construction is completed, the county will be reimbursed the cost of moving the fuel farm from the state.

· Commissioner Heimlich made a motion to give the Airport Board approval to pursue the grant for the south taxiway and to upfront the money to move the fuel farm, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

· Councilman Anderson made a motion that the Airport Board move ahead with the application for the grant for $5.6M for the south taxiway and upfront the money for the fuel farm relocation, seconded by Councilman Clear. Vote: Unanimous

CONSIDERATION OF APPRAISAL OF REAL ESTATE

County Attorney Loy said that the commissioners had expressed interest in purchasing property located at the Mid America Commerce Park. The first steps in doing this are to adopt a resolution by the County Council authorizing the appointment of real estate appraisers. The following resolution was presented:

 

RESOLUTION NO. ______________

RESOLUTION OF THE WHITE COUNTY COUNCIL

AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENT OF REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS

WHEREAS, the White County Commissioners are interested in purchasing certain real

estate located within the Mid-America Commerce Park TIF District; and,

WHEREAS, the White County Council, as the fiscal body of White County, desires that two (2) appraisers professionally engaged in making appraisals or trained as an appraiser and licensed as a broker under I.C. §25-34.1, appraise the fair market value of such real estate.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED by the White County Council that the White County Commissioners are authorized to procure appraisals of the fair market value of said real estate, to return their separate appraisals to the White County Commissioners as provided by law.

· Councilman Annis made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2018-04-16-01 authorizing appointment of real estate appraisers, seconded by Councilman Carter. Vote: Unanimous

HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ROOF

Commissioner Heimlich announced that the Historical Society, located on Bluff Street, is requesting a new roof. A copy of the lowest quote was submitted for $45,974. The county does not own the building but we do assist them with these types of expenses. The money isn’t needed at this time, but they will need the funds sometime this year.

At this time, the Council adjourned to their meeting.

CONSIDERATION OF NUISANCE ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT CASES

County Attorney Loy said that Environmental Officer Jim Reynolds wants to proceed with enforcement of the Nuisance Ordinance on a couple of properties. He will keep the commissioners updated on the properties.

PERSONNEL

Commissioner Heimlich said that in the White County Personnel Policy, an employee subject to suspension or dismissal may ask to have their case reviewed by the commissioners. The request must be in writing and presented to the commissioners by the employee. The commissioners will review the action and render a written decision to the employee within a reasonable period.

At this time, the commissioners have reviewed the evidence on the dismissal of Laura Cosgray.

Their findings were:

1. Cosgray was hired on September 20, 2016, by the Clerk, as a full-time Deputy Clerk, for voter registration and election administration.

2. On February 2, 2018, the Clerk and Cosgray engaged in a contentious verbal exchange in the Clerk’s office, during office hours, concerning Cosgray’s duties, primarily with respect to those duties under the Clerk’s written policy of January 10, 2018. This exchange concluded with the Clerk’s dismissal of Cosgray,

apparently due to the Clerk’s perception of Cosgray as insubordinate and/or refusing to perform her duties prescribed by the Clerk.

3. Cosgray’s employment with White County was “at will”. Further, deputies of elected Indiana constitutional officers, including deputies of the County Clerk, may be discharged and replaced at any time by the appointing Clerk or his/her successor for reasons other than (i) retaliation, (ii) consideration given by the deputy in addition to her service, (iii) solely in violation of the deputy’s civil rights, or (iv) solely for political reasons.

4. The evidence does not support Cosgray’s dismissal by the Clerk as being for any reason prohibited by law.

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the Findings of Fact and Decision Affirming Dismissal, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

There being no further business to come before the board, their meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

___________________________ _____________________________ __________________________

John C. Heimlich, President Steve Burton, Vice President David Diener, Member

ATTEST: _________________________

Gayle Rogers, Auditor