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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, June 4, 2018, in the White County Building, 2nd -floor Commissioners’ Conference Room, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

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

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.

MINUTES

· Commissioner Diener made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting, and the Executive Session held on May 21, 2018, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

· Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll for June 4, 2018, seconded by Commissioner Diener. Vote: Unanimous

CLAIMS

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

E-911 800 TOWER

E-911 Director Terri Brooks presented a proposal from Motorola for equipment that will be needed if the county decides to lease space on the Verizon tower, located at 4967 E. CR 400. The cost of the equipment is $568,911, but if the contract is approved and signed before July 26, there will be a $71,114 discount. If the county decides to build a tower, the cost would be over $1 million. She asked approval to move forward with the project so that she can approach the council for funding at their next meeting.

Director Brooks did point out that the state will pay the annual maintenance fees, which will be $431,111 over the next 17 years.

Commissioner Burton said that the lack of service in that area is something that the E-911 Board has talked about for a while now. We need to move forward to find a solution.

Permission was granted to move forward with the project and to discuss this with the council at the next joint meeting on June 18.

AREA PLAN

Tabled from the last meeting on May 21, 2018, Director Colin Betts presented Rezoning Petition #1079.

Rezone Petition #1079

YMCA Camp Tecumseh, Inc., Applicant, is requesting to rezone 6.99 acres from an A-2 (Agricultural Industry District) to an A-1 (General Agriculture District). The property is located at 4257 E. 1000 S., Brookston. The property owner is Smith Erickson Farms, Inc.

The Area Plan Commission held a public hearing on May 14, 2018, for this request. The APC made the recommendation by a vote of 8 yes and 0 no that the commissioners approve this petition.

This property was rezoned on July 1, 2013, to an A-1 for a confined feeding operation business. The building was never constructed. The 2012 IDEM permit for the proposed hog facility expired in 2017, without renewal. The purpose of the rezoning request is to change the parcel back to the original zoning district, bringing it into compliance with the current use.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if anyone wishes to speak to this request.

Attorney Donald W. Shelmon appeared and said that he was not involved in the original application that was made in 2013, and he was not involved in any of the litigation. He can explain what occurred, the results of the litigation, and what is being asked today.

Commissioner Diener reminded Attorney Shelmon that Camp Tecumseh filed a lawsuit in two county courts, an appellate court, the Indiana Supreme Court, and then in the federal court. It makes no sense to him why Camp Tecumseh is a petitioner to property that they don’t even own and requesting to rezone the property to a less restrictive zoning.

County Attorney Loy pointed out that Camp Tecumseh dismissed their objection against the White County rezoning in the federal court.

Attorney Shelmon explained that the federal court most likely ordered the parties (Camp Tecumseh and Smith Erickson Farms) to go to mediation to make an agreement. This meeting was confidential, and he doesn’t know what was discussed. He said, “It’s pretty obvious, as a result of the mediation, what was filed is filed.” He listed Camp Tecumseh as the applicant because he was contacted by their attorneys to bring the request before the board, and the landowners did give their consent. He also stated that the Area Plan Commission (APC) was asked to rescind the restrictions that were made a part of the rezoning. The APC already voted to approve.

Commissioner Heimlich said, “Hypothetically, it looks like the terms of that agreement would’ve been that the property for the CAFO could never be put on that property, or on that parcel, which would make the rezoning immaterial. It’s unusual when someone wants to make their property less restrictive.”

Attorney Shelmon said, “It’s my surmise that this was part of the confidential mediated settlement that resolved the litigation, that this step would be taken. The rezoning petition is to carry out the terms of that agreement.”

Commissioner Diener asked how Camp Tecumseh and Smith Erickson Farms would sign a confidential agreement that spells out terms where they have no control over. The commissioners don’t have to approve the rezoning.

Attorney Shelmon said that in mediations it allows the parties to agree to things that cannot be adjudicated by a judge or a jury. It allows you to enter into agreements that are a little different then what you can truly do.

Commissioner Diener said, “I find it very embarrassing on Camp Tecumseh’s part to have spent the amount of money that they spent on litigation that could’ve been used for children. That group that you had in this room telling us three people [commissioners] that we were destroying Camp Tecumseh with this rezoning request. We had petitions and phone calls at home. You would’ve thought that we were crucifying these children! They lost at every point along the system; and now it just goes away and the money we spent, and the money they spent, just disappears. The people that made these donations to stop this rezone; if those contributors and the donors to Camp Tecumseh knew what they had done with that money, I would think that the board down there would be ejected, immediately!”

Commissioner Heimlich said that he felt most frustrated because nobody bothered to ask him why he voted the way that he did. He said that he voted in favor of it because Camp Tecumseh’s expert witness, in that meeting, said that 99% of the time the CAFO was not going to affect the camp.

County Attorney Loy clarified that this went through six different courts and ultimately ended up in federal court. The case was removed from federal court, and the judge ordered remediation. The parties to the case were Camp Tecumseh vs. White County Indiana. Smith Erickson Farms was an interested entity. The result of the mediation was that Smith Erickson Farms and Camp Tecumseh came to an agreement; which White County was not a party to at all. Municipalities can’t enter into confidential agreements outside certain circumstances. White County was not a part of the agreement; we don’t know what the terms were.

Attorney Little, a representative of Smith Erickson Farms, said that pursuant to the confidential agreement, Smith Erickson Farms recorded restrictions on the property use, which prohibit the use of a CAFO on the property and other property that the Smith Erickson Farms owns. The agreement between Camp Tecumseh and Smith Erickson Farms also calls for Camp Tecumseh to be able to petition to have it rezoned. It was not in the agreement that Smith Erickson Farms petition the rezoning; the agreement was that Camp Tecumseh would petition to have it rezoned. Smith Erickson Farms agreed not to oppose if Camp Tecumseh decided to request to rezone the property. This public information is recorded in the Recorder’s Office.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the only purpose of this rezoning request is so Camp Tecumseh can have the zoning back to the way they wanted it in the first place. Whichever way the commissioners decide to vote, it’s not going to affect Camp Tecumseh or Smith Erickson Farms.

Commissioner Diener said that the perception of the public would remain that the commissioners were wrong, even though we were right, and now we are going to undo the mistake that we made.

Commissioner Burton had a problem with the fact that the commissioners will be setting a precedence. If they approve, then they’re setting a precedence that they will agree to all mediated agreements that they have no knowledge of.

· Commissioner Diener made a motion to continue the rezoning request to the July 2, 2018, meeting at 8:30 a.m., seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

COUNTY BRIDGE INSPECTIONS – CONTRACT

Highway Superintendent Mike Kyburz reminded everyone that the county bridge inspections for 2018-2021 would be an 80/20 INDOT federal aid project. The commissioners have already scored the RFPs, and HWC Engineering was selected for the job.

Jacob Isenberg, HWC Engineering, presented two signed copies from INDOT of the LPA – Consulting Contract for the White County Bridge Inspections project. The contract is for $460,866 and begins October 1, 2018, thru October 1, 2021.

· Commissioner Diener made a motion to approve the LPA-Consulting Contract for County Bridge Inspections with HWC Engineering, as presented, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

HOOSIER LIFT STATION AND PONDS – CHANGE ORDER

White County Surveyor Brad Ward presented Change Order #6 for the Hoosier Lift Station and Ponds project.

The change order is for a deduction of $30,020 for change in the quantity of erosion control blanket required for reseeding of the ponds. Additionally, a grate on the lift station at the White County Shell building was changed to make access to the lift station easier.

Commissioner Burton said that the system is still not working correctly in the front pond. He will approve the change order if they are aware that adjustments need to be made.

· Commissioner Diener made a motion to approve Change Order #6 for the Hoosier Lift Station and Ponds, Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

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

 

 

 

___________________________ _____________________________ __________________________

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

ATTEST: _________________________

Gayle Rogers, Auditor