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BE IT REMEMBERED that a meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building in Monticello at 9:00 A.M. on March 18, 2019 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

Janet J Faker Raymond L Kramer Jr James G Annis

James B Davis

 

Also in attendance: Auditor Gayle Rogers, Council Secretary Barbara Nydegger, Clerk Laura Cosgray, WCEDO President Randy Mitchell, EggLife LLC Representatives Dan Bohall and Cindy Wagner, County Commissioners John Heimlich, Steve Burton and Dave Diener.

Councilor Davis made a motion to adopt Resolution #19-03-18-01 authorizing the borrowing of up to $100,000 from the Solid Waste Reserve Fund to be paid back by the Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) Fund 1176 no later than December 31, 2019. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

For contents 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 Anderson made a motion to accept the February 19, 2019 minutes with the typo amendments. Councilor Annis 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.

There were no additional appropriation requests.

TRANSFERS

The following transfers were received:

 

AMOUNT FROM TO

White County Highway Department

$29,500.00 Road Equipment Repairs Contractual Services

$36,552.81 Bituminous Calcium & Salt

$ 836.11 Printing & Advertising Other Garage supplies

 

Auditor Rogers said the Highway Department only needed to transfer $200 from Road Equipment to Contractual Services, but looking at last year’s budget, they spent $30,000 in Contractual Services. She convinced them to transfer the larger amount at one time rather than repeatedly transferring smaller amounts. Money cannot move from the Restricted Fund. The State wants to see Highway Departments spend the requested MVH money on construction and reconstruction.

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

Auditor Rogers clarified that Fund 4912 Tipping Fees is for Monon road issues caused by trash trucks hauling loads to Liberty Landfill. Fund 4912 gets $.05 for every ton collected at Liberty Landfill, then that is sent to the Town of Monon. The remainder is split: 75% into Solid Waste Operating Fund 1194 and 25% into Solid Waste Reserve Fund 4936.

ROSE ACRE FARMS INC. (EGG LIFE LLC) ABATEMENT

White County Economic Development Organization (WCEDO) President Mitchell said Ben Bohall and Cindy Wagner, EggLife LLC representatives, were in attendance regarding the Economic Revitalization Area request. WCEDO President Mitchell explained that applicants come to the WCEDO Office to apply for abatements. Once everything is in order, he will take them and their application to the Tax Abatement Review Board. The Board will make its recommendation to the County Council. The Council approves or denies the Declaratory Resolution. Thirty days following the Declaratory Resolution approval, Council holds a public hearing. After hearing public opinion for or against the request, the public hearing is closed and Council votes to approve or deny the Confirmatory Resolution. If the Council adopts the Confirmatory Resolution, the abatement is established. The applicant will provide an annual CF-1 form proving compliance in order to keep their abatement. An abatement can be denied for non-compliance during any abatement year.

Ms. Wagner said, if all goes according to plan, EggLife LLC will be opening in May 2019.

Council President Kramer opened the public hearing for the Rose Acre Farms request of a five-year tax abatement on personal property. There being no objections, President Kramer closed the public hearing.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to approve the Confirmatory Resolution #2019-03-18-02 designating an Economic Revitalization Area for Rose Acre Farms, Inc. and a five-year abatement on qualified machinery and equipment. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: 6 Ayes 1 Abstention, Councilor Crabb

 

GOVERNMENT TIMEKEEPING SYSTEM

Auditor Rogers said she and HR Director Hull looked at a government timekeeping software program through Right Stuff Software. It will cost $40,000 to $50,000 to have all the offices connected and it integrates with the County financial software. It will log employees in and out through their computers and/or time clocks. Councilor Anderson said he has the same thing, and it is free. There are currently time clocks at the Highway, Jail, Recycling and in the Courthouse basement for the Maintenance Department.

PAYROLL REQUESTS

The Clerk’s Office hired two replacement employees. Election Clerk Virginia Baker was hired knowing she was temporary. She came out of retirement to help until another person could be hired. Julie Karriman will replace her. Circuit Court Clerk Deputy Kim Snellenbarger replaced Kathy Fisher, who was not comfortable with the job. Ms. Snellenbarger worked in the Tippecanoe County Clerk’s Office for about 20 years, but she lives here. The Sheriff’s Office has two new part-time Special Deputies: Charles Troy Yeoman, who is also the Brookston Town Marshal, and James Davis, who is also the Chalmers Town Marshal. The Auditor’s Office hired Kathrin Bulington to replace Annette Cobb, who moved to Area Plan. The Jail hired Niko Fonseco as a Jail Corrections Officer, replacing Donna Smith. All requests are for base rates for respective positions.

SHERIFF CANINE FUND

Councilor Davis said he thinks the canine program should be paid by the County instead of donations. Canines are Officers and the County funds all other County Officers. Many groups look for donations and Councilor Davis does not believe the County should be asking for donations to fund something that should be funded by the County itself. Auditor Rogers said money is needed for equipment and the training for both the Canine Officer and its Handler.

 

COMMISSIONER UPDATES FOR WHITE COUNTY PROJECTS

Commissioner President Heimlich said the Commissioners made a flow chart for the various County projects, the cost, and when the money is due. They wanted to update the Council on these projects.

The Courthouse construction projects are nearly finished. Although the Jail is newer than the Courthouse, it is used 24/7 and gets rougher wear-and-tear. The costs for the Jail will be $1 million to $1.5 million. Commissioner President Heimlich thinks work on the Jail may begin this summer.

 

The County Road 1100W project is estimated at $1.4 million for the road and drainage.

 

Concerning the water and sewer problem in the Wolcott area, the town of Wolcott did a study concluding it would cost about $70,000 to dig for water, with no guarantee of finding water. The nearby town of Remington, in Jasper County, has plenty of water, and recently put in a new water treatment plant. They have verbally agreed to supply water for phase one of the Mid-America Commerce Park (MACP). We have three more businesses committed to coming into the MACP in the near future. The cost to put in waterlines from Remington will be $1.8 million.

The Wolcott sewer upgrade, which will include MACP, would be $8 million (with the County’s share $5 to $6 million). They are seeking grants, which means Wolcott would get the loan, and the County would pay Wolcott.

 

The Roundabout project at Main St. & Gordon Road will be a joint effort with the County, City, and State. The City of Monticello and White County will share the 20% cost, which will be approximately half a million in 2022.

 

The Medical Office Building for the Coroner and Health Department does not need a lot of work.

 

Farm Builders is quoting on the new Highway Garage to hopefully save money. The major cost is the site work because of wetlands and the need to stabilize the ground. This spring they will have a better idea what the cost will be.

 

Due to the departure of a full-time and part-time cleaning position in the Maintenance Department, the Commissioners are temporarily trying a cleaning service (City Office Cleaning) rather than replacing the two employees. Preliminarily, it appears to be more efficient and cost-effective to use a service.

 

Courthouse maintenance is going to be different once all the upgrades are complete. The vents alone have more than one filter in each and are located throughout the Courthouse. They will need to be cleaned out at least twice a year, possibly quarterly. One of the companies working on the upgrades gave an estimate of $28,000 per year for maintenance and upkeep of the new system.

The Commissioners are considering Mark German, who has construction and plumbing knowledge and experience, to head the Maintenance Department. He should be able to handle most maintenance issues without needing to call for help. He will be available to help in the other County buildings as well. Auditor Rogers asked Commissioner President Heimlich when they were planning to bring Mr. German on; soon or during budgeting for next year. He said when the construction is done, there will be maintenance training on all the new lighting, heating, cooling, plumbing etc., and they want whomever will be dealing with the maintenance receiving training (which will be in a few weeks) from the company. Auditor Rogers asked Council if they were agreeable to transferring funds from the line item currently used for outside service fees in the maintenance budget to a line item for Mr. German’s salary, keeping in mind further funding may be needed later in the year. Council was agreeable to this suggestion. Commissioner President Heimlich stated Mr. German would be the Department Head and the current Supervisor would become a maintenance employee. Auditor Rogers explained the current job descriptions, already in existence, could be used for the Department Head and the other full-time employee with just some updating of each description. This way the position could be filled quickly without the two to three-month wait for the processing of a new job description.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to hire a Maintenance Department Head at the base pay of $47,476. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Commissioner President Heimlich said the Tourism Authority denied a couple of claims from the County Treasurer whereby two innkeepers wanted money returned that had been paid for the Innkeepers Tax. These people had been told by the White County Treasurer the tax did not have to be paid. Mr. Heimlich said how Area Plan defines resorts and vacation rentals for zoning purposes is not necessarily the same definition for tax purposes. Those innkeepers rented rooms and do owe the tax. Commissioner President Heimlich said legislation is going through to make the clarification. Auditor Rogers said the bill (SB497) currently going through the Legislature states any short-term rental (excluding those who rent for 15 days or less in a year) is to collect and pay the Innkeepers Tax. Councilor Carter reminded everyone the Innkeepers Tax Commission hired Joe Rogers to write a new County Innkeepers Ordinance to clarify the tax for the County. That has passed in the State Senate and is now in the House (SB 109). Until the language is legally clarified, the County will not go after those who have not been paying. Councilor Davis said it is the County’s interpretation that gives us the authority to collect the tax. The burden is on the taxpayer to prove the interpretation is wrong.

 

Commissioner President Heimlich said REMC may have grant opportunities that the County might be able to take advantage. Councilor Crabb said they have access to some USDA money using the Rural Electric Development Loan and Grant Program that spurs economic development. It can be used for things like infrastructure, water, and waste water treatment facilities. They can offer extremely low interest loans for numerous years. In some cases, it could be a revolving loan. This is what was used for the original Wolcott Corridor project. He would like to have the grant writer at Wabash Valley Power write up the grant request.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Annis 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: ___________________________

JANET J FAKER GAYLE E ROGERS, AUDITOR