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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 April 15, 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, Soil & Water Coordinator Shannon Heidrich, WCEDO President Randy Mitchell, Monticello Spring Corp President & CEO Thomas Pimmler.

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 Davis made a motion to accept the March 18, 2019 minutes. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

There were no additional appropriations requested for April.

 

WHITE COUNTY SOIL & WATER

White County Soil & Water Coordinator Shannon Heidrich said one of her biggest drivers is marketing and connecting with the community and especially through social media such as Facebook. She said they reached nearly 4,000 people in the first five days of being on Facebook. She adds a video every day that educators can use.

MONTICELLO SPRING CORPORATION

WCEDO President Mitchell said Monticello Spring Corporation had started the abatement process in 2017, so they would like to amend the abatement to include 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 a total of $2.5 million. Council President Kramer said he understands this is not for creating new jobs but to facilitate production with new equipment. Thomas Pimmler, President and CEO for Monticello Spring, said next year will be their 50th year in Monticello. He has also had a company in Central Mexico for 20 years which he said provides more opportunities for the company here. Mr. Pimmler said Monticello Spring is known for their engineering and technology advances, and they want to stay on the leading edge. Part of that includes equipment upgrades and changes. The tightened labor market the last few years has accelerated that plan. Councilor Anderson supports finding ways to increase productivity without the need of new employees and being able to increase existing employee pay. Mr. Pimmler does not foresee any loss of employees in the next few years, but rather an increase. When Councilor Faker asked about the type of springs the company makes, he said mostly every kind of car spring, along with multiple other varieties, such as in your sun glasses case.

Auditor Rogers said they had a 2003 Economic Revitalization Area approved that is still ongoing. They are able to add this abatement with Council approval of a Statement of Benefits form for personal property. Their 2017 equipment purchases will begin in year three of a ten-year abatement; 2018 purchases in year two and so on.

Councilor Annis said he would like to find a way to get students who aren’t 18 yet an opportunity to job shadow, get factory experience, or at least see how things work to give them another career option to consider. Mr. Pimmler was open to job shadowing or finding a way to include them as long as it was within the guidelines of the law.

Councilor Davis brought up the issue of unavailable housing for anyone seeking to move here for job opportunities. WCEDO President Mitchell said it is difficult to find land to build on. He said there isn’t one house for sale in Wolcott, and no land to purchase without having to pay a premium amount. Auditor Rogers said there is a push by the State to retain farmland. She said more people are seeking condominiums or apartments rather than single-family dwellings so they don’t have to deal with yard work and maintenance.

Councilor Anderson made a motion to approve the personal property tax abatement for Monticello Spring Corp. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

PULASKI-WHITE RURAL TELEPHONE COMPANY ABATEMENT COMPLIANCE

Council President Kramer said Pulaski-White Rural Telephone Company (PWRTC) was granted a real estate abatement in 2012. Their CF-1 reflects more employees and higher salaries than was anticipated on their SB-1 abatement application.

Councilor Faker made a motion to approve the abatement compliance form CF-1 and continue the abatement for PWRTC. Councilor Crabb seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

PAYROLL REQUESTS

Auditor Rogers said the new documents HR is using (Conditional Offer of Employment and Offer of Employment) are part of the updated personnel manual process. HR Director Hull wants to use them for a year to evaluate how well they work. During the 2019 budget hearings, Council agreed to pay the Prosecutor’s Investigator from the Merit Deputies’ scale. The problem was the interpretation of that scale. Auditor Rogers said if she had been asked, she could have explained that a new employee would start at the bottom of the scale, not at what the previous person was making. Council President Kramer said the form does not state “upon the Council’s approval”. In most circumstances, the Council President can sign the form. If Council President is not available, then President Pro Tem will be contacted.

Councilor Annis made a motion to create a form to be signed by Council President or by the Auditor with the Council President’s approval and with Council approval for the offer of employment and the conditional offer of employment. Councilor Carter seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

Prosecutor’s Office hired Pat Shafer as Investigator. The Purdue Extension Office hired Jennifer Taylor part-time. The Clerk’s Office moved Virginia Baker to part-time (after replacing her full-time position). Auditor Rogers explained that Ms. Baker was hired knowing she would stay only long enough to help train a person to take her place. She came with several years of experience in another county and will help get the Office through their first election before stepping down. The Treasurer’s Office hired Grace Winkle part-time. Area Plan Office is replacing Sarah Baunach with Erika Martinez at the bottom of level 3. Probation Department is replacing Gina Goodman with Leah Campbell at a State mandated salary. The Recycling Department is replacing Shawn Harris with Jessica Shell as part-time. The Sheriff’s Department hired two part-time Special Deputies; Jim Roller & Pat Harper.

 

DAILY INMATE RATE

Auditor Rogers said the Sheriff has an agreement with Carroll County to house their inmates at the State rate of $35/day which hasn’t been updated since the 90’s. The State Statute reads that a County can set its own rate, and she said Commissioner Diener thinks the Council should set that rate. He believes there should be an inter local agreement rather than just one between the two Sheriffs, especially since we will also house Cass County inmates. Councilor Davis asked how the rate compares with what we spend per inmate per day. Auditor Rogers said the Sheriff’s Association wants it to be around $55/day. Councilor Anderson said the Sheriff gave him and another person a tour and said they make money at $35/day. He also said they do not have a suitable classroom to hold State mandated classes. They have an engineer looking into classroom plans in hopes they can get that taken care of while they are doing the ceilings and other updates. Auditor Rogers asked if Council wanted her to do an analysis to calculate a daily rate. Council asked that she look into it and report back.

 

According to Councilor Anderson, the Sheriff thinks it would be better to build a morgue at the end of the supply building by the jail. He said a body is evidence, and therefore, should be near the jail. He also said they are not going to want the possible odor near other offices or people.

 

SPLIT HIGHWAY FUND

Auditor Rogers said the Highway Fund 1176 is negative $188,000 and that is after borrowing $100,000. By State Statute, the County cannot permanently put money into the Highway Fund, and any loans into it have to be paid back by year’s end. They take in enough to cover their payroll expenses from Motor Vehicle Highway, and that doesn’t include any other spending. Somehow there needs to be money to function, and the Fund cannot continue in the red. Auditor Rogers said they could transfer some of the expenses to another fund. Solid Waste Operating Fund is where Council typically draws. Councilor Crabb asked if the Windfarm fund might be an option, although it is a Commissioner Fund. VeraSun funds can only be spent on the Honey Creek North White TIF area. Councilor Carter said Council should come up with a subsidy plan, since funds are needed for the Highway every year. He suggested Solid Waste Operating Fund, and Council President Kramer mentioned that fund does have money coming in. Auditor Rogers would prefer the Highway Department try to stay within their budget, although this year the State sprung a huge change on them. Their situation is understandable. They have not overspent their budget, just the Fund, and that is because the State required their 2019 revenue to be split equally between two funds and used only for specific purposes for each fund. That directive from the State Board of Accounts did not arrive until December 2018. Auditor Rogers will bring a transfer from the Solid Waste Operating Fund to the next Council meeting for approval.

 

ADJOURNMENT

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