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BE IT REMEMBERED that a regular meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building in Monticello at 9:00 A.M. on August 19, 2019 for the purpose of discussing the budget, 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: Kevin L Crabb

The following members were present:

 

Dennis E Carter Arthur A Anderson James B Davis

Janet J Faker Raymond L Kramer Jr James G Annis

 

Joint Session Votes:

Commissioner Deiner made a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-08-19-05 establishing a White County Innkeeper’s Tax to replace the current Ordinance, bringing White County into statutory compliance with the latest changes in State law. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Councilor Faker made a motion to adopt Ordinance #2019-03 (Commissioners Ordinance #19-08-19-05) establishing a White County Innkeeper’s Tax to replace the current Ordinance, bringing it into statutory compliance with the latest changes in State law. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Commissioner Diener made a motion to suspend the rules and proceed with the next Ordinance. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Commissioner Diener made a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-08-19-06, which establishes the White County Innkeeper’s Tax Commission, a Lake Enhancement Fund, and a Promotion Fund. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Annis made a motion to adopt Ordinance #2019-04 (Commissioners Ordinance #19-08-19-06), which establishes the White County Innkeeper’s Tax Commission, a Lake Enhancement Fund, and a Promotion Fund. Councilor Carter seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

Commissioner Diener made a motion to recycle and/or dispose of the outdated materials from the Courts’ Law Library. Commissioner Burton seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Commissioner Burton made a motion to clear a room in the Courthouse basement (formerly used for the Extension Office) to be used as a Community Corrections office. Commissioner Diener seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

For contents of joint session, see Commissioners’ minutes

 

 

 

Art Anderson was present for the joint session, and absent for the Council meeting for a doctor’s appointment.

 

Also in attendance: Auditor Gayle Rogers, Council Secretary Barbara Nydegger, Clerk Laura Cosgray, Voter Registration Clerk Shanda Cortez, Treasurer Jill Guingrich, IT Technician Jeff Such

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Council President Kramer opened the special Council meeting with the Council reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

MINUTES

Auditor Rogers asked that the minutes be tabled until next month at the request of Councilor Anderson who may desire some changes.

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

There were no additional appropriation requests.

 

WHITE COUNTY SHERIFF RADIOS

Sheriff Chief Deputy David Roth said the Department’s nearly 16-year-old radios need to be replaced. They have a couple being held together with rubber bands and a couple that need replacement parts, which are no longer being manufactured. He has obtained quotes from three companies. Counties that are using radios manufactured by two of the three quoting companies are not satisfied. They are moving toward Motorola. White County uses Motorola and they have proven themselves over time. To replace all the radios, chargers, microphones and everything they would need including two spares, would cost $89,000. Councilor Annis asked if someone else could use the old ones. Chief Deputy Roth said a smaller community in White County possibly could use them, and they would be an upgrade to their 20-year-old Motorolas. Sheriff Brooks said they currently try to help other entities with whatever equipment they have in surplus. Motorola said they would supply the radios to the County now and await payment with the 2020 budget year, if the County approves the purchase.

Councilor Carter made a motion to approve the purchase of radios for the Sheriff’s Department. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

WHITE COUNTY CLERK ELECTION MACHINES

Clerk Cosgray said the current election E poll book company, Robis, will not be seeking recertification in Indiana for the 2020 election because White County is the only county in Indiana using Robis. She has called different companies and is interested in one that leases their software for the E poll book machines (which tracks everyone who votes) until the County IT Department advised her against it. Mr. Jeff Such, IT Assistant, said White County has their own E poll book machines, but they have passed their life expectancy and are no longer serviceable. Mr. Such said about 2/3s of them will not hold a battery charge, and the batteries cannot be replaced. Clerk Cosgray said they had a bad situation during the 2019 elections where there was finger pointing between Robis and the State voter registration system. There was never a determination as to where the problem stemmed, but the County had to take care of the situation. Clerk Cosgray said there are five certified vendors and she favors MicroVote and KnowInk who work together and cover over half of Indiana. KnowInk is compatible with our election voting machines. Clerk Cosgray said maybe she could get six to eight E poll books for the small 2019 election to give her poll workers experience and training with that product prior to the large 2020 Presidential election. Councilor Davis said, if we are going to do it, go ahead and get a price for all 23 E poll books and 50 election machines. Maybe we can get a better price if we purchase all at once. It was the Council’s consensus that they would like to purchase both types of machines from the same vendor. Clerk Cosgray said the County’s voting machines will only work for a maximum of 4 to 6 more years. She said she will need the E poll books before the poll worker training on October 17th.

Councilor Carter made a motion to approve up to $60,000 to pursue the best option for E poll books. Councilor Davis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

WHITE COUNTY TREASURER BUDGET FOR PRINTING & MAILING TAX BILLS

White County Treasurer Guingrich was present to discuss Council’s decision to print tax bills in-house. She does not believe her current printer will be able to handle printing 23,000 tax bills, 2-sided, 2 sheets each (46,000 double-sided prints). A new copier would cost $9,450.

By mailing them in-house they will lose the color, the 6”x9 ½” envelope, and the National Change of Address (at a cost of $100 a year) that checks the addresses before mailing to prevent delays in delivery. She said doing it in-house would mean sending approximately 100 out a second time with a time delay for them reaching taxpayers. Currently the printing company can sort and put tax bills with similar names that have the same billing address into the same envelope. To do that in-house, they would have to be hand sorted. Otherwise farmers and others who have multiple bills would receive each bill individually. There are 23,000 tax bills printed and only 15,000 mailed. There are 3,417 paid by lenders that are not mailed out. There are 114 large flat rate envelopes for those like Saint Joseph’s College.

Treasurer Guingrich talked with a couple of smaller counties that are doing their own printing, and it takes them a week to do 11,000 bills.

One of her biggest concerns is the perforations would be in the folds (to be able to use a regular size envelope) and the second page tearing apart that has all the tax break downs and comparisons. It will take more counter time separating the pages before tearing apart the portion that gets turned in (and being careful not to tear the second page). They would also have to be stapled at the bottom instead of the top.

Councilor Faker asked if the County has the capability to allow Taxpayers to pay online. They can from the County website, but there is a 3% charge. Some people have it set up so their bank pays their taxes from their personal account, and, of course, others through their mortgage companies. Treasurer Guingrich said a couple of the companies she has talked with can send e-bills, but to her knowledge our software does not have a place for that information. It would take awhile to collect that kind of information, and she does not know how cost effective it would be.

Auditor Rogers talked with Carroll County Auditor Beth Myers, who was the Carroll County Treasurer until recently, and they mailed their own tax bills. They printed them, sorted them by townships, and stuffed them. They had part-time people help with the process and it took two weeks for about 20,000 tax bills. They do not have a folding machine. She said they purchased the perforated paper from a printer so the perforations were light.

Councilor Annis said business students at Twin Lakes High School will have to do community service for graduation and could possibly do the sorting, folding and stuffing during that class period. The Treasurer’s Office would not have to pay them for that service. Councilor Faker said she was not comfortable with high school students seeing people’s tax bills, even though it is public information. Auditor Rogers said the Courthouse folding machine is 15 to 20 years old and due to be replaced at a cost of $3,000 to $10,000. The ones that cost $8,000 to $10,000 can fold 25,000 pages in an hour. If Council chooses to go that route, she said the IT Department should be the ones figuring out what is needed. Many departments use the folding machine. Our current machine can fold two – three pages together at once and stuff the envelope. This is what our Assessor uses to mail out 14,000 Form 11’s.

Treasurer Guingrich said taking the budget for tax billing down to zero does not allow her to buy perforated paper, envelopes, toner, a proper copier, or part-time help (if needed). Auditor Rogers said she could use the Auditor’s copier that can print the volume she needs.

Council President Kramer said the Assessor mails large quantities in-house, and at budget time Treasurer Guingrich agreed that she could probably do the mailings from in-house. They did not realize what all the company was being paid to do. He said the Council can always put money back in for supplies or whatever is needed to get the job done. He would rather pay White County people than an outside company with all their fees.

Treasurer Guingrich said it will take more time taking care of the walk-in taxpayers while at the same time the phone volume dramatically increases. Councilor Annis suggested small paper cutters could be used.

Treasurer Guingrich said the cost was about $15,000 this year, of which over half was postage. She will do some research and report next month before the Council adopts the budget.

PAYROLL REQUEST PROCEDURE

Auditor Rogers said the payroll request procedure is a cumbersome process. She would prefer that she and HR Director Hull sign the payroll requests. If she or Director Hull have a question about the pay rate or if it is a new position, then it would come to Council instead. She said most payroll requests are cut and dried. Director Hull created a Compliance Approval form for positions that are already established and are hiring in at the base salary. She said there is a place on the form for her to check that the request passes her requirements, and a place for the Auditor to check that it meets all the budgetary requirements. This process will prevent delays in the orientation process and departments being short-handed. Council President Kramer said for the last 2-3 months, they have emailed the requests to him and he has gone ahead and signed them.

Councilor Davis made a motion to approve the new form and procedure for Department Heads to use when hiring new employees or moving employees into different positions. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

WHITE COUNTY SHERIFF HOLIDAY PAY

Auditor Roger said the County pays the Sheriff’s Deputies, the jail Correction Officers, and the Dispatchers $750 for holiday pay since they work through holidays. In 2012 or before, it changed to $780 for the Correction Officers and Dispatchers, but not the Deputies. She would like all of them to be paid the same amount to be consistent. Councilor Annis suggested the Sheriff be part of the conversation. Director Hull said she knows Sheriff Brooks is on board from speaking with him recently. Auditor Rogers said if Council could just make it uniform for 2020, then she and Director Hull will bring a new proposal for 2021. Auditor Rogers has broached this subject before, but the previous administration was not in favor of making a change. Director Hull said the holiday pay is an annual stipend that is paid in addition to their salaries. They get the stipend regardless of whether or not their regular hourly rotation has them working through a holiday (they do not rotate holidays).

Councilor Annis made a motion to raise the Merit Deputies’ holiday pay by $30.00 to $780 beginning 2020. Councilor Carter seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

JORDAN MANUFACTURING NEW PP ABATEMENT

Council President Kramer said Jordan Manufacturing Company turned in an SB-1 form for new equipment costing $9,280,706 and they plan to add 5 to 20 new employees as a result (adding $500,000 in salaries). They are asking for a ten-year abatement.

Councilor Davis made a motion to approve the ten-year Personal Property Abatement for Jordan Manufacturing. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

EDP RENEWABLES ECONOMICAL DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT REPORT

Auditor Rogers said the EDP Renewables report is just information they are required to report to the Council as proof of compliance with the Economic Development Agreement. They are a State assessed utility, and this shows the assessment and taxes they have paid.

PROMISE AGREEMENT WITH IVY TECH

Councilor Davis said the Commissioners will make decisions on the White County Promise agreement with Ivy Tech a couple of weeks before Council meets again. This is a program whereby the County would pay up to $1,100 of what remains of a White County student’s IVY Tech tuition after other grants, awards and scholarships are applied (does not pay for books). The students must have at least some of their classes in White County (even if they take some in Lafayette) in order to qualify. Any exceptions will be at Ivy Tech Site Manager Patty Plantenga’s discretion.

Auditor Rogers said even if we help, there is no guarantee the students will stay in White County once their education is completed. Councilor Annis said the student should have to pay back the County if he/she does not stay in a local job for two years after graduation. Councilor Annis will meet with Site Manager Plantenga to see about setting some post-graduation terms and get back with Council.

 

ADJOURNMENT

The budget hearings remain open until adoption on September 16, 2019. Next meeting September 16, 2019 at 9:00 am.

 

 

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ _________(absent)__________

DENNIS E CARTER JAMES G ANNIS ART A ANDERSON

___________________________ ____________(absent)________ ___________________________

JAMES B DAVIS KEVIN L CRABB RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

President

___________________________ Attest: ___________________________

JANET J FAKER GAYLE E ROGERS, AUDITOR