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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, February 16, 2009, at 8:00 a.m. in the White County Building, 2nd floor, Commissioners’ Conference room.

Commissioners present were: President John C. Heimlich, Vice President Steve Burton, and Commissioner Ron Schmierer. Also present was the White County Attorney George Loy, and the Commissioners’ Secretary Donya Tirpak.

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.

MINUTES

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the regular meeting held on February 2, 2009, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the payroll as presented, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

APPOINTMENT – NWISWD

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the appointments of Butch Kramer, County Council; Bill Smith, City Council; and Dave Kelly, City Council – Alternate, to serve on the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District for one year, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

AREA PLAN

Area Plan Director Joe Rogers presented the following to the Commissioners:

Rezoning Petition #970

Frank L. & Doris A. King are requesting to rezone 3.478 acres from an A-1 (General Agriculture) to an L-1 (Lake). The property is located northeast of Buffalo at 10228 N. Rock Ridge Road.

A public hearing was held by the Area Plan Commission on February 9, 2009, which there were no opposes at the hearing. The APC voted to recommend this amendment to the Commissioners by a vote of 8 yes and 0 no.

Mr. Rogers said that this property has also filed a petition to sub-divide and the APC will make a motion on this pending the approval of the rezoning. So, it is the intention of the owners to sub-divide the property and build.

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

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to accept the recommendation and rezone Petition #970 (Ordinance No.543-09) for Frank L. & Doris A. King for property located at 10228 N. Rock Ridge Road, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

AREA PLAN – FINE SCHEDULE

Area Plan Director Joe Rogers asked the Commissioners what the status is on the fine schedule.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the fine schedule has already been approved but asked the White County Attorney George Loy when it will take effect.

Director Rogers asked if anything was going to be written up, such as an ordinance or something.

County Attorney George Loy did confirm that the Area Plan Fine Schedule does need to be written up in ordinance form and he will get that done.

At this time, the White County Council President Richard “Buzz” Horton called the Council members to order in joint session with the County Commissioners. County Council members present were:

President, Richard “Buzz” Horton Raymond “Butch” Kramer Dennis Carter

Kevin “Casey” Crabb Bruce Clear Gary Hendryx

Denny Cain

HOSPITAL

White County Memorial Hospital CEO Paul Cardwell presented the Financial Analysis for January 2009.

Mr. Cardwell reported that their revenue was the second highest in history of the hospital. It came in at $3.7 million and last years, at this time was at $3.2 million. This allowed them to put a significant amount of money in for the bad debt and adjustments. He reported that $136,000 was put into the bad debt reserve last year and this year they put in $307,000.

Mr. Cardwell said that with the extra money they also pre-funded their payment that is due in October. He discussed the five year agreement that the hospital has with the county is already into year three.

He said that it would be tough for them to break even for the net income for the year because they used all of their money for the purchase and leasing of the new equipment for the new hospital. He said that the net income might show a loss.

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER

White County Environmental Officer John Raines presented the Complaints and Violations Report for January 2009. He has been working with IDEM on some spills over by Wolcott. Councilman Horton asked what the tonnage was from the landfill last month. Mr. Raines reported that the tonnage for January 2009 at Liberty Landfill was 52,816.07.

BUILDING INSPECTOR

White County Building Inspector Dave Anderson reported that the Housing and Building Industry has declined with the economy. He said that this is the first time ever where he hasn’t issued any housing permits in January. Last year at this time he issued five permits.

ASSESSOR – APPOINTMENTS TO THE PTBOA BOARD

White County Assessor Lisa Downey appeared before the Commissioners and Council requesting them to make their annual appointments to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals for 2009.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to appoint Judy Bertram , Freeholder & Level II Certified Appraiser member, and Larry Culp, Freeholder member, to the PTABOA board for 2009, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

  • Councilman Kramer made a motion to appoint Kay Kiser, Freeholder, and Jenny Becker, Level II Certified Appraiser, to the PTABOA board for 2009, seconded by Councilman Clear. Vote: Unanimous

AREA PLAN – ZONING MAPS

Area Plan Director, Joe Rogers, said that the hard copies of the zoning maps that are kept on file in the office have not been updated since 1983. Since then, hundreds and hundreds of re-zonings have been done since then and no records have been updated. Mr. Rogers asked the Commissioners and Council how they wanted the zoning maps to be updated so they will comply with the new ordinance.

Mr. Rogers said that he has discussed different options to update the files as quickly as possible with Eric Storm, County IT. They have found a way to go through the computer file and update every parcel and then they will be able to print the maps when they are all corrected.

Commissioner Heimlich said that when they were writing the new ordinance everyone was aware that the current zoning maps were not up to date and that this was going to be an issue. He said that the new Area Plan Attorney said that the hard copy of the zoning maps is required to be updated with every rezoning approval.

Commissioner Heimlich said that HNTB had given the County a price for some transition work and the fee was $60,000. He said that at that time he discussed this with the former director, Diann Weaver, and she felt that the work could be done in-house. After that the subject was dropped and nothing was ever done.

Commissioner Heimlich asked Mr. Rogers what kind of labor was needed to get all of the rezonings entered into the computer.

Mr. Rogers felt that a person could probably enter one year in one week and they have twenty-five years to enter.

Commissioner Schmierer said that Eric Storm had indicated to him that he would be willing to train someone to get this started.

Mr. Rogers discussed that he does have a line item in his budget for another full-time secretary. At this point, he is waiting to see how busy they will get in the spring/summer to see if it is necessary to fill that position. In the mean time, Mr. Rogers said that he could use the money that is already in his budget to hire a person just for the data entry to get this information updated.

The Commissioners and Council agreed to allow Mr. Rogers to go ahead and hire someone part-time to get the rezoning information entered into the system.

TIOGA BRIDGE – SFLECC

Daryl Johns, SFLECC, said that a meeting was held last week with Senator Hershman, Mitch Billue, Parks Superintendent; Conservation Officer Dave Schwankee, and the SFLECC group to try to see what Senator Hershman’s feelings were on this and also see if they could receive some stimulus money for this project.

Senator Hershman had indicated to them that this could be considered but recommended a letter from the County Commissioners and Carroll County Commissioners be submitted requesting the funds.

Mr. Johns said that they also had a meeting with the engineer, Jim Barker, and he said that in order to get this project shovel ready the engineering plans need to be finalized for the raising part of the bridge. The cost of this would be $44,000, which $17,000 will be paid for by the SFLECC.

Mr. Johns asked the Commissioners and Council to proceed with the final engineering plans to raise the bridge to get it ready for possible stimulus money.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the original contract was 80% federal funds and 20% local funds and the local amount would be around $180,000. What they would be putting in for the stimulus money would be picking up our local match, $180,000, plus the $300,000 needed to raise the bridge. They will request $480,000 in all and if this goes through then there will be no local match money needed from the county.

Mr. Johns said that they also have a verbal agreement from the Mayor of Monticello saying that they will contribute $5,000 towards the raising of the bridge project.

Commissioner Schmierer asked if Carroll County was going to be responsible for their 40% share of the $27,000. Mr. Johns said that he hasn’t met with them yet.

Commissioner Heimlich stated that the new contract for $44,000 does not include Carroll County’s approval.

Mr. Johns said that if Carroll County doesn’t agree to come up with their share, $9,000, he would be willing to go back to his board requesting those funds.

Councilman Horton said that it is difficult for him to feel good about spending this money. Whether its $13,000, $22,000, or even $27,000, he said that he doesn’t feel good spending the taxpayer’s dollars on this.

Commissioner Schmierer also stated that he doesn’t feel good spending this money out of Cum Bridge because it’s not a drivable bridge but only a walking bridge. He said that once the project gets started more money would be needed.

Commissioner Burton would like to see this sent in for the stimulus money and if the money is approved then it could be sent to the engineers.

Councilman Cain said that he doesn’t see how this money could stimulate our county.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to send a letter to Senator Hershman requesting $480,000 in federal stimulus money for the Tioga Bridge project, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

Mr. Johns was directed by the Commissioners to approach the Carroll County Commissioners to try to get a letter from them as well.

MEDICAL INSURANCE – HRA

Commissioner Heimlich informed everyone that the figures on the health reimbursement account program for last year. The total premium spent last year including the money put into the HRA was 1.271 million.

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

____________________________ ______________________________ ____________________________

John C. Heimlich, President Steve Burton, Vice President Ronald Schmierer, Member

ATTEST: _________________________

Jill Guingrich, Auditor