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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, March 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, White County Auditor Jill Guingrich, and the Commissioners’ Secretary Donya Tirpak.

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.


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


Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the payroll as presented for March 9, 2009, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

Commissioner Burton asked White County Auditor Guingrich why they are approving the payroll after it has already been deposited into the employee’s checking accounts. He felt that it wasn’t legal until the commissioners approved it. He questioned why we moved the payroll two weeks ahead, instead of two weeks behind, two years ago.

Auditor Guingrich said that the commissioners’ meetings don’t always fall the same time payroll is due and payroll always takes two weeks to process.


Don Ward, County Engineer, appeared before the commissioners to give a report from Jim Barker, Project Engineer for the Tioga Bridge project.

Mr. Ward said that the first half of the stimulus package is already obligated, mostly by INDOT, and the second half of the stimulus money will be obligated in about one year’s period of time. He said about 3% of the funds have been set aside for transportation enhancement projects; which this is where Tioga Bridge would fall under.

Mr. Ward said that the plans for the rehabilitation of Tioga Bridge are 95% completed. White County could receive the stimulus money for rehabilitation by April 30, without raising the bridge. If the county still wanted to raise the bridge then it would be at the county’s expense, which Mr. Barker estimates to be around $300,000.

Mr. Ward said that Mr. Barker recommended that the county spend $44,000 now to hire him (Mr. Barker) to complete the planes to raise the bridge and get all of the work completed and ready for the second half of the stimulus package.

Commissioner Heimlich asked how much money has been spent so far on engineering work. Neither Mr. Ward nor Mr. Brooke knew the amount. Mr. Ward did say that the engineering cost that has already been paid was put towards the county’s match money.

Don Ward said the county could spend $44,000 now to save the $300,000 later and then this will allow the abutment on the Carroll County side to be repaired.

Commissioner Heimlich asked Mr. Ward to find out what the county has spent to date, what the actual rehabilitation cost will be, and how much money will be needed for the match to raise the bridge.


White County Assessor Lisa Downey presented several contracts for the commissioners’ approval for 2009.

The first contract was for the 2009 Residential/Agricultural New Construction with Indiana Assessment Service out of Rochester, IN. The term of the contract is March 1, 2009, to May 31, 2009, with the fee being $10,500. Assessor Downey said that she does have the money already budgeted.

Assessor Downey said that all of the contracts were advertised and put up for bid.

Commissioner Schmierer asked if the rate has changed since last year. Assessor Downey said that the per parcel rate has not changed.

White County Attorney George Loy said that he has looked over the contract and the format is a statutory requirement by the DLGF.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the contract with Indiana Assessment Service for Residential/Agricultural New Construction for 2009, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

Equalization/Commercial New Construction

Assessor Downey presented the Equalization/Commercial New Construction contract for 2009. The fee for the Commercial & Industrial New Construction is $8,500 and the fee for the Trending & Equalization is $28,400 with Tyler Technologies.

Assessor Downey explained that she is switching to Tyler Technologies because Manatron is no longer providing this service and they did not submit a bid.

Commissioner Schmierer asked why the county has to pay $600/per day on top of the contract amount to have their representative, Tyler Technologies, come to a property tax assessment appeal meeting to defend the values that he assessed on the property.

Commissioner Heimlich said that he questioned the DLGF on this last year and asked what would be their incentive to make an accurate assessment on someone’s property if their being paid extra to defend themselves.

The commissioners expressed that they were not happy with the contract. Assessor Downey said that she received another bid for the same service from Indiana Assessment and their bid was $57.00 higher and the contract was the same verbiage.

White County Attorney George Loy said that he would check the statute to see how much flexibility they have with the contracts. He said the format of the contract is something that the DLGF put together.

The commissioners felt that maybe the number of days listed in the contract could be negotiated.

The commissioners asked the Assessor to bring representatives from the two companies to the next meeting to discuss the contracts.

2011 General Reassessment

Assessor Downey presented the 2011 General Reassessment contract requesting approval. This will begin July 1 2011, and the cost for the contract from Tyler Technologies is $427,245. Assessor Downey said that she also received a bid from Indiana Assessment for $533,709.

The commissioners said that they would like to take the contracts under consideration.


Willis Kesler, 6529 E. Maple Bend Drive, appeared before the commissioners discussing whether or not Sugar Maple Bend was a county road or not. He said that for the past week this road has been flooded and his property has been damaged from people trying to get through. He’s very upset because he has to pay for the damages to his property.

White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke said that the road is not a county road and it is a road dedicated for public use only.

Commissioner Heimlich asked the county attorney who is responsible for the cost of repairing a road that is “dedicated for public use” when damaged by neighboring property owners. County Attorney George Loy said that you would have to look at the title to see who all benefits from that road.

Commissioner Heimlich asked what recourse does he have to collect money from other property owners and not be responsible for all the financial burden himself.

White County Attorney George Loy said that this falls under the real-estate laws and when a person drives on your own private property and makes damages, you need to contact a private attorney.

Liberty Township Trustee Walt Hough said that if the emergency personnel have to get somewhere and they tear up someone’s property, he will reimburse the property owner to repair the damages.

Walt Hough did stress to the commissioners that they do need access to get to those homes.


White County Emergency Management Director Rose Brady presented a “Local Disaster Emergency Declaration” requesting signatures from the commissioners. She said that she would be sending it into the State to see if we can get help from FEMA. LETTER APPROVED


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 Rymond “Butch” Kramer Dennis Carter

Bruce Clear Gary Hendryx Denny Cain

*Councilman Crabb was absent.


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

Mr. Cardwell reported an amazing month in February considering the fact that there were only 28 days in the month. First time in history, they pulled in over $4 million. They have also reached a record high in baby deliveries.

Commissioner Schmierer asked how they are coming along vacating the old hospital. Mr. Cardwell said that they might be asking the county for some permanent type of utilization. They are finding out that that are completely full at the new hospital already.


Building Inspector Dave Anderson reported that building permits continue to be down. There were 18 permits issued last month; two were for new houses.

Mr. Anderson asked the commissioners on what they would like to do with the flood permits again this year. Last time the commissioners waived the fee until 12/31. He said that he would like to see more houses raising their homes.

Mr. Anderson proposed to the commissioners charging $50, which will cover two to three trips. He feels that we should get a fee schedule together. He said that he is meeting with the DNR tomorrow and he should know more about the flood damage after that.

Commissioner Heimlich told Mr. Anderson to come back to the commissioners with a proposal after he speaks with DNR. The county will have to comply with what DNR and FEMA are going to require because we don’t want to lose the flood insurance.


Mr. Anderson said that he doesn’t have anything in the Building Department Fee Schedule for the WECS (Wind Towers) permits. He said according to the ordinance the fee is collected from the Area Plan department.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion that the fees collected by the Area Plan Department be the one stop shop for permit fees for WECS and the Building Department be at no cost because all the fees are being collected from Area Plan, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous


E-911 Department Terri Conwell presented the White County Communications/E911 report for March 16, 2009.

Terri reported that the grant money from the Emergency Management Dept. to purchase radio equipment is still in the works. It looks like they will be receiving the funds but the time schedule is looking like a couple of months from now. Terri will keep everyone posted.

Terri said that she is fully staffed now but an employee is leaving soon on maternity leave.

Terri presented two quotes for the new consoles. She recommends going with Advanced Cabinet Systems because it was half the cost. The prices were:

Advanced Cabinet Systems, Marion, IN $32,000.00

Watson Furniture, Poulsbo, WA $60,933.60

Commissioner Heimlich asked Terri to present this to her E-911 board and bring their recommendation back to the commissioners at the next meeting.


Environmental Officer John Raines presented his Complaints & Violations February 2009.


White County Lakeview Home Director Kae Fuller presented her monthly report.

Kae requested the commissioners to make an action on an application from a person that was from Rensselaer. Application was not approved.

In the report, Kae reminded the commissioners that not having a water softener is affecting the new hot water heater. She has drained the hot water heater twice and there is a lot of broken material that is settled in the bottom coming out. This may also affect the boiler system.


White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger presented her Director’s Report for February’s 2009 Activity.

Connie reported that Adkev has received some new contracts and they are looking to expand. Internet leads are continuing to slow down but businesses are still looking for existing building space.

Connie said that the annual luncheon was attended by 104 people this year.

Connie said that the Clean Energy Forum has been meeting for about 2 years now and they have just received an $138,000 grant to fill a position for an alternative energy director for the region. Clinton, Carroll, White, and Tippecanoe counties are the main counties involved. This is a one-year grant.

There being no more business to come before the Council members, their meeting was adjourned to their own meeting room.

Connie reported that White County is up to 11% for unemployment. This is not good for our county but White County has not had a company close their doors yet. She thought this was a positive thing for the county.


The commissioners agreed to put three dumpsters in the Buffalo area for the residents effected by the recent flood.


  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to appoint Commissioner John Heimlich to the Tri-County Wage Board, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


Commissioner Heimlich said that Rezoning Petition #967 for Floyd & Janice Lee Fultz requesting to rezone their property from an R-2 to an A-1 was presented on December 15, 2008. Commissioner Heimlich said that the commissioners had 90 days to make a decision and the time has elapsed without a commissioners’ action. This rezoning request will now be denied according to the Area Plan ordinance.


Commissioner Burton said that Ken Smith, Engineer for Town of Brookston, is requesting the commissioners to write a letter of support for them to pursue a wind turbine study for the Town of Brookston and Chalmers. This letter will be sent to Congressman Steve Buyer. PERMISSION GRANTED

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

__________________________ _____________________________ _______________________

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

ATTEST: _________________________

Jill Guingrich, Auditor