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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, December 21, 2009, at the White County Building, 2nd floor, Commissioners’ conference room at 8:00 a.m.

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

MINUTES

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the regular meeting on December 7, 2009, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

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

CLAIMS

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve and pay the claims as presented with the exception of the claim submitted from Civil Defense made payable to Farm Plan in the amount of $362.00, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

ACCEPT BIDS FOR THE COUNTY FARM LEASE – 75.6 ACRES

White County Attorney George Loy said that the Commissioners have advertised for the lease of the county farm ground, 75.6 acres, for 2010.

At this time, Attorney Loy opened the three bids that were submitted from the following:

Michael Schroeder, Reynolds $15,600.00

Steve Carlson, Monon $16,027.20

Koty Lear, Wolcott $16,500.00

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to accept the highest bid from Koty Lear, Wolcott, to lease the county farm ground (75.6 acres) for 2010, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

GARDEN LEASE

Commissioner Heimlich said that the garden lease at Lakeview is also up for renew. Commissioner Schmierer questioned whether the lease should be renewed because the property might be auctioned off next year. Attorney Loy said that he could write up a new lease agreement that states “subject to a sale.”

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to renew the Garden Lease with Mr. Krintz for $100 per acre for 2010, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

TIOGA BRIDGE

White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke presented a contract from J.A. Barker Engineering for doing the Construction Inspection on the Tioga Bridge project. The cost of the contract is $134,909.12.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the bids were placed but questioned if the bids were approved.

The Commissioners decided to table this discussion until they can find out further information from the County Engineer, Don Ward.

APPOINTMENT - MONTICELLO PUBLIC LIBRARY

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to appoint Kathryn A. Cotner to the Monticello Public Library Board for a four-year term expiring September 30, 2013, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

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

President Richard “Buzz” Horton Bruce Clear Gary Hendryx

Denny Carter Denny Cain Kevin “Casey” Crabb

Councilman Butch Kramer was absent.

HOSPITAL

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

Mr. Cardwell reported that the hospital did have a good month and the flu is now over.

The search for a new CEO has expired and the board has received a lot of letters of interest for the position. The board has set up a committee and they will be meeting in January to review the applicants and start the process.

Commissioner Schmierer commented that the bad debt has jumped almost a million dollars. Mr. Cardwell commented that they are being hit from all sides right now. Not only are the people unable to pay their bills because of the economy, but Medicaid has also indicated that they will be paying less.

BUILDING INSPECTOR

White County Building Inspector Dave Anderson presented a comparison report for the past several years. Mr. Anderson reported that there were 26 permits issued last month, four of them were for new houses.

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER

White County Environmental Officer John Raines presented the Violation & Complaining Report.

E-911

E-911 Director Terri Conwell reported that they did receive a grant from Tippecanoe County for $46,000. This will be used to purchase radio equipment, which will help the officers transmit better with her department while their out in the county. Terri said that the quote for the radio equipment did come in $15,000 higher and she is planning to accrue that money from her budget for next year.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger presented the Director’s Report for December 2009.

Connie reported that she had a wonderful turnout on the networking breakfast that she hosted for the businesses and industries in our county.

Connie said that she has had a lot of activity outside the Indiana Economic Development Corp. company looking at different sites. She has also been very busy working with Horizon Wind on the next phases of the wind farms.

Unemployment rates for White County continue to rise; we are now at 10%. This is currently higher than the State Rate, 9.4%.

Connie presented a letter addressed to Senator Richard Lugar and Senator Evan Bayh regarding the climate change legislation. Connie requested signatures from the Council and Commissioners.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to endorse the letter and sign as presented, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

  • Councilman Crabb made a motion to endorse the letter and sign as presented, seconded by Councilman Carter. Vote: Unanimous

APPRECIATION AWARD

Commissioner Heimlich took a moment to recognize two former employees for all of their dedicated and years of service working for the County. Commissioner Heimlich presented a plaque to Grace Oilar for 30 years of service working for the Sheriff’s Dept./Jail and Barb Doyle for 25 years of service working at Lakeview Home.

APPOINTMENT – PROPERTY TAX BOARD OF APPEALS BOARD

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to appoint Judy Bertram as the Freeholder & Level II Certified Appraiser and Larry Culp as the Freeholder member on the Property Tax Board of Appeals Board for 2010, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

  • Councilman Cain made a motion to appoint Kay Kiser as the Freeholder and Phyl Olinger as the Level II Certified Appraiser on the Property Tax Appeals Board for 2010, seconded by Councilman Clear. Vote: Unanimous

ASSESSOR- CONTRACT

Assessor Downey said that at the last Commissioners’ meeting, Attorney George Loy had asked her to collect three quotes from vendors for the software certification test.

Assessor Downey presented quotes from the following:

Crowe Horwath, Indianapolis, IN $7,250

Ø Only require two days of testing, offices do not have to be closed, each departments testing will be done individually. Have been assisting State with Phase I testing since 2006. Assessor Downey said that she feels comfortable with them.

Appraisal Research , Findlay, OH $6,250.00 + $100.00 per hour if needing additional testing

Ø Requiring the Assessor, Auditor, Treasurer, and IT Rep. to be there with them during the whole testing (2-3 days). She said that it would be difficult to have everyone away from their offices for that long.

Chris Broughton & Associates, Seymour, IN $6,000

Ø Requiring office to be closed for 2-3 days. Not many references for them; they have only done business for four counties.

Assessor Downey made the recommendation to go with Crowe because they have the experience and they will be setting up in the council room and not pulling the elected officials away from their offices for 2-3 days.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the contract with Crowe Horwath for Software Certification Testing for $7,250, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

TAX BILLING UPDATE

White County Auditor Jill Guingrich introduced Melanie Schlegelmilch and Tim Lacy from Manatron to give an update on the tax software conversion.

Mrs. Schlegelmilch said that they do have 95% good conversion but they will have to do some manual corrections before the billing is started. She felt that the abstract of tax bills are probably three weeks away; with the bills conservatively estimated to go out in about six weeks. She said that they estimate that the tax bills will be due in February. The delay has been primarily caused by the conversion.

Mrs. Schlegelmilch said that the 2009 pay 2010 taxes would have to be pushed back until probably July.

Treasurer Dixie Gross said that her office has been collecting property tax payments from anyone willing to pay them despite that no tax bills have been sent. She is asking the taxpayers to pay 75 percent of what their tax bills were last year.

At this time, the Council members adjourn to their own meeting.

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