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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, September 15, 2008, at 8:00 a.m. at the White County Building, 2nd floor in the Commissioners’ conference room.

Commissioners present were President John C. Heimlich, Vice President Steve Burton, and Commissioner Ronald 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.

MINUTES

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the special meeting on August 21, 2008, regular meeting on September 2, 2008, and the special meeting on September 8, 2008, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll as presented for September 22, 2008, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

OUTREACH WITH IDEM AND DNR – MICHAEL AYLESWORTH

Mr. Michael Aylesworth called and cancelled his time on the agenda.

EXTREME CONTRACTORS

Mr. Kessler and Mr. Wilson, owners of Extreme Contractors, appeared before the Commissioners introducing their company and asking how they would go about doing work for county projects.

County Commissioners told them to talk with the Highway Superintendent and to also submit bids for the County Highway supplies.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke reported to the Commissioners that he will be able to get some salt for this winter but the cost is going to be $111.00 per ton. This is a 136% increase from last year.

Mr. Brooke said that he tried to obtain bids from companies a couple of years ago, but was told that our demand wasn’t’ high enough. Our county is only provided a quote but the State received bids on salt this year and they are receiving it at $53.50 per ton. Tippecanoe County also received a bid from the same company and they received a price of $72.28 per ton.

Mr. Brooke reported that he has called everyone (North American Salt – no bid, Cargill Salt – no bid, Detroit – no bid) and our price is firm. He said that some counties aren’t even getting a quote. It would be nice if other counties could work with the State to fix this problem.

Commissioner Burton suggested calling other counties to see what their doing and see if they would like to join together as a group.

IVY TECH PROJECT

Connie Neininger presented one of the last change orders totaling $1,436.34 for the reconstruction of the Ivy Tech building. These change orders were approved at the August 4th meeting but now she is needing a signature.

Supply improved Best premium lockset cores in lieu of standard cores $440.00

Fill door openings with thresholds $448.34

Install an open site drain through exterior wall for condensate from air

dryer to drain $548.00

Total change orders to date are now $18,423.34.

Commissioner Schmierer asked what the status was on the roof repairs. Connie said that Michiana is paying for the repairs to the eleven punctured holes on the roof. Arnie Cook Roofing did the work, which totaled $650.00.

Connie said that there would be another change order submitted for the county’s share (1/3) of the electricity for the hot water heater. This amount will be for $530.00.

Commissioner Schmierer asked Connie how much money from donations was received from the community. Connie said that they have not collected all of the donations because some of them were three-year pledges, which will come in this year and next. If all of the pledges do continue to come in, they will have $260,000. Commissioner Schmierer asked if this money would be used to offset some of the building expenses. Connie said, “No, because most of the technology and equipment is coming in higher then what was estimated.” Commissioner Schmierer said that he thought that the WIRED grant was going to pay for all of the technology equipment. Connie said that the WIRED grant was for $415,000 but the total for all of the equipment, furniture, and technology came to $700,000. Commissioner Schmierer asked if it was written in the original agreement that we were going to pay for the furniture. Connie said that this was not in their (Ivy Tech) five-year plan and the only way for them to get in that door was for us to do a turnkey operation.

VACATED ROAD REQUEST – AMEND ORDINANCE

Attorney John Million appeared before the Commissioners asking them to approve the amended ordinance, which will amend the legal description. Mr. Million said that he inserted a second paragraph on the legal description that should not have been in there. He said that he did not record the first ordinance.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to amend Ordinance 08-09-02-01 the ordinance vacating the roadway in Liberty Township changing the updated legal description, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

ORDINANCE VACATING ROADWAY

Ordinance No. 08-09-02-01 (Amended)

WHEREAS, a petition to vacate a public roadway has been filed with the Board of Commissioners of White County, Indiana, by Michael Jaenicke and Brenda Jaenicke, Husband and Wife, of White County, Indiana; and,

WHEREAS, the portion of roadway sought to be vacated was originally platted and dedicated to public use as a part of Connell’s East Buffalo Park Addition, and is more particularly described below; and,

WHEREAS, the portion of said roadway sought to be vacated is no longer used as a public roadway and all of the property surrounding the portion sought to be vacated is owned by said petitioners; and,

WHEREAS, notice of said petition for vacation and a copy of the petition has been served upon all of the owners of lots lying to the North and South of the portion sought to be vacated, by certified mail with return receipt requested in the manner required by law; and,

WHEREAS, notice of said petition and the hearing thereon has been published in the Monticello Herald Journal, in the manner required by law; and,

WHEREAS, there have been no objections to said vacation and the White County Highway Superintendent has inspected the premises and has found that the requested vacation will not hinder the public’s access to a church, school or other public building or place;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of White County, Indiana, as follows:

1. That that portion of roadway originally platted and dedicated to public use as Connell’s East Buffalo Park Addition, and more particularly described as follows, to-wit:

Part of a public roadway platted in Connell’s East Buffalo Park Addition in Liberty Township, White County, Indiana described further by: Beginning at the Southwest corner of Lot 12 in said addition; thence North 73 degrees 56 minutes 0 seconds East a distance of 50.00 feet to the Southeast Corner of said Lot 12; thence South 01 degree 49 minutes 0 seconds East a distance of 20.63 feet; thence South 73 degrees 56 minutes 0 seconds West, a distance of 50.00 feet; thence North 01 degrees 49 minutes 0 seconds West, a distance of 20.63 feet to the point of beginning, containing 0.023 of an acre, more or less.

Be, and the same hereby is vacated as a public roadway.

2. That said above described public roadway shall become the property of Michael Jaenicke and Brenda Jaenicke, Husband and Wife, who own all of the property on both sides of the above described vacated portion of said roadway.

3. That the Clerk of the Board of Commissioners is directed to furnish a copy of this ordinance to the Recorder of White County, Indiana, for recording, and is also directed to furnish a copy of the vacation ordinance to the Auditor of White County, Indiana.

4. That this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and enactment.

AREA PLAN

White County Area Plan Director Diann Weaver presented the following request to the Commissioners.

Sandhill Pigs, LLC., are requesting to rezone 10 acres from an A-1 (General Agricultural) to an A-2 (Agricultural Industry District). The property is located north of Idaville at 11683 E. 550 N.

The APC held a public hearing on September 8, 2008, regarding this request and Diann said that there was no one present opposing the request. At that time, the APC voted to recommend this rezoning to the Commissioners by a vote of 6 yes, 0 no, and 1 abstention.

The APC did request a copy of the letter from IDEM, which was provided.

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

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve Rezoning Petition #962 (Ordinance No. 536-08) rezoning 10 acres for property located at 11683 E. 550 N belonging to Sandhill Pigs, LLC., seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

NEW ORDINANCE

Diann reported that the new ordinance has been adopted by all of the towns except for Burnettsville.

REPORTS

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 – Absent

BUILDING INSPECTOR

White County Building Inspector Dave Anderson reported that there were 67 permits issued last month, 15 of them were for new homes. This puts us four ahead of last year.

E-911

White County Communications E-911 Director Terri Conwell.reported that she has been working with INdigital and Embarq recently trying to get our county on the statewide wireless system. So far, all of the counties that have turned on to this system have loved it.

Terri said that she had a meeting last week with RaComm representatives discussing the 800 system and it looks like the dispatch center will have to install some more equipment. This will help with some of the areas that are not getting any coverage on the 800. RaComm will be giving her a quote.

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER

White County Environmental Officer John Raines presented his monthly Complaints & Violations report for August 2008.

Mr. Raines updated everyone on the Wantlan property in Buffalo by saying that everything has now been cleaned up and the trailer is gone. The new buyer did settle with the court cost.

In addition, the Reynolds Post office case now has a court date set.

Liberty Landfill has started a new cell.

LAKEVIEW HOME

Lakeview Home Director Kae Fuller asked the Commissioners what direction they want her to take regarding a gas leak in the basement. The Commissioners authorized her to get it fixed.

HOSPITAL

Stephanie Long, Executive Vice President/Chief Nurse Officer of White County Memorial Hospital, reported that they had a really good month. The gross revenue was a little over $3.4 million putting them at $26.8 million year to date. Excess revenue expenses were $24,321 for the month putting them at $2.8 million year to date. Currently, their cash position sits at $9.75 million.

The construction continues to be going well and on schedule and they have already installed all of the radiology equipment.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger presented her Director’s report for the month of August 2008.

Connie said that she had a couple prospect meetings last month. One was with Horizon Wind and the other was with a potential water park. Several leads continue to come thru the Internet from the State. Most of them are looking for existing buildings around 200,000 sq ft.

Connie said that she gave a presentation to the White County Realtors Association. This association did provide two donations to the Hometown Competitiveness Program.

Ivy Tech

Since Ivy Tech is up and running, Connie is working with them on several programs for the future. They are looking at setting up a manufacture’s network. Regular meetings will start taking place communicating the manufacturer’s needs with Ivy Tech.

Hometown Competitiveness

Connie reported that all of the surveys have been analyzed and the group has now decided to focus on a Leadership Academy as their first priority, which will be designed by Janet Ayers. Connie said that NIPSCO has stepped up to help fund this academy.

Councilman Horton congratulated Connie on the Leadership Academy.

Wind Ordinance

Connie stated that the new White County Zoning Ordinance that the Commissioners recently adopted also has the new County Wind Ordinance in it. She said that she is now being contacted by other counties wanting a copy of our new adopted Wind Ordinance in word format so they can make adjustments to fit their county. Connie asked the Commissioners and Council how they would like to address this issue.

Commissioner Heimlich felt that it is public information and it is also available on the Internet but on the other hand it is something that our county paid a lot of money to have it written. He didn’t know if the county was obligated to make everyone else’s job a little easier by providing it in word format.

Councilman Kramer felt that the people should be welcome to a copy of the ordinance but the county should put a charge on it.

Commissioner Heimlich suggested calling HNTB to come up with a price.

The consensus of the Commissioners and Council is to contact HNTB to discuss what a reasonable fee would be and then decide if we want to charge for it.

REMINGTON-WOLCOTT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GROUP

Connie Neininger introduced Professor Kim Wilson, Wendy Schwab, Steve Kinsell, and Valerie Hunter as members of the Remington-Wolcott Community Development Group.

Wendy Schwab, Executive Director, gave a power point presentation on how their group was initially formed to focus on five sectors in the Remington-Wolcott community: Economic Development, Schools and Education, Housing, Children and Families, and Seniors.

2006- A Purdue study was done to recognize the need for an increase in enrollment in the midst of decreasing population levels the Tri-County School Board initiated and funded a study of the issue throughout the Tri-County communities. The study determined Remington and Wolcott needed to proactively seek growth.

Fall 2006 – The communities developed the Tri-County Community Development (TCCD), dividing into 5 task forces addressing the five sectors.

Feb. 2007 – A branding and marketing strategy firm joined the team. They developed a logo and tag line, which reflected individuality as well as cooperation, for each town. In addition, an action plan was developed in four stages.

Fall 2007 – Professor Kim Wilson was approached proposing the towns be the host for a semester long community planning and design class project.

January 2008 – Purdue LA Community Planning & Design Class Project. The Tri-County community requested professional services associated with a process that provides insight to and development strategies for growth in, around, and between the towns of Remington and Wolcott. The process include developing a through understanding of the physical, social and environmental issues pertaining to the Tri-County.

April 2008 - Presentation to the Public by LA community planning and design class and Element Three. At this point, Element Three unveiled the Logo and tag line along with proposed marketing strategy.

May 2008 – TCCD now RWCDC – Remington Wolcott Community Development Corp.

May 2008 – RWCDC hires Andrew TenBrink as summer intern to review the students work and help them refine and prioritize projects.

May 2008 – Remington and Wolcott Town Council members meet. They agree to work together with RWCDC as a unified community.

May and June 2008 – Both towns adopted the RWCDC logo and tag line Towns adopt CNU principles. Businesses are introduced to RWCDC

August 2008 – First business donation $50,000 by local business. Towns each donated previously - $5,000 each. Tri-County School Corp - $10,000

Professor Willson discussed acquiring grants for the infrastructure of the Remington and joining the Wolcott community to share their infrastructure.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – CEDIT CONTRACT

Economic Development Director Connie Neininger presented the proposed CEDIT Contract between the Commissioners and the Economic Development office.

Commissioner Schmierer stated that he is not against Economic Development nor is he against spending money trying to get to some place, but he feels that this has gotten to a bureaucracy and the money that the county is spending is too much. He asked everyone how much further is the county going to go with this. He said, “You can throw money at something until hell freezes over but where do you draw the line.”

Commissioner Schmierer stated that there is $160,000 in the Economic Development account and asked if our county is any better off then it was 12 years ago when we spent a lot less money.

Commissioner Schmierer said that he would rather see us move forward with funding a project when it comes about rather then earmarking the money to sit in the Economic Development’s bank.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the landscape overall is quite a bit different then it was 12 years ago. He said that the competition is a lot greater. Twelve years ago, you could take a company to look at bare ground and you had a chance, but now if you don’t have anything where a business could get busy in three months then they won’t even give us a second look. He feels that it sends a message to how we portray the county to businesses that are looking at our area. He said that our county is in competition right now with many other counties.

Councilman Horton said that even in the last four years, Economic Development itself has changed drastically. He said that you have to have an employee that is out there and paying attention to everything. He commented that in today’s world we can’t sit in a public meeting and discuss negotiations that are going on with a private sector. He understands that this is a lot of money, but it doesn’t bother him to give a department, of local government, this kind of money to do what they need to do benefiting White County.

Councilman Horton also pointed out the track record for this department is excellent. The things that they have had to deal with in the last three years are unbelievable. He asked who would’ve taken care of all of this if that department wasn’t there and wasn’t funded. This is not something that the Commissioners and Council could’ve taken on because the workloads are already enough. He reinstated that White County needs someone out there that is well paid and has a pool of money to do what they need to do to keep up with the economy.

Commissioner Schmierer once again asked, “How much do we spend, how much do we want to spend and when does the spending stop.” He said that he is upset because the county was going to get options in 2006 for the Wolcott Corridor and here it is in 2008 and we still don’t have options.

County Attorney George Loy said that he prepared all of the options and submitted them to the landowners. He said that from the beginning it was decided that the county was not going to receive property through condemnation. He stressed that the options have to be voluntarily, you can’t make anyone sign an option. He said that we are close to getting the landowners to sign on.

Connie Neininger said that she felt that it’s difficult to compare today’s dollar to 12 years ago. The banks have always supported the Economic Development office and they still continue, but the struggle of being hit with an organization asking for your dollars is getting tougher. She said that every business is struggling with the amount of donations they can give. A Community Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) is a tax that is already there for economic development and the majority of the counties in the State of Indiana are using those dollars to support their Economic Development offices.

Commissioner Heimlich said that he doesn’t even want to compare where are county is today compared to 12 years ago. He said that many people don’t see behind-the-scenes that go into the Ivy Tech project, the Vera Sun project, and the Bio-Town project. Commissioner Heimlich explained that all of the correspondence and keeping everyone informed is not easy nor is it something that he wants to take care of. The Economic Development office has been invaluable to him and he knows that a lot of this wouldn’t have been done with out it.

Councilman Kramer said he feels comfortable knowing that they have a year-to-year review and it can be terminated within a years notice if the Council ever feels that they are throwing the county’s money into a black hole and it’s not getting them anywhere.

Councilman Crabb said that as long as the fail safe is in the agreement he also feels comfortable. He said that the job that Connie is doing today compared to 12 years ago is a lot differently. The Hometown Competitiveness, Ivy Tech project, and the Job Fair are all things that Connie does that sets a positive tone or mood for our business climate in our county. He expressed that it’s not always about landing a manufacturing facility. Putting a number on this is difficult because of the important behind the scenes work that is done as well.

Councilman Clear said that as the fiscal body of the county he feels that their responsibility is to focus on where we are going to be 12 years from now.

Councilman Horton said that he would like to have a vote from the County Council on the proposed CEDIT Agreement.

  • Councilman Crabb made a motion to adopt the proposed “Memorandum of Agreement for Assistance In Planning and Implementing Economic Development Programs, seconded by Councilman Carter. Vote: Unanimous

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there was a motion from the Commissioners at this time. No response.

Commissioner Heimlich said that since there is no motion from the Commissioners they will table this discussion and address it at a future date.

TAX BILLS

White County Treasurer Cathy Gross appeared before the Commissioners and Council saying that a lot has changed since the last time they met discussing the tax bill situation.

Cathy reported that the DLGF Commissioner, Cheryl Musgrave, encouraged Cathy to put together a timeline for collecting taxes in 2008 payable in 2008. Cathy said that she did create a timeline and presented it to Commissioner Musgrave showing White County collecting both installments at one time before the end of 2008.

Cathy explained that even though the DLGF and Commissioner Musgrave do not have statutory authority to require counties to have two installments, they do have the authority, in times of emergency, to decide when the counties are going to do what they are going to do. With that said, White County is one of the thirty-five counties in the state that have been declared an emergency.

Currently, the DLGF are saying that they can get us our tax rates by October 1st. The timeframe after that for us would be an additional 4 to 6 weeks to get the tax bill information ready and sent out to the printing company. The printing company usually can get them ready and printed four to five days but they do require 2 weeks.

Cathy said that when she requested White County to collect in one installment, it was not approved by the DLGF unless we established a payment plan for properties that are homestead credit properties only.

Cathy explained that it would be difficult to do something like this because there aren’t any companies in the State of Indiana that are set up to collect payments, on a payment plan, for homestead credit properties only. Not to mention, the Council would have to establish an ordinance that will allow White County to have a payment plan. White County would have to do everything manually, which would be a step backwards for our county.

Cathy said it is now their goal to have one installment due mid to late November and the second installment will be due in January 2009. The DLGF will not approve two due dates any closer then 60 days.

Cathy said that she wants to put out a media blitz across the radio, newspaper, TV, etc., encouraging taxpayers to pay both installments by the first due date so that they can benefit from it on their income taxes. She said that she is also going to request all mortgage companies that are holding escrow accounts to pay everything before the end of 2008 as well.

Cathy did explain that it is up to the County Council to make the call whether or not they want to do a one-time collection, which will allow a payment plan for homestead credit properties only with no penalties.

Commissioner Heimlich asked Cathy what her recommendation would be. Cathy and Auditor Jill Guingrich said that their recommendation would be two due dates.

  • Councilman Kramer made a motion that the Treasurer and Auditor be able to proceed with the basis of two installment payment plans for collecting taxes, one being November or December 2008 and the second one being 60 days after that without the installment payment plan, seconded by Councilman Clear. Vote: Unanimous

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion that the Treasurer and Auditor be able to proceed with the basis of two installment payment plans for collecting taxes, one being November or December 2008 and the second one being 60 days after that without the installment payment plan, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

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