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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on February 20, 2007, at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Conference room in the White County Courthouse.

 

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

 

MINUTES

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the regular meeting on February 5, 2007, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll for February 26, 2007, as presented, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

 

EMBARQ

Mike Crabb, Embarq authorized Sales Agent from All Source, appeared before the Commissioners presenting a new contract proposal/service agreement for the telephone system located at the courthouse.

 

Currently, with our expired service agreement we are paying $890.00/month for the PRI (telephone system). Mr. Crabb is proposing a new service agreement that will lower the payment to $612.00/month. With this new agreement Embarq will throw in at no additional cost, caller ID and 100 DID’s. The Point-to Point T1 located at the Annex building will be expiring in a couple of months and Mr. Crabb also presented a rate of $386.00/month (same as always) for the new agreement. Both of these agreements are for 60 months.

 

Eric Storm, County IT, requested Mr. Crabb to give him a cost of upgrading the 64Kbps connection that is currently being used for the Probation Dept. and the Sheriff’s Dept. He would like to upgrade this to a Point-to-Point T1 for the Courts. Mr. Crabb’s proposal raised that cost up to $150.00/month to $386.00/month.

 

With the decrease in the T1 for the Courthouse but the upgrade to the T1 for the Probation to the Sheriff Dept. there will be an increase on our monthly bill which will be about $60.00/month.

 

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the service agreement for the county telephone system with Embarq as presented from Mike Crabb, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

 

AREA PLAN

Area Plan Director Diann Weaver presented Rezoning Petition #924 to the Commissioners.

 

Paul J. Spass and Michael Annerino, property owners, are requesting to rezone 3.430 acres from an A-1 (Agricultural) to an L-1 (Lake Residence). The property is located south of Buffalo and on the South side of Lake Road 76E, at 5614 E. Lake Road 76E.

 

The Area Plan Commission held a public hearing on January 8, 2007, in regards to this petition and there were no one opposing the request. The APC voted to recommend this rezoning to the Commissioners by a vote of 7 yes and 1 no.

 

Commissioner Schmierer asked if they were going to build on this. Diann said that she believed that they are going to subdivide the property into five lots.

 

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

 

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve Rezoning Petition #924 for Paul J. Spass and Michael Annerino for rezoning 3.43 acres from an A-1 to L-2 for property located at 5614, E. Lake Road 76E., seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

 

USI CONSULTANTS – BRIDGE UPDATE

Becky Wise, Business Development Rep, and Mike Obergfell, Chief Structural Engineer, appeared before the Commissioners to reintroduce themselves to the Commissioner and also give an update qualification for future project considerations.

 

Mike Obergfell provide an updated set of plans explaining what the status is on White County Bridge #91 (Hoagland Ditch on West Shafer Drive) and White County Bridge #92 (Big Monon Ditch on West Shafer Drive). He said that the plans were submitted to IDEM for federal funds in 2003 and they have been denied in 2004 and 2005 and they have just been approved in January 2006. In January 2006 USI Consultants did start the project development for the two bridges and they are hoping that things will move a little faster now with IDEM. They are hopping for the letting of the bids to take place at the end of next year.

 

Mr. Obergfell pointed out that over the past two years the cost has escalated about 15% to 20% per year and they are going to have to request for more federal dollars. He gave a cost estimate for the two bridges as follows:

 

Bridge #91

Estimated Construction Cost + 5% Contingencies = $1,145,000 (Bridge = $605,000; Road = $540,000)

Estimated Construction Inspection Costs (15%) = $ 170,000

Total Federal Aid Replacement Cost = $1,315,000 (2009 Cost)

 

Total Federal Aid Approved – January 2006 = $1,025,000 (Submitted 1/05 – Approved 1/06)

Additional Federal Aid Required = $ 290,000

 

Project Length = 1,075 Lft.

Additional Boat Under clearance = 4.2’ Average

 

Bridge #92

Estimated Construction Cost + 5% Contingencies= $1,610,000 (Bridge + $755,000; Road = $855,000)

Estimated Construction Inspection Costs (15%) = $ 240,000

Total Federal Aid Replacement Cost $1,850,000

 

Total Federal Aid Approved – January 2006 = $1,100,000 (Submitted 1/05 – Approved 2/06)

Additional Federal Aid Required = $ 750,000

 

Project Length = 1,100 Lft.

Additional Boat Under clearance = 4.2’ Average

 

 

H. STEWART KLINE CONTRACT

Commissioner Heimlich discussed a contract presented to the Commissioners for the design of the new county road at Reynolds for the Ethanol plant. The proposal was submitted from H. Stewart Kline and Associates.

 

Commissioner Heimlich reminded everyone that in the road closure agreement with Vera Sun the county agreed to pay for the engineering design for the road and if Vera Sun does not go forward with the project then Vera Sun will reimburse the county for the cost incurred.

 

Commissioner Heimlich said that the cost is not to exceed $75,000.

 

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the contract with H. Stewart Kline for the road design for the ethanol plant, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

COUNTY FARM GROUND – 78.6 ACRES

Commissioner Heimlich said that the county will be putting this land out for bid again for 2007. They are having a meeting with American Consulting sometime soon to see how many acres they need to hold out for the construction project. They should know more information at the next meeting in March.

 

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

 

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

Dennis Cain Gary Hendryx Kevin “Casey” Crabb

 

Councilman Bruce Clear was absent.

 

E-911

E-911 Director Terri Conwell said that on Wednesday the State Treasurer, Richard Mourdock, will be visiting the E-911 Center to become more familiar on how the centers work and looking over the equipment. He is a newly elected and sits on the Wireless E-911 Technology Board. The center just received $39,521.08, from the Wireless E-911 Technology program through the state. Commissioners and Councilman are invited to come welcome him.

 

Terri also reported that she currently has one full time position open and she is training three people.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER

Environmental Officer John Raines presented his Complaints and Violations report for January 2007.

 

He reported that the weather has slowed down the complaints.

 

Councilman Cain asked Mr. Raines what the status was on the Kingsley property. Mr. Raines said that the Kingsley property is currently being taken to court by the County Attorney George Loy.

 

Councilman Kramer complimented Mr. Raines and everyone else involved on the response of the clean up from a leaking fuel tank at City Fuel & Heating on Foster Street.

 

WHITE COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

White County Memorial Hospital CEO Paul Cardwell appeared before the Commissioner presenting the Financial Analysis report for January 2007.

 

Mr. Cardwell reported that during the snow emergency they had 31, 36, and 31 count for the inpatients and in reality they’re only suppose to keep the county at 25. There was no way of discharging them or having anyone able to come in and pick them up.

 

January turned out to be a great month when usually it’s pretty slow. They had an almost $3.5 million in revenue and net income being $270,000. Last year in January they also had a pretty good “jump start” of $76,000.

 

Construction is now officially behind because of the snow for the last two weeks. The bid openings for concrete and steel were manageable for the hospital. So the project is now on budget but not on time.

 

WHITE COUNTY HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

White County Commissioner John Heimlich thanked the White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke for the excellent job for the work that they did trying to keep the roads cleared. He said that he has received 10-12 compliments on how they did keeping the roads cleared. He said that this was one of the worst that we have had in several years.

 

Commissioner Heimlich appreciates having him for this job.

 

WOLCOTT CORRIDOR

Councilman President Horton gave an update regarding a meeting that he attended last week with the White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke, White County Councilman Casey Crabb, Jasper County Economic Development Director Valerie Hunter, White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger, Remington Town Council, Wolcott Town Council, White County Attorney George Loy, Wolcott’s Town Attorney and Jim Kovax from American Structurepoint (American Consulting).

 

The meeting was in regards to a distribution center, anticipating 600 jobs, securing ground on the East side of I65 in Jasper County. The Remington Town Council said that they are very much under a time frame to have water and sewer out to this location. They currently do have water east of I65 and they do have their own TIF district.

 

At this meeting, discussions were made about the possibility of having a shared water tower out in this area for White County and Jasper County. For our Wolcott Project, White County has already had an engineering study done by American Consulting for a water tower in our area. To have this study done the cost to White County was $30,000 to $50,000. Since Remington is under such a tight time schedule, Jim Kovax , from American Structurepoint, Connie Neininger, and Valerie Hunter came up with the idea that we might save 2 - 3months time by allowing Remington to use our study. Mr. Horton said that American Structurepoint said that this could be done with very little changes made.

 

This might be a money saving gesture of good will if we would give them our engineering study of a water tower that we already have in our possession from American Consulting.

 

Commissioner Burton said that he attended an economic meeting with Councilman Dennis Cain at Tri-County and he said regardless of what we do, their representatives said that they are still going to build the tower, run the sewer lines to the county line, put a meter on it, and allow anyone to have access to it. They want to see the corridor grow. They’re committed to their water tower and they are not concerned about a time schedule, but Commissioner Burton agrees that that if we do have a study available he felt that we should let them use it.

 

Councilman Cain said that they were going to have a study done because they are undecided on how what size of tower to get.

 

Councilman Horton said that one of the other issues at that meeting is that this is a White County District (Corridor) and there will have to be coordination, communication and working closely together with the Town of Wolcott.

 

Connie Neininger said that this has opened a door for both communities and White County having the most to gain.

 

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to authorize and pay for White County’s share for the Hydraulic plan (study) and to also give the Town of Remington our Hydraulic plans, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

WHITE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger presented the Director’s Report for January 2007.

 

She said that a meeting was held on wind farms, and we do have three companies wanting to build in White County. The companies are Horizon Wind, Invenergy and they are mainly interested in the Round Grove and West Point Townships. Connie said that we might have to put together a wind ordinance.

 

Ivy Tech

Connie said that she has met with Fanning-Howey, Engineering firm, and they have stepped up and offered to do the designs and cost estimates for the Ivy Tech project at no cost. They are analyzing the building and working with Ivy-Tech at this time. They are still meeting on the last Tuesday of the month at the fairgrounds.

 

Don Lehe is requesting a letter from the Commissioners and Council requesting funding from the State because they are very supportive in having more community colleges.

Connie also announced that the White County strategic planning meetings will begin again on Thursday, March 8 and March 22nd at the White County Fairgrounds. She has sent out over 300 invitations to the community and it is also open to the public.

 

Last but not least, Connie Neininger presented Richard “Buzz” Horton with a gift as appreciation for sitting on the White County Economic Development Organization formally the White County Industrial Foundation for all of his years of service.

 

WHITE COUNTY TREASURER – CATHY GROSS

Cathy said that for the past six years White County has accepted credit card payments via the internet or the telephone. This service was provided to White County by GUTS. Right now the company is charging a 3% to 5% convenience fee on the customer.

 

Cathy has now found a company, Certified I.T., LLC, that provides the same service to the taxpayer at a lesser convenience fee. Not only will the taxpayer be receiving a lower fee (2.75%) but Certified IT will also remit to the County a fee of 60% of the total of all monies remaining after all credit card fees have been paid. The termination on this agreement with Certified I.T. is a 30-day written notice.

 

Christy Mehrlich, Director of Marketing and Sales for Certified I.T., was available to answer any questions the Commissioners and Council may have.

 

Commissioner Heimlich said that he would like to take the agreement to the White County Attorney and make a decision at a later date.

 

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, White County Auditor