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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on June 18, 2007, at 8:00 a.m. in White County Courthouse, 2nd floor, Commissioners Conference Room.

 

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

 

AMEND AGENDA

Commissioner Heimlich announced that the 9:00 a.m. (Public Hearing of Economic Development Commission concerning VeraSun TIF and Consideration of Resolution Approving Issuance of Bonds) and the 10:00 a.m. (Consideration of Resolution Approving Issuance of Bonds and Financing Documents) will be postponed to the next Commissioners meeting held on July 2nd.

 

MINUTES

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the June 4, 2007, meeting, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll for June 18, 2007, as presented, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

SRI CONTRACT

White County Auditor Jill Guingrich presented a contract from SRI for the tax sale support services. The cost of the contract has been increased from $60.00 to $65.00 per parcel. This cost is paid by the tax payer and not the county. The contract is for one year.

 

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the SRI Contract with the rate increase to $65.00 per parcel for a one year contract, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich. Vote: Unanimous

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – VEHICLE ORDINANCE

White County Emergency Management Director Gordy Cochran appeared before the Commissioners to ask questions about the new ordinance that was just adopted for the uniforms and vehicles.

 

Mr. Cochran asked if he can use the emergency management vehicle 24/7 for emergency calls. He would like to have a vehicle available to him and a vehicle available to his deputy so they can both be at the location directing traffic within minutes.

 

Commissioner Heimlich asked Attorney Loy why the Highway Department, Recycling Department and the Emergency Management Department are not listed in Section 1 (A.) of the ordinance. Attorney Loy said that he can add them to the list.

 

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to add the six vehicles (Recycling Director, Highway Department (3), and Emergency Management Director and Deputy) to the Sub Paragraph (A), Section 1 of the Ordinance regarding Use of County-Owned Property by County Employees, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

 

Director Cochran explained that he also supplies uniforms and pagers for 17 volunteers and asked what he should do about them. Attorney Loy said that they are not allowed to use the pagers for any personal use unless incidental use.

 

Commissioner Heimlich asked how you would define clothes for everyday personal use.

 

Attorney George Loy said that he would consider the uniforms that they are wearing to fall under the law enforcement uniforms.

AREA PLAN

Melanie Harl, Area Plan Deputy, appeared before the Commissioners presenting the following:

 

Rezoning Petition # 938

Harold Myers, property owner, is requesting to rezone 7.149 acres and 7.84 acres from an R-2 (One and Two Family Residential) to an A-1 (Agricultural). The property is located north east of Monticello on the South East corner of East Shafer Drive and County Road 200 N at 1995 N. East Shafer Drive. They are rezoning the campground to bring it into compliance.

 

The Area Plan Commission held a public hearing on June 11, 2007, on this rezoning. Mrs. Harl said that this rezoning request does come with a commitment letter stating that if approved for an A-1 zoning that they will not have any livestock or other domesticated animals on the premises.

 

The Area Plan Commission recommended this rezoning petition to the Commissioners by a vote of 6 yes and 0 no.

 

The Commissioners voiced concern about the property being zoned an A-1 (Agricultural) and having retail on the property (bait shop and a campground store). They asked Mrs. Harl if they would have to rezone the property again since the retail business will not be in compliance. Mrs. Harl did not know and she would check with the Director and get back with the Commissioners.

 

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there was anyone presents wishing to speak about this request. There was no response.

 

Commissioner Schmierer said that he will approve the rezoning to bring it into compliance but wondered if they realized that there is a retail business on the property which needs to be a B-2.

 

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the Rezoning Petition #938 (Ordinance No. 519-07) rezoning 7.149 acres and 7.84 acres for property located at County Road 200 N. at 1995 N. East Shafer Drive for Harold Myers, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

REPORTS

BE IT REMEMBERED, White County Councilman Richard “Buzz” Horton called the Council members to order in joint session with the Commissioners. White County Council members present:

 

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

Kevin “Casey” Crabb Dennis Cain Gary Hendryx

Bruce Clear

 

BUILDING INSPECTOR

White County Building Inspector Dave Anderson reported that they issued 80 permits last month, 8 were for new houses. They are four behind from last year at this time.

 

WHITE COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

White County Memorial Hospital CEO Paul Cardwell presented the Financials Report for May 2007.

 

Mr. Cardwell reported that the Medical Arts Building construction continues to go very well. They are ten days ahead of schedule and they have moved the move-in date up to July 9th. They are very excited to see that the paving will begin this week. Currently, the MAB is completely full and they are still receiving requests for more room.

 

Mr. Cardwell reported that the hospital continues to have a very strong month with the gross being $3.3 million and the revenue being $16 million. Their cash continues to be stable at $7.7 million.

 

LAKEVIEW HOME

Lakeview Home Director Kae Fuller presented a report to the Commissioners and Council for May 2007.

 

Kae reminded us that Saturday, June 23rd they are having an Open House from 1-4 p.m. to celebrate the 100th Anniversary.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER

White County Environmental Officer John Raines presented his Complaints and Violations report to everyone for May 2007.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger presented here Director’s Report for her May 2007 activity.

 

Connie reported that VeraSun will be holding a public ground breaking ceremony sometime in late August.

 

Ivy Tech

Connie has spoke with Ken Larson, Ivy Tech, and they are looking at the cost estimates at this time and seeing what work they will be able to do themselves. Connie said that she has applied for a $300,000 WIRED grant and they are now wanting her to “fine tune” it and resubmit it next week. This is very good news! She has also been working with K-IRPC and they are working with her for a summary letter to apply for a Community Focus grant ($500,000). She hopes to have a better figure in the future on how much funding we will have for this project.

 

Wolcott Corridor

Connie said that she continues to talk with the landowners at the Wolcott Corridor and they are getting closer to a dollar amount. She hopes to get a meeting together within the next couple of weeks on finalizing those numbers with the landowners.

 

Wind Farm

Landowners are getting closer to decide which wind farm they would like to sign a contract with. She hopes to hear which one will win the bid in about a month. She said HNTB has given her a wind ordinance that she will propose for the county.

 

Rockland Floors

Connie reported that Rockland has laid off about 35 employees temporarily.

 

Connie also said that she attended an Indiana Economic Development Association conference last week in Jasper, Indiana, and she was informed about a legislative update on the CEDIT funds. They are lobbying to try to get CEDIT back to its original purpose, which is to be used for economic development only.

 

During this conference, Connie said that legislation was able to pass that if an Economic Development office does receive county dollars it is very important that we have a contract with the county because this will keep us out of the open door law. Connie said that she will have a sample contract that she will give to the attorney.

 

WHITE COUNTY AIRPORT

White County Airport Board member BJ Mursener appeared before the Commissioners and Council to give an update on the Airport.

 

Mr. Mursener said that they have made a switch to the FBO that they have at the airport and since then they have already seen a cost savings and they are also seeing more activity at the airport from people coming in.

 

Mr. Mursener has spoken to land owners on the west side of the property about the land acquisition and he does not foresee any problems. He has not spoken to anyone on the east side of the property because there has to be a second appraiser to perform the land appraisals and this is not completed yet.

 

Mr. Mursener said that the Federal Government has set aside some money (entitlement funds) for each airport for improvements ($120,000). This money is to be used every year but they were given approval to accrue it over several years. He said that right now there are several hundred thousand dollars and the Federal Government has said that with the changes in the Aviation Bill, they now want them to use this money. The airport board has been told that even though the runway expansion will be 2-3 years down the road, the project will require us to move or replace the terminal building because it will be an obstruction when the runway is lightened. They have told us to go ahead and get this done.

 

Engineers have already drawn up the new terminal building plans and the project will go out to bid sometime next week. The building will be about 3,000 sq ft. Not paying the entitlement fund, the federal government will be paying $450,000. Even though the federal government is estimating that the terminal will cost about $750,000, Mr. Mursener said that he doesn’t expect it to come in at that much.

 

Mr. Mursener said, at any rate, the balance of those funds will come out of the money that the federal government has been holding for them. Ultimately, this will be paid for by them.

 

Mr. Mursener said that they have paid for the land acquisition to the north and they do have money for the land acquisition to the west. They do not know yet what the cost will be for land acquisition to the east. The federal government did say that they will reimburse at the 90%- 95% rate of the land acquisition to the east. This will cover a large portion of the expense but he said that they might need to borrow $100,000 to $200,000 from the county until they get reimbursed from the federal government.

 

TIMECLOCKS – FOR COURTHOUSE

White County Council President Richard Horton mentioned that at the last Work Study Committee meeting a discussion was held on having time clocks for the county employees. After having these discussions, Councilman Horton said that he feels that this is not the correct place to be discussing this issue.

 

His first reason was the fact that the Work Study Committee already has a very “full plate” right now taking care of other issues. Secondly, he feels that it is not fair to the elected officials that sit on this committee (Auditor, Assessor, and Treasurer) to put them in this position. He said that it is a Commissioners and Council’s responsibility.

 

Commissioner Schmierer said that the reason time clocks was brought up was to have the paperwork in place if you’re audited by the federal government. He said that if you have timecards for your employees and you’re audited by the federal government, it’s pretty easy to just hand them the timecards. He said that we have time cards at the Highway Department and the Sheriff’s Department but we don’t have them at the Courthouse and the Annex Building.

 

Councilman Horton said that during their meeting they touched on the subject that they must comply with the Federal Labors Standards Act (FLSA). Right now they don’t have the time to do this but in the future they will look into this act.

 

After attending a conference, Councilman Horton and Kramer has learned that comp. time is not only a problem with the White County employees. A lot of other counties are also having a lot of problems with the comp. time.

 

Commissioner Schmierer said that the comp. time would be eliminated if you had timecards for all of the employees.

 

Commissioner Heimlich said that comp. time has been briefly discussed in our handbook discussion meetings and this particularly issue is what is holding us up from adopting the policy. He said that we do need to figure out a way to deal with it and get it resolved.

 

Commissioner Schmierer said that he thinks that it would be a lot easier and simpler for the elected officials and departments if they all had a time clock in their department for their employees.

 

Linda Russow, County Health Food Specialists, said that she doesn’t have a problem with time clocks but she doesn’t see how it will work for employees that are doing field work because it would be inconvenient for them to have to come in and clock out for lunch.

 

White County Assessor Karen Hatter asked the Commissioners that as an elected official, does she have the power to deny the offer to put time clocks in her office. Is this an option for the elected officals since the Commissioners manage the courthouse?

 

Commissioner Schmierer said that the elected officials would be exempt from using the time clocks but the employees of the offices are employees of the county and they can be required to clock in and out.

 

Councilman Horton also discussed that while they attended their conference, it has become apparent to him that at some point we are going to have to have a professional to look over some of these things. He said a professional, an attorney, or a human resources firm needs to assist us addressing something like this and right now they are not at that point yet.

 

White County Attorney agreed with Councilman Horton.

 

Councilman Horton also said that when the salary ordinance comes out this year, it’s not just going to be salaries. It’s going to have written language that will tie into the employee’s handbook.

 

Commissioner Burton said that a lot of people will not like the outcome and they will be affected by this. It might be something that should’ve been done, or managed differently, and we wouldn’t be in this position today. He said that this is a part of operation.

 

Commissioner Heimlich said that he would like to find out some more information from other counties on how it would be implemented. He also said that we need to move forward with the comp. time issue. Whether we need to hire an outside firm to deal with it or talk with other counties, it needs to be addressed.

 

GUEST SPEAKER – HOUSE BILL 1478

Councilman Horton mentioned that while he was at a conference he met with Katrina Hall, Farm Bureau, and discussed House Bill 1478. They were discussing the County Council given the option of looking into giving property tax relief and putting it on income tax. He will request Katrina Hall to come meet with them in the future to give an educational meeting. He would like to come up with three potential dates and try to fit them into her schedule.

 

Commissioner Heimlich said that according to that bill, if the county were going to adopt an income tax in lieu of the property tax option, then it has to be done by August 1st.

 

RECYCLING DEPARTMENT

White County Recycling Director Dawn Gerard appeared with a White County Recycling Mid Year 2007 Report. This report is kept on file in the Commissioners office.

 

There being no further business to come before the joint meeting, the Council member’s adjourned to their own meeting room.

 

 

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

 

 

 

_____________________________ _____________________________ ________________________

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

 

 

 

 

ATTEST: ______________________________

White County Auditor Jill Guingrich