Get Adobe Flash player

 

BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on October 15, 2007, at 8:00 a.m., in the White County Courthouse, 2nd floor, Commissioners’ Conference Room.

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

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.

MINUTES

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the October 1, 2007, regular meeting, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll for October 22, 2007, as presented, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

WAGE BOARD APPOINTMENT

Commissioner Heimlich announced that the North White School Superintendent, Patrick Taggart, called him and said that they have a building project that requires an appointment to the Common Construction Wage Board. Mr. Taggart asked Commissioner Heimlich to sit on the board.

Commissioner Heimlich asked the other Commissioners if they would like to sit on the board. There was no response.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to appoint John Heimlich to the Common Construction Wage Board for the North White School project as the Commissioners’ appointment, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

PICTURES OF THE COMMISSIONERS

Eric Storm, County IT, appeared before the Commissioners saying that he received a request from Sheila Obrien-Shamel, LUCAYAN, Inc., requesting permission to get a picture of the Commissioners in action during a Commissioners meeting. The picture will be used for Harcourt School Publisher’s 2nd grade Indiana Social Studies textbook. Eric said that the county will be paid $250 per photo. PERMISSION WAS GRANTED

INTERNET UPGRADE

Eric Storm, County IT, appeared before the Commissioners requesting permission to upgrade the Internet service. He said that we are at a point now where we are full with the ports and an expansion is needed.

Eric presented a contract with Embarq that will provide us with a full T-1 line. Our current internet capacity is good right now, but we will be running out of port spaces soon.

The contract is for three years and it does come with a router, which Eric said this is a big plus.

Eric said that there is money in the budge to cover the cost.

Commissioner Heimlich asked how much more is the cost per month for the upgrade. Eric said that right now the DSL is costing us a little over $100 a month and the upgrade will cost $599 a month.

With the upgrade we will have a lot more capabilities that we were not able to have before. Having these capabilities right now is very important because a lot of our services for each department (Treasurer, Assessor, Recorder, Courts, Prosecutor’s, and GIS) are all available over the internet.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the service agreement with Embarq for a dedicated IP/Adtran for 36 months for $599.00 per month, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

TIOGA BRIDGE

Don Ward, County Engineer, received an addendum to the Tioga Bridge contracts from Jim Barker.

Mr. Barker limited the cost of this contract to $10,000. With this contract, Mr. Barker will investigate the availability of Federal Aid matching funds to raise the Tioga Bridge to a level that is more suitable for watercraft travel. The payment for this will be by the hour.

Principal (PE) $92/hour

Design Engineer $70/hour

CAD or Field Tech. $52 /hour

Don Ward said that he had a meeting with SFLECC and during that time Darrell Johns committed $17,000 to have the engineering study done, but they (SFLECC) wanted to be reassured that this is going to be successful.

White County Attorney George Loy said that the $17,000 has not been given to the county yet nor has a written agreement been given from SFLECC.

Mr. Ward also explained that 80% of the money that the county spends on this project, even money from the SFLECC, will be applied towards the 20% match.

Attorney George Loy said that he spoke with the Carroll County’s Attorney last week and he confirmed that the Carroll County Commissioners are in favor of raising the bridge and moving on with the project.

Don said that the Commissioners need to sign the agreement and then send it to Mr. Barker for his final signature.

Commissioner Heimlich recommended that before the Commissioners signed off on the agreement, a commitment from SFLECC and Carroll County needs to be received first.

Attorney George Loy said that he will get an agreement with the SFLECC written up.

HIGHWAY

Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke presented the Holiday Schedule for 2008 for the Highway Department.

January 1st New Year’s Day

February 12th Lincoln’s Birthday

February 18th President’s Day

March 21st Good Friday

May 26th Memorial Day

July 4th Independence Day

September 1st Labor Day

October 13th Columbus Day

November 11th Veteran’s Day

November 27th & 28th Thanksgiving Day

December 25th & 26th Christmas Day

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the Holiday Schedule for the Highway Department for 2008, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

AREA PLAN

Area Plan Director Diann Weaver presented the following:

Planned Unit Development (PUD #7)

Regal Development Co. is requesting to rezone property from a B-2 (General Business) to a P.U.D. (Planned Unit Development). The property is located north of Monticello at 4599 N. West Shafer Drive and 4625 N. West Shafer Drive. The current structures will be torn down and the P.U.D’s will be put in. Diann said that there was one person present at the APC meeting with concerns but they were not necessarily against the request.

The Area Plan Commission made no recommendation to the Commissioners because it received a vote of 5 yes, 1 no, and 1 abstain.

Since the APC meeting, Diann said that one board member has contacted her. Apparently the board member intended to ask the owners about having generators for the elevators. He is asking the Commissioners to recommend this while they are looking at this request.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there was anyone present to speak about this request.

Perry McWilliams, Contractor for the project, appeared before the Commissioners explaining their current situation with this development. He asked the Commissioners for their approval so that they can move on with the engineering, drainage assessments, and the architectural drawings.

Commissioner Schmierer asked how many units they are building. Perry said that there will be nine units. Because of the economics of what they are doing, they will have to have that many in order for it to be beneficial financially.

Commissioner Schmierer asked Perry if getting the generators installed will be a problem. Perry said, “No, it will not be a problem”. He said that all of the elevators will be State regulated and they are going to do everything right. They are not asking for any favors on anything; everything will be going through the Building Dept. and the State.

Commissioner Schmierer asked if they are going to install a sprinkler system. Perry said, “Our architect, from Purdue University, is checking into this. If we have to put in a sprinkler system and it’s required by the State, then we will do it.” The architect doesn’t know if this has to be done because they are single-family housing units. Perry said that the cost to install the sprinkler system would be less than 5% of the project.

Commissioner Heimlich asked Diann Weaver or Don Ward, Board member on the APC, what the secondary approval procedure is after this point. Diann explained that if they receive approval from the Commissioners today, then they will come back to the APC board with their final plans that will give the board fine details (location and elevations) on the project.

Don Ward clarified that the secondary approval is the basic plan that the contractor must follow all the way through. They are allowed a 10% change during the construction. So, it’s basically what they’re going to do right down the line (type of construction, where the buildings are going to be located, and the elevations).

Don Ward said that after the APC meeting, he spoke with the building inspectors and they said that they really want to see a sprinkler system put in because of the type of construction (fabricated floor joist) that they are using. Mr. Ward pointed out that these units are four levels high and the floor joist are structurally sound, but not fireproof.

Mr. Ward said that they did not really demand any of this at the APC meeting, but he thinks that it should be considered for primary approval that they should have a back-up generator system for the elevators, grinder pumps, and water pumps because of the possibility of loosing electricity for a number of days.

Perry reinstated that they are going to do everything that the State requires them to do but questioned if the county can make things more regulated than what the State requires in safety matters.

Don Ward said, “We don’t quite know the law, but we think that we have powers greater than the State. We consider the State’s just a minimum and we could ask for more.”

Perry voiced his concerns that they do not want any favors because they do want to build a good product, but they also don’t want to be singled out. He said that they don’t want to receive treatment that’s not going to be followed out with other developers. If the county’s going to set precedence with him, then he’s going to be watching to see what they make everyone else do in the future.

Commissioner Schmierer said that the sprinkler system is something that needs to be added because the units are going to be stick built all the way through. He asked if the sprinkler system is something that they could live with. Perry said, “If we have to do it, we will put it in there”.

Commissioner Schmierer made the recommendation to approve the rezoning today with the inclusion of a sprinkler system and the generators.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the Planned Unit Development #5 (Ordinance No.522-07) with the additions of adding the sprinkler system and the generators, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PERMIT FEES FOR HANDICAP RAMP

Ken Kursey asked Commissioner Heimlich if he was informed about the handicap issues that he discussed at the Commissioners’ meeting on September 17th.

Mr. Kursey discussed a deck that he built in front of his house five years ago to give him access to get into his house with a wheelchair. Mr. Kursey said that he had to pay $15.00 for the permit to build the deck which was 18’x10’, and $30.00 to put in a handicap ramp which was 4’x 27’. Mr. Kursey feels that the county is taxing handicap people to get into their own homes.

Mr. Kursey argued about how Area Plan approved the handicap parking spaces at the new Pizza Hut. He argued that the entrance is on the North side of the building and they put the handicap parking spaces on the East side of the building. Mr. Kursey said, “That’s against the law; that’s discrimination.” He argued that someone needs to look at the handicap issues in this county.

Mr. Kursey said that these issues need to be addressed in the new ordinance book.

REPORTS

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

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

Kevin “Casey” Crabb Bruce Clear Gary Hendryx

Denny Cain

BUILDING INSPECTOR

White County Building Inspector Dave Anderson said that they issued 47 permits last month, five of them were for new homes.

COUNCIL ON AGING

Gale Spry, Director, appeared before the Commissioners presenting the 3rd quarter report for the Council on Aging. They will be reimbursed $15,453 from the State and $27,048 from the Federal. Gale reported that they have received their new mini van and the match money has been met.

Gale announced that she has a copy of the annual report available for anyone whishing to review it at her office.

E-911

E-911 Director Terri Conwell presented her monthly report for October 15, 2007.

Statistics:

July August September

911 Calls 1,170 1,101 966

Admin. 9,003 5,811 5,305

Amb. Runs 234 308 191

She has a part-time person that is taking a full-time position right now and she is doing a really good job. Terri said that she has been trying to fill this position since January. Right now her employees need a break on training people.

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER

White County Environmental Officer John Raines presented the Complaints & Violations Report for September 2007.

Mr. Raines reported that the landfill took in 60,975.27 tons in September and they have just finished a new cell ready to be filled. The landfill is going strong.

LAKEVIEW HOME

Lakeview Home Director Kae Fuller reported that they do have someone out looking over the boiler getting the inspection done before it gets cold. The old hot water heater (1987) has just been replaced.

Kae mentioned that the toilets will need to be replaced because the parts are no longer available.

HOSPITAL

White County Memorial Hospital CEO Paul Cardwell appeared presenting the Financial Report for September 2007.

Mr. Cardwell reported that the finances are going very well with the revenue coming in at $3.2 million. This puts the hospital at $29.4 million for the first three quarters of the year. They are ahead of their budget so far which is set at $26.9 million and they are still trying to maintain their cash position which still remains very strong at $7.1 million.

Paul said that completion is nearing with the Medical Arts building and several groups have already moved in. Right now the dialysis is moved in and also Dr. Lake, which is the new dermatologist.

The hospital construction is going really well and they are now pushing to get the roof put on before the weather gets bad.

The board directed another $75,000 back to Regions Bank in September to pay the first year payment in September 2008.

RECYCLE

White County Recycling Director Dawn Gerrard appeared reporting that for the month of September the department collected 35,106 more tons than they collected last year. Receipts of collection are over by $9,380 as compared to 2006.

Dawn has been working with Galen Logan, Monticello Fire Department, trying to help them receive a City’s and Town’s grant from the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Economic Development Director Connie Neininger announced and congratulated Don Hanni for receiving the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Chamber of Commerce.

Connie reported that she has been working with Ball Corporation on their expansion. They have already hired thirteen people and they are looking for two more.

Connie said that she received four internet leads last month and explained that they are looking for the following:

200K SF/24’ Ceilings/CSX Railroad

40-50 Acres w/all infrastructure in place

Build to suit buildings with rail access

Company looking for call center saturation

VeraSun

Connie said that she received a letter from VeraSun informing us (local government) that while construction on the plant has been halted, officials are still encouraged to continue development in the area with the exception of water and sewage utilities. Right now their intent, VeraSun, is to continue construction in 2008.

Councilman Denny Cain asked about the bonds. Neininger explained that VeraSun recently purchased the $12 million bonds for the project and this leaves the county “sitting in a wonderful position” and financially safe. VeraSun is fully responsible for all bond payments, and the county has funds available for the road construction.

Ivy Tech

Connie said that she applied for a $450,000 WIRED grant for the equipment and wiring in the building. She has just received word from Senator Hershman and Congressman Buyer that we will receive word on the grant this week. She’s hoping to present a big announcement soon.

Wind Farms

Connie has talked with Horizon Wind Energy and they now have over 8,000 acres signed for lease on their project and they have another 12,000 acres pending. Invenergy has over 6,000 acres signed for lease. Right now both companies are looking for a county wind ordinance and Connie will present the draft sometime soon.

Wolcott Corridor

Connie reported that have had additional meetings with the landowners and things are going very well. At this point in time there is only one individual that they really need to talk with and they also have one property owner that has already committed to the options. They will now start meeting with the landowners individually to get things finalized.

Indiana Hometown Competitiveness

Connie said that she did receive a letter of support from the county and she has applied for the Indiana Hometown Competitiveness program. Connie handed out a pamphlet giving more information about the program. The next step will be a resource team coming out and doing site visits in our community.

IVY TECH PROJECT

Connie Neininger said that last month the Ivy Tech Regional Board and State Board did meet and approve a 5 year term lease, at over $94,000/annually, with a one year annual renewal thereafter. They did not approve the 5 year lease with a 5 year renewal.

Fanning and Howey, Engineers, are working to finalize the project and they will be here to present it on October 30, 2007, in Reynolds.

Connie said that in order to finish this project by August 2008, we will need to advertise the bids by November 15, 2007. Advertising the bids on November 15th and awarding the bids by January 30th will enable us to start the construction shortly thereafter.

Commissioner Heimlich said that some people wanted to see the financial report from Umbaugh and Associates before any county money was committed to this project. This financial report will be presented from Todd Samuelson on Monday, October 29th at 8:30 a.m. in the Council room.

Commissioner Schmierer asked how much money is the county looking at. Connie said that the construction cost right now is at $1.4 million. This total can be broken down by eliminating things that are not necessarily needed on the building.

Commissioner Heimlich said that discussion has been made that this money can be borrowed from the Landfill Reserve Fund, which it currently has $5 million. As the rent payments are made to the County from Ivy Tech, this money will be paid back into the reserve fund.

Don Hanni, Economic Development Consultant, said that the expenditure by Ivy Tech in this county is going to be $500,000 for their first year.

Connie said that she has had several individuals and businesses step up and commit funds for the project.

Commissioner Burton said, “I might go ahead and break the ice and say I wouldn’t think the county is going to put the $1.4 million up”.

Commissioner Schmierer said, “I am not against putting up what their going to lease, but beyond that I will have to study it for a while”. He said that he is not in favor of putting it on the tax roll. Commissioner Schmierer said that he is not against putting the $500,000 for the five year lease.

Council President Horton said that he is in favor of putting it on the tax roll because White County is desperate for young people and he thinks that this could keep young people attracted.

After a short discussion on how this project will benefit the county, Commissioner Heimlich said that everyone pretty much agrees that the $500,000 that we borrow will be paid back with the contract.

Commissioner Heimlich said that he feels that this project is much more to the county and he doesn’t think that Ivy Tech is going to be here for five years and then leave.

Commissioner Heimlich also explained that if we are borrow money from the Landfill Reserve Fund, it will not be an impact on the tax roll.

Councilman Bruce Clear said that he understands that the $1.4 million is a lot of money. Since we do have the money available in the reserve fund, we need to look at this as an investment for the future of White County and the youth of White County. He said that this is a very positive thing because we are investing in more than just the money; we are investing to educate our people and provide higher incomes for them. Councilman Clear reinstated that they need to consider this highly.

Commissioner Heimlich said that they will continue this discussion on November 5th, at the Commissioners’ meeting.

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: _____________________________

White County Auditor Jill Guingrich