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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on November 5, 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 15, 2007, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

PAYROLL

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll for November 5, 2007, seconded by Commissioner

CLAIMS

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve and pay the claims as advertised for November 5, 2007, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

NORTHERN INDIANA PUBLIC SERVICE

James Fitzer, Public Affairs Manager for NIPSCO, appeared before the Commissioners introducing Jason Hadean, Montgomery Watson Harza Consulting, and also Mike Canner, Manager, Station Maintenance & Hydro Operations for NIPSCO.

Mr. Fitzer said that as they go thru the Federal Regulatory Commission, licensing of their hydro’s, they have been updated from a consultant about the seriousness of flooding.

Jason Hadean gave a short presentation on Central U.S. Floods of 2007.

After the presentation, Mr. Fitzer explained that the main key is having a flood evacuation plan in place. They discussed that the 100-year flood is 73% more severe than the July 2003 flood.

Mr. Fitzer said that NIPSCO’s commitment to Emergency Preparedness is to hold yearly EAP meetings with local, county, state and federal agencies; working with County EMA’s to develop flood-specific evacuation plans and providing county EMA’s with flood mapping software to aid in evacuation planning.

Mr. Fitzer also said that meetings with EMA’s revealed that developing flood-specific evacuation plans involves more agencies than just EMA’s. They also need resources at County level to be dedicated to developing these plans. Their goal is to have flood-specific evacuation plans in place by the end of the 1st quarter 2008.

Mr. Fitzer recommends the county to hire a consultant to do a lot of the leg work and administrative work to put this plan together for the county. NIPSCO could put in some money to cover some cost but the county will be responsible for paying the majority of it. This service would cost $20,000 to $40,000.

After a short discussion, NIPSCO said that this plan needs to be created by the county and ran by the county. They suggested setting up a meeting with Gordy, and Commissioner Burton to discuss how the county can move forward with this project.

AMCO ELEVATORS

Jerry Hennesy, Account Representative with AMCO Elevators, appeared before the Commissioners to make them aware of the situation with the elevators and to hopefully initiate a planning process for their upgrade.

Mr. Hennesy reminded them that about one year ago the county had to replace one of the motors, which were purchased from a junk dealer in Florida. He said that the motors and generators are the biggest problem right now because they are obsolete.

He said that if the Commissioners start planning right now, they can budget and take bids for a major upgrade on the elevators. He suggested that we upgrade the controls, motors and generators.

Mr. Hennesy said that our maintenance cost since 1999 has doubled and if this is all done that cost will go down dramatically. The total cost for this upgrade will be $150,000 - $200,000.

The Commissioners gave Mr. Hennesy permission to draw up a bid proposal and specification sheet for the county.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke asked the Commissioners to set up a date to accept bids for the Highway Department. He mentioned that he will also be accepting bids for a tractor, backhoe, and a pickup. The bid date was set for December 17th at 9:00 a.m.

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

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

Gary Hendryx Dennis Carter

CONSIDERATION OF THE COUNTY’S COMMITMENT TO THE IVY TECH PROJECT

Connie Neininger, Economic Development Director, presented drawings of the Ivy Tech project. She said that Fanning and Howie are expecting to have the final drawings completed by November 9, 2007, so they can let the bids. If everything goes as planned, bids will be opened on December 13, 2007.

Connie presented letters of support for this project from Congressman Buyer, Senator Hershman, Paul Cardwell from White County Memorial Hospital, Mike Godlove from Grow Direct , Tim Pimmler from Monticello Spring, Randy Price from White County REMC, Kathy Rudy from Adkev, Leslie Goss from the Community Foundation, and Paula Tennis from Ball Corporation.

Connie said that she has also received monetary donations from the City of Monticello, Herald Journal, White County Community Foundation, and more individual dollar amounts to the project.

Commissioner Schmierer asked what the total cost of the renovation was going to be. Connie said that the cost is $1,461,267.06.

Commissioner Heimlich discussed a meeting that was held in Reynolds discussing other options to come up with the funding. It was discussed at that meeting that maybe the roof repairs/replacement could be paid out of the cumulative building maintenance fund. Before the County could take over possession of the building, Commissioner Heimlich said that the repayment of the bonds had to be done first. County Attorney George Loy said that has been done.

Commissioner Schmierer asked how much money is the county willing to spend because the cost could double by the time things get started and finish. Connie Neininger said, “That’s basically what we’re asking you to do today.”

Connie said that they are willing to continue to raise additional funds.

Bob Hanni, Economic Development Consultant, said that they will have a better understanding of how much more money needs to be raised after December 19th when the bids come in.

Commissioner Schmierer asked if Ivy Tech understands that we are not leasing the parking lot to them. Connie said that they understand that it’s just the parking lot around the perimeter of the building, not the upper parking lot.

Commissioner Schmierer said that if we are going to use the Landfill Reserve Fund as a loan for this project, he wants to see something written up stating that the money will be going back into the Landfill Reserve Fund. He said that doesn’t even care if it’s even written up for 20 years, he wants to see an ordinance that protects the landfill money.

Commissioner Schmierer made a motion that the county pledges $1.2 million out of the landfill money as long as it’s agreed that the lease payments go back to the landfill fund.

Councilman Horton asked the Commissioners why the county wouldn’t utilize a little bit of the cumulative building maintenance money.

Commissioner Schmierer said that earlier they just received word that the elevators in the courthouse will need an upgrade which is going to cost the county $200,000. He said that the cumulative building maintenance fund needs to be there for these types of repairs. He said that he doesn’t mind using $30,000 but he doesn’t want to use $200,000 - $300,000.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion that the Commissioners’ pledge $1.2 million from the landfill reserve fund as a loan and to be paid back to the landfill reserve fund from the rent payments from Ivy Tech, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

Councilman Kramer said, “I might be a rookie at this but everyone that I have talked to in the past two weeks says that this project is a no brainier. I guess I’m more inclined to say that we commit to the $1.4 million.” He felt that whatever Bob Hanni and Connie Neininger can come up with the contributions he felt that it could be used for offset extra costs.

Councilman Horton agreed with Councilman Kramer by saying that this is a huge step for our county and we have beaten a lot of other counties to it. He said that he felt that it’s unfair to Bob Hanni to say that he has to raise the rest of the money.

Commissioner Schmierer said that he feels that if the county commits the $1.2 million that the rest of the money will come. It will come from the businesses, the people, and even from themselves. He said that we should all work together to try and collect this money.

  • Councilman Kramer made a motion to fund $1.2 million, with a special resolution, out of the Landfill Reserve Fund, subject to paying back the funds from the lease proceeds, seconded by Councilman Dennis Carter. Vote: Unanimous

Councilman Dennis Cain, Councilman-at-Large, said that he listens to a lot of people who live west and south of the county and they are not going to come to Monticello to get an education. He said that those people will go to Lafayette or Saint Joseph College. He said that this facility will educate mostly nurses and we need them to educate more of what the manufactures need.

Connie said that Ivy Tech is going to offer classes that the manufactures are looking for in our area.

WAGE HEARING APPOINTMENT

Commissioner Heimlich said that the next step with the Ivy Tech project is to hold a wage hearing next Thursday.

Commissioner Heimlich recommended that he be appointed as the represented of the awarding agency, Bob Hanni appointed as the tax payer representative and the county legislative representative be Richard “Buzz” Horton.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to appoint John Heimlich as the representative of the awarding agency, appoint Bob Hanni as the tax payer representative, and appoint Richard “Buzz” as the county legislative representative, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

MEDICAL INSURANCE PACKAGE

Amy Carpenter, Apex, appeared before the Commissioners introducing representatives from United Healthcare.

Amy Carpenter opened the discussion saying that Arnett was purchased by United Healthcare over a year ago. Amy said that Arnett, as United Healthcare, did present the county with a straight Arnett renewal. This means that we would not get any of the benefits of the purchase of the United Healthcare. This would be the same benefits that we had before but with a 19% increase to our present rate.

United Healthcare has also provided White County with a very similar quote, with Arnett, but it includes the United Healthcare network. With the United Healthcare network the providers in the State of Indiana would increase drastically. If the county goes with the United Healthcare Network, Amy said that it will be a 16.09% increase.

With this new plan from United Healthcare, the county will have a health reimbursement account (HRA). This is where the county will provide a dollar amount in an HRA for each employee. The amounts that will be in this account will be $1,250 for single coverage and $2,500 for family coverage.

Amy explained that the way this works is the employee with single coverage will have a $2,000 deductible. With the county having and HRA, an employee with single coverage will now have $1,250 in a savings account to pay the first $1,250 expenses out of the $2,000. So, the employee will only have to pay $750.00 out-of-pocket expenses. After the $2,000 deductible is met, all medical expenses will be paid at 100%.

Amy said that if the county goes with United Healthcare, and the employees stay in the Core Plan, there will not be any increase cost to the employee and their premiums will be the same. If the employees go with the “Buy Up” plan, then there will be an increase cost.

This new plan has increased 7.41% compared to last year in premiums. In 2007 the premium was $1,024,923.72 and for next year it will increase to $1,100,907.34.

After a short discussion of what United Healthcare will offer to the employees, the cost to the county and the employees for monthly premium rates are going to be as following:

Core Plan Buy Up Plan

Employee $299.19 $303.96

Employee/Family $718.75 $701.90

The cost to the employee per month for these plans will be:

Core Plan Buy Up Plan

Single $36.64 $110.06

Family $197.90 $415.87

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the adoption of the Dual Option of the Core Plan and the $1,250/$2,500 for the health reimbursement account as presented with United Healthcare for 2008, seconded by Commissioner Heimlich Vote: Unanimous

VISION

Amy said the Vision plan for the employees is under a two year rate guarantee so they did not market this and she suggested that we leave it as it is.

The vision rates for the employees (no contributions from the county) are as follows for 2008:

Monthly Per Pay

Single 7.29 3.37

Employee & Spouse 13.86 6.40

Employee & Child(ren) 14.52 6.71

Family 22.35 10.32

DENTAL

Amy reported that United Healthcare did give us a 7% increase which is paid by the employee only. The county does not put in any money for the employee’s dental. She said that this is a substantial increase to the employees.

Amy did take the dental out for bid and found the following:

  • United Healthcare presented a 7% increase

  • Comp Benefits, which is a carrier that just does dental and Apex does use them a lot, came in at 10% under what they are paying currently. This is still an increase for the employees, but just a lesser increase.

  • Guardian came in with a 2.89% over what our employees are paying currently.

All of these did guarantee a two year rate.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the Comp Benefits Dental plan for 2008, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer. Vote: Unanimous

The following are the dental rates for the employees for 2008:

Comp Dental

Monthly Per Pay

Single 22.92 10.58

Employee & Spouse 47.44 21.90

Employee & Child(ren) 49.72 22.95

Family 81.46 37.60

LIFE INSURANCE

Amy said that the county has been with Lafayette Life Insurance for the past two years providing a $20,000 policy for all of the employees. For next year there will be a 16% increase which will be about $2,000. She said that Lafayette Life has given us an option to change the reduction schedule which will lower our cost. If we would allow them to enroll their voluntary term life program then they will allow our rates to remain the same.

This will give Lafayette Life the option to do payroll deduction and additional life insurance.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to accept the life insurance with the option of writing an additional through payroll deduction, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

WORK STUDY COMMITTEE

Councilman Horton said that the work study committee is now meeting again and asked the Commissioners if they would approve the longevity that they presented in early fall.

The recommendation would be effective on all of the employees at the Courthouse, Sheriff, and Jail. This will not affect the Highway Dept. or the Recycling Dept.

Commissioner Schmierer asked the county attorney if we can give longevity to appointed positions or department heads. Attorney Loy said that we could.

Commissioner Schmierer asked the county attorney to research this and we can discuss it at the next meeting on the 19th.

Councilman Horton also said that they are now going to tackle the comp. time with the employees.

Commissioner Heimlich said that we do have a new personnel policy ready to be adopted but our hold up right now is the comp. time. He agreed that this is a major issue that needs to be taken care of.

Commissioner Schmierer stated that he feels that we should get rid of the comp. time completely for the employees in the courthouse.

ICE MILLER

Commissioner Heimlich announced that Dennis Faulkenberg and Laurie Maudlin have left Ice Miller and formed their own consulting firm. He said that that our contract with Ice Miller can be revoked at any time with written notice.

Commissioner Heimlich recommended that the county cancel the contract with Ice Miller and enter into an agreement with Dennis Faulkenberg.

  • Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to send Ice Miller a letter canceling our service with Ice Miller and entering an agreement with Dennis Faulkenberg, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous

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