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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a Regular Meeting on Monday, November 21, 2005, 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 O.D. “Bud” Ferguson. Also present was the White County Auditor Mary Jo Pool, White County Attorney George Loy and the Commissioners Assistant Donya Tirpak.

President Heimlich called the meeting to order.


Commissioner Ferguson made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the Regular Meeting on November 7, 2005, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the payroll for November 7, 2005, as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ferguson. Vote: Unanimous


Mr. Jan Rule appeared before the Commissioners saying that he is considering buying property from William and Ruth Kretchmar at Beechwood Subdivision Lot #7, adjacent of the Lakeview Home Cemetery. Before the property is purchased Mr. Rule would like to know if he could have an easement agreement granting him easement between the cemetery and property going back to Lake Shafer.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if this is the county’s easement to grant or if there is even an old platted road between these two properties.

After a long discussion, Commissioner Heimlich said that they would find out who owns the cemetery and see whether or not they (Commissioners) can grant an easement.


Dowell Dellinger, Representative for Jeff VanWeelden of Rangeline Properties, appeared before the Commissioners requesting a letter from the County’s Attorney granting Rangeline Properties a Perpetual Access Easement from Lot 1 to Lot 2, which grants ingress and egress rights for the use of the proposed transfer station. Pursuant to the White County Zoning Ordinance, access easements and driveways are permitted in any zoning district. Acknowledging the county’s approval of a drainage plan, which allowed Lot 1 to be used for retention for the proposed transfer station on Lot 2 and for the acknowledging that it is permissible under the County’s Zoning Ordinance for Rangeline Properties to use Lot 1 as part of the traffic pattern for the proposed transfer station.

The Commissioners agreed that they could comply with they could comply with the first part of the request (the drainage issue) but that they could not say that the use of Lot 1 as part of the traffic pattern for the transfer station on Lot 2 was permissible. The Commissioners suggested Rangeline Properties go through the Area Plan Office and/or Area Plan Board for a definitive ruling.


Mr. Pala did not appear but his petition to vacate a public right-of-way, 0.284 of an acre, was submitted to the Commissioners. White County Attorney George Loy said that the petition does need to be advertised and published on when the public hearing will be set and held. Attorney Loy will check the statue and set up a date for Mr. Pala.


Mr. Terry Beasy presented to the Commissioners a set of plans, location map, letters of support from the sister townships, and letters of commitments from Waste Management for the future expansion of Liberty Landfill.

Mr. Beasy did highlight some areas of the commitment letters from Waste Management regarding CR 900 E. and the hardship of the County if the landfill should temporarily close. Mr. Beasy would like to come to the Commissioners meeting on December 5th and discuss this in more detail.

Commissioner Heimlich verified that Liberty Landfill did go before the Board of Zoning Appeals and were granted a Special Use Exception. Mr. Beasy said that the Downey property and the Borrow area, which is currently owned by the landfill, is zoned an I-2 and they were granted by the BZA to turn the property into an active landfill.

The next step for the landfill would be to receive an endorsement from the County Commissioners. Mr. Beasy said that he would like a letter of support from the County Commissioners to go with the letter of application sent to IDEM. Mr. Beasy said that the permitting process takes about five years and the landfill currently has between 8 to 11 years remaining.

Mr. Beasy also submitted a Petition for Vacation of a Public Roadway (CR 900 E.). County Attorney George Loy explained on how this needs to be advertised and how far apart the public hearings need to be scheduled. Mr. Beasy said that CR 900 E. will not be closed anytime soon but Liberty Landfill would like to have the commitment from the county.

Commissioner Heimlich said the public hearings could be held on December 5th and the 19th and the decision could be made on the 19th after the public hearing.

Councilman Schmierer asked if Liberty Landfill is prepared to offer White County anything. Mr. Beasy said that the Landfill would continue the host agreement, which has escalators, which will increase the hosting fees up to $.40 more.


White County Sheriff John Roberts appeared before the Commissioners discussing the quotes submitted at the last meeting for the new water heater in the jail.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the low bid was Burgess Mechanical & Electrical from Indianapolis. Sheriff John Roberts felt that they could get the job done within the 8 hours.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the quote from Burgess Mechanical & Electrical for the new water heater at the Sheriff’s office, seconded by Commissioner Ferguson. Vote: Unanimous


AT THIS TIME, Council President James Mann called the council members to order in joint session with the County Commissioners. Council members present were:

James Mann Faye Lowring Dennis Cain

Ronald Schmierer Richard “Buzz” Horton Kevin “Casey” Crabb

Dennis Carter


Paul Cardwell, Hospital CEO, presented the Financial Analysis report for October 31, 2005.

Mr. Cardwell shortly discussed the budget that has been approved by his board for 2006. He discussed how the capital purchases would be made next year by looking at what their net income will be set at. They have budgeted $1.1 M worth of capital purchases for the hospital in 2006. The new hospital construction project is estimated at $22M, with the construction cost to be $19M and new equipment to be $3M. They hope to have enough fundraisers through the foundation to cover the cost of the new equipment along with their 1.1M budgeted.

Mr. Cardwell briefly discussed the investment banker firms that have come in and reviewed the last three years of their financials to assure them that they can afford this project on their own without relying on the County. What they can afford now is a $23M - $24M facility. If they can get a bond issuance for $24M, they will use $3M to pay off the existing facility and use the rest for the new construction.


Lakeview Home Director Kae Fuller appeared giving her monthly report. Kae said that she is having a problem with the fact that applicants do not qualify for the ARCH program and they don’t have the funds to pay for the rent. The season is getting colder and people do not have a place to live.

Kae asked if anyone has any space for her to store some computers. She has been contacted by APW and they would like to donate 40 computers to the computer program but she has nowhere to store them. Commissioner Heimlich said that he would talk to Eric Storm about storage.

Commissioner Burton asked Kae to schedule a meeting for the grant committee to discuss the plans submitted from the architect. Kae said that she would do this when she returns from vacation after November 30th.


Environmental Officer John Raines presented the Complaints and Violations report for October 2005. Mr. Raines said that a lot of reports have been made of dumps along the roadsides for October and November.


Valerie Hunter, Director, presented her monthly report. Mrs. Hunter did say that she was worried about INDOT holding up the expansion project for Vanguard. She said that she has just received a written letter from INDOT saying that the construction start date and finish date will be in 2006. Vanguard will now move forward with the expansion.


Terri Conwell, Director, said that everything is going well and things have slowed down a bit.


Linda Roy, Director of Community Corrections, appeared discussing lack of office space. Mrs. Roy said that her department currently has three offices at the Sheriff’s department and they are in desperate need of at least two more. Mrs. Roy requested that her department not be split up.

Mrs. Roy provided the Commissioners with a couple of options. She has looked at the business building where Dr. Corbin’s old offices use to be on Marion Street and she feels that the building is big enough to have six offices and one training room. The asking price is $95,000.

Another option would be to build a new facility. This could cost anywhere from $1M - $2M and she could probably get some grant money from the Department of Corrections but she didn’t know how much money the county would want to commit to something that big. She said that she has $340,000 in the Project Income Balance, which is enough to buy Dr. Corbin’s old office. She said that if she would buy Dr. Corbin’s old office, she would like to see the county put in the funds to have the building renovated.

Councilman Horton asked what her parameters are on the Project Income Funds and how long did it take to get this amount built up. Mrs. Roy said that when she started in 2000 there was $34,000 and the money must be spent on Community Corrections and also be approved by her board.

Councilman Carter suggested that her department possibly wait until the new hospital is built and they could use the old hospital.

Mrs. Roy said that any thoughts or recommendations from the Commissioners or Council would be greatly appreciated.


Sheriff John Roberts appeared to give an update on the grounding issue at the Sheriff’s Dept. Sheriff Roberts said that White County REMC was gracious enough to send one of their top foremen with equipment to the facility and show Ray Franko, Deputy and Building Maintenance, and Current Electric what he thought the problem was. REMC verified that the grounding is fine and suggested that a surge suppression system be put in the building to protect the equipment. Mr. Franko contacted two different companies to receive quotes on this system.

Quotes for the system were received from the following:

Midwest Power Group, LLC, Williamston, MI

Lifetime Warranty $31,814.00

25 Year Warranty $15,947.00

McGill Power Inc., Rossville, IN $13,641.67

The cost of labor will be $3,450 from Current Electric.

The Commissioners still have concerns because this will not protect or cover the phone damage. Sheriff John Roberts said that they have tried several times to have Sprint come to the facility but they never showed up. A letter has been given to the Sheriff stating that the grounding at the building is good.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to accept the quotes under advisement and discuss at the next Commissioners meeting on December 5th, seconded by Commissioner Ferguson. Vote: Unanimous


Building Inspector Dave Anderson reported that there were 56 permits issued last month, six of them were for new homes.


Commissioner Heimlich discussed the Commissioners meeting on October 3, 2005, where the Commissioners met jointly with the Carroll County Commissioners and James Barker, Project Engineer from J.A. Barker Engineering, Inc., discussing the rehabilitation of Tioga Bridge.

Commissioner Heimlich explained that the total cost of the rehabilitation for the project would be $725,000. A grant was received to help cover cost. The construction cost is $480,000 and the cost to have the bridge cleaned and painted is $170,000, which is not absolutely necessary but there are advantages to having it done. The Carroll County Commissioners do wish to have the painting/cleaning done. White County’s portion, which is 60%, will be around $48,000 and Carroll County’s portion, which is 40%, will be $32,000.

Commissioner Heimlich said that the Carroll County Commissioners did approve their portion. Commissioner Heimlich said that the Commissioners are in agreement with the cost and feel that it is cheaper then having to tear the bridge down. Commissioner Heimlich asked if there was any input from the Council at this time.

  • Commissioner Ferguson made a motion that White County will pay their portion and join Carroll County to restore the Tioga Bridge, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


Commissioner Heimlich said that when the county hired Michael Nielsen, Government Fixed Asset Services, to get the county in compliance with the GASB 34, Mr. Nielsen indicated that a new policy for our county was needed. Mr. Nielsen has provided us with a Capital Asset Policy that shows major changes on the capital threshold for record keeping. Our current policy records machinery when the cost is over $100. Mr. Nielsen recommends that this amount be changed to $5,000. Commissioner Heimlich explained that for assets that are under $5,000 the policy reads on the last page, last paragraph that each department will be responsible for their own assets.

Commissioner Heimlich asked the Council if they had any questions for these changes. No response.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to adopt the new Capital Asset Policy as presented for White County, seconded by Commissioner Ferguson. Vote: Unanimous



White County, Indiana


This capital asset policy will become effective on December 1, 2005. The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.


Capital assets are personal and real property used in the operations of the County that have an expected estimated useful life beyond a single period. Capital assets are to include any item that falls into one of the following categories:

  1. Land

  2. Buildings and Building Improvements

  3. Machinery and Equipment

  4. Vehicles

  5. Computer Software

  6. General Infrastructure (Roads, Bridges, and Right of Ways)

  7. Construction in Progress


To be considered a capital asset for financial reporting purposes, an item must be at or above the capitalization threshold and have a unit historical cost of $5,000 or more. Assets will remain as part of the property record until they are retired or are disposed of, sold, traded in, etc. regardless of net book value amount.

The capitalization threshold for the following classes of assets shall be:

  1. Machinery $ 5,000

  2. Buildings and Building Improvements $100,000

  3. General Infrastructure Improvements $200,000

  4. Computer Software $ 50,000

With regard to improvements to buildings and general infrastructure, a capital outlay must be significant and increase capacity, increase efficiency, or extend the asset’s estimated useful life beyond the original expectation.

A change in capacity increases the level of service provided by the asset. A change in efficiency increases the level of service but without increasing the size of the asset or the change maintains the same level of service at a lower cost.

For example, an addition to a building provides increased square footage, hence, the capacity is increased and the capital outlay is capitalized. Widening a road with additional lanes increases capacity and, hence, the capital outlay is capitalized. An extended estimated useful life involves a significant alternation, structural change or improvement.

While substantial repairs and renovations will be reviewed for potential capitalization, it is anticipated that most will be expensed in the current year. These expenses often merely restore the asset to the original service potential but do not necessarily improve the asset.

All land, including right of ways, is capitalized at the time of acquisition regardless of historical costs or fair value if donated.



Capital assets are recorded at historical cost, which includes any ancillary charges necessary to place the asset into its intended location and condition for use. Ancillary charges include, for example, freight and transportation charges, site preparation costs, and professional fees. Engineering costs (internal and external) include related preliminary project and environmental studies; project estimating, design, and planning (drawings and specifications); and construction engineering, construction management, construction inspection and project payment. Donated capital assets are recorded at their estimated fair value at the time of acquisition.


When actual historical cost source data was unavailable, estimated historical cost was developed utilizing a normal costing approach. With this method of estimating historical cost, a current replacement cost was ascertained. An appropriate cost index (including Consumer Price Index and Federal Highway Price Trends) corresponding to an estimated date of acquisition/construction was then applied to ‘deflate’ the replacement cost to an estimated historical cost.


Capital assets have estimated useful lives extending beyond a single reporting period (one year) and are depreciated using the straight-line method with no allowance for salvage value. The estimated useful lives currently used were developed with the input of knowledgeable staff and reflect our government’s experience with these assets:

Land and Improvements to Land non-depreciable

Buildings and Building Improvements 50 years

Machinery and Equipment 5 years


Autos 5 years

Light Trucks 8 years

Heavy Trucks 15 years

General Infrastructure

Roads 50 years

Bridges 75 years

Playground Equipment 10 years

Outdoor Lighting 10 years

Software 5 years


Depreciation will be calculated using the straight-line method and full-year convention. No salvage value or residual value will be recognized.


Retirements apply to all capital assets including land, buildings, machinery and equipment, vehicles, and general infrastructure.

When an asset is disposed of, scrapped, sold, subject to demolition, etc. it is to be removed from the property record and the appropriate reduction will be made to historical cost, accumulated depreciation, and net book value amounts.

Retirements will reflect the actual historical cost of the asset when the amount is ascertainable. When historical cost is not ascertainable, an estimated historical cost will be determined.


The County Auditor will ensure that reporting for capital assets is being exercised by establishing a capital asset inventory, both initially and periodically in subsequent years. The County Auditor will further ensure that the capital asset report will be updated annually to reflect improvements, additions, retirements, and transfers and to reflect the new, annual capital asset balance for financial reporting purposes and the annual and accumulated depreciation calculations and net book value amounts.

Day-to-day stewardship of personal property above the capitalization threshold of $5,000 is the expressed responsibility of the department utilizing the property.

For annual updating of the capital asset report, the departments have the responsibility to report improvements, additions, retirements, and transfers in detail to the County Auditor. It is expected that this reporting will be in a timely manner, as the capital asset record must be updated annually.

To restate, additions of assets at or above the unit capitalization threshold of $5,000 are to be reported to the County Auditor by the departments upon purchase or receipt of the asset. These will be verified per the claims process by the Auditor’s office. Transfers and retirements of assets at or above the $5,000 unit threshold are to be reported as such by the departments to the County Auditor at the time of the transaction.


Capital assets below the capitalization threshold of $5,000 on a unit basis but warranting ‘control’ shall be inventoried at the department level and an appropriate list will be maintained. Data elements are to include asset description, location, make, model, serial number, and other information that assists control or deemed relevant.

Assets below the capitalization threshold but considered sensitive may include, for example, weapons, radios, personal computers, laptop computers, printers, fax machines, and small power tools. These minor but sensitive items shall be inventoried and controlled at the department level. Stewardship of these minimum and sensitive items is the express responsibility of the departments utilizing these properties.

The County Auditor shall determine appropriate means, level of detailed data elements, and the system to be utilized. Finally, the County Auditor shall have the right to request copies of the inventory and/or updated inventory of controllable items so as to periodically review the information and adherence to policy.


Commissioner Heimlich explained that during the budget hearings this year the Council decided that they would not receive the county insurance that the full-time employees receive. At that time, discussion was made on the possibilities of having the Council and the Coroner included on the policy but they would be responsible for paying the premium. The county’s insurance consultant did discuss this possibility with Arnett Insurance and they did say that this could be done. Commissioner Heimlich said that this does not need to be adopted with an ordinance but an amendment must be done to the policy handbook.

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there were any questions at this time. Councilman Mann asked if the money would be taken out of their paycheck. Auditor Mary Jo Pool said that the person would be responsible to come in and pay with a personal check.

  • Commissioner Ferguson made a motion to adopt a resolution to include the County Council and the Coroner in the county health insurance program on a self-paid basis, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


Councilman Horton said that for the council members being a county employee receiving a paycheck that they are automatically enrolled in the PERF program. Councilman Horton said that he has found out that when you are in a PERF program you are disqualified from an IRA. He thinks it would be beneficial for all Council members to not receive a salary and the money that they would normally earn could be applied to the payment of their health insurance. This way the employee could qualify for an IRA. Commissioner Heimlich said that this is definitely something that they could check into.


White County Clerk Bruce Lambert appeared before the Commissioners giving a presentation on a proposal for new voting equipment from Fidlar Election Company. This is a requirement to be in compliance with the HAVA (Help America Vote Act) for the people with disabilities.

Mr. Lambert said that the county will be reimbursed for some of the cost but he will not know exactly until he files his application. Mr. Lambert said that he would need to buy one unit for every precinct, which would be twenty-three. The cost of the proposal from Fidlar is $109,553.00. Mr. Lambert does not know where he needs to be with the funding but he has received a letter stating that he must have the contract signed and equipment delivered to the county before December 31, 2005.

  • Commissioner Ferguson made a motion to approve the contract with Fidlar Election Co. for $109,533, seconded by Commissioner Burton. Vote: Unanimous


Judge Mrzlack, White County Superior Court, appeared before the Commissioners discussing the Automated Case Management System that they are ready to purchase for the courts. White County is currently one of the four counties left in the state that are still doing their accounting system by hand.

On July 18, 2005, the Commissioners did accept quotes for the system, which at that time they were taken under advisement for review. Mr. Bob Mounts and the Judges have reviewed all of the specifications accepted. Judge Mrzlack asked the Commissioners to approve and accept the agreement for Computer Systems, Inc. The cost of their proposal is $45,700 for the software and setup and $22,809 for hardware. There is an annual maintenance contract that they are required to sign and the cost will be $11,350 per year. CSI wants $25,438 paid up front this year and the balance will be paid over a period of 3-5 years with no interest charges.

To pay the first installment of the $25,438 Judge Mrzlack said that the money would come out of the Probation User Fees, Prosecutors Pre-Trial Deferral Fund, and from the Superior and Circuit’s existing budgets.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the contract with CSI, Computer Systems, Inc, for the software package for the Courts and Clerks office, seconded by Commissioner Ferguson. Vote: Unanimous


Judge Mrzlack said that Bruce Lambert has found a jury management software system to help select future jurors. The courts are required to use the Voter Registration data, Bureau of Motor Vehicles data and the Indiana Department of Revenue data for selecting jurors in White County. Currently, they do not have a way of taking that data and randomizing it and using it for selecting jurors.

Bruce Lambert has found a software package through Crimmins Government Services that will cost $3,000 to set up (install and training) and $1,500 per year for the annual maintenance fee. Judge Mrzlack said that he would pay for the cost this year out of his jury line item.

  • Commissioner Burton made a motion to authorize to enter into contract with Crimmins Government Systems for a jury management program for $3,000 and $1,500 for the annual maintenance fee, seconded by Commissioner Ferguson. Vote: Unanimous


Commissioner Heimlich discussed setting up a TIF district to recoup the funds that has been committed in the Wolcott Industrial Park. The first step that needs to be done is the Board of Commissioners adopts an Order for a Redevelopment Commission for the County. This board can be made up of 5 – 7 members. After that, there will be organizational meetings where the Area Plan Commission will be involved as well. After these meetings, the County Commissioners would adopt a Resolution. The County Council will need to write an ordinance that will pledge money that will pay back the bond.

Commissioner Heimlich said that he would attend the Council’s meeting to discuss this further.

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

__________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________

John C. Heimlich, President Steve Burton, Vice President O.D. “Bud” Ferguson, Member

ATTEST: __________________________________

Mary Jo Pool, White County Auditor