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 BE IT REMEMBERED that a special meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building at Monticello at 8:00 A.M. on September 7, 2010 for the purpose of reviewing non-binding budgets. 

 Council President Richard Horton called the Council meeting to order.  The following members were present:

  Richard G Horton          Kevin L Crabb  Gary W Hendryx
  Dennis E Carter             Bruce D Clear  Raymond L Kramer Jr
  Dennis D Cain

WHITE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT JAILER REPLACEMENT
 White County Sheriff Roberts said he has a male Hispanic translator replacement he is ready to hire.  The Council was in favor. 

NON-BINDING BUDGETS FOR TOWNS, TOWNSHIPS AND LIBRARIES
 Auditor Guingrich presented forms 1, 2, and 4b from all of the White County towns, townships and libraries budgets on an overhead projector.  Only Wolcott’s budget was missing.  There were no public comments or questions.  Councilor Clear and others commented on the fine job Auditor Guingrich did in being organized and

presenting the budgets. 
 Councilor Cain made a motion to approve all budgets presented and recommend no salary increases.  Councilor Crabb seconded the motion.    Vote:  Unanimous

WHITE COUNTY AREA PLAN COMMISSION
 President Horton said according to Area Plan Director Joe Rogers, there must be a member of the Council as well as a citizen appointed to the Area Plan Commission per state statute.  Councilor Kramer said it is not a paid position because you cannot hold two lucrative positions at the same time.  It was decided to wait until the

December Council meeting and appoint a representative at the same time the other committee appointments are made for the upcoming year.  The Area Plan Commission is a four-year term.  Charles Anderson will serve as the outside appointment.  It includes eleven meetings (monthly except for December). 

MEADOW LAKE WIND FARM ROAD AGREEMENT
 President Horton said the Commissioners are making changes to phase five of the Meadow Lake Wind Farm Road Agreement.  Commissioner Schmierer said there were minor changes, but the Wind Farm needed use of the roads because five more windmills are ready to bring and construct. 

LOCAL OPTION INCOME TAX
 Councilor Cain said he has been getting opposition to the idea of another tax.  Councilor Kramer said it would actually not raise property taxes, but would lower them.  However it’s just trading one tax for another unless they adopt the public safety option.  The public safety option would create new revenue.  Councilor Clear said

if the Council does anything it would have to be the public safety option.  Councilor Kramer agreed, because the whole point is to bring in new revenue. 
 In the second option retirees would actually get a break on taxes because their property tax would lower and their income tax would not be affected because it would not be considered “earned” income.  If that option is imposed, homesteaders would get property relief, but for the most part would be the ones hit with the earned

income tax increase.  Out-of-state residential and rental property owners would also get relief on property tax, but not generate income tax for White County.  Corporate owners would get property tax relief, but would not be affected by income tax because they do not pay income tax.  Farmers would get relief on one tax and hit with the

other.  Councilor Kramer said the Council could break down the tax break into percentages for different groups: i.e. 70% break for homestead property owners 10% residential owners and 20% for corporations and farmers. 
 Councilor Kramer said the public safety option can only be implemented by enforcing one of two other choices.  One being the levy freeze which gives no choice and makes no sense to him. 
 Council President Horton said the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) hurts young people the most and those are the people White County needs to attract with their new businesses.  He thinks the wheel tax makes the most sense.  A plus for the wheel tax is that it will generate money for the Highway Department which ultimately

helps the general fund.  Councilor Kramer believes one tax or another will have to be enacted this year or next.
 Jim Annis suggested concentrating on efficiencies in the County budgets before increasing taxes.  Councilor Crabb said even if the County could cut back $150,000 or $200,000, it still wouldn’t come close to covering the projected loss of over a million dollars in the next two years. 
Councilor Kramer said the income tax may be unstable with the economy as it is.  The wheel tax is more attractive because it’s a flat fee and it’s a user-based fee.  The fee can be anywhere from $5.00 to $40.00, and they do not have to impose the maximum.  Council President Horton said maxed out it would generate $650,000.
Councilor Crabb said the Council should form a committee to study the effects and work with the office holders, showing them the numbers and asking them to search for efficiencies in their offices.  The committee would work with them to make changes, but not to become a micromanager in personnel decisions.  Councilor Crabb said

the Council needs to keep them on task like they have with the tax bills.  Councilor Clear said the public will want to know what the Council has done internally before starting a new tax.  Councilor Kramer said working with the department heads to find areas to transfer money from and cutting back, they will think it’s with the intention of

giving raises.  He said the County employees deserve a raise since they didn’t get one last year and only one or two percent the two prior years.  Once the newly-elected officials are known in November might be a good time to consider starting a committee.
Councilor Kramer said the November 1 deadline is too soon to be ready.  Since White County has the luxury of having fund surpluses, and using ideas learned from municipal accounting specialist Todd Samuelson, the County should make it through 2011.  The wheel tax deadline is July 1, 2011 which would allow more time to make

decisions.  Councilor Crabb said the Council will need to be on the watch for the form Todd Samuelson spoke of to take advantage of shifting levy allocations (possibly in June).
Councilor Kramer made a motion to table a decision until further discussion and consideration.  Councilor Crabb seconded the motion.   Vote:  Unanimous  

 

ADJOURNMENT
 There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Clear made a motion to adjourn.  Councilor Cain seconded the motion.   Vote:  Unanimous

 


___________________________          ___________________________            ___________________________          
RICHARD G HORTON, PRESIDENT     DENNIS E CARTER                           GARY W HENDRYX                                         


___________________________             ___________________________            ___________________________
          DENNIS D CAIN                                       KEVIN L CRABB                             RAYMOND L KRAMER JR


___________________________              Attest:  ___________________________
            BRUCE D CLEAR                         JILL GUINGRICH, AUDITOR