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BE IT REMEMBERED that a regular meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building at Monticello at 9:00 A.M. on March 21, 2011 for the purpose of discussing the additional appropriations and other business that might come before the membership.

Council President Dennis Carter called the Council meeting to order in joint session with the Commissioners. The following members were present:

Dennis E Carter Gary W Hendryx James G Annis

Dennis D Cain Raymond L Kramer Jr

Councilors Bruce Clear and Kevin Crabb were absent; however, a quorum was present to conduct Council business. Barbara Nydegger, the Council’s secretary, was also absent, so Councilor Kramer assumed responsibility for taking minutes of the meeting.

For content of joint session, see Commissioners’ minutes.

MINUTES

 

Councilor Kramer noted a spelling error in the Feb. 22, 2011 under "Sheriff New Hire" (the word "severl" should have been "several"). Subject to correction of the spelling error, Councilor Annis made a motion to accept the February 22, 2011 minutes. Councilor Hendryx seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

TRANSFERS

 

Council President Dennis Carter noted that there were no transfers for the Council to review or act upon.

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE County Council of White County, Indiana that for the expenses of said Municipal Corporation the following additional sums of money are hereby appropriated and set apart out of the fund. Herein specified and subject to the laws governing the same.

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Bond Administrative Fees – Wells Fargo $ 970.00 $ 970.00

$ 648.00 $ 648.00

___ _________

TOTAL $1,618.00 $1,618.00

 

Councilor Kramer made a motion to appropriate the above request from the Verasun Fund. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

 

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Wind Energy Project- Phase II

Round Grove Twp $ 4,000.00 $ 4,000.00

Prairie Twp $ 1,000.00 $ 1,000.00

West Point Twp $ 4,000.00 $ 4,000.00

Frontier School Corp $ 35,000.00 $ 35,000.00

Tri-County School Corp $255,000.00 $255,000.00

Brookston Library $ 500.00 $ 500.00

_____ ___________

TOTAL $299,500.00 $299,500.00

Councilor Hendryx made a motion to appropriate the above request from the Horizon Wind Economic Development Fund. Councilor Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Wind Energy Project- Phase III, IV, V

White County Economic Develop. $ 45,000.00 $ 45,000.00

White County Highway Department $ 45,000.00 $ 45,000.00

_____ ___________

TOTAL $ 90,000.00 $ 90,000.00

Councilor Cain made a motion to appropriate the above request from the Horizon Wind Economic Development Fund. Councilor Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY COMMUNICATIONS/E911

Payroll/Salaries $290,150.00 $290,150.00

_____ ___________

TOTAL $290,150.00 $290,150.00

Councilor Cain made a motion to appropriate the above request from the Emergency 911 Fund. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE County Council of White County, Indiana that for the expenses of said Municipal Corporation the following additional sums of money are hereby appropriated and set apart out of the fund. Herein specified and subject to the laws governing the same.

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY HIGHWAY

Road Repair $600,000.00 $600,000.00

New Equipment $300,000.00 $300,000.00

__________ ___________

TOTAL $900,000.00 $900,000.00

 

White County Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke was present to address the Council and answer questions with regard to his request for additional funds for new equipment and road repairs. The amount requested for road repairs would only be a small part of the total eventually needed and Mr. Brooke noted that he would likely be back later in the year for additional funds. The Council was in agreement that the winter had been rough on White County roads and that the additional funds requested were definitely needed.

After discussion as to which fund account would be best utilized for the additional road repair monies, Councilor Cain moved that the sum of $600,000.00 for the road repairs be taken from the Riverboat Tax fund (Fund 191). Councilor Annis seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

After additional discussion, Councilor Kramer made a motion to appropriate the remaining $300,000 requested for new equipment from the CEDIT fund (Fund 137), and Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

SHERIFF DEPT. RESIGNATIONS & NEW HIRES

 

Sheriff Pat Shafer came before the Council to report on the resignations of John Roberts and Jared Baer, both of whom hold merit deputy positions, and the retirement of Shirley Watts, corrections officer, and to request permission to replace those employees. Sheriff Shafer has several applications from which to make the replacement hires. After discussion between Council members and Sheriff Shafer as to level of pay for the new hires, Councilor Cain made a motion to authorize Sheriff Shafer to hire new employees to replace the employees leaving the Sheriff’s Department, and Councilor Hendryx seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

AIRPORT

 

Airport Board President Phil Gutwein came before the Council to report on progress of airport improvements. Although the Airport Board does not anticipate any construction this year, they are working on design of a new ramp which is needed to meet FAA requirements. Some facilities would need to be moved, and an older hangar would need to be removed in conjunction with the new ramp construction. Mr. Gutwein requested permission to expend Airport funds for construction of a new 8 to 10 bay hangar, the cost of which is estimated to be approximately $500,000.00. Discussion ensued as to availability of funds, ability to fill the new hangar, and obtaining bids for the new hangar project, and the Council also discussed allowing the Airport Board to proceed with obtaining bids and return to the Council for final approval or disapproval of the expenditure for a new hangar. Councilor Kramer made a motion to give the Airport Board preliminary approval to proceed with obtaining bids for the project, subject to final approval/disapproval of the project by the Council after bids are obtained. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

CIRCUIT CLERK’S OFFICE

 

Eugenia Duhnovsky came before the Council to discuss several requests being made by the Circuit Clerk’s office. First, the Clerk’s office has a vacancy due to the departure of Cindy Hall, and the Clerk wishes to hire Melanie Campbell to fill the position of Civil Clerk. Melanie Campbell is presently working for Judge Thacker, and is thus not a new hire but would simply be transferring to a different position. She would be paid at the previous Civil Clerk’s base pay level. Councilor Kramer made the motion to approve the transfer/hiring, and Councilor Hendryx seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

Secondly, Mrs. Duhnovsky reported that the Clerk’s office has a deficit in its child support public funds account of $3,274.04 which was created by fees assessed against the child support fund by Wells Fargo Bank during the latter part of 2009, all of 2010, and the first two months of 2011. Ms. Duhnovsky pointed out that Wells Fargo Bank had been approached about the fees and that some adjustment was made, but the Bank continues to draw the service charges directly from the child support fund. After discussion as to what source the funds could be drawn from, Councilors Hendryx and Annis suggested that the sum of $5,000.00 be granted to the Clerk’s office to cover the present fund deficit and to allow for fees which may be charged by the Bank for the remainder of CY 2011. Council President Carter suggested that the General Fund could absorb the expense. As this will constitute an additional appropriation, Council President Carter directed that the request for funds be advertised in order that the Council could act upon the additional appropriation at the April 2011 meeting. Auditor Jill Guingrich is to be instructed to advertise the expense as required for action at next month’s meeting.

Finally, the Clerk’s office requested the Council’s permission to utilize funds from the Clerk’s Record Perpetuation fund (Fund 149) for the purchase of three (3) Eltron label printers at a cost of $751.00 for each printer. After discussion, Councilor Cain made the motion to approve the Clerk’s request to purchase the equipment from the Clerk’s Record Perpetuation fund, and Councilor Kramer seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

JURY FUND

 

Council President Carter addressed the issue of unused monies in the Jury Fees account (Fund 174) of over $92,000.00. He indicated that he had discussed the issue with Judge Mrzlack of the White Superior Court. Judge Mrzlack stated to Councilor Carter that he was aware of the Jury Fees account and had always assumed jury expenses were being paid from that account, but he was not aware that was not being done. Judge Mrzlack assured Councilor Carter he would take up the matter with Judge Thacker and that both judges would ensure future jury fees were in fact paid from the Jury Fee account. The Council will also monitor the fund in the future to assure proper use of the Jury Fee account.

CUM BRIDGE FUND

 

Council President Carter also reported to the Council that he had been approached by Highway Superintendent Steve Brooke with a proposal to create a "bridge crew. The Cum Bridge Fund at present has a balance of over $3 Million Dollars, which is sufficient to meet present need. There is always repair and preventive maintenance work which can be done on the County’s bridges where and when time permit, and Superintendent Brooke would like to designate 3 or 4 employees who would be classified as "bridge crew" in order to permit payment of their salaries from the Cum Bridge Fund. The duties of the employees would remain the same, and their pay rates would remain the same, but their salaries could be paid in total from the Cum Bridge Fund. Bridge repair/maintenance work would be performed by any Highway Department as time permits. This would create no new positions and would not require hiring of any new employees; rather, it would simply reclassify 3 or 4 employees and take as much as $60,000 in salary costs off the Highway Department’s budget. Councilor Carter indicated that Mr. Brooke had reported discussing the proposal with the State Board of Accounts and with Leah Hull of the Auditor’s office and both apparently told Mr. Brooke the idea was acceptable. After discussion, the Council was generally in favor of the concept, subject to verification of approval by the SBOA. Councilor Cain suggested, and the Council agreed, that Auditor Jill Guingrich should be directed to contact the SBOA to obtain verification of the "bridge crew" proposal before further action by the Council.

EMPLOYEE BONUS PAY

 

Councilor Kramer reminded the Council of the still-pending issue of granting one-time "bonuses" to County employees and related to the Council the status of prior discussions among the Councilors. There was much discussion among the Councilors as to the amounts of the bonus payments to be given and criteria for eligibility for the bonuses. Based upon past and present discussions, the Council reached a general consensus that total bonus payments should be kept below a $100,000.00 cap, and also that any employee hired after January 1, 2011 would not be eligible for a bonus payment. The Council also was in agreement that some pay adjustments would be made for elected officials not eligible for these bonus payments when 2012 budget hearings are later this year.

Councilor Cain then made the motion that bonuses of $500.00 each be paid to all full-time employees (excluding elected officials) who were employed during the calendar year 2010 and were still in the County’s employ as of May 1, 2011, and that bonuses of $150.00 be paid to any part-time employee of the County whose total 2010 pay was $5,000.00 or more and who is still on the County’s payroll as of May 1, 2011. No new employee, either full-time or part-time, who was hired during the period from Jan. 1, 2011 through May 1, 2011, will be eligible for the bonus payments. Councilor Hendryx seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER POSITION

 

County Commissioner Ron Schmierer appeared before the Council to discuss the retirement of County Environmental Officer John Raines and to inform the Council members that the Commissioners were looking at the idea of combining the functions of that position with the functions of the Health Department’s sewer inspector position, thus eliminating one employee position and creating a payroll savings to the County. Commissioner Schmierer and the Councilors present agreed that in view of upcoming budget shortfalls and projections of continuing drops in revenue, more such action is going to be required of the County’s government in the months and years to come.

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Annis made a motion to adjourn. Councilor Kramer seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

DENNIS E CARTER, PRESIDENT JAMES ANNIS GARY W HENDRYX

 

___________________________ ____Absent_________________ ___________________________

DENNIS D CAIN KEVIN L CRABB RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

 

____Absent_________________ Attest: ___________________________

BRUCE D CLEAR JILL GUINGRICH, AUDITOR