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BE IT REMEMBERED, that the White County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, June 20, 2011, at the White County Building, Commissioners’ Conference room, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Commissioners present were President John C. Heimlich, Vice President Steve Burton, and Commissioner Ronald Schmierer.  Also present was the White County Attorney, George Loy; White County Auditor, Jill Guingrich; and the Commissioners’ Secretary, Donya Tirpak.

Commissioner Heimlich called the meeting to order.

·    Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the minutes as presented for the regular meeting on June 6, 2011, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer.  Vote:  Unanimous

·    Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve and pay the payroll as presented, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer.  Vote:  Unanimous

After reviewing the claims, Commissioner Schmierer questioned a check from Lafayette Gun’s & Gear for $4,000 paid out of the Wind Farm Economic Development Fund.  White County Auditor confirmed that the $4,000 check written should’ve been paid to Barnes & Thornburg.

·    Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve and pay the claims as presented with the exception to void the check written out to Lafayette Gun’s & Gear and write a new one for Barnes & Thornburg for $4,000, seconded by Commissioner Burton.  Vote:  Unanimous

Commissioner Heimlich presented the following change orders for 6th Street.

Change Order #16
4” line remove            $1,662.38

Change Order #17       
Signal Head Relocation        $4,941.78

·    Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the change orders as presented for the 6th Street Project, seconded by Commissioner Burton.  Vote:  Unanimous

White County Attorney George Loy said that surrounding counties, including Tippecanoe, are charging $25 to $30 for paternity affidavits and the White County Health Dept. would like to do the same.  He explained that as of July 1, 2010, a new law states that when a child is born out of wedlock, the biological father and mother must do a paternity affidavit.  This entails more complicated work for the employee than it use to be. 

Commissioner Schmierer made a motion to approve the proposed $25.00 fee for paternity affidavits for the White County Health Department, seconded by Commissioner Burton.  Vote:  Unanimous

White County Auditor, Jill Guingrich, announced that money has come in from the wind farm and asked if the Commissioners would like to do an additional appropriation.

·    Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the same distribution formula that was used on the prior distributions and then advertise for the additional appropriations, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer.  Vote:  Unanimous

Phase 1 Payment 3
Big Creek Township Trustee    $    2,000
Brookston Public Library        $  11,800
Frontier School Corporation    $580,000
Prairie Township Trustee        $    6,000
West Point Township Trustee    $    2,000
TOTAL            $601,800

Phase 3 Payment 2
Round Grove Township Trustee    $    5,590
Prairie Township Trustee        $       730
Frontier School Corporation    $  23,630
Tri-County School Corporation    $180,170
Brookston Public Library        $       350
TOTAL            $210,470

Phase 4 Payment 2
West Point Township Trustee    $    6,030
Frontier School Corporation    $  12,390
Tri-County School Corporation    $181,760
TOTAL            $200,180

Gina Goodman, Chief Probation Officer, presented a revised lease agreement to the Commissioners on the George Keesling’s building.  She said that the Probation Department would like to lease out the building for the Out-of-School Suspension program.  They are currently renting a classroom out of the Armory and they would like to have something a lot closer.  In the past, they have run into problems where the Armory wasn’t even accessible for students.  They would like to have something that is more reliable; safer for them and the students.  The rent will be $500 per month and that will be paid out of the Out-of-School Suspension fund.

White County Attorney George Loy said that he doesn’t have a problem with the lease agreement assuming that his recommendations were made.   

·    Commissioner Burton made a motion to approve the lease agreement for the George Keesling building for the Out-of-School Suspension program, seconded by Commissioner Schmierer.  Vote:  Unanimous

At this time, White County Council President, Denny Carter, called the Council members to order in joint session with the Commissioners.  Council members present were:

President Denny Carter        Gary Hendryx        Denny Cain
Raymond “Butch” Kramer        Jim Annis        Bruce Clear

Councilman Kevin “Casey” Crabb was absent.

White County Building Inspector, Dave Anderson, reported that the Building Department issued 64 permits last month; eight of those were for housing starts.   Out of the eight housing permits, seven of them were for manufactured homes that Indiana Beach is putting to rent out.

White County Memorial Hospital CEO, Stephanie Long, presented the Financial Analysis for May 2011.  Mrs. Long reported the following:

Gross Patient Revenue        $4.9 million    $23.2 million
Total Net Revenue        $2.7 million    $13.2 million
Expenses            $2.5 million    $12.8 million
Operating Gain            $116,264    $426,000
Net Gain            $107,589    $512,900
Cash Position            $6.8 million 
Write-off’s            $395,279    $1.9 million

In regards to the upcoming integration, Mrs. Long said that the bonds are set up to be refunded on June 30, 2011.  This will relieve the county of all its debt.  A 6-month audit, January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, will also be completed for the county’s financials.

White County Environmental Officer, Jim Reynolds, presented the Environmental Report for June.

Connie Neininger, Economic Development Director, presented the Director’s Report for May 2011.

Mrs. Neininger reported that the Economic Development Strategy project for White County is quickly coming to a close.  A meeting on Thursday, June 30, at 6:00 p.m. in the Hibner Conference Room at the White County Memorial Hospital will be held to give the results to the public.

Mrs. Neininger said that we currently have two wind farm companies, Horizon and EnXco, battling against the landowners from Princeton Township.  EnXco has 3,900 acres signed as of last week and Horizon has about the same.  Both companies said that it would be a few years before this project begins.

Mrs. Neininger reported that Girtz Industry is expanding and Vanguard and Emerson are both hiring.  Tecumseh Area Partnership is holding a White County Job Fair at the Brandywine on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bio-Town Ag has been producing very good gas for the last two weeks. 

Dave Jordan, owner of Best Western Brandywine Inn, discussed the timeline that he would like to see the Commissioners and Council make for the proposed innkeeper’s tax.  He asked if the Commissioners and Council would hold a Special Meeting on Friday, July 1, to get the innkeeper’s tax going.

Mr. Jordan discussed how it’s time that we really need to start helping ourselves and focus on bringing people here on the weekends and vacations to increase tourism. 

White County Attorney George Loy discussed the county’s options and duties under the innkeeper’s tax state statue.  He explained that 3% tax from lodging and hotel is dedicated to lakes enhancement.  The legislature allows the County Council to adopt a county ordinance to raise the tax to 5%.  The 2% will be used for advertising, promotional activities, tourism, special events, etc.  After the Council approves the tax, Mr. Loy explained that the Commissioners will then be responsible to determine the number to sit on the board, determine who makes the appointments, and then appoint the board.  Mr. Loy also stated that the tax will be collected from the Treasurer just like the current 3%.  The tax would be due 20 days after the end of each month and failure to pay by an innkeeper will be penalized 10%.

Councilman Carter said that he was hesitant to start the tax up mid-season because it might make it difficult on bookkeeping and also making it effective July 1.  

A short discussion was held on when the increase should go into effect.  Commissioner Schmierer said that he would like to see the funds generated so things could be done next year.

Commissioner Heimlich said that he felt that there should be some lag time if the tax is enacted July 1.  He felt that a short delay after July 1 would be appropriate.

Sandy Winter, owner Rivera Complex, expressed her disappointment in making the tax effective this year.  She said that she has already written up contracts for this year and to tell them that they owe an additional 2% when they arrive is not good public relations.

Jeff Bonnell, president of the MLRA and owner of the Pine View Golf Resort, felt that passing on this tax is done at a bad time.  He also voiced his disappointment on a tax increase being put on the innkeepers once again and not a food and beverage tax.  As a representative of MLRA, Monticello Lakes Resort Association, Mr. Bonnell asked the Council to hold off until January 1, 2012.

Commissioner Burton said that this is not an easy decision but felt that if we want to start this next year, then we need to hit it hard this fall to have the revenue to do it.

At this point, Commissioner Heimlich said that it is now up to the Council to start the innkeeper’s tax on July 1 or after.

Commissioner Heimlich reminded everyone about Mr. Mattix approaching the Commissioners and Council last month requesting a loan from the county’s landfill funds for the North White School Corporation’s tax anticipation warrants. 

Commissioner Heimlich asked if there were any thoughts on the request since the last meeting. 

Commissioner Burton said that the feedback that he has been getting from the taxpayers in the southwest part of the county is that this is something that the county should not get started. 

Councilman Cain said that his taxpayers in his district feel that since they have gotten themselves into trouble, they can figure out how to get themselves out. 

Commissioner Heimlich said that we will talk about it further in July.

At this time, the Council adjourned to their meeting in the Council room.

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

__________________________          _____________________________      _______________________
John C. Heimlich, President                 Steve Burton, Vice President                   Ronald Schmierer, Member

ATTEST:  _________________________
Jill Guingrich, Auditor