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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 January 17, 2012 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 Kevin L Crabb Gary W Hendryx

Bruce D Clear Raymond L Kramer Jr James G Annis

Dennis D Cain

For content of joint session, see Commissioners’ minutes.

ELECTION OF COUNCIL OFFICERS

Councilor Kramer opened the floor for nominations for the office of President of the White County Council. Councilor Crabb nominated Councilor Carter. Councilor Cain seconded the nomination. Councilor Annis made a motion to close the nominations for President of the White County Council. Councilor Cain seconded the motion. Vote: 6 Ayes

Dennis Carter: Nay

Dennis Carter is hereby elected to serve as President of the White County Council for 2012.

President Carter opened the floor for nominations for the position of Vice President of the White County Council. Councilor Annis nominated Councilor Kramer. Councilor Crabb seconded the nomination. Councilor Hendryx made a motion to close nominations for Vice President of the White County Council. Vote: Unanimous

Raymond Kramer is hereby elected to serve as Vice President of the White County Council for 2012.

MINUTES

Councilor Annis made a motion to accept the December 19, 2011 minutes. Councilor Kramer seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS

Councilor Clear made a motion to appoint Megan Tribbett to the Property Tax Abatement Board of Appeals in place of Phyl Olinger for 2012. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

Councilor Annis made a motion to reappoint the entire slate of 2012 appointments (as voted on and noted in the December 19, 2011 minutes) with the noted change of Megan Tribbett. Councilor Kramer seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

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

Round Grove $ 20,770.00 $ 20,770.00

(Phase 2 $4,000 & Phase 3 $16,770)

Prairie Township Trustee $ 3,190.00 $ 3,190.00

(Phase 2 $1,000 & Phase 3 $2,190)

West Point Township Trustee $ 22,090.00 $ 22,090.00

(Phase 2 $4,000 & Phase 4 $18,090)

Frontier School Corporation $ 143,060.00 $ 143,060.00

(Phase 2 $35,000, Phase 3 $70,890, Phase 4 $37,170)

Tri-County School Corporation $1,340,790.00 $1,340,790.00

(Phase 2 $255,000, Phase 3 $540,510, Phase 4 $545,280)

Brookston Public Library $ 1,550.00 $ 1,550.00

(Phase 2 $500 & Phase 3 $1,050) ____________ ____________

 

TOTAL $1,531,450.00 $1,531,450.00

Councilor Kramer noted this is a repeat request (see November 21, 2011 minutes) with a correction being made from Honey Creek Township to Round Grove.

Councilor Crabb made a motion to appropriate the above request as amended from the Economic Development Wind Farm Fund. Councilor Hendryx seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

REQUESTED ALLOWED

WHITE COUNTY MEMORIAL AIRPORT

Ten Unit T-hangar Construction $ 500,000.00 $ 500,000.00

 

TOTAL $ 500,000.00 $ 500,000.00

 

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

 

ROCKLAND FLOORING ABATEMENT

White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger introduced Rockland Flooring Plant Manager Brian Pogue. She apologized to him on behalf of White County because the Rockland Flooring paperwork had been in the Courthouse for a few months before it reached her office. Ms. Neininger said Rockland Flooring has been in Monon since 2002 and has been a good employer. In the last couple of years they have made some major improvements. The area has already been designated as an Economic Revitalization Area. Rockland Flooring failed to turn in the SB1 Form, so they are requesting the Council waive their noncompliance by way of a resolution. County Attorney Loy has prepared the resolution that will put the company back on track. Ms. Neininger said they are continuing to make improvements in the total amount of $3,000,000. They are at 66 employees, and will eventually be adding 47 more. Mr. Pogue apologized for not getting the paperwork to the County in a timely fashion.

Councilor Clear made a motion to approve resolution #2012-01-17-01 waiving noncompliance for failure to submit statement of benefits by Rockland Wood Products LLC. Councilor Annis seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

WHITE COUNTY COMMUNICATIONS E911 NEW HIRE

White County Communications Director Terri Brooks said she would like to replace a vacant full-time position with an existing part-time person who has expressed interest in the position. She will then begin training new people to fill the empty part-time positions. Ms. Brooks said training people is hard on everyone in the office although it’s become normal procedure. She said training takes six to eight weeks. E911 has a personnel account salaries are paid from that she can use to compensate trainers at $2.00 an hour extra for training. Councilor Clear said the Council was glad to hear from her and she is fine to proceed with her plans.

 

WHITE COUNTY AREA PLAN BUDGET

White County Area Plan Commission (APC) President Charles Anderson said when Mr. Joe Rogers was hired three years ago, the APC Board thought he would start at $35,000. Instead he started at $31,000 which the board thought was too low, and they feel his salary is still too low. According to Indiana Code the board can set the Area Plan Executive Director’s salary within the guidelines of the fiscal body, which is the County Council. The Board asked Mr. Rogers to see if there were enough funds within the Area Plan budget to cover a raise. He came up with $6,000. Mr. Anderson passed out an Area Plan Budgetary Funds Analysis chart which showed that Mr. Rogers had returned over $41,000 each year for the past three years to the General Fund. Mr. Anderson said Mr. Rogers has cut the Area Plan budget back as the Council requested from $134,245 in 2008 to 117,380 in 2011.

Area Plan Commission (APC) Attorney Ben Diener passed out a memorandum with the Indiana Codes referencing the authority the APC Commission has to set the Executive Director’s salary so long as it falls within the budget the Council has set for the department. Ultimately however, it requires the Council’s final approval. Attorney Diener said the APC is requesting the Council approve that the APC set the salary. Otherwise they will petition for the salary desired and bring it back for a vote, which he said would look like the Council was acting on its own accord. This is not meant to be a power play, but rather a legitimate fear of losing Mr. Rogers. If he would have to be replaced, it would require more people to figure out how to run the office because it is a complicated office.

Attorney Diener pointed out that Director Rogers has eliminated a secretarial position while accomplishing all the mandated tasks required. He has been very fiscally responsible.

Councilor Cain said the County hires people in at an entry level salary for the position being filled rather than starting at the previous person’s salary. Mr. Anderson said Mr. Rogers asked for a 4% raise last year, and the Council gave him 3.6%. He has to be wondering if the Council appreciates anything he’s done for the department. Councilor Cain said giving one person a $6,000 raise puts the Council in a bad position. Other departments could decide possibly to get rid of employees so funds can be shifted to bump up their own pay as well. It would be setting a precedent. Mr. Anderson said it seems to have more to do with not receiving merit pay. Auditor Guingrich said Mr. Rogers actually received $1,569 in merit pay last year when County Employees received a bonus. At that time, the Council discussed ways to compensate Mr. Roger’s position. Auditor Guingrich also mentioned Mr. Rogers probably did start at the previous person’s base salary. The figures being quoted included her base salary, longevity, mileage, and compensation time pay. Auditor Guingrich said she would be offended if the Area Plan position made more than the Auditor’s position, or even some other positions that also deserve more. Area Plan has more money in its budget to work with, and therefore more to turn over. The Auditor’s budget is small and therefore, doesn’t have money to turn back in at the end of the year. Area Plan Secretary Gale Roger’s pay was also increased to compensate for eliminating a position, so the Council has been trying to work with Area Plan. Ms. Guingrich said the County wages are what they are.

Councilor Crabb said there is a big difference in private money versus public money. In the business world people are more often compensated for performance. He would like more time to think on this and how to be fair to the County employees. Councilor Kramer would also like more time to consider the situation and seek legal counsel. Everyone was in agreement that Director Rogers has done a great job and his services are highly valued. Mr. Anderson and Attorney Diener said any compensation the Council can supply whether it be the $6,000 or $3,000 or something nominal and then addressed at next year’s budget would be a move in the right direction. He doesn’t want Mr. Rogers to continually feel slighted, and possibly lose him.

The Councilors said they would be prepared to discuss this again at the February meeting. Auditor Guingrich said the existing budget has to be approved by the State before any changes can be made. Mr. Dave Stimmel, a former member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, said as a taxpayer he would be in favor of giving $6,000 to any Department Heads who could slash their budget by 50% because it would be money well spent.

 

PULASKI-WHITE RURAL TELEPHONE COMPANY TAX ABATEMENT

Director Neininger introduced Chris Bonner, President of Pulaski-White Rural Telephone Company (PWRTC). They have purchased the old Buffalo Elementary School and are planning on putting $2.5 million into remodeling and another $1.8 million in new equipment. They currently employ 18 and will be adding four more. Today they are asking the Council to declare the 9.958 acres as an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA). The Tax Board will then meet and make a recommendation on the actual abatement at the next Council meeting. Mr. Bonner said it will take about a year to remodel and another year to get the equipment into place. Ms. Neininger said Attorney Loy recommended an indefinite time period for the property ERA which saves a step for the County and the company, and that the ERA for the rehabilitation of the real estate and the new information technology equipment be stated as “to be determined”. Mr. Bonner said the employees who live in Monon will have a shorter distance to drive and the employees who will have a further drive are excited about a new facility. Councilor Kramer said he is thrilled to have the building used rather than stand vacant.

Councilor Annis made a motion to approve the Declaratory Resolution to designate an Economic Revitalization Area for Pulaski-White Rural Telephone Company (#2012-01-17-02). Councilor Crabb seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous

 

LUSE ROAD

Councilor Cain asked Director Neininger who would be responsible for the road from 6th Street to the proposed digester on Luse Road. He was concerned about semi truck traffic wear and tear on it. Ms. Neininger said it is a County Road and would be the County’s responsibility. She said the City has designated the area between Jordan manufacturing down to the other plants (Monticello Spring, Tru Flight, DNL) as an industrial area. Councilor Cain would like see the care and maintenance of Luse Road be a part of the digester plant discussions. She has recommended they make it a stipulation to not use Gordon Road. Semi truck traffic now uses State Road 24 to 6th Street. Semi’s coming from the South on State Road 39 can follow the truck route to St. Rd. 24 to 6th St. The roundabout was built with a large median with a low, gradual incline to handle semi’s going through it at a straight shot. Ms. Neininger said there will be a public meeting about the project at the Best Western Brandywine on January 26, 2011 at 7:00. The people doing this project live here, and they care about this community.

ADJOURNMENT

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

 

 

 

 

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

DENNIS E CARTER, PRESIDENT JAMES ANNIS GARY W HENDRYX

___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________

DENNIS D CAIN KEVIN L CRABB RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

___________________________ Attest: ___________________________

BRUCE D CLEAR JILL GUINGRICH, AUDITOR