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April 16, 2012

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 April 16, 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.



Councilor Kramer said on page two in the Highway Department’s additional appropriations request there should be a dollar sign and the number 4 in front of the word million. Also page three under White County Sheriff’s Officer Replacement there shouldn’t be an apostrophe in Corrections Officer. Councilor Clear said it should be a Corrections Officer, not Community Corrections Officer as Sheriff Shafer stated.

Councilor Kramer made a motion to accept the March 19, 2012 minutes with the noted corrections. Councilor Clear seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous



Auditor Jill Guingrich said the Cum Bridge fund can only be used for bridges, therefore the approved additional appropriation for the Highway Department last month must come from a different fund. She also said if there are funds that have excess money, the money can be transferred to the rainy day fund which is more flexible to use.

Highway Superintendent BJ Propes said he will be using Cum Bridge money to work on Norway Bridge & Pike Creek Bridge. The Federal Government will help with the funding as well, which is usually 80%. The County would pay 20%. He has heard the paperwork may have been started, and a contract already in the works, but he is researching the situation. Lowes Bridge will need work in the next few years as well. Councilor Kramer suggested waiting another month before acting on this appropriation to allow Superintendent Propes time to research.



Mr. Propes said he had two loaders blow up on him. One is a 1968 model and the other a 1972 model. He could probably keep them going for about $5,000. He wanted the Council to be aware that a replacement might be in the near future. A good replacement with approximately five thousand hours on it would cost in the ballpark of $50,000. If both loaders could be repaired, they might be worth $10,000 or $15,000. He didn’t know if they could be traded in.

Councilor Cain asked about selling unused machines and trucks. Superintendent Propes said the Highway Department uses them for parts; although he could use the space as he might have to get another 800 tons of salt, and will need a place to store it. He said they do sell old culvert pipe, worn out snowplow blades, and other scrap. Councilor Cain asked what happens to the used oil. Mr. Propes said R & S Used Oil Service owns the oil tank and they pick up the used oil. They don’t pay anything for the oil, but they do pay $120.00 for the used filters. He said Crystal Clean, which does their parts wash, has offered to pay $1.00 per gallon. Turn Key has also offered to pay $1.00 a gallon.

Ms. Kathleen Gross, a White County Resident and former Indiana State Employee, suggested implementing a wheel tax to cover one-time expenses, like radios for the Highway Department. Councilor Kramer said based on past Council discussions the amount generated from a wheel tax does not offset the imposition it poses to the local taxpayers. Councilor Annis said other funds can be used for one-time expenses. Council President Carter said there are tipping fees that cost more for the out-of-County trucks that produce funding for the County. Councilor Cain said as a Council they try to work within their means without imposing new taxes. Councilor Kramer said on the other hand, the State is pushing Counties toward imposing new taxes by creating unfunded mandates. Councilor Clear reiterated that the last three or four years the Council has done its best to cut out all the fat and run the County as efficiently and effectively as possible without starting a wheel tax or a local option income tax. Councilor Kramer mentioned on top of it all, the County’s revenues are down.



Superintendent Propes said he not only has to replace his prior Assistant Superintendent position, but he has one employee off on medical leave who is retiring, two employees leaving for better pay, another one leaving in June, and still yet another leaving in the Fall.

Mr. Propes asked how much the replacement for his job would be paid. There are some positions at the highway department that make close to the same amount as the Assistant position when you factor in the overtime during an extremely snowy winter. Councilor Cain asked Mr. Propes how much he thinks the new assistant should make. Mr. Propes said the next person should make close to what he was making, or no one will be interested in taking on the position. As the Assistant he was the first one to arrive at work, and the last one to leave. He was not allowed any compensatory time or pay. Councilor Cain was in favor of keeping the pay about the same. There is no base salary range for this position because the Highway Department was exempt from the Matrix System the Council made a few years ago. Councilor Clear would prefer giving a salary range for Mr. Propes to work with, rather than a fixed number. Councilor Annis suggested $43,000 to $44,000. Councilor Hendryx said the overtime pay is not guaranteed, and the assistant position pay is. Council President Carter said these figures would be the widest pay range between positions in the County. Councilor Crabb said $45,000 should be at the high end of the range in order to keep it less than what Mr. Propes was making and to keep the range between positions about the same. Auditor Guingrich said the highest paid person in the Highway Department would have to work 240 hours of overtime to match the Assistant’s current salary. That’s 240 hours more than their regular overtime.

Councilor Crabb made a motion to give Mr. Propes a start pay range to hire an Assistant Superintendent of $43,000 to $45,000 depending on ability and experience. Councilor Hendryx seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous



Council President Carter asked Superintendent Propes what his salary wishes are, knowing the prior Superintendent made $10,000 more than Mr. Propes’ assistant position. He said a couple thousand less than the salary Mr. Brooke was making. Although he had been the assistant for thirteen years, he said he has much to learn in his new position. Mr. Propes said Mr. Brooke was not paid for his unused sick days or free days. Auditor Guingrich said sick days are never paid out, and the County does not recognize free days. She said the prior Superintendent was paid out a large amount of vacation days which cut into that position’s budgeted salary. Ms. Kathleen Gross said the days during which the Assistant’s position has been open should offset the paid out vacation days.

Council President asked Mr. Propes to leave the meeting so the Councilors could discuss his salary more freely. Auditor Guingrich said the difference in pay between Elected Official to First Deputy within each office in White County ranges from $5,000 to $9,000 (not including any overtime or longevity). Councilor Clear said he would be in favor of $55,300 retroactive to his appointment date (that would be $2,000 less than Mr. Brooke’s pay). Councilor Annis suggested $53,500 because there is a learning curve, and he was splitting the difference. Councilor Clear said Mr. Propes was wise enough to say he is aware there’s a lot for him to learn, and he didn’t expect to receive the same salary as his predecessor. Councilor Crabb said he was thinking $53,000, but considering the 95% rule in times past, $54,000 would be more in line, and would still be a $7,000 bump up.

Councilor Annis made a motion to set Superintendent Propes’ salary at $54,000 retroactive to his appointment date. Councilor Cain seconded the motion.

Vote: 6 Yeah, 1 Nay: Councilor Clear


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





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