January 5, 2009
Pursuant to adjournment comes now the Starke County Board of Commissioners and meet in regular session at 5:00 p.m. in the Annex meeting room, Knox, Indiana, and the following proceedings were held to wit:
Dan Bridegroom requested that all cell phones be put on silent except emergency personnel.
Steve further reported that he had received information and forms from F.E.M.A. that needed to be filled out regarding all the damage from last year. He reported that all the work has been completed. Steve would like the commissioners and the county attorney to review everything so that the forms could be submitted back to F.E.M.A. in order to receive the balance of the reimbursement from them.
Steve stated that two springs on the overhead doors at the highway garage had broken. He called D.C. Garage Doors to repair the doors. They had to order parts that should be in on Wednesday.
Steve is concerned about the fact that there are only fifteen truck drivers (including the interim foreman) at this time and we have 18 areas to cover. He would like to see three more hired if possible, but stated he could probably get by with two if necessary. The commissioners discussed the employees going back to forty-hour workweeks versus hiring new employees. They also discussed pulling a mechanic and to stop working on other county vehicles.
Kathy Norem stated that she is in favor of eliminating a mechanic, adding a truck driver and putting the hours back to forty per week, and to continue working on other county vehicles in order to save the taxpayers.
Kathy Norem moved to eliminate a mechanic with the least seniority, to have the highway return to a forty-hour workweek, and to add a driver to the current roster, offering that position first to the displaced mechanic seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.
The Auditor’s office informed the commissioners that the purchase of a new cell phone was on the highway’s Centennial bill. The commissioners asked Steve to research why it was purchased, why we have it, and who issued it. Sue Himes, Highway Clerk, stated that Scott Dedloff was told by John Norris to go pick up the new phone, as Scott’s wasn’t working. The bill shows that this entered the county into a longer contract, also. The commissioners requested that Steve talk to Scott about this tomorrow.
Jeff Larrison with United Consulting came before the commissioners at their request to explain the C.R. 300E projects to the two new commissioners. Charles Weaver, Director of the Economic Development Foundation, helped to explain parts of the projects.
Charles Weaver wanted to know if the state was going to offer more funding and if not, where would the funds for the shortfall come from.
Duane Arndt, spokesperson for Congressman Joe Donnelly, spoke to the commissioners about the stimulus packages coming out. He informed them that they had to be construction projects for infrastructure and the projects had to be “ready to go”. These projects have to be under construction by June 1 to be eligible. Duane further stated that all the information regarding the stimulus package is not available at this time, but should be coming out soon. To be eligible, they will also look at how many people will be working on the project, and the cost of the project.
Rhonda Milner, County Assessor, had requested bids for the annual maintenance and trending and for reassessment. Property Systems was the only company that submitted a bid. Rhonda requested, pending approval by the DLGF and the county attorney, that the commissioners sign it at the next meeting. She will not be in attendance as she will be at an Assessors’ Conference.
Rhonda informed the commissioners that reassessment is to begin July 1st. The D.L.G.F. is trying to get that delayed.
Dan Bridegroom moved to approve pending approval of the D.L.G.F. and the county attorney seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.
Charles Weaver and Van Janovic wanted to discuss the process of the bidding on the Sysco projects and wanted to explain the projects to the commissioners. Van gave the commissioners packets for all three of the projects for their perusal.
Charles Weaver informed the commissioners that the pre bid conference is to be held Thursday, January 8, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.
Dan Bridegroom moved to approve the January 2, 2009, minutes seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.
Mark Milo moved to continue having all purchases exceeding $100 to go before Bob Smith, I.T. Coordinator, seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.
Martin Lucas, County Attorney, finished reviewing the F.E.M.A. papers submitted by the highway department and stated that they all appeared to be in order. Kathy Norem moved to approve them and have Dan Bridegroom sign them seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.
Most of the department heads that responded prefer that all the employees sit in on the educational sessions. The sessions will be about an hour or an hour and a half once a year.
County Attorney, Martin Lucas, said that the handbook actually looks pretty good—it just needs some editing and a little clean up, but basically good.
Kathy Norem feels that the highway superintendent should be able to hire who they want. Mark Milo explained that in the past, they let the superintendent interview prospective employees and submit his or her preferences and the commissioners would choose from them.
Kathy Norem feels that the superintendent should be able to manage his or her own office and be held responsible. Mark Milo stated that the commissioners shouldn’t have to micromanage.
Dan Bridegroom will work with Martin Lucas to come up with a job description for the superintendent.
Kathy Norem called three plumbers for a quote to fix the current problem of the sewage leak in the Prosecutor’s Office and to get a quote to replace all the pipes.
Mark Milo moved to allow Kathy Norem to sign and approve the lowest and best bid for the current problem seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.
Kathy Norem moved to keep the I.T. Coordinator, Bob Smith’s, office location as is at the present time seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.
Kathy Norem moved to have Dan Bridegroom collect information on a personnel complaint received by the commissioners seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes. They will set an executive session after the information is collected.
Mark Milo submitted a letter and information from the “Trails” project for our information, as it is located in our county.
There being no further business to come before the board, Kathy Norem moved to adjourn seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.
Dan Bridegroom, President Kathy Norem, Vice President
Mark Milo, Member Michaelene J. Houston, Auditor and
Secretary to the Commissioners