2008-05-28 / Front Page

County leaders to meet with IDEM about sewer district

By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

Although the subject did not appear on the published agenda for the May 19 morning Carroll County Commissioners meeting, the group known as Free Jefferson Township Citizens (FJTC) wanted to have their say at the meeting. And when they were finished, commissioners voted two-to-one to request a meeting with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management about the Twin Lakes Sewer District.

FJTC spokesperson Pat Robertson presented county leaders with a resolution to request to meet with the state organization, a representative from Gov. Mitch Daniels office, a Twin Lakes Sewer District representative and project opponents. Robertson said the purpose of the meeting, as set out by the resolution, would be to discuss management and operation of the sewer district and the dissolution of the district as it currently exists.

"We need to bring this to a head," Robertson said. "We have been assured that if you ask for that meeting, IDEM will have that meeting."

"The governor's office said IDEM will call a meeting if it is requested by you," she added.

Other opponents at the meeting complained although commissioners said sewer district issues should be addressed by IDEM, the state agency indicated the problems should be solved at the local level.

Commissioners' president Loren Hylton said he thought a meeting would be alright, but disagreed with a point made in the resolution which stated once the commissioners sent a letter to TLRSD, to request they halt expansion into Carroll County. Hylton said he did not vote to approve the request and did not agree the letter should be mentioned in the resolution before them because it was not done by unanimous vote.

"I'm not against a meeting," Hylton said. "I look at it (the sewer district) as a betterment for the whole county."

Brown moved to endorse Resolution 2008-08 to request a meeting with IDEM.

"I think it would be a good idea to have the meeting," he said.

"It seems like somehow we have developed an institution with more power than we do," George Mears said as he provided the second.

Hylton voted to deny the request.

Central dispatch

According to E911 director Jay Dee Cree, the county sheriffs department receives all emergency calls for the county, including the Emergency Medical Services. He reported an initial meeting with Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser and police chief Justin Darling to discuss combining services had taken place.

Strasser said the concept to consolidate dispatch for police and emergency personnel was an idea that had been discussed informally for the past three city administrations.

He said Delphi could experience financial problems in the next two years due to state-imposed budget reductions. Strasser said he would like to look at a 10 to 15 year plan for consolidation.

Delphi City Council President Carolyn Pearson added Delphi would expect to support the plan financially as deemed appropriate and fair.

Cree and Strasser were directed to name a seven-member study committee to investigate the situation.

Carroll County Sheriff Tony Burns said Tuesday after the meeting that he understood from the last commissioners'meeting article in the paper the topic would be on the agenda for the meeting, but he had not been engaged in discussions about the issue.

"I'm glad there were no decisions made at the meeting," Burns said. "I have not been in any formal meetings with anyone up to this point about it."

"We kind of already have central dispatch," he explained. "That's because we already dispatch all emergency services except Delphi."

"I'm trying to focus on the positive because we've got to move forward in a positive direction," he concluded. "I call this 'combined dispatch' and it can be a part of that. It can be very beneficial to everyone in the community if it is done correctly."

EDIT request

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce representative Dick Bradshaw provided a written funding recommendation for use of all Economic Development Income Tax(EDIT) funding.

The plan includes dedicated use of increased revenue generated by a tax increase, which has been proposed to the county council for a decision by Dec. 31.

Bradshaw said Carroll County Economic Development Corporation now has 80 acres under option to offer to prospective industry.

EMS

EMS director Mike Durr was directed, upon advice of commissioners' attorney Barry Emerson, to solicit three bids for billing services before offering a contract to any one service. Durr reported the current provider changed the method in which they do business, which has reduced income since the first of the year.

Durr said one company offered the same service for eight percent of income received, which is less than the charge currently paid for the service. He further advised that the county owns the software used for billing, however he did not have staff who could provide the service.

Durr reported that the Yeoman Community Center/EMS Garage grant was funded. He said because the county would be obligated to provide service to the Yeoman area and occupy the building for five years to satisfy grant requirements, it would be necessary to replace a vehicle. He said he could trade in one or two high-mileage vehicles for one chase vehicle.

Durr was directed to proceed with the transaction.

Highway department

Superintendent Ron Francis said deck replacement and widening on culvert 1643 located on CR100E, north of CR700S was completed and the road is now open. There is no longer a weight limit.

A contract to begin design work for the Burnett's Creek Arch was approved by INDOT. The bridge is slated for rehabilitation, however construction is not expected to begin this year.

Francis reported approximately 75 percent of the potholes in county roads have been repaired. One patcher and crew are dedicated to roads in the northern section of the county.

The county will provide dust control for 300 feet in front of all homes on gravel roads and intersections. Residents who would like to have additional coverage must pay for the service in advance of application.

The 2007 Bridge Inspection Report, approved by INDOT, was presented. A copy can be viewed in the auditor's office or the county highway garage in Flora. A PDF file is available for Internet users.

Other business

Ron James, executive director, Wabash River Heritage Corridor, presented a powerpoint look at the work of the commission. He said a water trail was planned for a formal opening in Carroll County June 14. The Carrollton Bridge will be rededicated the same day.

James said that 2,628 people in Carroll County live within one mile of the Wabash River, 9,765 within five miles and 17,154 live within 10 miles of the waterway. He said the river is the longest unimpeded river corridor east of the Mississippi and runs through 19 Indiana counties. There are 59 public access sites throughout the state.

Delphi United Methodist Church will have a sign on the courthouse lawn June 5-8. Delphi Lions will have a sign May 31 to July 5.

County prosecutor Tricia Thompson will use the courthouse lounge May 23 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. for an officers' meeting.

The Congressional Township Fund report was approved unanimously. The fund contains approximately $29,000 according to auditor Beth Myers. However, she said she was not sure what the fund was used for but that the amount reported in the fund balanced with the treasurer's office.

The next meeting will be June 2 at 9 a.m.

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