The regular meeting of the Porter County Board of Commissioners convened at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 in the Commissioners' Chambers of the Administration Center.
Those present: Commissioners David Burrus, Larry Sheets, John Evans and Attorney Gwenn Rinkenberger.
President David Burrus called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF PAYROLL
Com. Sheets moved to approve the payroll of February 11, 2002, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Com. Sheets moved to approve the minutes of February 5, 2002, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
RECEIVE BIDS FOR FURNITURE FOR NEW PORTER COUNTY JAIL
Doug Snider, Porter County Sheriff's Police Department
Kathy Todoran, Schenkel Shultz
Com. Burrus, "Before opening the bids, I want to make a note for the record that we have published this and have on file the Publisher's Affidavit that the bids were published at the proper time. These bids are all submitted on identical cover sheets and they should have a single lump sum figure."
Com. Sheets opened the following bids:
1.HDW Commercial Interiors$ 249,251.56
(Com. Sheets noted for the record that the bid was received not sealed.)
3.Productive Business Interiors 175,717.00
4.Lincoln Office LLC 201,262.60
5.Wings Contract Furniture 180,436.06
6.Kramer & Leonard 183,479.38
Com. Sheets, "How long do you need? Will two weeks be fine, say at our next meeting?"
Com. Burrus, "These will be taken under review and the decision will be made at the next Commissioners' meeting on March 5th."
Com. Sheets moved to take the bids under advisement until the first meeting of March, 2002, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
INMATE MEDICAL CARE CONTRACT-DR. JERRY BACK
Maj. Doug Snider, Porter County Sheriff's Police Department
Com. Burrus, "It is my understanding we are dealing with a service contract for inmate medical care. This is a contract that in the previous year was $31,000.00 and the proposed contract for this coming year will be $36,000.00. Could you give us some background on the type of work that is done with respect to this doctor?"
Maj. Snider, "The doctor has been on staff for a couple years with us now. He responds twenty-four hours to emergency calls. He doesn't come in every time, but he is available for twenty-four hour consultation and he does come for one day a week and he stays as long as needed for the sick call. The increase has been added because of the additional inmates we are going to have this year."
Com. Burrus, "I should mention this doctor is Dr. Jerry Back."
Com. Evans, "Where does he reside?"
Maj. Snider, "He is a LaPorte resident."
Com. Evans, "The money comes from what budget?"
Maj. Snider, "I believe it is general fund. We have it in our budget."
Atty. Rinkenberger, "This money has been appropriated for the year 2002?"
Maj. Snider, "Correct. And that money has survived the 10% cut."
Com. Evans, "Has anyone else been interviewed to provide the service?"
Maj. Snider, "I do not know."
Com. Sheets moved to approve Dr. Jerry Back's contract for inmate medical care for 2002, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
PROCLAMATION-SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK
Phil Griffith, Emergency Management
Mr. Griffith, "I submitted copies to your office for your review of a Severe Weather Awareness Week that the State of Indiana is holding March 3 through the 9th; similar to the one we did last year. I also submitted a copy of the press release I sent out to all the news media and I will be issuing some supplementary information as it gets closer to the date of the test, which is Wednesday, March 6, 2002. We will do an actual siren test with the schools, hospitals, nursing homes, tv stations, and radio stations. They will all participate in this. It will be done around 2:00 state time which is 1:00 our local time. They will activate the sirens. The purpose is to see by the time the National Weather Service puts out the warning and it gets to the state police and it gets filtered back through. In addition to that, we will also have our sky warns and weather spotters will all be involved, and the ham radio operators will all be involved. We will have probably 200 people in Porter County participating and that is not counting the schools. Every school will hold a tornado drill during the school period and in the evening, it will allow the families to hold a drill at home. In the meantime, we are offering all kinds of classes and we have brochures on severe weather."
Com. Burrus, "So this is coinciding with the start of the tornado season?"
Mr. Griffith, "Yes, March through June is our worst times for severe weather. Again, most of our thunderstorms do not produce tornados; however, when they do, we can get as little as a two minute warning."
Com. Burrus, "With your drill, you are going to activate the warning sirens; will that be as a result of passing the word through the state police and so forth?"
Mr. Griffith, "We work very closely with VU and their meteorology department. If they receive a warning or if a certified spotter or a police officer see an actual incident occurring, we will issue our warning prior to it being put out and we will notify the National Weather Service. We went last week to the National Weather Service up in Romeoville, and took a tour of their facilities. Thursday, they came out and did an inspection of Porter County and went along with us to get Porter County certified as a storm ready community. I don't know the results, but I think we did very well and I think we met every standard. What they will do, is every two years we will go through another inspection to see if we are improving upon what we already have. That storm ready certification down the road, should, according to the national government and everybody else, should actually end up as a discount on homeowner's insurance."
Com. Burrus, "As a result of this presentation today, you want us to take action on issuing the proclamation?"
Mr. Griffith, "Yes. I would like to make a proclamation making the week of March 3 to the 9, 2002 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Porter County."
Severe Weather Awareness Week
March 3-9, 2002
WHEREAS,The months of March through June present the highest risk for severe thunderstorms and tornados to strike Porter County; and
WHEREAS,Porter County is located within the nation's "Tornado Belt" becoming a prime target of devastating tornado outbreaks and other types of severe weather; and
WHEREAS,A statewide tornado warning exercise will be held on March 6, 2002, for the purpose of testing communication systems, equipment and procedures; and
WHEREAS,During this week, the Porter County Emergency Management Agency is emphasizing its safety procedures involving tornado activity;
NOW THEREFORE, We, the Porter County Commissioners, do hereby proclaim March 3-9, 2002 as:
"SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK"
in Porter County and encourage all citizens to become aware of tornado danger signs, and to learn how to safeguard the lives of their families, friends and citizenry in the event of severe weather activity in our area.
This Proclamation passed this 19th day of February, 2002.
S\David L. Burrus
S\Larry D. Sheets
S\John A. Evans
Com. Evans moved to approve the Proclamation, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
APPOINTMENT TO THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD
Com. Burrus, "With respect to the Workforce Investment Board, we have a responsibility to appoint board members and we do so at the recommendation of the Workforce Board itself. The one we need to deal with today has to do with a recommendation for Mr. Charlie Furman, vice President of Human Resources at Bethlehem Steel. He has been nominated to the Workforce Investment Board by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce. He is to take the place of Kathy Dimitri, who has expressed an interest in not being re-appointed. Mr. Furman's term on the board would be from March 1, 2002 through June 30, 2004. The Workforce Investment Board is a component of Workforce Innovations and also is involved with Kankakee Valley Workforce organization. Gentlemen, any questions or comments?"
Com. Evans moved to approve the appointment of Charlie Furman, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
EXECUTIVE ORDER PURSUANT TO IC 36-6-6-5(b)-ELECTION SHERIFFS
Com. Burrus, "The Executive Order is having to do with the election sheriffs at the polling
places during elections. It has been requested by the Council and the Voter's Registration Board that these sheriff's positions be eliminated. I would like to point out the sheriffs have been in the habit of being paid $100.00 for their services and there are 250 of these at each election. So this represents a savings to the county of $25,000.00 per election."
EXECUTIVE ORDER PURSUANT TO IC 36-6-6-5(b)
Since there are no election board sheriffs placed at each voting precinct, those duties shall be assumed by the judges of each election board at each precinct in Porter County, Indiana for election day purposes. That is to say that the judges of each precinct in Porter County shall perform the duties and have the rights of the election sheriffs of each precinct in Porter County. This order is issued pursuant to IC 36-6-6-5(b) and shall remain in effect until retracted by the county executive.
Dated this 19th day of February, 2002.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PORTER COUNTY INDIANA
S\David L. Burrus
S\Larry D. Sheets
S\John A. Evans
Com. Evans moved to approve the Executive Order, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
Treasurer's monthly report on file for January 2002.
Building Department monthly report on file for January 2002.
Court Security Monthly report on file for January 2002.
E-911 Request for Transfer approved on February 5, 2002 in the amount of $96,056.00 was published in the Chesterton Tribune on February 8, 2002. This is for informational purposes only.
North District: John Evans
1. Centier Letter of Credit for $30,000.00 for 5 years for the maintenance guarantee for
the Rail Road Bridge over Coffee Creek at the Coffee Creek Center in Chesterton in accordance with Ordinance 90-3, Section VI D. The $30,000.00 was recommendation on the inspection of October 2, 2001.
Com. Evans moved to approve, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
2. Road Agreement for Lawrence Subdivision, located on the northeast corner of Burdick Road and CR 325 East. Offer to contribute $750.00/lot for a total of $4,500.00. Owner and subdivider is Robert Harbrecht.
Com. Evans moved to approve, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
3.Road agreement for Liberty Minor Subdivision No. 1620-A-1 containing four lots, three buildable. Located in Section 14, Township 36 North Range 6 in West Liberty Township, corner of CR 950 North and Meridian Road. Offer to contribute $750.00 a lot to maintain CR 950 North and Meridian North. Total amount $2,250.00. Owner and subdivider is Robert and Martha Etchason.
Com. Evans moved to approve, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
Center District: Larry Sheets
1. Performance Letter of Credit #00036880 from Bank One for Glenwood Hills, Phase 4
in the amount of $15,000.00. Expiration date February 28, 2003.
Com. Sheets moved to approve, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
South District: David Burrus
1. Road Agreement for Boone Minor Subdivision 1451-C-1 on north side of CR 650 South between CR 150 West and CR 250 West. This has 3 lots for a total of $2,250.00. The owner and subdivider is Wesley C. Birky.
Com. Burrus moved to approve, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
2. Request for $315,200.00 Federal Funds STP-Group 1 from NIRPC to help fund CR 100 South improvement from Lake County Line to SR 2. The previous STP-Group IV, request to INDOT was for $2,815,000.00 but is limited to $2,500,000.00. Therefore, Porter County is requesting from NIRPC Group I money to supplement the project total.
Com. Burrus moved to approve, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
3.Acceptance of all roads in the Wind Whistle Subdivision located on the west side of
County Road 150 East between 150 South and 250 South. There is a maintenance letter for credit from Citizen's Federal Service in the amount of $22,600.00. Owners and subdividers are Philip Norman and Dennis Leek.
Com. Burrus moved to approve, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
PORTER COUNTY HOME CLOSURE-
David Lomaka, Mary Alice Larson, Porter Starke Services
Mr. Lomaka, "I have been speaking with you about some of the changes with Porter Starke due to some of the changes in the steel industry and some of our funding. As you presented to the County Council last week, Porter Starke's budgeted amount has gone down from last year's total funding by almost $700,000.00. $174,000.00 was planned County Home funding reductions but the total net of the changes is over $700,000.00. We've done all of our homework to try to maintain one of our programs, the County Home, which we spoke about many times here just since my coming on board. The County Home currently is operating at an almost $400,000.00 deficit and with the impending funding reductions, I think Porter Starke is really in a position to no longer be able to provide that service. In addition, one of the other things changed with the State of Indiana is they froze admissions back in November and we are hearing from the Indianapolis that it is not likely those might ever be returned to us. Basically what they are saying is, they were paying the state, through room and board assistance funding, and paying us to place some of the residents. So as the census has decreased, we have empty beds and we can't fill them because there is no compensation for it. The combined effect of all those things is devastating to us. For the past few weeks, we have been sharing some of the information with you. We have been starting to look at possible relocations of some of the residents to other facilities that are appropriate for them, whether they have mental health needs or other county home facilities. Some of the residents have more nursing home needs with the possibility of going to local nursing homes. The funding they are currently receiving from the state will transfer with them to the other facilities. It is actually a good time to make this change because other places have vacancies and they can now take some residents. The opportunity is upon us right now to make this move. We are bringing this to you because this is really a County Commissioner program that you need to. . . . "
Com. Burrus, "What you are suggesting then is that we are at a point now where from a financial point of view it is necessary to terminate the County Home services in Porter County?"
Mr. Lomaka, "Correct."
Com. Burrus, "What is the population you are currently dealing with?"
Mr. Lomaka, "Twenty six residents."
Com. Burrus, "In the planning you have done for this, what locations and what kinds of other county home facilities could be available?"
Mary Alice Larson, "We have contacted LaPorte County Home and they have room for ten or eleven of our residents and we also have been talking with a nursing home that has a medical director who has been seeing some of our residents at the County Home. He is their doctor so he would be continuing to see them in the nursing home that we would like to place them in. Then we also have a room and board facility over in South Bend that is available for those that have mental health needs so that they could continue to get services. We have a number of people at the County Home that do need mental health services and we actually are providing a program in that facility so we would be able to continue to work with folks that we already know and that already know us. From that standpoint, that is also an advantage. We have spent a lot of time looking at their needs and where they could best be placed. However, we will be presenting these choices to the residents and their families and they will have the opportunity to make the decision. It is going to be their choice except for those that are infirm and need a nursing home. The bottom line is we are most concerned about their well being and we are really going to help them make a choice that will be best for them."
Com. Burrus, "Do all these residents need residential care, or are any of them able to live on their own?"
Ms. Larson, "No, none of them are able to live on their own."
Com. Evans, "Do all of them have outside help or guardians that are going to be able to assist them in making these decisions?"
Ms. Larson, "Some of them have guardians and family members; some of them do not. Some of them are able to make their own decisions about their person."
Com. Evans, "Those that do not, is there any way that they can consult with anyone to get some outside input or to let them know what is available? I know you will do a good job of that, though."
Ms. Larson, "We are planning to take people on tours to LaPorte County Home so that they can actually see where they will be going and meet the people there. We really want to make this transition as least traumatic as possible. We know that it is going to be very traumatic for some of our people and we want to give them all the support possible."
Com. Sheets, "We opened this up to people outside of Porter County. We did that because there was a much less demand for this need. Social Security covers these people in nursing homes and they can find suitable residence elsewhere. The idea that the Porter County Home is closing is not really a surprise. This has been hinted at for about ten years. People are going out of this business because the state doesn't need to fund it and the need is not there any longer and there are nursing homes to take care of them. Nobody is going to be put on the street. The traumatic part will be that they have to move. I can understand that having dealt with these people for a long time. I appreciate what Porter Starke has done at a time when we really needed them back when the Husbands retired from the County Home and when people were reading about cruelty in nursing homes. We were concerned who would take over. I appreciate all the help. I know this is tough on you people. It was in the papers this morning about the state's additional cuts across the board. The ARCH Program which we relied on to keep these folks all along has been frozen and I am told it will be eliminated. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to move these people. I guess the only thing I need to know now is the time frame."
Ms. Larson, "We have set April 1st as a target but we know that maybe that might be too soon. We have already started the process of assessing those that need nursing home care. That can happen fairly quickly, but we do need to help our residents visit the other places and get their families involved. It could be April 1st, it could be the middle of April."
Com. Sheets, "Just for information, most of these people are at the County Home because they had no family."
Ms. Larson, "We have some that have very distant relatives. Some of the people have friends who are like family and we are involving those people who are significant in their lives."
(Jackie Sterling, Porter County Recorder, asked a question or made a remark from the back of the audience which did not come through the microphone and was inaudible to the recording secretary.)
Com. Evans, "How many county homes are functioning?"
Ms. Larson, "Twenty two out of the original ninety two."
Com. Burrus, "I would like to reinforce the thanks that Larry offered. I also want to offer my appreciation for the method you are going to use to help these people by being as accommodating as you can be."
Atty. Rinkenberger, "You need a motion to approve moving forward with the dissolution. I will have to look at the state code as there are some requirements we need to send out in a letter to state agencies giving the specific dates that it will be closed. I don't think we can take any definitive action until then."
Com. Sheets moved to allow Porter Starke Services to initiate actions to find other housing for the County Home clients, Com. Evans seconded, motion carried.
FROST LAW REMOVED-
Jack Jarnecke, Highway Superintendent
Mr. Jarnecke, "We took the frost law off yesterday morning and I think we are pretty much out of the woods with having problems with the roads, unless we have a snow storm at the end of the week. One question I have about the north district mower, is they have transmission problems and it will be about $3,500.00 for the repair bill. Is it okay to get that in the shop? And the other question is, the sweeper operator, Bill Walters, has retired but served as a part time operator last year and I would like to have him back this year again part time."
Com. Sheets, "It is my understanding there is not a freeze on part time."
Com. Burrus, "Barb, what is the position on part time employees? Are there any restrictions?"
Barb Stroud, "As long as the money is in the line item there are no restrictions that I know of. It is not general fund money."
Com. Burrus, "Well, we still have our county wide policy that we want to accommodate as best we can. I guess it is all right then, Jack."
Mr. Jarnecke, "With four operators, we are going to try and do our mowing with the permanent people this summer."
Com. Burrus, "Are we looking at a reduction in some of the road work we are going to be doing because of the funding?"
Mr. Jarnecke, "Yes. And another thing, the Hitachi excavator, the tracks on the end of that machine will be at least $15,000. Just something to think about down the way."
Com. Burrus, "With things being the way they are, you might want to look at that track repair."
Com. Evans, "Before we spend too much of my cable fund up north we need to consider the Calumet Trail. We are going to have to talk on that."
SCHOOLEY MITCHELL TELECOM CONSULTANTS-
Mr. Carney, "My name is Joel Carney. I am with Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants. I am hoping to give you some bright news. As you will recall, last fall I was here before you offering my services to try and help find ways to save money on your telecommunications usage. Subsequently we did enter into an agreement for that. I am here to give you a very brief report on some of the areas I have found where I can help the county save some money. I am going to read what you have in front of you there. Through diligent and thorough negotiations with several long distance providers and by researching and identifying the best and most cost effective cellular plans, I would like to report on the proposed savings to be realized over the next two years by taking advantage of these efforts. In the area of your cellular usage is primarily services with Nextel, by reviewing current plans that are available and in consultation with Nextel, we have come up with some changes in the plans that will maintain the level of service that you presently have but over a two year period will save $4,630.56. In the area of long distance, we negotiated with several suppliers and gave them an opportunity to give is their best price. We have a plan that we feel is very good and will maintain the level of service you have been used to. For a two year period the savings would be approximately $51,732.12. That brings the two year total savings to approximately $56,362.68. A possible suggestion you might want to take under consideration in regard to the cellular plans. You should know that most cellular plans come with so many minutes of any time usage for night and weekends and if you take a plan because of the anytime usage, you get night/weekend minutes with it. There is no way to eliminate those. With the new packages that I will be recommending, there are 31,500 night and weekend minutes total that come with these plans. Normally, permanent cost is $.35 a minute. I am suggesting you consider to canvas the folks that have possession of the existing cellular telephones to see if there is enough interest for them to buy some of these minutes at $.10 per minute for their personal use. At $.10 a minute, obviously that would depend on the response that you would get the interest that you would get from those folks. Taking those 31,500 minutes at $.10 a minute, it could at the maximum, and you know all the minutes would not be spoken for, the maximum for two years with an additional revenue of $75,600.00. Considering those two things, the first figure I mentioned is pretty much a certainty, and the second one depending on your opinion and the interest it generates, could potentially generate over $131,962.68."
Com. Evans, "Isn't the cell phones suggestion create a billing nightmare?"
Mr. Carney, "I don't think so. I have some ideas in regard to that. I just wanted to throw this out to you."
Com. Evans, "Would it require us to enter into a contract that we don't now have? As I understand it, currently while we deal with Nextel, when a plan that is more advantageous to us becomes available, we are automatically advised and we take that option. If we go to this type of situation, they are not going to be so lenient as to then allow us to switch back and forth so we would have to enter into a contract and be locked into that plan where if their rates did go down, we are still going to pay."
Mr. Carney, "This is kind of different. I consulted with your Nextel representative."
Com. Evans, "Okay, then we would still have the flexibility? I had a conversation with her and I didn't know if I wasn't clear or she wasn't clear because I was not sure that we were going to have that flexibility."
Mr. Carney, "The longest term contract generally is a year."
Com. Evans, "How do we go about tracking those minutes used by the employees that want to purchase them at $.10 per minute?"
Mr. Carney, "I think the employees would have to commit themselves to a block of minutes. If they would agree to 200 minutes and only used 150, then it would be just like a cellular provider, then they are still obligated to pay for the 200 minutes. I don't see any other way to do that. Once we get further into it, it might prove to be in a logistic way, difficult. It is just an idea to try and generate more revenue. These are specifically night and weekend minutes. These plans that I have discussed with the Nextel representative have a sharing feature of the minutes. It is very unlikely someone is going to use 3,500 night and weekend minutes in a month so there should be plenty of minutes available. If there was sufficient interest, then we could make a determination at that point."
Com. Evans, "Maybe we should poll our employees and see where they stand and revisit the issue. I think it should be commended for $51,750.00 in long distance savings is a lot of money."
Com. Burrus, "I would like to ask a question. Since the phone bills are dynamic instruments to be able to document this savings so that you could receive your compensation, how does that occur?"
Mr. Carney, "Every month I get a copy of your billing and I provide you a report that shows what you were paying and the billing will show what you are paying then. It is just a matter of subtraction to show you the difference. It is based on actual usage. This is an estimate of the savings based upon three months of the existing billing. My portion on the actual savings is based on actual usage, not just forecasted or agreed upon."
Com. Burrus, "Your fee out of the projected savings would be what?"
Mr. Carney, "It would be 50%."
Com. Burrus, "So the county would be looking at a $26,000.00 savings that we wouldn't have otherwise."
Com. Sheets, "Some of us have turned our cellular phones in, has that been taken into consideration?"
Mr. Carney, "Yes it has. If you like, I can pull the existing phones to see what the interest is. I will get back to you on that."
SOUTH HAVEN COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL APPOINTMENT of David Saylor
Com. Evans, "I have a request to appoint David Saylor to the South Haven Advisory Council at the request of that group's chairman."
Com. Evans moved to appoint David Saylor to the South Haven Community Advisory Council, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
The meeting was recessed until 1:30 p.m.
Richard & Nancy Baulos-R-1 to C-1, 1st reading
Bob Thompson, "This is Plan Commission Resolution 02-01, petitioner Richard and Nancy Baulos requesting an amendment to the master plan from R-1 single family residential to C-1, neighborhood business. At their January 23rd meeting, recommended approval to the County Commissioners with written commitments by 7-0 vote."
Todd Leeth, "First of all, for the record, I am here on behalf of the petitioners. Mr. Thompson is correct. The Plan Commission held a public hearing, did not make an ultimate decision at that date, had some questions and concerns and continued the case. I was then able to modify and prepare a copy of written commitments which were then presented to the Plan Commission, they made some minor changes and made the favorable recommendation to you. I have provided to you a copy of that with the changes made by the Plan Commission. The property in question is 4.3 acres and I have given you a copy of the site. It lies between Old 49 and Calumet Road and the 49 By-pass. It is an unusually shaped piece of property. It is the very tip of the intersection when the two roads meet. The 107 some foot northern edge of that is actually right of way then on to the intersection. This is the northern most property. A portion of the northern property is already zoned C-1 and the southern portion is R-1. The C-1 zoning dates all the way back to the original Porter County zoning map of 1959 and there is no legal description that Mr. Thompson or I have been able to find. We think that the zoning line bisects this property and is located to the northern portion, but exactly where, we don't know. My client owns the entire piece. We would like to make the whole thing consistent zoning and commercial. Of course when it was zoned commercial back in 1959, the 49 By-pass was not even contemplated at that time so there are changed circumstances with regard to this property to justify the change in zoning. At the hearing, I think the chief concern was outside storage. My client intends to develop the property as a mini warehouse, and not concerned with outside storage by customers. We have addressed that in the written commitments very well. Section 4 of the written commitments talks about the permitted uses and I started with what would be allowed in C-1 Commercial and carved out some things that I knew would be objectionable. Primarily the one that comes out that is most noticeable is gas stations. You will find they are not allowed. I did leave in most of the retail types of businesses which I think is appropriate for that location. The restrictive language which resulted from the Plan Commission comments is in Paragraph 5: Further Conditions and 5A is where you will see it fits all types of outside storage. The property is going to be also the personal residence of my clients and therefore, paragraph D says any of the personal property that you would find a single family home is not going to be outside storage for purposes of this restriction. Then we have some other landscaping and perimeter fence requirements. I think the Plan Commission has done a very good job of flushing out the true concerns of the neighbors through the public hearing process. I think I have done an admirable job trying to address those. I will be happy to answer any questions."
Com. Evans, "They are going to build a residence there; and that piece of property used to belong to a man named Mr. Ervin Pope and he had a terrible time selling it because when it was created, most of it was created by the construction of the 49 Bypass. There were trees, concrete and all kinds of things dumped into that parcel of land and it would never pass the Perc test . Will it pass today?"
Atty. Leeth, "We believe so, but only on the south end and therefore the mini warehouses, which is one of the few uses you can have for commercial property, doesn't require a septic system, would be on the far southern end as the property gets wider and larger. He has received some soil testing that showed the availability of septic in that area."
Com. Evans, "I really want to be sure because I know he had a terrible time trying to sell that parcel because of that. Nobody wanted it. If the septic doesn't work, the well would go in but you have all that stuff to go through. I just think the septic and water issues ought to be resolved. You can't have a residence there and are we going to allow him to go ahead and just put warehouses there? I think we need to know if the residence is even feasible to go up there before we proceed. As we know, once we say okay, he can turn around and sell this and someone else can come in and do any one of those other uses that they want. If the intention is to do as he said and to build a residence and some type of business, I think we need to know whether or not the land is suitable for the residence."
Atty. Leeth, "My client is not here and he is the one that is more knowledgeable than I on the soil testing. I can't specifically answer that. We've addressed the issues that came up at the Plan Commission but not that one."
Com. Burrus, "Are you led to believe that the south end of that site has been undisturbed from the previous construction activity?"
Atty. Leeth, "It would have to be in order for the soil testings to be as positive as I believe it is."
Com. Evans, "That would be the part that is currently zoned residential right now?"
Atty. Leeth, "Correct. It is nearly 300 feet wide at the far end."
Com. Evans, "I can't help but think that when the 49 Bypass went in, a portion of this was created or recreated if you will, because of the layout of Calumet Road was completely different at the time of the construction of the bypass. That area became a waste zone for Reith Riley to put all their soil. I really have reservations about the septic and water, whether or not it will pass a Perc test."
Atty. Leeth, "Is it your concern that the property be developed with mini warehouses without the personal residence there? My position would be that the use of the property is justified regardless if there is a home there or not. If some of the specifics of paragraph 5 with regard to caretaker and so forth, relate to the mini warehouse development. I think the zoning is justified just by the chief circumstance that we have the bypass there."
Com. Evans, "I like the idea there is going to be a residence there if we do allow the petitioner to go ahead. The residence in that area deserve the security that would speak to and without it I would have a much harder time."
Atty. Leeth, "In response to the security issue, one of the things that my client desires is to make it a more secure mini warehouse facility. There was evidence at the Plan Commission as to the number of these types of business in the county. My client is well aware of that and had a marketing study done that suggests for certain types of projects that may be, the availability of the market to have more. He is trying to have an upscale type of mini warehouse facility, such as better security, paved access inside the perimeter of the property rather than gravel. If you look at the restrictions, there is a provision in there for a perimeter fence not less than six foot in height around the mini warehouses. I think that provides the security. As far as the esthetics, he is committing to spend $20,000.00 retail value in landscaping. It is going to be a nice facility if he meets those requirements."
Com. Evans, "Would that $20,000.00 include any expenses for the asphalt or concrete?"
Atty. Leeth, "My interpretation is that it is certainly not landscaping. I specifically excluded the fence, because I think that could be argued that it is. The intent is that it is not. It is decorative fencing. He is going to buy some wrought iron fencing in addition to the perimeter fence. Then there would be live plantings would be the balance of that."
Com. Evans, "I would like to see the Perc tests before we commit ourselves."
Com. Burrus, "Bob, in the event this was rezoned as requested and the owner chose to sell the property, anything that is appropriate for C-1 could be built. Keeping in mind the point that Todd made regarding the mini warehouse option that you are not required to have any kind of sanitary waste facility but everything else would, how would the Plan Commission or TAC look at a commercial venture on this site that did require sanitary sewers? Would a septic system be acceptable?"
Bob Thompson, "The Health Department would always look to see how close the sanitary sewer would be. The separation with the Toll Road up to Coffee Creek, I don't know what the separation is, but they would say if they were within 300 feet and by state statute they could require them to have sanitary sewers. On those commercial uses to come in, the Health Department will issue a permit but the final decision would come from the state."
Com. Burrus, "It is my understanding that the state would have the final say on commercial septics."
Mr. Thompson, "That is correct."
Com. Sheets, "I suggest if you have a question about Perc test, I would suggest we move to approve on first reading and when they come back for their second reading, and if you don't get what you want, or you want some adjustments, we can make it at that time. It is up to you."
Com. Evans, "If we approve it on first reading, can we change it?"
Atty. Rinkenberger, "Yes, but it might be smarter to continue this until you get the Perc test."
Com. Evans, "I would feel more comfortable. I know what went into that piece of ground."
Com. Sheets, "Here is another suggestion. Maybe we could continue until the next meeting then we can pass on the second reading, can we do that? It is an ordinance for rezoning."
Atty. Rinkenberger, "Is there a hurry?"
Com. Evans, "Well, this would be the first reading. I don't know why we couldn't waive the rules."
Com. Sheets, "I appreciate it and I said it before the Plan Commission when the client works with the neighbors and they do things with us then I want to lean towards helping them when they come in."
Com. Evans moved to continue until the tests show the parcel is suitable for construction of a single family residence as agreed to, Com. Sheets seconded, motion carried.
CORRECTION TO KRAMER LEONARD ALTERNATIVE BID
Maj. Doug Snider, Porter County Sheriff's Police Department
Maj. Snider, "I just wanted to bring a slight clerical error to your attention and put it on the record that at this morning's reading of the new furniture bids, Kramer & Leonard produced a voluntary alternate bid and that was the one that was inadvertently read this morning. There were two in the package that was opened, that was for $183,479.38, their actual bid per the documents is $194,443.07. Neither of which are the apparent low. I don't think it is going to matter, but I just wanted it to be a correction on the record that their alternate bid was the one that was read this morning."
Com. Burrus, "We appreciate that clarification. Thank you. Any other business?"
With no further business to conduct, the meeting was recessed.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PORTER COUNTY, INDIANA
David L. Burrus
Larry D. Sheets
John A. Evans
Attest: Sandra K. Vuko, Auditor