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Development fund re-established

May 08, 2013
Following a quiet public hearing at its April 25 meeting at the judicial complex in English, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 to re-establish a Cumulative Capital Development Fund.

The fund will be provided by a property tax rate of 0.333 cents per $100 of taxable real and personal property beginning in 2013 payable in 2014. The rate, according to Indiana Code, cannot exceed that amount.

The tax, which can be used for a variety of things as outlined in IC 36-9-14.5, will continue until reduced or rescinded.

Taxpayers who object to the levy have 30 days from the date of publication of the notice of adoption — April 3 — to file a petition with the Crawford County auditor. If 50 or more taxpayers sign the petition, the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, which must approve the levy, will conduct a public hearing.

District 1 Commissioner Daniel Crecelius made the motion to re-establish the fund, with District 3 Commissioner Jim Schultz seconding it and Randy Gilmore, president of the board, voting in favor.

In another matter, the commissioners, at the request of Brent Roberts of Butler, Fairman & Seufert Civil Engineers, which is overseeing the Bridge No. 129 replacement project at Milltown, voided a supplemental agreement they had approved in January.

Roberts instead requested that the commissioners approve a consulting contract with BSF, which, being subject to the 80/20 federal grant/local match split, would cost the county $18,270.

With only $15,000 in the project fund, the commissioners voted 3-0 to transfer an additional $20,000 from the Orange County Riverboat Wagering Fund into the fund, which would also cover the county's portion of land acquisition costs. The county council also must approve the transfer.

The commissioners then voted 3-0 to approve the consulting contract with BSF contingent upon the council's approval of the funds. They also voted 3-0 to approve their share of the land acquisition.

Replacement of the bridge, more commonly known as the "curved bridge," is expected to cost approximately $2.7 million, with the county's portion being about $569,122.

The commissioners also approved, 3-0, a contract with Blue River Services Inc. to provide low-cost transportation to county residents through its Southern Indiana Transit System.

The contract calls for the county to pay BRS $5,000 per year for services in both 2012 and 2013.

The county council had approved $5,000 — the amount it traditionally has given to SITS — for 2012 from the county's riverboat gaming dollars, but the State Board of Accounts has said the county no longer can give those monies to non-profit groups like BRS.

To ensure that transportation services continue, the council, in March, told BRS that it likely could enter a contract with the county, but the contract would be with the commissioners, not the council.

Roland Lemus, who oversees the SITS program, approached the commissioners in March. He was directed to meet with county attorney John E. Colin to draft a contract for the April meeting.

The contract calls for the SITS program to provide the commissioners with quarterly and yearly updates on data related to ridership for the county.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Were approached by members of the Carpenters Industrial Council about setting either May 14 or 15 as the date for the county's emergency medical technicians to vote whether to have the CIC represent them.

EMTs, who are frustrated with working conditions and are considering forming a union, had signed cards in favor of the CIC representing them. The commissioners, however, didn't voluntarily recognize the CIC as the EMTs' representative, meaning an election would be needed.

The commissioners tabled the request to set a date for the election.

•Approved, 3-0, a three-year contract with Maximus for the collection of reimbursements due to the county. The agreement will cost the county $3,000 per year rather than the $3,200 cost of a one-year agreement. The county has contracted with Maximus for several years, recouping thousands of dollars.

•Voted 3-0 to vacate the alley between lots 1 and 2 in Seven Acres Subdivision following a public hearing.

•Approved, 3-0, a request of $6,000 by the Court Appointed Special Advocates program for painting and cleaning the floor at the CASA office at county annex at English. The $6,000, which is to be transferred from the Orange County Riverboat Wagering Fund, must also be approved by the county council.

•Voted 3-0 to modify the employee handbook to change the definition of part-time status from 32 hours per week to 29 hours per week.

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act redefines part time, requiring employers with 50 or more employees to pay health care costs for anyone working at least 30 hours per week.

•Approved, 3-0, transferring $60,000 from the Orange County Riverboat Wagering Fund to the Rainy Day Fund. The county council already approved the transfer.

•Announced that their next meeting will be Thursday, May 23, at the judicial complex. A closed executive session will be held at 8 a.m. with the public meeting at 9.

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Barbara Shaw
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