FULTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING
March 17, 2003, 6:20 P.M., E.S.T., in Assembly Room of the Fulton County Office
Meeting Called To Order:
President Richard A. Powell called this meeting to order at 6:20 p.m., E.S.T. Present for
this meeting were Commissioners Richard A. Powell, Roger D. Rose and Leslie R.
Walters; also, County Attorney Greg Heller and Auditor Denise J. Bonnell.
Superintendent Scott Tilden presented Permit #12-78 from Comcast of Indiana/Michigan
4045 Edison Lakes Parkway, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Scott read this permit, explained it
to the Board and stated he had no problems with this permit. Roger Rose made a motion
to approve Permit #12-78. Leslie Walters seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Scott then reminded the Board of the Bid Letting, Friday, March 21, 2003, 9:30
a.m.which includes; two (2) dump trucks, dump bodies, hoist and hydraulics and crew
cab pickup. At 10:00 a.m. will be the Asphalt Bids.
Scott reminded the Board that the week of March 24, 2003. will be the Purdue Road
School. Scott will be leaving Rochester Monday, 8:00 a.m.
Scott reported on the damage done to the roads, due to the severe frost. Scott stated at
this time he did not have figures on the cost of the damage. He stated the old roads show
the most damage. The newer paved roads, while damaged are in better condition. Scott
showed pictures he had taken of the damage and explained the roads to the Board. He
stated when they can start the repairs, a time frame in which it will take to accomplish the
repairs, as well as, the costs for this year.
Scott wanted to bring the Board up to date on replacing the Culvert on the Whitmore
Ditch, at Nyona Lake, located at County Road 350 East, Liberty Township, north of
County Road 650 South. Scott and Surveyor Don Towne have been working on the
process of submitting it for approval to the DNR and the Army Corp of Engineers. Scott
stated he and the Board had previously looked at the plans. WTH Engineering drew up
the plans giving a choice of culvert sizes. Scott stated he and the Surveyor wanted to go
with the larger size, and explained why. He is asking the Board to sign the Title Sheet
approving the plans, as he would like to proceed. Scott stated it will be sometime in
April before receiving approval from the DNR and the Army Corp of Engineers, also, he
would like to start the project by June of this year. The cost of the Project, as well as, the
funding was discussed. The consensus of the Board was to sign the Title Sheet, which
Rich asked Scott about the Bruce Lake Fire Easement, and who is the owner. Scott
thought it to be a Legal Easement. Scott will find out and report back at the April 7, 2003
Meeting. This is in regards to having the County maintain the road.
Sheriff Roy Calvert submitted his monthly report. He inquired of the Board if they had
any questions on his monthly claims, there were none. The Sheriff stated he is awaiting
approval of the Council to start on his plumbing project and their meeting is tomorrow
Rochester Township Assessor, Carol Loebig, stated she has submitted a Transfer of
Funds Request. She explained why this was needed and how she would be able to use
funds to make this transfer. Carol answered questions and further told of her plans in
pursuing a Level Two Certification. By consensus the Board approved the request.
Rails & Trails:
Attorney Greg Heller reported on his findings regarding ownership of the old railroad
lands. Attorney Heller first informed the people that Federal Law trumps State Law. He
stated before a railroad can be abandoned, the Railroad Company has to obtain
permission from the Federal Government and he continued to explain. The land being
discussed is from Rochester to Peru. He said the Indiana Trails Fund has possession of
that Line and as far as Indiana Law goes. This line has not been abandoned as to allow
portions of this corridor to revert back to the property owners as it has already been
decided by the Federal Government. All property owners along this Line should not be
doing anything to that corridor since it does not belong to them. The question of Liability
was discussed regarding Rails & Trails. His thought is Rails & Trails seems to have
jurisdiction. Greg explained to be rail banked, means the government still has an interest
in it, and that Line could be used again in the future for rail traffic. In that regard, the
railroad technically owns it, but they have given that right over to the Indiana Trails
Fund. Greg could not really say much about the liability issue; however, he does not see
as the County having any liability. If the property owners have any concerns, they should
take them to the Rails and Trails. This was further discussed. Again, Greg pointed out
that the Federal Law trumps the State Law because they have made the determination this
Corridor is to be rail banked. Discussion continued. Greg said from his findings, his
perspective is that he does not see that the County has any involvement. It was also noted
that Representative Bill Friend in Miami County is working on this, as well. Roger asked
in view of Attorney Heller’s findings is there anything the Board needs to do, like
contacting the Rails and Trails Fund regarding the liability concerns? This was
discussed. Councilman Gary Sriver felt it would be good to have a letter from our
Insurance Company, Smith, Sawyer & Smith as an attachment to the letter from the
Commissioners, regarding the liability. This was discussed. The landowners taking part
in this discussion were Dan Peters and Steve Furnivall. It was also noted that the name
has been changed to, “Indiana Trails Fund” and that is where the correspondence should
be sent. At this time, an organization known as “Friends of the Nickel Plate”, which
apparently meets monthly, was mentioned. This was discussed. The Board was given a
telephone number for this organization. The consensus following this discussion was the
Commissioners would write a letter to the “Indiana Trails Fund” about the liability
Director Casi Cramer took charge of the Public Hearing that was advertised for the
Requested “Approval of a Zone Map Amendment”. Richard Powell asked if there was
anyone present for this Zone Map Amendment Hearing? There was no one present for
Following the discussion, Roger Rose made a motion to approve the rezones as described
in Resolutions #021003-A and #021003-B as recommended by the Plan Director. Leslie
Walters seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Director Mike Busch stated he would start in generalities. In 1998 the Airport received
from FEDCO permission to use $140,000.00 to buy some property. It was decided by the
Board of Commissioners at that time that the money would be paid back to the CEDIT
Fund. He further explained. The land has now been sold (with the exception of 12 acres)
and the proceeds from that sale were $114,535.00. Mike suggested to the Board that the
County forgive the $25,465.00 that was short from the $140,000.00 when the property
was sold. The sale of the property to Smiley amounted to $120,000.00. Mike stated there
should be something in writing between the Aviation Board and Fulton County. Mike
would propose some potential terms to the Agreement, such as, if that the remaining 12
acres is sold or no Federal Funds reimbursed to pay for acquisition of that land, then the
$25,465.00 difference would be forgiven by the County and FEDCO. If the land is sold
or they get reimbursed, then that reimbursement needs to come back to the County.
Then as to what account the check will be deposited into. Mike explained his thoughts
on this as to how it should be handled and a discussion followed. Auditor Denise said the
check is made out to the Fulton County Board of Aviation Commissioners. Denise has a
signed Claim dated back from 2000 to process, noting the money was only borrowed.
Denise explained how, with the Commissioners agreeing, this should be handled.
Councilman Gary Sriver gave his thoughts, also. This was discussed. Auditor Denise
stated the Commissioners needs to tell her what they wanted her to do. Following this
discussion, it was agreed that Denise would withhold $34,000.00 from the sale amount of
$114,535.00. ($25,465.00 being “forgiven) ($114,535.00 + $25,465.00 = $140,000.00)
She will leave the $34,000.00 in the Aviation account, thereby giving them a short term
loan of $34,000.00 to pay a two-year old invoice to E & B Paving as agreed upon. This
was approved by Mike Bush and the Board. Denise said she would receipt in
$114,535.00. She will process a Claim for $80,535.00 to repay FEDCO. Then she needs
a signed Claim for the $34,000.00 from the Aviation Board when they will repay FEDCO
for the short term loan. Roger Rose made a motion that they handle the proceeds from
the sale of the Airport Property as described by the Auditor. Leslie Walters seconded this
motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Director Susan Griffith informed the Board she had received some information from the
State and two Agreement forms for Grants. Susan stated the Agreements are to be signed
by the Board first before the application for a Grant is requested. Susan said this
information must be to the State by April 10, 2003. If it is later than that date, no money
will be received. This was discussed. The two grants are, Planning Grant in the amount
of $15,697.34 and Emergency Response Team Grant for $2,798.60. There is no local
match on these Grants. Susan continued to explain the Grants. She explained there are
two options on the Planning Grant. Susan said a lot of the information she already has
done. This was thoroughly discussed. There are two options on the Emergency
Response Grant and Susan explained and this was discussed. Following this discussion,
Leslie Walters made a motion to accept the Local Emergency Sub-Grant Agreement, and
the Emergency Response Team Sub-Grant Agreement, subject to Susan Griffiths’ final
determination on the Emergency Response Grant one and choosing Option #2 on the
Emergency Planning Grant. Roger seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0. The Board
signed these documents.
On a motion made by Roger Rose, seconded by Leslie Walters, and duly passed a short
recess was taken.
Rich Powell Called the meeting back to order.
Communication Consulting Services, Inc:
Steven J. Kasper, president of Communication Consulting Services, Inc., stated he audits
telephone bills for customers. He is an independent consultant. He audits the local
telephone bills and long distance to determine if the telephone costs can be reduced.
Then he brings a written recommendation back to the Board as to what he has found. If
the Board decides to go with his recommendation, he will implement the
recommendation to show that you are saving money; also, when you start saving this
money, Mr. Kasper said he receives 50% of the first year’s savings. He proceeded to
give the breakdown of the costs. He stated he makes no money unless the County can
save money. This is on a month-to-month basis for the period of one year. He also, told
of his experience and that his services is used by several Counties. If the Board should
decide to go with his services he would need; a one page service agreement, which he
explained. It takes 3-4 weeks to get back to the Board with a recommendation. He stated
at the present time he is working with Cass, Wabash, Starke and Marshall Counties.
Following a period of discussion, the Board said Steven Kasper could check back next
month, about this time, to see if the Commissioners are interested.
Rich said in order to give a recommendation on a GIS program, the commissioners
needed to come up with a Vendor. Rich proceeded to tell how the decision was made.
Roger said WTH already has software in use with 911 & Planning Commission. The
committee felt best that instead of having two systems, they would prefer to go with one.
Roger did not feel a good case could be made to go with two different systems and he
proceeded to explain. The question was asked what other companies had been looked
into. Rich replied Schneider and Sidwell. Roger stated his concern about whose
responsibility would it be to managing the project? Roger explained if you start in
having to hire someone, that can get into some real big money and he went on to explain.
When asked if WTH would be the systems manager? Roger said, they indicated that
would not be a problem, in fact, that is what they have set their business up to do.
Following this discussion, Roger Rose made a motion that the Commissioners
recommend to the County Council to go with WTH as the provider for the County’s GIS
Program when they proceed with it. Leslie seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Rich said the consensus of the Board was by going this route, they would be spending
less money and receiving more benefits. This will be funded from Reassessment money.
The Board of Commissioners received a letter from the Fulton County Board of Health,
stating that all its members agree that Board Member Dr. Michael J. Brubaker serve as
Acting Health Officer, effective immediately. In addition, Dr. Julius J. Sitjar serves as
back-up Acting Health Officer. Health Officer, Dr. Craig A. Bugno was called to active
military duty, March 1, 2003. Roger Rose made a motion to appoint Dr. Michael J.
Brubaker as the Acting Health Officer effectively immediately, in the absence of Dr.
Bugno. Leslie Walters seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Auditor Denise said that Karen Miller gave her copies of her New Proposal to bring to
the Board. This is regarding the price of computers being too high, which she had
previously discussed with the Board. These prices are much lower. This was discussed,
as Karen will go before the Council tomorrow evening, so she can proceed with the
purchase. Leslie Walters made a motion to accept Karen Miller’s proposal in the amount
of $2,270.00 for two (2) EVO D310 Computers, Service Agreement, Warranty and
Maintenance Agreement. Roger Rose seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0. The
Board signed the Proposal.
Post Office Building:
Rich stated they have a $2500.00 Grant available, with no County money being used, to
study the uses of the Old Post Office Building and the costs of remodeling. The Board
would like to pursue this option. In order to be in a position to approach the Council with
a proposal, and that is not possible until we have looked into it, Roger feels this is
justification to pursue the grant. Rich read the list of what the Grant covers. This was
discussed. The possibility of the present owners lowering the price was discussed. The
condition of the building was also discussed.
The minutes for Commissioners Meeting 3, 2003, also, the Commissioners Special
Meeting, Mt. Zion Dam Planning, March 5, 2003. These minutes were reviewed and
corrections made. Leslie Walters made a motion to approve the minutes of March 3,
2003 and March 5, 2003, as corrected. Roger Rose seconded this motion. Motion passed
Woodlawn Medical Clinic:
There was no one present from Woodlawn. Attorney Heller stated Woodlawn has a
building in the Town of Kewanna that they have tried to keep either a doctor or nurse
practitioner in for the Community, but have been unsuccessful in doing so. Attorney
Greg Heller said there is a statue that governs this, laying out three requirements; (1) it be
appraised by three (3) appraisers, (2) that there be a notice of the sale published seven (7)
days before the sale, (3) that the County Commissioners approve of the sale. Attorney
Heller said he does not have the (3) appraisals. This was discussed. This will be on the
Agenda for the April 7, 2003 Meeting of the Board.
#2102-206-3000-62 Repave Taxiway & Drive $34,000.00
#2101-207-4000-01 Property Purchase $40,000.00
#2102-207-3000-10 Survey Grogg Property $ 250.00
#2101-207-3000-10 Title Insurance-Owners Policy $ 260.00
#2101-207-3000-10 1 Appraisal & 2 Review Appraisals $ 900.00
#2101-207-3000-10 Mid-States Engineering $30,000.00
Veterans Service Officer:
#0101-012-2000-10 Office Supply $ 200.00
The above Additional Appropriations were reviewed and signed.
From:#0807-203-3000-11 Mileage $ 50.00
To: #0807-203-3000-12 Computer – Copier $ 50.00
From:#0101-068-3000-40 Bonds $ 750.00
To: #0101-068-3000-11 Legal/Law Suit $ 750.00
From:#0105-213-3000-10 Postage $ 5,300.00
To: #0105-213-3000-35 Contract $ 5,300.00
Rochester Township Assessor:
From:#0101-013-1000-15 Level II Certification $ 479.17
#0101-013-3000-90 Dues $ 43.33
To: #0101-013-3000-91 Schooling $ 300.00
#0101-013-3000-22 Mileage $ 100.00
#0101-013-2000-10 Supplies $ 122.50
From:#0702-531-2000-26 Culverts & Tiles $ 909.96
To: #0702-531-2000-22 Calcium Chloride $ 909.96
From:#0706-000-2000-30 Bituminous $ 3,655.34
To: #0706-000-2000-31 Stone, Gravel & Aggregate $ 3,655.34
From:#0101-063-4000-51 Computer, Laser Printer $ 300.00
To: #0101-063-4000-01 Furniture Account $ 300.00
The above Transfer Requests were reviewed and signed.
Claims and Payroll:
All Claims and Payroll were reviewed and signed for payment.
Courthouse Security Agreement:
Rich stated the Security is a panic button type system that goes to both buildings. The
County Courthouse and the Fulton County Office Building and then on to the 911 Room
in the Dispatch Center at the County Jail. This was discussed. Roger Rose made a
motion to approve a contract for installing a Security System in the Courthouse and the
County Office Building that is basically a panic button system that rings into 911 Room
in the Dispatch Center at the County Jail; in the amount as specified, in the Contract, with
Project Management Services, Inc. Leslie Walters seconded this motion. Motion passed
Rich again spoke of the letter regarding Rails & Trails. This was discussed and it was
determined to contact “Friends of the Nickel Plate”, before writing the letter.
Rich asked if there was any further discussion regarding the Mt. Zion Dam. The Board
This concluded all the business transacted and a motion to recess was made by Roger
Rose. Leslie Walters seconded this motion. Motion passed 3-0. Meeting recessed at
FULTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Richard A. Powell, President
Roger D. Rose, Vice-President
Leslie R. Walters, Member
Denise J. Bonnell, County Auditor