Owen County Council
April 10, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioners’ Room 2nd Floor of the Owen County Courthouse
60 S. Main Street
Spencer, IN 47460
Present: Michael Wood, Vera Hughes, Patty Steward, Anton K. Neff, Patty Edwards,
Donnie Hall, Sheila Reeves
Guests: Bob Siscoe, Anne-Marie Hart, Michael Dyer, Mark Rogers, Bruce Hamlin, Harley Melton, Jack
White, Cris Lunsford, Jill Brush, Kathy Newman
MEETING WAS OPENED WITH THE PLEDGE TO THE AMERICAN FLAG
IN THE MATTER OF APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR MARCH 13 AND SPECIAL MEETING
Vera Hughes moved to approve the minutes for the Regular Meeting held March 13, 2006. and the
Special Meeting held on March 20. Sheila Reeves seconded the motion. Motion passed 7-0.
IN THE MATTER OF ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS OR TRANSFERS
a. Additional appropriation--Economic Development (signatures only for Heating and Cooling)
Ms. Lawson explained Resolution #2006-10 was approved at the last meeting and all that is
needed at this time is council members’ signatures.
IN THE MATTER OF DRUG FREE YOU AND ME—Speaking Jill Brush
Ms. Brush presented a list of Programs in which the Owen County Drug Free You and Me Council
approved grants for Owen Valley Middle School, Spencer Owen Community Schools, 4-H Fishing Team,
Spencer Police Dept, Owen County Sheriff’s Dept., Owen County Prosecutor’s Office, Owen County
Court Services, Indiana Dream Team. The total amount of grant money awarded was $9,262.25.
The Drug Free Council also approved two $500.00 student scholarships and a grant to the Hamilton
Center, Inc. Both will be paid from their checking account because there had not been enough money
Council members inquired about how the receiving entities used the money and Ms. Brush explained
there are certain rules they follow and they report back how the money was used.
This presentation was for information only and members thanked Ms. Brush for providing it in a clear and
IN THE MATTER OF THE COUNTY SIREN PROJECT—Speaking Bruce Hamlin
Mr. Hamlin presented a proposal for the entire county concerning an Outdoor Warning Siren System from
Electronic Communication Systems, Inc., Bloomington, IN. The cost is about $170,000 and he suggested
the cost be included as debt service in a budget for next year. If the financing was for a 5-year period, that
averages at about $43,000 per year. There would be two activation centers, one at the Sheriff’s
Department and the backup center would be located at the EOC. He continued by explaining how the
various components of the system would work.
Mr. Neff inquired about the projected cost of the annual maintenance and Mr. Hamlin replied about $2500
outside of the warranty. Ms. Reeves asked Jack White and Sheriff Melton if they had been part of the
process from the beginning discussions and in favor of this type of program. Mr. White stated he
believed this was an excellent start. Sheriff Melton relayed an experience he had in Henderson, KY
concerning sirens and stated that the project is very worthwhile. Ms. Reeves asked Mr. White about
Homeland Security money availability and he replied there is none available for this type of project.
When asked about grant availability, he did not know how it would be decided who and where the sirens
would be placed.
Several comments were made concerning the positive aspects of such a project. Ms. Steward asked if bids
would be needed. Ms. Lawson replied that because of the cost of the project, bids would be required. She
also suggested that Jack provide specs on the project so the process could begin. Ms. Hughes thought
perhaps Riverboat money could be used.
Mr. Wood moved to proceed (show support) with the Outdoor Warning System. Mr. Neff seconded
the motion. Motion passed 7-0. (motion #14)
There was additional discussion concerning advanced towers which might cover more area. It was
suggested County Attorney Lorenz become involved as soon as possible concerning an ordinance.
IN THE MATTER OF A HEALTH DEPARTMENT GRANT—Speaking Sheila Reeves
Ms. Reeves stated that money from the Local Health Maintenance/Tobacco Grant money totaling
$30,819.27 may be used in any of the 10 basic service areas to be funded. There are two times a year,
May and October when submissions for grant money may be requested for the service areas. One of the
areas is Animal & Vector Control.
Mr. Wood suggested some of the money be used for the Animal Control Shelter in Owen County.
Mr. Wood moved to donate to the Owen County Humane Society $625.00 per month ($5,000 per
year) from the Local Health Maintenance/Tobacco Grant money. Ms. Hughes seconded the
motion. Motion passed. 6-0 with Ms. Reeves abstaining. (motion #15)
IN THE MATTER OF A VEHICLE PROPOSAL—Speaking Sheriff Harley Melton
Sheriff Melton reported there was a surprise inspection at the jail and for the most part, the report was
positive. One of the items about which there appeared to be concern was the ceiling. The Sheriff
explained to them that there was a heating and cooling project underway and the ceiling was part of that
project. A copy of the report was presented to each member.
He presented a proposal of $27,259.25 per truck with a fiberglass top and 3 are being considered. With
financing included, the cost was $29,143.03 per year for 3 years from Ford.
OCSB can set up for a first payment in January of 2007 but there were no figures available at this time.
There was discussion concerning cars versus trucks. Cars would run about $26,000. Mr. Neff was
curious as to the Sheriff’s thoughts on converting cars to vans and the advantages of changing. Sheriff
Melton replied that weather travel and mileage were advantages. The one drawback was the tires that
came on the current trucks were not as good as he expected. However, the new trucks would be equipped
with better tires. Mr. Wood asked about the number of miles accumulated on a vehicle and Mr. Melton
replied approximately 160,000 miles.
Mr. Hall asked how many cars at the Sheriff’s department and the reply was 10 with one reserve car.
There is one Canine vehicle which was not purchased with county fund money. It was purchased with
donations to the Canine unit.
Council members would like the Sheriff to submit additional information in the form of more options and
more detailed financial information. By consensus this issue will be discussed when the options and
finances are presented.
IN THE MATTER OF SHERIFF AND EMS UPDATES—Speaking Sheriff Melton and EMS
Director Cris Lunsford.
Sheriff Melton reported that as far as the facilities are concerned, the heating and cooling project is
underway. The repairs of doors in the jail have been completed.
Mr. Lunsford presented a letter from the EMS Medical Director at Clarian Methodist Hospital in
Indianapolis. The letter stated that Clarian began charging sponsored ALS (advance life support services)
agencies for medical supervision beginning in January 1, 2006. The charge assessed was determined by
the personnel and run volume provided in 2004. For 20 BLS providers, 16 ALS providers and 1,829
responses, the fee for 2006 will be $3,665.75. This amount is to be remitted as soon as possible.
Although this is the first Cris has been informed of the situation and has spoken to the Hospital, the
hospital still wants to be paid. He will be coming before the council next month for the additional
appropriation request from cash balance.
The Hospital provides the appropriate protocol for EMS employees to work with a patient. The Hospital
will support local EMS in a liability issue providing the protocol has been followed. Cris has written
protocols from the Hospital. Written protocols are regularly updated.
The assessment for 2007 will use 2005 numbers and next year’s fees will be due March 1, 2007. There
was discussion as to how it will be put in next year’s budget—contractual services which already exists or
will a new line item be necessary.
For information purposes, Cris stated he is working on a Salary Ordinance proposal concerning a new
pay schedule. Also, EMS is planning an increase in the fee schedule. Owen County has one of the lowest
fee schedules. He also explained he just completed a grant to Homeland Security. He applied for a Mass
Casualty Trailer which is 14 x 7 foot trailer with shelving and enough supplies for 50 people. They are
planning a Mass Casualty training session designed to show weaknesses, hoping there are none, but ready
to improve if any are found. In the grant, he also applied for radios to help with interoperability while
they are in the field.
Local EMS participated in a real life exercise. The Table Top exercise with Task Force 7 was designed to
show weaknesses in the communication process. He stated that when the Table Top was completed at the
High School, they realized their Triage supplies should be increased.
Auditor Lawson called to the Council’s attention that last year the EMS cash balance was a negative
$63,886.00. Today the cash balance is $72,908.71. Ms. Lawson and Council members commended Cris
on doing a fine job this past year.
IN THE MATTER OF THE AUDITOR’S UPDATE—Speaking Auditor Angie Lawson
Ms. Lawson informed members of several items.
1. Tax statements were mailed last Wednesday,
2. The printer in the Treasurer’s office which is about 5 years and prints over 19,000 tax
statements a year needs to be replaced.
3. Mr. Cooper will be out of the office for about 8 weeks and Sheriff Melton has taken over some
of the responsibilities for him regarding the Treasurer’s office.
4. SRI, the company used for tax sales, has made a proposal to the commissioners to do surplus
sales, and Ms. Lawson explained the 3 plans they presented. The commissioners will sign a contract at
their next meeting.
IN THE MATTER OF COMMENTS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Mr. Neff introduced Anne-Marie Hart who will be participating in a Specialized Internship through IU
and he will be helping her as he did with Matt Ackerman last year. She may ask some questions of the
Auditor as well as Planning and Zoning.
Mr. Hall stated he would like to have a 911 update at the next meeting. He is concerned that at the last
council meeting they were told that a few less than five hundred names remained to be found and in a
newspaper article a report stated less than 100.
He also stated he contacted Sheriff Melton on March 21st to make arrangements to attend a meeting in
Indianapolis, to which council members had been invited to attend, thinking the meeting was on March
22nd. However, the meeting was actually on the 21st so he was not able to go. Sheriff Melton asked if
he had stated that the meeting would be on the 22nd and then offered an apology for giving the incorrect
IN THE MATTER OF ADJOURNMENT
Ms. Hughes moved to adjourn. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. Motion passed 7-0.
_________________________________ ___________________ ______________
Sheila Reeves Donnie Hall
Patty Edwards Anton K. Neff
Patty Steward Vera Hughes
Attest: ___________________________ _________________________________
Angie Lawson Michael Wood