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Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting
February 22, 2017 12:00 p.m.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.
Staff Present: Pamela Matve, Chief Clerk, Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh, Register and Recorder, Lori Bimber, Director of Veteran's Affair, Ed Burris, Chief Assessor, Karen Beardsley, Zoning Officer, Michael Lyon, Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp, and Chief Deputy Charles Fetzeck
Citizens Present: Josh Cotton (WTO), Joe Scully, John Able, Ed Sekerak, Lorie Sekerak, and Freeman Mayberry
Updating Flood Plain Regulations: Zoning Officer, Michael Lyon stated that the update to the flood plain is required by PEMA. The only major change is that the size of accessory structures have gone from 600 sq. ft. to 200 sq. ft.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that basically this is a state mandated change. To which Michael Lyon stated yes. This must be passed by March 1, 2017 or residents in these areas may lose the ability to get flood insurance.
John Able asked if this meant that the county approved the PEMA maps without public challenge. Michael stated that the flood maps have been out for about two years and reviewed the process on how the maps were reviewed and approved. John Able asked how often the maps are updated, to which Michael Lyon stated whenever PEMA feels like they need updated.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated if there is nothing further we will move onto the second public hearing.
Updating the definitions for mobile homes, RV’s: Michael Lyon stated that due to an event that happened last year we are changing the text of Section 1001 of Article X of the 2008 ordinance so that the definition can be clarified. Currently someone can come in to get a zoning permit to make a R.V. a permanent structure, but then they cannot get an occupancy permit as the RV does not meet the UCC Code, and we felt that we are doing the citizens a disservice.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he is assuming that this does not affect the seasonal dwellers that park an R.V. on their children’s lot and hook into their water etc. Michael stated that is correct, they are allowed 180 days.
Joe Scully asked if my Uncle parked his R.V. or fifth wheel camper in my driveway for 180 days, and hooked into my electric and water, are they required to also hook into the sewer? Michael Lyon stated that while they could, it is not required; they can take their R.V. or camper to a dump site to empty their holding tank.
Joe stated that this was not fair, as the municipality is losing money, and what stops them from moving the camper or RV six feet and staying another 180 days.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that I think what we are dealing with is a definition of seasonal. Michael stated that yes that is an issue and we can certainly put that in the ordinance.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that essentially it is the occupancy permit that details what is a seasonal or recreational. Michael stated that that is no way to enforce seasonal issue as it would be hard to police. Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked then why are we doing this. Michael Lyon stated that we have had several people call our office asking for a zoning permit because they want to make their camper or their RV a permanent home. Again, we can give them a permit but they will never get an occupancy permit as it will not meet the UCC Code.
Michael Lyon went onto state that this can be looked at as a public service announcement.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated a second issue is that we are unclear as to what is a recreational vehicle.
Laurie Sekerak, 2nd Vice Chair of the Planning Commission, stated that this ordinance is not the same as what was approved at our meeting to forward to the Commissioners. I am asking that this goes back to the Planning Commission for discussion before you approve this. How can you remove something or make changes an ordinance after the Planning Commission approved a different one.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston asked what was removed. To which Ms. Sekerak stated that the one we had approved had a 14 day clause which is not there now.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that with that being said maybe we need to consider tabling this for action.
Ed Sekerak stated that in January the Board of Realtors met with the Commissioner’s and the 14 day clause was in there, sometime between then and now it was removed. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that during a meeting with Mr. Lyon the Commissioner’s agreed to remove that clause. Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that yes we did make that recommendation to the Zoning Officer, but I think we need to listen to the Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. Michael stated that he had no problem with doing so, and then we can also add the definition of seasonal or recreation season.
Ed Sekerak then asked in the definition of Mfg. home it states that they shall not be used as an accessory structure or storage structure. Does this mean if someone puts a mobile home on a lot for a work hand, and that work hand moves out they have to destroy the mobile home. Michael Lyon stated no, they can use it as an office, but not a storage shed.
Karen Beardsley stated that there are more of these in the county that you can imagine that are being taxed as storage sheds, will they be grandfathered in or will people have to remove these which will also remove them from the tax rolls.
Michael stated that all we are trying to do here is to update the ordinance to meet UCC Codes. Ed Sekerak asked why Michael’s office is making such a big deal about this if they do not issue the occupancy permits. Also, what is the definition of a tiny house, to which Michael could not truly answer other than it does not meet ucc code. Ed said then why have it in your ordinance.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that this possibly needs to be revisited and if there is nothing else the public hearing session is closed.
Public Hearing session closed at 12:32 and the normal meeting progressed.
Approval of Minutes: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that in the ESI cost per employee, we need to add the $ sign in the amount.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the minutes from February 8, 2017 with the above mentioned correction. Motion carried unanimously.
Fiscal Report: Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh stated there was cash on hand of $961,687.00 and in the Erie bank account a balance of $744,472.00. Accounts payable for this week is $182,997.35.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the fiscal report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
Proclamation Red Cross Month: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adopt the proclamation observing March 2017 as Red Cross Month in Warren County. Motion carried unanimously.
Appointments to the Warren County Hospital Authority: Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she spoke with Mr. Allen and found that this board meets once a year to approve the bonds.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the appointments of Mr. John Hanna and Mr. Blair Smolder to the Warren County Hospital Authority for an additional five year term beginning March 13, 2017. Motion carried unanimously.
Proclamation Gambling Awareness Week: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to adopt the Proclamation recognizing March 2017 as Gambling Awareness Month in Warren County. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Ordinance 247 updating the definitions of Manufactured homes or recreations vehicles: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to table this Ordinance and send back to the Planning Commission for discussion and edit.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked if we are tabling, then we will keep this on our agenda? Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated I strike my previous motion.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to disapprove Ordinance 247 at this time, and send this back to the Planning Commission for edit and discussions. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Ordinance 248 updating the Flood Plain Regulations: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to approve Ordinance 248 to update the Flood Plain Regulations. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of the Agreement with the School District for a School Resource Officer: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the agreement with the School District for a School Resource Officer.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that this agreement was presented to us by the School district for our Sheriff Office to provide a school resource officer. This has been reviewed by our solicitor, John Shreve and our Sheriff office and we are ready to move forward. Commissioner Cindy Morrison then asked Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp to speak further on this agreement, and is there training that will have to be done.
Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp stated that we have been working on this for a very long time and have had many discussions. There is training available, and he will see to it that his staff is trained before beginning this program. This entails 25 hours of time for a deputy to travel to all the schools, and this agreement would cover wages and the use of our vehicle.
Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin asked Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh if we will need to do a budget amendment to which she asked about the wages, and she felt that yes this would require an amendment, and she questioned the fact that the agreement they are asked to sign does not have dollar figures. Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that after review Ms. Albaugh is correct and we will not sign a blank agreement at this time.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that the wage of a deputy is $21.87 per hour, Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh then pointed out if they use a part time officer, that would be correct, but if they use a full time officer the rate would be different as it would then reflect benefit costs.
Ed Sekerak asked if the school district is going to reimburse the county for the wages and Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp stated yes.
Joe Scully asked how many officers would be assigned, to which Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp stated that on any given day there would be one officer assigned, but others will be trained and available.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stressed that he would like to have the training completed before this begins to which Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated she agreed.
Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp stated that he will get the amounts and the training schedule.
The above motion was stricken.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to table this until the next public meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Changing Signatures on the Work Release Checking Account: Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh to explain what we are doing today.
Fiscal Director Judith Albaugh went on to state that there are many accounts that departments have that are not in our accufund system, and our outside auditors are asking that we start bringing this in. With the retirement of our Work Release Coordinator we found that he was the only signature on this account and it would be a good time to change. The Bank is stating that before we can do this, we need to have this approved at a public meeting. Therefore I am requesting that we change signatures on this account to match all others where it is the Treasurer and the Commissioners signatures as we bring this into our Accufund accounting system.
Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to approve changing the signature on the Work Release Account as they are with all others. Motion carried unanimously.
Proclamation – Multiple Sclerosis Week: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adopt the proclamation proclaiming the week of March 5-11, 2017 as MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Awareness week in Warren County. Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution #3082 Authorizing the Application of a 2017 Historic Preservation Grant Application: Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that this grant if approved is for $100,000.00 that will help with the refurbishing of some areas of the courthouse such as the roof, and the boiler system etc.
Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve Resolution 3082 giving authorization to apply for the Historic Preservation Grant. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she would like to see this grant before she will put her signature on this resolution.
Children & Youth:
Ed Sekerak stated that he would like to say that he is happy with the Assessment Office, and that while he deals with many assessment offices, Warren County is by far the best one to deal with.
Freeman Mayberry stated that he is very upset as he has had a tax appeal hearing for his property in Lander for two years and nothing has been settled and he keeps getting notices that this property will go for tax sale as the taxes are yet to be paid. We house about 30 homeless veterans and we give them education from working on vehicles to running machinery, and I am told that it is the Commissioners that are holding everything up
Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked Mr. Mayberry what is it you are asking for, I am not following, are you appealing your tax bill? To which Mr. Mayberry said yes and I cannot even get transcripts from the hearing that was held two years ago.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that there is a process and you do have council, Mr. Mayberry stated that yes, but nothing is getting done and I am getting upset and frustrated that you will not consider my case.
Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that he can call the office and the Chief Clerk will set up a meeting with the Commissioner’s if he would like. She then asked if they were a 501C organization to which he stated yes, but we are waiting on the IRS to give us the approval of a 501C organization. Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that it is not our job to work with the IRS.
Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that we have an appeals board for this purpose and we do not see all the appeals, but we are willing to listen to what you have to say, but make no promises.
Adjournment: Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting adjourned 1:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Approved:
Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston, Secretary
Chief Clerk Warren County Commissioner