Commissioner Meeting Notes, Wed Apr 5, 2023. 2:00 p.m. Audio of the meeting (1:13:06 minutes). Question and Discussion on the Indian Hill RR Crossing at 1:07.
This post with any comments at the Facebook group – Brown County Matters.
Courthouse Additions – Sally Port and Security Entrance. Commissioners, with the support of their financial advisor from Baker -Tilley, identified funds under their control to support these projects. Council just needs to approve transfers between accounts.
Initially, the commissioners thought they would have to borrow money. The next option included using funds that needed the approval of the council. Given an estimated 1.4 million dollar shortfall in health benefit funding, the council suggested the commissioners find available funds in the accounts the commissioners controlled. The overall situation identified the opportunity for improved financial management. The Commissioners develop a Financial Plan and the Council manages the budget.
The county routinely has not provided a status on the budget during the year at a public meeting. This would include a review of planned vs actual costs to identify project fund balances and any issues. During the budget hearings, it was suggested that the council members be assigned accounts that they could monitor and update the council on the status. Jim Kemp has done this for the health benefit funds.
Indian Hill Railroad Crossing. No current updates. Commissioners acknowledged that a public hearing was required. This has not been disputed by the county’s legal counsel.
Commissioners support opening up the crossing to pedestrians but not vehicles. The highway superintendent is reviewing the adequacy of the “slab.” that is used to cross the creek. Estimates for changes to the crossing to current standards are estimated at 1.5 to 2 million. See Audio: 1:07 – 1:11
Note: Without a public hearing, the decision to close the crossing was not valid. Consequently, the county can re-claim the right-of-way and allow for a pedestrian crossing. They could then hold a public hearing to help determine if the crossing should remain closed to vehicles. There have been no facts presented regarding safety-related incidences at the crossing.
History on the closing: https://independentvotersofbrowncountyin.com/2022/07/23/part-3-closure-rr-xing-indian-hill-rd/Part 3. Closure RR Xing, Indian Hill Rd: Public Hearings
Highway Department – Road Paving Plan – 2026. The plan was developed last October and includes recent updates. It is not yet posted on the Highway Dept Website – Road Improvement Plan
Elkinsville Rd. Commissioner Pittman drove the road and was complimentary of the work that has been done. Some of the paved sections in disrepair were replaced with gravel.