All posts by Tim J. Clark

State Board of Accounts (SBOA) March 2022 Reports for 2019 and 2020

SBOA IN

Mar 14, 2022.  Audit reports of Brown County (County), for the period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. 

Facebook Post at Brown County Matters

Personal Assessment:  The purpose of internal controls includes ensuring the efficient and effective use of tax dollars.  The county identified their “corrective actions” – SBOA does not have the power to do much other than report.  Falls on the citizens to expect better quality but with a one-party monopoly on political power, needed improvements will remain unlikely. Power corrupts and the corrupted get to the point that they can no longer determine right from wrong.

Summary of some of the findings – Reported march 2022 for the years 2019 and 2020.

2019: The County did not have an effective system of internal control over financial close and reporting to prevent, or detect and correct, errors on the financial statement. Includes: Adverse Opinion on U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

2020: There were deficiencies in the internal control system of the County Auditor related to financial close and reporting and disbursements.” The County did not maintain a complete detailed listing of capital assets. Asset records presented contained some of the County’s assets, but it did not include any additions or deletions for the current audit period. Additionally, the County had not completed a physical inventory within the last two years.  … some of the disbursements paid out of the MVH Restricted fund did not comply with the restrictions that monies spent be limited to the construction, reconstruction, or preservation of the County’s highways.

County Officials informed of the findings:

    • Official Term County Auditor – Julia Reeves
    • County Treasurer – Mary E. Smith, Andrea Bond
    • Clerk of the Circuit Court County – Kathy Smith
    • Sheriff – Scott Southerland
    • County Recorder – Judy Swift-Powdrill
    • President of the Board of County Commissioners: David Redding, Gary Huett

Source: State Board of Accounts  (SBOA) – Audit Reports

FEDERAL COMPLIANCE AUDIT REPORT OF BROWN COUNTY, INDIANA January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020  B58846

Independent Auditor’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters Based on an Audit of the Financial Statement Performed in Accordance with Government Auditing Standards

    • Independent Auditor’s Report on Compliance for the Major Federal Program; Report on Internal Control over Compliance; and Report on Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards Required by the Uniform Guidance
    • Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards and Accompanying Notes: Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards
    • Notes to Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards
    • Schedule of Findings and Questioned Costs

B58846 Corrective Actions

    • FINDING 2020-001 Contact Person Responsible for Corrective Action: Julia Reeves Contact Phone Number: 812‐988‐5485 Views of Responsible Official: We concur with the finding. Description of Corrective Action Plan: The federal schedule submitted to Gateway will be reviewed both Auditor and Bookkeeper to ensure that all federal grants will be reported accurately. Anticipated Completion Date: 04/01/2022 
    • FINDING 2020‐002 Contact Person Responsible for Corrective Action: Julia Reeves Contact Phone Number: 812‐988‐5485 Views of Responsible Official: We concur with the finding. Description of Corrective Action Plan: The financial information submitted to Gateway will be reviewed both Auditor and Bookkeeper to ensure that all information will be reported accurately. Disbursements for Self‐Insurance fund will be reviewed by both HR and Payroll and Initialed to insure both  health insurance claims and administrative fees are properly disbursed. Anticipated Completion Date: 04/01/2022

B58843 Financial Statement and Accompanying Notes: Statement of Receipts, Disbursements, and Cash and Investment Balances – Regulatory Basis

    • Financial Statement and Accompanying Notes: Statement of Receipts, Disbursements, and Cash and Investment Balances – Regulatory Basis
    • Notes to Financial Statement
    • Other Information – Unaudited: Combining Schedule of Receipts, Disbursements, and Cash and Investment Balances – Regulatory Basis .
    • Schedule of Payables and Receivables
    • Schedule of Leases and Debt, Schedule of Capital Assets ..

B58927 Supplemental

County Auditor: Audit Results and Comments:

    • Financial Transactions and Reporting. “There were deficiencies in the internal control system of the County Auditor related to financial close and reporting and disbursements.”
    • Capital Assets. The County did not maintain a complete detailed listing of capital assets. Asset records presented contained some of the County’s assets, but it did not include any additions or deletions for the current audit period. Additionally, the County had not completed a physical inventory within the last two years. 
    • Disbursements from the Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) – Restricted Fund
      • The County properly established the Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) – Restricted fund and receipted at least 50 percent of the distributions from the State Motor Vehicle Highway Account to this fund; however, some of the disbursements paid out of the MVH Restricted fund did not comply with the restrictions that monies spent be limited to the construction, reconstruction, or preservation of the County’s highways. Of the ten MVH Restricted fund disbursements selected for compliance testing, three were for fuel not allocated to any specific road or bridge project.

County Highway Department: Audit Result and Comment

2019

B58926 SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLIANCE REPORT OF BROWN COUNTY, INDIANA January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019    Filed Mar 29, 2022.

    • Condition and Context.  The County did not have an effective system of internal control over financial close and reporting to prevent, or detect and correct, errors on the financial statement. The Bookkeeper entered, and the County Auditor reviewed and certified, the financial information entered into the Indiana Gateway for Government Units financial reporting system, which was the source of the Annual Financial Report (AFR) and the financial statement. There was no documented evidence of the oversight, review, or approval process to ensure that the information was accurate prior to submission. As a result of not having effective internal controls, there were material errors in the AFR and financial statement that went undetected. The Payroll Clearing fund receipts and disbursements were understated by $2,644,282 and $2,657,199, respectively. The Settlement fund receipts and disbursements were each overstated by $20,437,569. Additionally, the County Sheriff’s Cash Book was included as part of the County’s financial statement in error, which resulted in an overstatement of both receipts and disbursements by $150,734. Audit adjustments were proposed, accepted by the County, and made to the financial statement.

B58841  FINANCIAL STATEMENT AUDIT REPORT OF BROWN COUNTY, INDIANA January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019

Adverse Opinion on U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  In our opinion, because of the significance of the matter discussed in the Basis for Adverse Opinion on U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles paragraph, the financial statement referred to above does not present fairly, in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, the financial position and results of operations of the County for the year ended December 31, 2019.

Opinion on Regulatory Basis of Accounting.  In our opinion, the financial statement referred to above presents fairly, in all material respects, the financial position and results of operations of the County for the year ended December 31, 2019, in accordance with the financial reporting provisions of the Indiana State Board of Accounts described in Note 1.

 

Indiana Water Quality

water qualityThe “speculation” by the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) and other proponents of Development through the expansion of sewers, has been on the allegations that we have a large number of failed septic systems in the Bean Blossom area that may be adding to the E-Coli level in our streams. The motive is to help justify a $30 million dollar expansion of sewers using federal and state taxpayer money. No other options to address the possibility of a large number of “failing systems” have been identified.

In a recent report, “the major cause” of E-coli IS NOT due to the possibility of failed septic system – it’s agricultural runoff from industries that are in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. “IDEM said combined sewer overflows, untreated stormwater and wastewater that discharges to nearby streams, rivers and other water bodies were the largest sources of E. coli bacteria, one of the impairments cited to the EPA.”

Mar 24, 2022.  Report: Nearly Three Quarters of Indiana’s Waterways are Too Polluted for Safe Recreation, Enrique Saenz March 24, 202

Mar 31, 2022. Indiana ranks highest in nation for miles of polluted waterways, report finds

    • “According to the report, a major contributor to water pollution is manure and fertilizer runoff from farms. This causes the concentration of E. coli and nutrients that promote bacterial growth in waterways. “
    • Watershed Coordinator Maggie Sullivan, who works at the nonprofit Friends of Lake Monroe, said Lake Monroe suffers from nutrient contamination. Lake Monroe also has streams that feed into the lake which have elevated levels of E. coli, but levels in the lake are well below state standards. “Our biggest concern right now is harmful algal blooms,” Sullivan said. 

May 3, 2022. GUEST OPINION: Learn how you can protect Salt Creek, Lake Monroe at community forums

    • May  5, 2022BCM Facebook Post of the article.   Stay tuned. Water Quality is one of the justifications being used to support an expansion of sewers in the county. Waivers for hook-ups are temporary. Per the article: “The top three threats to water quality in Lake Monroe are sediment, nutrients and bacteria.” Bacteria includes E-coli – animal or human-caused. Inadequate maintenance and failing septic systems can contribute to human-caused E-Coli. If so, what percent of the E-coli is human-caused? How many systems could be contributing to the problem and what is the most cost-effective solution?

WND: The Great American Rebellion

World Net Daily (WND). Editors Nore:  Last year, America’s doctors, nurses and paramedics were celebrated as frontline heroes battling a fearsome new pandemic.

Today, under Joe Biden, tens of thousands of these same heroes are denounced as rebels, conspiracy theorists, extremists and potential terrorists. Along with massive numbers of police, firemen, Border Patrol agents, Navy SEALs, pilots, air-traffic controllers, and countless other truly essential Americans, they’re all considered so dangerous as to merit termination, their professional and personal lives turned upside down due to their decision not to be injected with the experimental COVID vaccines.

Biden’s tyrannical mandate threatens to cripple American society – from law enforcement to airlines to commercial supply chains to hospitals. It’s already happening. But the good news is that huge numbers of “yesterday’s heroes” are now fighting back – bravely and boldly.

The whole epic showdown is laid out as never before in the sensational October issue of WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE GREAT AMERICAN REBELLION: ‘We will not comply!’ COVID-19 power grab ignites bold new era of national defiance.”

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

Follow-Up Questions: Apr 6, 2022, Commissioner Meeting

decision making

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

April 13, 2022. The Brown County Democrat article on the April 6 meeting: Moving forward: Boards to get COVID-19 relief funds for sewer project after public comments at meetings, By  Suzannah Couch

Preface

Subject: Continued Funding and support for the BCRSD, Development motivated sewer expansion as opposed to need-based, Longer-term water and wastewater policy.
The issue — (Continued funding for the BCRSD). This is another example of good people caught in a bad system. This leads to moral corruption where people in the system cannot distinguish between right and wrong. I believe there is citizen support for improving the wastewater management system that can result in outcomes where everyone gains, or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term. A first step is suspending any further funding of the BCRSD pending a further review of their value to the county.   Ref: Brown County Leader Network (BCLN).
To: Commissioner Pittman (cc to all commissioners and the BC Democrat)
At the March 23, 2022 meeting, you asked for additional comments or questions regarding the decision to approve $300K for the BCRSD.  I summarized the conversation from the meeting in the following link that includes the audio:
Additional Questions for the April 6, 2022, Commissioner Meeting
Will you delay/pause any decision on further funding of the BCRSD?  You could ask for a complete project plan from the Helmsburg RSD. This will include what “done” will look like and the steps needed to get to “done.”  This will include when the upgraded plant is operational, the number of customers being served and when, and the monthly rates.
The purpose for then Bean Blossom RSD and now the BCRSD was to obtain sewer service for Bean Blossom. This service will now be provided by Helmsburg.  “Mission accomplished.”

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth! — Ronald Reagan

    • Mission Accomplished. Why aren’t you (commissioners and council) phasing them out?  Why not transition them to an advisory committee on overall wastewater management strategy? 
    • Do decisions regarding the BCRSD have to first be approved by the core leadership team of the local republican party?  What role did they have on the commissioner policy to not allow citizen input at meetings?  Who proposed this idea?  Robyn Rosenberg Bowman has promoted development in Bean Blossom, routinely attends commissioner and council meetings, and is co-owner of a real estate company.  And, do any elected officials have a personal or family interest in the development of properties in Bean Blossom?
Regarding the Helmsburg project, is funding for independent and objective professional services identified in support of project management?  Link to an outline from the Project Management Institute on core tasks involved in project planning. Project Management – Planning And Improvement Cycle
Helmsburg and Lake Lemon have compelling needs for support. Lake Lemon has over 200 failed systems in flooding conditions (see floodplain map) and a customer base that supports sewers. An engineering report identified that action needs to be taken regarding the aging Helmsburg plant. Options included replacement or upgrades.
The decision now is to upgrade and extend service from Lake Lemon to the Woodland Lake corridor. Why shouldn’t the PRIORITY for funding be Lake Lemon and Helmsburg?   Given the flood plain maps, why hasn’t Lake Lemon always been the priority?
In Bean Blossom (unlike Lake Lemon) there is no evidence of wide-scale support from the customer base for sewer service. Need is based on speculation, e.g., age of homes and lack of records.  If the BCRSD and county THINK this is sufficient evidence for justifying the need, then why not submit this “evidence” to Judge Wertz, get a warrant and perform inspections on the suspected properties?   Isn’t the deliberate and improper disposal of wastewater a violation of state law?
The attitude of the BCRSD from the beginning of this project (June 2018) conveyed an overall contempt for citizens to be served reinforced by a  “my-way-or-the-highway” leadership philosophy. More recent evidence of this attitude has been the refusal of the BCRSD to respond to a request for information that they are obligated to provide under state law.
The overall attitude (and distrust for motives) may have contributed to landowners refusing to sell land for a plant. Further, the BCRSD will need 190 easements from current landowners — How likely is this to happen without legal action by the BCRSD and along with the threat of eminent domain – a threat that was used in BCRSDs failed attempt to acquire land from Parks and Recreation?
    • Where is the accountability?  The BCRSD spent $220k of 270K provided by the County Council to fund plans for a new plant for Bean Blossom. Approximately 220K was spent BEFORE any land was acquired.  The commitment made to the council to justify the 270K included the expectation that funding would be approved and that construction could start within 18 months.

Conclusion?  Has the BCRSD outlived its useful life as an RSD? The BCRSD does not need a “warrant” to require that everyone within 300 feet of a sewer line be hooked up. Will they have ANY jurisdiction regarding customers being served by Helmsburg?

    • Why not thank the members for their service and transition them to an advisory committee? 

Will the  BCRSD actions delay project funding for Helmsburg and the delivery of needed services to include a reduction of rates for current Helmsburg customers that are paying $92.50 for service?  The State recommendation is a fee in the $65.00 – $85.00 range.

The special interests (including the core of the local Republican Party?) that support expanded sewer service in the Bean Blossom area may desire development  (a want).  But will the lack of wide-scale customer support and speculation as to the need be problematic? What role will federal agencies have on approving projects?  Do federal agencies support funding for development?  No question on the “need” for Helmsburg and Lake Lemon.

Respectively,
 Tim J. Clark 
Additional Information
Watch List – BCRSD. Includes history, risk. and concerns.

    • RSDs – American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funding. The proposal for funding was  submitted by the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) with a copy to the Helmsburg Regional Sewer District (HRSD). The BCRSD is currently requesting $300,000 from the ARP funds.
    • Copy of the BCRSD Proposal to the Commissioners: Cover-letter-and-proposal-to-brown-county-commissioners.  Areas covered range from Lake Lemon to Bean Blossom.  Bean Blossom includes but not limited to Brownies, Bill Monroe, Staley’s Mobile Home Park, greater Bean Blossom, Little Fox and Woodland Lakes, and Freeman Ridge.
    • Helmsburg (HRSD) Proposal for APR funding. HRSD identifed the need for $515,000 (has since been increased). Commissioners did approve the 25K needed to acquire more land to support a plant expansion.  Dec 6, 2021, HRSD_BCRSD Joint Proposal to Commissioners. Commissioners also approved $40,000 to hook up two customers (Mar 22, 2022 meeting.)
BCRSD – Bean Blossom Project – For the Record

Brown County Regional Sewer

Commissioner Meeting Mar 23, 2022

abe martin sage of brown county hoosierindianacom

Facebook post and Audio recording, and agenda below.

Update and Assessment: Commissioner Meeting – Mar 23, 2022.

The majority of the time at the commissioner meeting was spent on discussion related to expanded sewer service in the county.

o. Development. Regarding the intent to expand sewer service, if DEVELOPMENT is the vision, then have the courage to come out of the shadows, step up, and admit it. Make your case and reinforce that there is nothing the citizens can do to stop it. And to demonstrate your abuse of power, continue on with the no public comment policy at meetings and continue to ignore the comments that are provided. Let the citizens know that unlike changes at the state level, county elected officials are not required to read the input from citizens.

o. Bean Blossom. “Development” in Bean Blossom is the Main priority for the special interests in the county. These interests are represented by individuals and groups that have a financial interest in the development supported with sewer expansion.

o. Corruption. This “commissioner meeting” provided another illustration that reinforces my assessment of good people trapped in a bad system. A monopoly on political power without radical transparency leads to moral corruption where individuals can no longer tell right from wrong.

o. Republican Party. This was the kind of meeting “Commissioners” wanted to avoid by not allowing citizens to ask questions. The policy not to allow citizens to participate in their government likely came from or was supported by the core leadership of the local republican party that is consistently represented at commissioners and council meetings – especially on critical votes.

o. Tax, Spend, Borrow. The agenda included the commissioner’s support for a tax increase (raising the cum cap fund), approximately $600,000 in new infrastructure spending, and a need for another175K for a new coroner’s office. This increase of the cum cap tax is subject to remonstrance. Of the $600K, $550 was to replace a/c units at the jail and the balance for IT-related infrastructure replacements that are rarely budgeted. These expenses will reduce the balance of the 3 million dollar loan where it was stated that money from the loan would also be used for road and bridge projects.

o. Failure – Capital Improvment Planning. The “surprise” infrastructure spending is a result of a deliberate failure to plan for needed and expected repairs, replacements, and improvements via a capital improvement plan and budget. Such a plan would compete for other desired (pet) projects. And with a monopoly on political power, the policy of tax, spend, and borrow will remain unchallenged. And the consequences of a deliberate lack of planning justify tax increases such as the cum cap tax. These types of increases add up. The income tax rate was doubled in ten years. How fast can property tax rates be raised? This may be negated through the inflation tax – where inflated land values lead to increases in property tax.

o. County Sewer Expansion.  The bigger ticket item was a “verbal” request for approval by the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) represented by Clint Studabaker who asked for $300,000 of ARPA funds. The overall intent was to support expanding sewer service to 700-800 homes for an estimated “30 million dollar” (with inflation, likely will be higher) major sewer project to support the Lake Lemon to Bean Blossom/Woodland Lake corridor.

o. Helmsburg – Lake Lemon – the Prioroty for the County. The documented need is for immediate support for the Lake Lemon and Helmsburg corridor. This should be the highest priority for the county. However, the highest priority for the BCRSD is Bean Blossom.

o. Get a Warrant. Unlike Helmsburg and Lake Lemon, there is no documented evidence supporting a need or support from the customers to be served by the BCRSD. The “need” is based on speculation regarding the lack of records and age of systems. If this is all you need to conclude that there is a failed system (s), take this “evidence” to the judge and get a warrant to inspect the system. You can also add in “everybody knows.” I’m sure the several hundred people affected by this action will be more than appreciative of the efforts of the BCRSD and County elected officials who appointed them.

o. Background – BCRSD.  In June of 2018, the BCRSD submitted an application for a new sewer plant in Bean Blossom. They claimed State support and were anticipating quick approval and expected to begin construction within approximately 18 months. They received 270K from the county council to fund the required engineering reports. Local landowners refused to sell the land for a sewer plant and their attempt to acquire parkland for a plant was denied by 0 BCRSD.  DNR. They spent 220,000 of the 270,000 on engineering and regulatory-related reports. They still need landowners to grant them 190 easements and without the support of the citizens, may require the BCRSD to take legal action (eminent domain?) to acquire the easements. There is no documented evidence of wide-scale support for sewers in their area to be served and no documented evidence of “failed” septic systems in the area. If there were, there are many options for working with homeowners to resolve the situation.

o. Bean Blossom not the priority. The “need” and support for sewer service in the Lake Lemon area and the “need” for upgrading the aging plant in Helmsburg gave new life to the bean Blossom project. It allows them to continue their project using an expanded plant in Helmsburg as their new plant. “Some” of the planning that was used for the Bean Blossom project was reported to be used in support of the current Helmsburg Expansion project – no supporting detail was asked for or provided regarding this claim.

o. BCRSD Dissolution. The BCRSD should be dissolved and transitioned to an advisory group. The BCRSD will have no customers. And if the technology allows for smaller size wastewater treatment systems, the residents affected are in the best position to manage these types of systems for their area. Private developers develop these systems for their projects.

o. HRSD – Add members. The Helmsburg RSD Board can be expanded from 3 members to 5 to provide additional support for overseeing the work formerly and allegedly being performed by the BCRSD. If the BCRSD transitioned to a support and advisory role, they can continue to support the new plan with Helmsburg and Lake Lemon being the priority.

o. HRSD – Approvide Funding Requests. The Helmsburg RSD identified a need for 750K of ARPA funds and an immediate need for 175K to develop a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) needed to fund plant expansion. No detail was provided by the BCRSD as to how much of the 300K was to support what should be considered the main priority for the county.

o. Systemis Analysis. I offered (not the first time) to facilitate a more systemic analysis of the “total project” that would address many if not most of the “cultural” and historical issues involved with the issues (refer to the audio of the meeting.)

o. Fascade.  Before I objected (despite the new rules), Commissioner Pittman and Braden – “This is not open to discussion or debate,” were going to vote to approve the 300K. After citizen input, Commissioner Pittman tabled the vote until their April 6 meeting to allow for “citizen input” on the project. He referred to the meeting as a “hearing.” The intent is to provide him with a justification for approving or voting no on the request/project. This is out of the “playbook” that parallels the strategy used to approve the new septic ordinance. The process can represent a façade of “listening and collecting information from citizens” and then declaring that you reviewed the information (but may have not read or studied it or did your own homework) and have decided upon the recommendation of an ad-hoc group to approve their project citing unsubstantiated benefits. The decision is certainly not based on the needs and desires of the citizens that the commissioners want to be silenced at commissioner meetings. On the vote at the April 6 meeting, Commissioner Pittman may choose to vote No on the funding but will most likely be outvoted by Commissioner Biddle and Braden.

o. Number One Priority. The need and number one priority for sewer service is the Lake Lemon and Helmbsurg area. They have a documented need and will contribute to development. The priority for the expansion of sewer service in the Bean Blossom area should be driven by the support of the citizens to be serviced. The current preliminary engineering report included letters of support from 1998. Yep, no typo “1998. Informal door-to-door surveys of residents in the area have identified little desire and interest for sewer service.

o.  Federal Review. The Bean Blossom PER was submitted to the Feds for review and approval but was not complete to the extent needed for a review. The need (as opposed to a want) is approved by state agencies and the Feds likely accept the state’s judgment. However, the feds are required by law (FMFIA) to perform their due diligence. Approving a project without documented evidence of failed systems to justify funding may represent “a material weakness” in their internal controls (violation of the law). In my former federal civil service position, managing an internal control program was another duty as assigned. It will be interesting to see how the law will be applied to this project – assuming the feds still are involved in the review and approval process. I would assess that the Helmsburg – Lake Lemon projects would have no problem justifying a valid need for funding.

o. Gentrification. An expansion of sewers to 700-800 homes – most of which may be unneeded can accelerate county-wide gentrification and a churn/turnover in the real estate market. The income survey from 2017 indicates that 53.1% of county residents are in the low to moderate-income level. Unnecessarily raising their cost of living with a new monthly bill and hook-up fees may force many to relocate thus contributing to the gentrification. Is the plan to build more high-density apartment complexes to accommodate the displaced citizens?

o. Help our Citizens. Note that there are most likely failing systems in the county. And it is likely that people may need financial help to repair and replace a failing system. But given the reputation of the Health Department, fear of admitting the need for help and being evicted would take precedence over environmental concerns. This issue should be addressed. The community foundation could help establish a fund where citizens can contribute to help provide support for those in need.

o. Solutions without Problems. Continued evidence of the corruption of good people caught in a bad system includes pushing solutions without evidence of a problem and the support of the people affected by the “solution.”

A Way Ahead. At the meeting, I outlined a Way Ahead through the application of a decision-making process developed in support of the Brown County Leader Network.
BCRSD – Addition Information

Mar 24, 2022. Facebook Post – Update  Commissioner Meeting

Mar 23, 2022.  Facebook Post – Brown County Matters 

Audio – Commissioner Meeting

  • Ric Fox – IT / AC Funding requirements – 550K for Jail, additional funding needed for IT equip
  • Melissa Stinson – Tax increase – Cum Cap Fund – Taxpayers do have the right to remonstrate
  • Highway – Magnor
  • New Coroners Office – Pittman – Need for up to approximately $175K.
  • BCRSD – Clint Studabaker – Verbal request for 300K of ARPA Funds for wastwater projects – Bean Blossom and Helmsburg
    • Clark objection to the 300K request – Start of Public Debate

Not open to discussion, not open to debate” – Commisssioner Braden

    • Helmsburg Needs – Kyle Myers. 750K of ARPA funds requested.  Immediate needs: 40K to fund hook-ups (approved) and 175K for a PER – – plan for plant expansion
    • Clark – Suggestions of a better process
    • Bob Cochran – Interested and Concerned citizen
    • Paul Navarro
    • Studabaker …
    • Sherrie Mitchell – Dissolve the BCRSD
  • Decision for the 300K tabled – Jerry Pittman asking for input via emails. Considers this a “public hearing.”
  • Closing Comments

Agenda

Pledge of Allegiance
Prayer
Additions to the Agenda or Changes
Approval of Minutes/Claims

County Office/Department Reports (Boards & Committees): 

  1. IT H-Vac System and People Trail  —  Identifed around 600K of needed spending on AC systems for the Jail (550K) and for IT Department
  2. Commissioner’s Update on the Cum Cap Timeline – Proposed tax increase. Citizens have the right to remonstrate.

Highway Superintendent Report:  

  1. Project Updates

 Other Business: 

  1. Regional Sewer District – Request for 300,000 ARPA Funds

Legal:

Commissioners:

ADJOURN – Next Regular Commissioner Meeting Wednesday, April 6, 2022 @ 2:00PM 

Music Center Financial Reports – 2019, 2020, 2021

bcmc

Financial Reports for 2019, 2020, 2021

County taxpayers contributed “$239,000 in rent in 2021. Commissioners and Council did not demand an itemized list of the services provided. The deal was arranged by Commissioner Biddle under the county equivalant of “emergency powers.”

    • Feb 17, 2021. Letter: BCD. GUEST OPINION: What’s been happening with your county’s finances by Kevin Fleming.  Includes the details regarding the lack of transparency and oversight of Commissioner Biddle’s actions regarding the $239,000 “Rent” payment to the BCMC.  Commissioner Biddle also serves on the Music Center’s management group. 

Federal taxpayers have also provided loan forgiveness and and grants. This included $2.737 million awared in 2022. 

Addition Information

RFI BCRSD Feb 3, 2022

BCRSD Board Members are appointed by the Commissioners and Council.

Feb 3, 2022, Request for Information. REFUSED by the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) Board. Mr. Phil LeBlanc is a member of the BCRSD Board, the Treasurer and the designated Point of Contact (POC) for Information Requests.

I requested a copy of the presentation that was made on behalf of the board by the Vice President of the Board, Clint Studabaker to the County Commissioners on Feb 2, 2022.  The purpose included gaining support for a request for $300,000 from the ARP funds.

Note that the BCRSD was given $270,000 from the County Council to support the developemnt ofa a new Wastewater Plant for bean Blossom. Over $220,000was spent, no land has been acquired and other options appear to be more feasible.

Feb 2, 2022  Agenda Commissioner Meeting.  The audio of the meeting is not available on the county website.

The Law and Regulations. Government organizations are expected to provide requested information within 30 days. If they do not, a formal complaint can be filed with the State Public Access Counselor who will notify the County they are expected to comply. If this fails, the citizen can file legal action and if they win, county picks up all legal expenses and pays a fine.

The Request and Follow-Ups

From: tjclark2036@gmail.com <tjclark2036@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 5:48 PM
To: ‘Phil LeBlanc’ <phil.leblanc50@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: BCRSD Presentation to the Commissioners Follow-Up

Phil, why the hard time?  I had a simple request, less than 5 minutes to send me the presentation and under a minute to provide a status on the plan.

From: Phil LeBlanc <phil.leblanc50@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 5:41 PM
To: tjclark2036@gmail.com
Subject: Re: BCRSD Presentation to the Commissioners Follow-Up

Tim…Last night (2nd Tuesday). Next meeting: April 12.

Phil

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 9, 2022, at 4:48 PM, tjclark2036@gmail.com wrote:

Phil,

When was your last meeting (last night?) and when is your next?  Sometimes these are listed in the Democrat – sometimes not

Tim

From: Phil LeBlanc <phil.leblanc50@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 7:48 AM
To: Tim Clark <tjclark2036@gmail.com>
Subject: Fwd: BCRSD Presentation to the Commissioners Follow-Up

Tim…

Request your information at our next Board meeting.

Phil

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: tjclark2036@gmail.com
Date: March 9, 2022 at 6:18:56 AM EST
To: Phil LeBlanc <phil.leblanc50@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: BCRSD Presentation to the Commissioners Follow-Up

Phil,

Clint represented the board. Its’s not an individual/independent product.

What’s the status on the WW Strategy? Is it “final” yet?

Appreciate your help,

Tim

From: Phil LeBlanc <phil.leblanc50@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 6:05 AM
To: tjclark2036@gmail.com
Subject: Re: BCRSD Presentation to the Commissioners Follow-Up

Tim,

I don’t have access to Clint’s Power Point presentation. Talk to him.

Phil

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 8, 2022, at 9:24 PM, tjclark2036@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Phil,

Just following up. Is there an issue?

What is the status of the WW Strategic Plan?

Tim

From: Tim Clark <tjclark2036@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2022 3:22 PM
To: Phil.LeBlanc50@gmail.com
Subject: BCRSD Presentation to the Commissioners

Hi Phil,

Request a copy of Clint’s presentation that was used to brief the commissioners last night.

Appreciate your help,

Tim

County before Country

county before country

Updated Mar 14, 2022 1515

FYI – What another county is doing to support  stronger communities.

In Brown Couty, IN we are also working to make our county stonger throught the Brown County Leader NetworkCLN)  – Overview of our concept.

BCLN – Christian Focused PerspectiveBCLN Concept Christian Focus

East River Church
Batavia, OH
July 26, 2021

East River Church will be hosting its first County Before Country conference (limited to 200) on 9/2-9/4 at the Batavia Armory in Batavia, OH.

County over Country –  2021 – First Conference (limited to 200) on 9/2-9/4 at the Batavia Armory in Batavia, OH.  Speakers:

    • Pastor Matt Trewhella, author The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, will be speaking on “The Local Law”
    • Aaron Renn, founder of The Masculinist, will be speaking on “The Priority of Owned Space.”
    • John Moody, author The Frugal Homesteader, will be speaking on “Resistance is Fertile”
    • Pastor CR Wiley, author Man of the House, will be speaking on “The Boniface Option”

 More info:

Continue reading County before Country