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Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting

May 23, 2018 12:00 p.m.

Jackson Courtroom

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Cindy Morrison and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.

 

Staff Present: Pamela Matve, Chief Clerk; Eric Hern, Fiscal Director; Public Safety Director Todd Lake, Ken McCorrison, Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp, Lisa Rivett, Director of Elections, Brian Bull, GIS Coordinator, Lori Bimber, Register and Recorder, Lorri Dunlap, Grants Administrator, Phil Gilbert, Tax Claim Director, Brian Zeybel, County Detective and District Attorney Robert Greene

 

Citizens Present: Brian Ferry (WTO); Chief Jason Peters, Reid Shoklee, Matt Gearhart, Domic Ventura, Chief Jarrod Deeter, Benjamin Chase, Jerry Jesperson, Randy Howell, Todd Mineweaser, Rich Barrett, Tyson Martin, Heidi Halcomb, Michael Kichl, Kris Hodak, Matt Savindt, Jon Ferrie, Jay Lindemuth, and Larry Preston

 

Announcements:

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin listed the meetings to which either two or all three Commissioners were together since the last meeting.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that there is one piece of correspondence received relating to the CDBG audit that will be happening.

 

Public Hearing:

 

Public Comment:

 

Consent Agenda:

 

Agenda Content: There were no changes made to the agenda

 

Minutes from the May 9, 2018 Meeting: There were no changes to be made to the minutes.

 

Fiscal Report: Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated there was cash on hand of $871,624.00 and in the Erie bank account a balance of $1,068,630.00. The total payouts that include payroll, health insurance etc. is $215,636.00.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston asked about the draw on the TAN to which Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated that we are right in line with our draw down as we were this time last year.

 

Proclamation for Memorial Day were read.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve today’s agenda, the May 9, 2018 minutes, the fiscal report as presented, and the Proclamations as read. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Old Business:

 

New Business:

 

Notice to Award Center St. Storm Water Drainage Project: Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to award the Center St. Storm Water Drainage Project to Stiffler McGraw in the amount of $28,500.00 for engineering services and $7,500.00 for construction and inspection services. Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

Notice to Award Replacement of Courtroom Westside Air Conditioning Equipment: Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to award the replacement of the air conditioning equipment on the west side to A & B Heating at an amount of $19,850.00. Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

Agreement with EOC for the 2018/2019 Fiscal Year: Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the agreement with the Warren Forest Economic Opportunity Council for the various services for the 2018/2019 Fiscal Year. Motion carried unanimously.

 

The meeting was recessed for five minutes while set up was done for the presentation.

 

Motorola Radio Project (Financial Documentation/Communications System and Services Agreement:

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that we are here today to learn about the Motorola Radio Project for Warren County. We will hear from several people today:

Public Safety Director Todd Lake, will talk on the current system

Bob Barnhart will talk about the P25 program

Dominic Ventura will talk about the equipment

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin will talk about the financial piece

 

Public Safety Director Todd Lake stated that he is here today to talk about our current system and the difficulties we are having. One major issue is that various agencies cannot communicate when needed. Secondly, we cannot get parts for the current radios as the equipment is antiquated.

 

Todd Lake stated it is not a matter of if our equipment goes down, and cannot be repaired. It is when. We want to be able to replace this equipment on our terms; we do not want to wait until we have an emergency and we have no choice.

 

Bob Barnham presented on the PA Star-net program and reviewed the opensky challenges. He went on to state that in 2009 our current radio system was discontinued, in 2014 the parts and service discontinued, the portable radios and parts and services were discontinued in 2018.

 

Bob Barnham stated that the reason Warren County was chosen as the pilot area is because of our terrain.

 

Dominic Ventura spoke about the proposal and its high lights. Coverage can be up to 95% in all of the 67 counties. There is encrypted communications, which we do not have currently. He then reviewed the benefits, and stated that the governor is pushing to have all counties on the P25 system.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked, what happens with this system if there is a change in administration? To which Bob Barnham stated that there is a legal agreement in place to survive change in administration.

 

The presentation turned to a question and answer period.

 

Chief Jesperson stated that he is pleased that the Commissioners are looking at this and hopefully you will all agree. If the municipalities has to do this purchase on their own, it would never happen as they cannot afford it. To be able to communicate with each other would be a God send.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison suggested that the county assume ownership of the equipment and be the end user.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that individual agencies should assume some liability for repairs and or replacements, and we do have a draft agreement ready. I do propose that the county step up and purchase this equipment at a cost of 1.8 million.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that Motorola has presented a financial agreement with 4.1% interest USDA for a ten year period.

 

Ed Burris, Director of Veteran's Affairs asked, what would be the estimated time after purchase of equipment, training, installation and ready for use. Dominic Ventura stated that from the beginning to end, if purchased now, it will be operational by the end of December.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that today we are agreeing to the equipment costs. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin intervened and stated that we also need to vote on the financial agreement.

 

Public Safety Director Todd Lake stated we are not buying ancillary equipment such as extra batteries etc. each agency would be responsible for those types of items.

 

At this time various agencies spoke on their thoughts about the radio project, and what it means to them.

 

Larry Preston stood and asked why didn’t you do this when the system was first put into place?  Now you want the tax payers to pay for it.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that when our radio system was purchased, the technology was not available to us.

 

Various agencies continued to speak for the project. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin then read some highlights from letters he received from those that could not attend today’s meeting.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison then asked the question how the County will afford 1.8 million dollars.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that he has applied for a loan from USDA for a lower interest rate, then when our bond comes due next year we can take that money and put towards the loan for payment.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that we need to make a motion to open up for discussion.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to approve the Communications and Services agreement with Motorola.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that this is very important, and we need to discuss the equipment costs first. Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, Public Safety Director Todd Lake, and Ken McCorrison have worked very hard on this project or the past year and a half to bring our county up to date. The price tag is huge but it is very much needed.

 

The timing of this project lets our County be an example to others. This opportunity gives us a chance to look at the county as a whole. We all know that currently the agencies are all in a group of their own, I do hope with a county wide radio system it will bring all these agencies together to work as one.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that the bottom line is that our Police, First Responders, Fire Departments etc., are all kept safe. This will also be safer communications, as stations can be encrypted.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston asked that there be a detailed implementation plan with cost breakdown. I want to make sure the equipment we order will be used. I do not want to over purchase.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston then stated that he would like to table the financing agreement as he has an issue with the 4.1% interest rate.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison agreed with Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stating that she knows Todd put a lot of work into this but I still have issues and questions on the cost break down.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to table the financial agreement.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she still had concerns with the Communications and Service agreement. I am very concerned with the cost. We have heard some strong cases as to why we need to move forward with this. But we will give up one debt for another.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to table the Communications and Service agreement. With no second the original motion is still on the table.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he is comfortable with the price of each piece of equipment. I just want to be sure we have an implementation plan in place so we know exactly what we are purchasing.

 

Executive Session was called at 2:21

 

When the meeting resumed at 2:30, Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that the reason we went into executive was to discuss a legal question with council.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin asked the other two commissioners if they felt comfortable with passing the Communication and Services Agreement separate from the financing agreement. No one had an issue with that.

 

After no further discussions on the Communications and Services agreement the question on the original motion was called and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that he is applying for a $150,000 grant.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that she struggles as she knows this is important, but the burden on the tax payers is a large concern. She then asked if there was an expiration on our savings.

 

Dominic Ventura stated that this is a bundle savings in this proposal if purchased in 30 days.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that the savings is real.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that we have a courthouse that needs renovations and now this, how much more can we stretch.

 

Public Safety Director Todd Lake stated that this will have to be done now to get a savings.

 

After no further discussions the question on the tabling the financial agreement was called and the motion carried two to one with Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin for, and Commissioner Cindy Morrison and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston against.

 

 

Personnel Report: None

 

Closing:

 

Commissioner Comments:

 

Adjournment:  Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Meeting adjourned 2:39 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,                                                   Approved:

 

Pamela J. Matve                                                             Jeff Eggleston, Secretary

Chief Clerk                                                                    Warren County Commissioner