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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Edgelea repaving receives go-ahead from county

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Following an extended discussion of the project during their Nov. 5 meeting, the Putnam County Commissioners wasted no time in choosing to move forward with the repaving of Edgelea subdivision this week.

The resolution to declare Edgelea an economic improvement district was the first item addressed Monday evening. District 1 commissioner Nancy Fogle made a motion to pass the resolution, which was seconded by president Kristina Alexander.

With Gene Beck late to the meeting with a family emergency, the motion passed 2-0.

The creation of the economic improvement district clears the way for the yearly assessment by which residents will pay for 75 percent of the repaving and drainage project.

The repaving of the 2.8 miles of road comes at an estimated cost of $1.4 million.

Following the previous meeting, the commissioners sent a letter to all houses in Edgelea requesting input on the project, which will add $625 to each household's annual property tax bill over the next 20 years.

Fogle told the Banner Graphic that the majority of the responses were in favor of the assessment, in spite of objections voiced by some.

Besides receiving 40 letters, commissioners also received emails and phone calls from Edgelea residents, the majority of whom approved of the project.

With the economic improvement district approved, the commissioners also unsealed bids on the project.

Specifics of the bids were not discussed, but the two meeting the county's specification came from Wabash Valley Asphalt and Grady Brothers Inc.

The commissioners took the bids under advisement, turning them over to the county highway department for review.


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So has anything been done about all the failing septic systems, or does this project address this? Sure would hate to see the new roads torn up in a few years to put in sanitary sewers.

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 5:42 AM

It would be nice if the commissioners had a back bone to stand up to the "rich group" that is in favor of this!!! It amazes me that each property will be charged the exact same amount instead of a percentage of your current property taxes. Not everyone that lives up there makes 6 digits a year....it's hard to raise a family on a low income & this isn't going to help matters. Also if you have 2 properties you're only charged for 1....how is that fair!!! We don't want Edgelea like another Heritage Lake where people can't pay their taxes & if we ever have to pay for septic issues it will be impossible for families to afford!!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 8:35 AM

Also, there has never been a meeting for ALL the residents to address this issue. After the last commissioner's meeting it was left that they would have a meeting for all the residents to attend. Unfortunately an influential business man changed their minds and they just sent letters to each resident. Polictics in this county is an absolute joke. Of course, the commissioners are for this b/c it's less money out of the County's pocekt!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 8:43 AM

Nothing to do with politics on this project,the tribe has spoken..majority rules!

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 4:55 PM

Nice to hear of the approval. Just so all are clear that this is $625 per yr. for 20 years. If taxes of everybody in the county increase for other county wide projects, needs, or just inflation, this is $625 per year for 20 yrs. just for us in Edgelea FOR COUNTY ROADS

Just so the Banner is clear, The letter sent to residents on November 5, said: "The establishment of the district would impose a tax in the amount of $625 per home" My copy must have had a typo. Missed that 20 year part.

For those of you that do not live on the hill, and I do, this means that regardless of the taxes you pay, you may be compelled to pay additional monies for public projects.

All stand up and take a bow. deerehead, it's all politics, understand the tyranny of the majority.

-- Posted by thecynic on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 7:53 PM

I believe the Commissioners are paying their part over the same time period,also...somebody correct me if I'm wrong. I don't live in Edgelea subdivision so don't know all the details!

-- Posted by kubotafan on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 8:31 AM

The residents are paying for 75% of the roads!!! It's a joke to pay on the roads for 20 years and they're only going to be decent for less than 10 years. I could spend $12,500 on something more uselful!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 8:23 AM

How does this not violate the Property Tax Cap that was put in place? Or did someone overlook that....also the fact that they ommitted the 20 year info from the letter that was sent out is downright fraudulent and deceptive.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 8:34 AM

Everything about this has been deceptive!!! There's never even been a meeting for all the residents to come together and discuss this issue. Unfortunately rich business men and crooked politicians run this county!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 11:01 AM

I'm contacted elected state officials, and the indaian tax court. I'm awaiting their response as Im' almost 100% certain this tax is illegal and violates the state constitution.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 11:14 AM

god Spell check would be nice, Sorry all. I meant I've contacted state officials and the indiana tax court in regards to this. I'm awaiting a response.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 11:21 AM

Thanks for your help!!!! We have contacted several commissioners, lawyers, etc. about this and we are still waiting for responses. Any help you can lend would be great!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 1:21 PM

I've received responses and will be starting a door to door petition in the very near future.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 1:34 PM

Do you live up there too???

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 1:42 PM

Yes I do.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 3:03 PM

Thanks for your help!!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 3:19 PM

None of the meeetings minutes or the agendas for 2012 are at the website.....The website doesn't even have the correct people on it as the per who is president and what have you. I'm really wondering what on earth they think they are doing by keeping everyone in the dark. Are these meetings even open to the public? I thought the open door law....meant they had to be. I guess they just do whatever they want, whenever they want until someone objects.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 9:47 AM

My husband was at the last 2 commissioner's meetings. The one meeting it was left that the commissioners would have a meeting for all the residents to get together. Then they changed it and just sent letters. He called the Friday before the last meeting, which was on a Monday, to get on the agenda to speak again & they told him it was to late to get on the adenda!!!???? Everything seems shady if you ask me!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:15 AM

considering the commission consist of 3 people...it shouldn't have been a problem to alter the agenda...and being's how they don't even post them online....who would know. These folks are severely disorganized and yet they are suppose to make decisions like this for the county....are you kidding me?

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:49 AM

I will be requesting the minutes from the meeting, if they changed their minds and neglected to notify the public, that also violates policy.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:50 AM

I totally agree!!!! Then only 2 commissioners even voted on it b/c one of them was late to the meeting. My husband e-mailed both of the voting commissioners before the vote and never received a response back. I would love to see the minutes from 2 meetings ago when they left it that all the residents could discuss this issue in a meeting. During all this several residents have been left in the dark!!! We need to have a meeting with everyone!!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:56 AM

They didn't want him on the agenda b/c they knew his stand b/c he spoke at the meeting before!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:57 AM

I've emailed the mayor and all commissioners and haven't received any response....the email for Beck doesn't even work. However, I have received responses from State officials pointing me in the correct direction with the potential for legal counsel depending on what has or has not been put in writing from the commissioners. An increase in property tax for targeted subdivisions is illegal. It also violates the Property Tax Cap. Failure to provide agenda and minutse violates the Indiana Open Door Law and if the minutes say there is to be a meeting and then the motion was voted on without a meeting...that too violates the purpose of the open door law. Once I have obtained all pertinent information I will make copies for all residents and attempt to talk to them. I will be printing off a letter today and probably have my kid stuff it in door jams and mailboxes. I want the roads paved just as bad as the next guy, but we shouldn't have to pay additional monies for it, we already pay tax that is suppose to be used for exactly these types of issues. Their mismanagement of money should not be our burden.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 11:17 AM

I totally agree with you!!!!! Once we receive your letter I'll probably have my husband contact you personally b/c he's also done a lot of investigating. We would also like to see the roads fixed, but we don't believe this is the best way to do it!!!! It amazes me that if you own more than 1 property you just have to pay for 1 property. This increase will make our taxes go up 130% and others just 40%, which isn't right. We would be more willing to see this happen if everyone's taxes went up 40% or whatever....that seems like the right way to do it.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 11:28 AM

Once this information is assembled, Indiana law requires that the majority of property owners within the proposed district and the owners of at least 66 and 2/3 percent of the assessed value in the district sign a petition approving the creation of the district. If the petition meets those requirements, it is submitted to the appropriate local legislative body in ordinance form for a public hearing and a vote approving or denying the creation of the EID.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 11:55 AM

Supposedly they have more than 66%. It's difficult for me to understand how it can pass with such an increase for 20 years.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 11:59 AM

The rich one's are in favor of it and their property is assessed higher.....that must be how they came up with such a high percentage in favor of it.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:01 PM

did you see a petition?

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:06 PM

In Indiana, an EID is formed with a ten-year limited life span. If, after 10 years, property owners want to continue the EID they must go through the petition process a second time. An EID can be dissolved at any time prior to the 10 year term limit.

So how can they put in place something for 20 years if they only have a 10 year lifespan...even if they did legally do it? Which I will also be requesting a copy of the petition and land values and all that fun stuff?

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:14 PM

We never saw a petition!!! No one ever came to our house b/c they knew we wouldn't be in favor of it. What's sad is this is going to be a financial hardship for some families. I have more important things I could use that money for. Regarding you're question above, I'm not sure.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:17 PM

My husband looked into the EID and you can go longer.....I don't know specifics. He said since it passed at this point the only thing we can do is get legal advice. We might have a leg to stand on though if the commissioners minutes say we were suppose to have a meeting for all the residents.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:25 PM

Yes they can go longer but the petition has to be re-done at 10 years. What happens if the petition fails in 10 years??

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:40 PM

An economic improvement district (EID) is a special purpose district in which property owners agree to collect an additional fee to fund improvements in the district. The EID is developed and managed by the property owners in the district and the investments are intended to support their businesses.

Not sure how a residential subdivision falls under anything in the EID...its for businesses.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:45 PM

My husband said the statute itself does not limit the lifespan of an EID. It is IC 36-7-22. Unfortunately, the language in the EID statute does not expressly prohibit residential areas from being included; however, the spirit of the statute is for business districts. The County Commissioners I have spoken with in other parts of the state have said they do not use EID's for residential areas, in fact, they exclude residential property owners from the EID.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 1:28 PM

Your husband is dead on. That is correct. It is a grey area at best....and grey area generally = legal battle. If enough people are interested and will split the cost of fee's....I'm willing to bet that is what it will take to get this handled in the court of law. I've just made a request for the minutes and the signed petition. I'm awaiting a response. Also the clerks office said they have to check if I can even have them...but if so I can pick them up tomorrow.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 1:34 PM

You should be able to get them. Isn't that public record??? My husband was at that meeting so if it says something different then they changed the minutes.

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 1:46 PM

I pick up my paperwork from the clerk's office tomorrow, However there seems to be some difficulty in finding a copy of the signed petition....Pretty sure that would have to be a matter of public record.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 1:47 PM

You would think so.....that's why I think everything is so shady!!!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 2:03 PM

I have a copy of the petition in hand.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 2:55 PM

Great!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 3:11 PM

By my count it is 70% of property owners signing it but the number of property owners isn't the point, it is land value that matters...and being so close to 67%, the actual land values will have to come into play. Problem is, I dont' know if I can get the assessed land values of each property, at least not easily. I'm going to hold off on my letter distribution but you can contact me at josta21@hotmail.com

Thanks.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 4:03 PM

Okay....I'll have my husband contact you. Thanks for your help!

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 8:13 AM

So according to the state code, you have to hold a public meeting for all land owners to voice cocnerns. On 11/5 (per the minutes of the meeting) you said this meeting will happen and tabled the discussion. Then you never had the meeting and voted the EID into place on the following meeting 2 weeks later.??? Sounds like we will see you all in court.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 3:18 PM


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