Meeting: Dubois County Commissioners

The Dubois County Commissioners met Monday and:

• Declared the property at 571 E. 300N as a public nuisance and ordered the owner, Julie Greener, to comply with the order from the Dubois County Health Department to clean up the property and remove the unsafe buildings. This is the first hearing in front of the commissioners as guided by the county’s unsafe building ordinance. A story is on Page One.

• Approved changes to the county’s subdivision control ordinance. One of the biggest changes in the ordinance is the elimination of family farm exemptions and the addition of the parcelization section, in which a person can give or sell a piece of land to anyone, and it does not have to be for agricultural purposes; the number that can be sold depends on the parcel’s size overall. Some of the other changes include reducing the road frontage needed from 115 to 60 feet (but the property will still have to have a front yard width of 115 feet), and clarification that the maintenance of sidewalks is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility. A copy of the ordinance can be reviewed at the Dubois County Courthouse.

• Decided to join a class action lawsuit that requires the federal government to give counties the full payment due on federal-controlled property in the county in lieu of taxes. In the last three years, the government has reduced the payments, Commissioner Chad Blessinger said, though he did not know what that total amounted to for Dubois County; pieces of Hoosier National Forest and Patoka Reservoir lie in the county. The judge in the lawsuit, filed by a county in Utah, said the federal government cannot reduce the payments and must make up the difference for two of the years; the third year is still under discussion.

• Heard from Highway Supervisor Steve Berg that highway crews worked on cleaning up and repairing roads and ditches following heavy rains, which meant suspending other planned work. That cleanup and repairs will continue as time allows, he said. The schedule has been revised for patching roads that were damaged from winter weather. Berg said that work should be completed by the end of August.

• Heard that Barry Day has stepped down from the Regional Development Authority because of personal conflicts. The commissioners approved appointing David Drake of Huntingburg as Day’s replacement. The RDA is actively working with the state on the design and funding of the Midstate Corridor, a bypass road that would run from Owensboro, Kentucky, to I-69, connecting Dubois County to the interstate. All entities involved in the RDA, which also includes Huntingburg, Jasper and Spencer County, must approve Drake’s appointment. If approved by all, Drake will join Mark Schroeder, Scott Blazey, Sue Ellspermann and Ken Mulzer Jr. on the board.

• Adjusted to their temporary meeting space, which is the county council’s chambers on the first floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex. The commissioners’ room, on the second floor of the building, is being remodeled to become the commissioners’ and council’s meeting room.

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