Watchdog Lebanon

Hit Counter (Note: This Hit Counter was effective October 25, 2013.)

Watchdog Indiana Home Page


Watchdog Indiana LogoWatchdog Lebanon provides information about the revenues, spending, and long-term debt assumption of the local and county governments in Boone County. An online community is established where Boone County Hoosiers work together to help control government growth. This volunteer effort is non-party, non-connected, and non-profit. 

Watchdog Lebanon is an advocate for good government that focuses on the local tax burden of Boone County working families.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ... who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Watchdog Lebanon was founded by Aaron Smith on November 14, 2001. Aaron's resides in Lebanon Indiana, and his biographical information can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/aaron.htm

Subscribe!
 Subscribe to receive Watchdog Lebanon E-mail notifications whenever something comes up that is likely to affect local government taxes and spending in Boone County. Put WHAT'S NEW in the subject line of your E-mail sent to taxless3@comcast.net

Bait & Switch
Our well-intentioned but over-zealous Sheriff proclaims that he needs a permanent 50% increase in the county-wide Local Income Tax (LIT) to pay for his Business Plan. However, much of the LIT increase would NOT be used to pay for new spending on the Sheriff's Business Plan or other county public safety needs. Much of the LIT increase would be available for non-public safety spending on who knows what!

Boone County Sheriff 2016 Business Plan

The components of the Boone County Sheriff 2016 Business Plan will be evaluated from a Taxpayer Friendly standpoint, and the evaluation results will be summarized online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/sheriff_business_plan.htm. It is hoped that the highest-priority portions of the Business Plan can be implemented using (1) the county’s cash reserves and (2) the anticipated additional future revenue from the current 1% Local Income Tax WITHOUT a Local Income Tax rate increase.

Immediate action needed!
08/25/2016:
Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen has (1) confirmed the components of the Boone County Sheriff 2016 Business Plan, (2) provided detailed cost data for each Business Plan component, and (3) submitted written justifications explaining the importance of all but two of the sixteen Business Plan components: see http://www.finplaneducation.net/sheriff_business_plan.htm. We can all use this detailed information to perform our own objective evaluations of the Boone County Sheriff 2016 Business Planand to start deciding on how to best fund those improvements that make the most sense from a results-oriented, compassionate, and fiscally responsible standpoint.

Sheriff Nielsen will be presenting additional information about his Business Plan at the following meetings:
September 6, about 9:00 AM at the Boone County Commissioners Meeting
September 6, 7:00 PM at the Jamestown Town Council Meeting
September 8, 5:30 PM & 7:00 PM at the Boone County Fairgrounds Public INFO Meeting
September 13, about 9:00 AM at the Boone County Council Meeting
October 5, 5:30 PM & 7:00 PM at the Boone County Fairgrounds Public INFO Meeting

Did You Know?
09/10/2016:
There has been an “interesting” development. A 0.25 percent increase in the Local Income Tax rate would give Boone County $2,274,316 in additional revenue – enough to fund the entire Boone County Sheriff 2016 Business Plan cost if the county's cash reserves are used to pay for the one-time Business Plan costs that do not recur every year. HOWEVER, Sheriff Mike Nielsen is trying to sell a 0.50 percent Local Income Tax rate increase where a family with a $60,000 income would pay $300 more annual tax, instead of $150 more tax with a 0.25 percent increase. Why is Sheriff Nielsen selling a Local Income Tax rate increase that would generate twice as much revenue as he needs for his entire Business Plan?

Lebanon Sanitary Sewer Backup Prevention

Raw sewage backups in Lebanon homes present serious health hazards from exposure to the pathogens and allergens that fester in sewage waste. The Indiana State Department of Health has identified the following diseases caused by raw sewage and sewage contaminated water: Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Escherichia coli Diarrhea, Encephalitis, Gastroenteritis, Giardiasis, Hepatitis A, Leptospirosis, Methaemoglobinaemia, Poliomyelitis, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Paratyphoid Fever, Typhoid Fever, and Yersiniosis. Details regarding these dangerous diseases can be found online at http://www.in.gov/isdh/22963.htm.

The elimination of improper sump pump and other connections to the sanitary sewer system is an important first step in preventing Lebanon’s sanitary sewer backups. A crucial initiative pertaining to the elimination of improper sanitary sewer system connections is the Lebanon Utilities Sanitary Sewer Study in the Morningside and Edgewood neighborhoods.

Lebanon Utilities and Wessler Engineering are conducting a Sanitary Sewer Study in the Morningside and Edgewood neighborhoods. This Study includes the inspection of resident sump pumps and the inspection of sanitary lateral pipes that connect homes to the city’s sanitary sewer pipes. Homeowners are responsible for the proper operation of both the resident sump pumps and the sanitary lateral pipes. Detailed information about the Study can be found on the Lebanon Utilities web page at http://www.lebanon-utilities.com/ww_projects.html.

There are a total of 244 homes in the Study area. The Morningside neighborhood includes Morningside Drive, Sunnyside Lane, Brookside Drive, and the adjoining sections of Fordice Road and John Bart Road. The Edgewood Neighborhood includes Edgewood Drive, Amber Lane, Evergreen Road, Glendale Drive, and the adjoining sections of Fordice Street, Grant Street, and Washington Street (and the homes on Main Street between Prairie Creek and Oak Hill Cemetery). As of September 17, 21 of the 244 homes had been inspected – two of the inspected homes had improper sump pump connections to the Lebanon sanitary sewer system.

Morningside and Edgewood neighborhood residents have been asked to please schedule their home inspection by E-mailing Nancy Hanley at NancyH@wesslerengineering.com or calling 317-788-4551 (ask for Nancy). The inspections began on September 2, 2014, and will end on October 30, 2014. Inspections will be scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. It is imperative that all Lebanon citizens urge the 244 Morningside and Edgewood homeowners to participate in the Sanitary Sewer Study.

A Special Report has been prepared by Watchdog Lebanon regarding the prevention of sanitary sewer backups in Lebanon homes. The Special Report sections include (1) Introduction, (2) Lebanon Sanitary System Overview, (3) Lebanon Sanitary Sewer Backup Sources, (4) Lebanon Sanitary Sewer Backup Solutions, (5) Proper Storm Water Management For Morningside & Edgewood Homeowners, (6) Voluntary Compliance Is Important, (7) Home Sump Pumps A Likely Problem, (8) Disconnecting Home Sump Pumps Will Prevent Most Sanitary Sewer Backups, (9) Payment Options To Correct Improper Sanitary Sewer Connections. The Special Report can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/sewer_backup_prevention.htm.

The raw sewage backups into some Lebanon homes during significant rain events must be eliminated because they create serious health hazards.

  City of Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan
Detailed information about the Interchange Plan can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_interchange_plan.htm

All Lebanon and Boone County residents concerned about Lebanon's I-65 and State Road 39 Interchange Land Use Plan are encouraged to sign the "PETITION REQUEST TO LEBANON MAYOR HUCK LEWIS." Please send an E-mail to taxless3@comcast.net to obtain a copy of the Petition.

The Petition reads as follows: "The signature(s) of the concerned citizen(s) on this petition verify a request to have the 1,000 Acres of unincorporated Center Township farmland removed from the proposed City of Lebanon I-65 and State Road 39 Interchange Land Use Plan. Some of the reasons for this request include the following: (1) the industrial and single family residential land uses included in the Interchange Plan for the 1,000 Acres conflict with the Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan that preserves agricultural uses until the year 2030, (2) the Boone County Zoning Ordinance as administered by the Area Plan Commission satisfactorily protects the 1,000 Acres from "spot zoning" changes without the Interchange Plan, (3) the 1,500 acres in the Interchange Plan study area that are already within the Lebanon city limits are sufficient for Lebanon’s commercial and industrial development the next twenty years without the 1,000 Acres in unincorporated Center Township, (4) Lebanon has plenty of empty buildings and space in the Lebanon Business Park for business development without the 1,000 Acres, (5) inclusion of the 1,000 Acres in the Interchange Plan might defeat in court a land owners remonstrance against a future involuntary Lebanon annexation, (6) it would be more likely for eminent domain to be imposed to forcibly obtain the rights-of-way needed for the proposed Interchange Plan infrastructure, (7) the rural quality of life that so many Boone County residents enjoy and cherish would be maintained."

The City of Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan “outlines the City’s short- to long-term plan for improvement, development, and growth” for a study area whose northeast boundary is I-65, west boundary is SR 39, and south boundary is County Road 250 South.” The Interchange Plan is presented as a “foundation for future decision-making regarding land use and infrastructure development and transportation circulation.” The Interchange Plan study area is about 2,500 acres, with 1,500 acres within the City limits and 1,000 acres outside the City within unincorporated Center Township. Agricultural land in the Interchange Plan study area today totals 2,190 acres and is “actively used by a select number of owners that have held the properties for several generations.” None of this farm land is preserved because the Interchange Plan provides, “Growth within the study area is desired to be in the form of mid- to high-end residential, business, office, retail, technology, research, light industry, or a combination of these forms.” 

The proposed Interchange Plan also stipulates: (a) “The cost of the recommended infrastructure is intended to be shared by Lebanon as well as the developer” and (b) “All infrastructure developments will defray development costs associated with private developments and make the study area more attractive for private investment, as well as reduce the risk and time for development.” The cost estimates for the nine categories of Interchange Plan infrastructure subject to taxpayer and utility ratepayer subsidies are summarized as follows:
$ 26.614 million for 3.9 miles of 4- lane Arterial Roads
$   8.019 million for 2.5 miles of 2-lane Collector Roads
$ 26.584 million for 5.3 miles of 3-lane Roads
$   8.743 million for 6.1 miles of Water Main Lines
$   1.767 million for 5.8 miles of Sanitary Sewer Trunk Lines
$   2.486 million for 2 Sanitary Lift Stations
$   4.200 million for an Electric Transmission Line
$   1.910 million for an Electric Substation
$ 28.802 million for the Lebanon I-65 Corridor Master Drainage Plan
$109.125 million TOTAL Subject to Taxpayer and Utility Ratepayer Subsidies

To put the $109,125,000 total Interchange Plan infrastructure subject to taxpayer and utility ratepayer subsidies in perspective, the total 2014 City of Lebanon budget certified by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance is $12,762,558. Mayor Lewis expresses his municipal growth philosophy in the City of Lebanon April 2014 Newsletter when he states, “Many entities are reluctant to locate in Lebanon without being ‘offered’ something.” Lebanon and Boone County working families cannot afford the mayor’s desired quid pro quo for the Interchange Plan infrastructure.

Some aspects of the Interchange Plan might be a reasonable road map for orderly development the next few decades. However, the Interchange Plan provisions that call for the $109.125 million estimated cost of the recommended infrastructure to be shared by Lebanon taxpayers and utility ratepayers are Taxpayer UNfriendly and would rapidly erode our rural quality of life while creating the potential for eminent domain abuses. Also, the Interchange Plan does not preserve Center Township farmland as provided for in the Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan. The Interchange Plan should be tabled by the Lebanon Plan Commission unless and until (1) all Interchange Plan references are removed that relate to infrastructure cost sharing by taxpayers and utility ratepayers and (2) the 1,000 Acres of Center Township farmland are removed from the Interchange Plan's study area.

  The Lebanon Watch
"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

It is time for everyday Lebanon residents to assert that our elected and appointed local government officials must stop increasing taxes and utility rates on existing residents to subsidize speculative development that does not pay for itself. One way to accomplish this goal is for concerned Lebanon residents to “watch” our thirty-five Lebanon and Boone County government bodies that are responsible for the oversight of our tax dollars and utility rates. 

If you attend a local government meeting (or watch it on TV) and discover something that is noteworthy, please send a report of the meeting to Watchdog Indiana at taxless3@comcast.net or call Aaron Smith at 765-891-1439. The Lebanon Watch Report web pages for our various government bodies and their public policy decisions can be accessed through the Watchdog Lebanon Topics Index below.  

The meetings scheduled by our local government bodies between now and October 1, 2016 (together with detailed information about meeting locations, contacts, and websites) can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_watch_meetings.htm. (Note: Some recorded City of Lebanon meetings are posted on a YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/LebanonIndiana-TheFriendlyCity.) 

 

Lebanon Topics Index

Boone County Free Public Records Directory
Consumer Price Index
Family Meals Tax: Lebanon Food and Beverage Tax.
Get-Ahead Wage
Greater Lebanon Community Vision Committee
Huck Lewis Campaign Contributions: 2010-2015 Summary and 2014 Receipts & Expenditures and 2015 Receipts & Expenditures
Huck Lewis Election Law Violations Complaint
Lebanon Business Park 2014 Property Taxes
Lebanon Candidate Information:
   2015 Lebanon Mayor Candidates: Matt Gentry, Harold "Huck" Lewis
   2015 Lebanon City Council Candidates: Keith A. Campbell, John Copeland, Dan Fleming, Larry A. Hysong, Mike Kincaid, Lana M. Kruse, Corey Kutz, Jeremy Lamar, Steve Large, Preston Myers, Kevin Van Horn
   2014 Lebanon Community School Corporation Board of Trustees Candidates: Allen D. Douglass, Elizabeth Padgett (Liz) Keith, Tom Merritt
   2011 Lebanon Candidates (Lebanon Clerk Treasurer)
   2007 Lebanon Candidates (November 6, 2007, Lebanon Mayor General Election)
   2003-2005 Lebanon City Council Voting Record
   2002-03 Lebanon Candidates (November 4, 2003, Lebanon Mayor and City Council General Election; November 5, 2002, Boone County Council District 3 General Election; May 7,2002, Boone County Commissioner District 1 Republican Primary)
Lebanon Cash Reserves
Lebanon City Attorney
Lebanon City Budgets: 2015 and 2016.
Lebanon City Expenditures Per Capita
Lebanon City Finances: 1997-2004 and 2004-2015
Lebanon Clerk-Treasurer Attorney
Lebanon Conservation League Purchase
Lebanon Eminent Domain Coercions
Lebanon "Gateways" - Indianapolis Avenue Project
Lebanon "Gateways" - SR 39 Bridge Project
Lebanon Growth Projections
Lebanon Hot Pond
Lebanon I-65 Corridor Annexation
Lebanon I-65 Corridor Master Drainage Plan
Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan
Lebanon Iron Men Properties Projects: Memory Hall Flats, The Flats at Memory Hall, The 451 Flats.
Lebanon Memorial Park Swimming Pool
Lebanon Municipal Building
Lebanon Property Tax Bills Database
Lebanon Property Tax Comparison: Residential and Farm.
Lebanon Property Tax Multiple Homestead Deductions
Lebanon Property Tax Rates
Lebanon Property Taxes
Lebanon Public Library Expansion
Lebanon Public Library Expenditures Per Capita
Lebanon Public Library Taxpayer Friendly Action Plan
Lebanon Redevelopment Commission
Lebanon Rental Inspections: Includes Lebanon 2014 & 2015 Fire Fatalities and Lebanon O.P.E.N. Rental Inspection Program.
Lebanon Schools - 2010 Referendum
Lebanon Schools - Alternative High School (The Crossing National, Inc.)
Lebanon Schools - Education Outcomes Comparison (Public School Corporations with Boone County Students): 2014 and 2013.
Lebanon Schools - Expenditures Per Capita & Student
Lebanon Schools - Finances
Lebanon Schools - Herman B Wells Community Conference Center
Lebanon Schools - Lebanon Business Park School Taxes
Lebanon Schools - Property Tax History
Lebanon Schools - Superintendent Compensation
Lebanon Storm Water Management - 2016 Proposed Fee Increases
Lebanon Storm Water Management - Overview
Lebanon Tax Abatements
Lebanon Taxpayer Friendly Smart Growth Plan
Lebanon Transportation Funding Increases
Lebanon Utilities - 2010 Operating Efficiency Analysis
Lebanon Utilities - Electric 2012 Rate Increase
Lebanon Utilities - Elizaville Road Project
Lebanon Utilities - Fire Hydrants Analysis
Lebanon Utilities - New 69 kV Electric Transmission Line
Lebanon Utilities - Telecommunications Division Profitability
Lebanon Utilities - Wastewater 2015 Rate Increase
Lebanon Utilities - Wastewater (Sanitary Sewer) Backup Prevention
Lebanon Utilities - Wastewater (Sanitary Sewer) Financial Analysis 
Lebanon Utilities - Wastewater (Sanitary Sewer) Treatment Plant Operation
Lebanon Utilities - Water Financial Analysis
Lebanon Vincennes University Gene Haas Training and Education Center
Lebanon Watch Government Meetings Schedule
Lebanon Workforce Development Options
Lebanon Worth Annexation
Lebanon's FAILED "Vision"
Petition and Remonstrance
Population Data: City Of Lebanon; Center Township; Boone County; State Of Indiana.
Public Access Laws
Related Sites: Boone County Area Plan Commission; Boone County Chamber of Commerce; Boone County Community Network; Boone County Economic Development Corporation; Boone County E-mail Directory; Boone County Farm Bureau, Boone County Republicans; Boone REMC; Lebanon (City Of), Indiana; Lebanon Community School Corporation; Lebanon Community Vision Committee.
Ronald Reagan Parkway
STATS Indiana: Provides easy, one-stop access to critical statistics for states, counties, cities and towns, townships, regions, census tracts, and more.
Unemployment Rates: Hoosiers By The Numbers.

 

Boone County Topics Index

Boone County Alcoholic Beverage Board
Boone County Appointed Local Government Boards
Boone County Candidate Information:
   2016 Boone County Commissioner Candidates: Andy Dardini, Larry Hysong, Don Lawson, Jeff Wolfe.
   2016 Boone County Council Candidates: Tad D. Braner, Brian Buchanan, Don Cooper, Steve Freeland, Jim Love, Elise Nieshalla, Dax Norton, Marcia C. Wilhoite.
   2014 Boone County Commissioner Candidates: Marc Applegate, Julia Evinger.
   2014 Boone County Council Candidates: Ken P. Campbell, Jon "Chip" Cravens, John W. Hamilton, John W. Hume, Jim Hundley, Steve Jacob, David Rodgers, Tom Santelli, Jay Schaumberg, Debby Shubert, Gene Thompson.
   2014 Boone County Superior Court 2 Judge Candidates: Campaign Fundraising.
   2014 Center Township Board Candidates: Penny S. Bogan, Larry Hysong, Benjamin "Benjy" Johnson, Tami Richardson, Richard "Dick" Robertson, Jane Ann Taylor, Brent Wheat.
   2014 Center Township Trustee Candidates: Randall "Randy" Large, Eric R. Ping, Adam Walker, Robert L. Wirey.
   2012 Boone County Candidates (Boone County Council).
   2008 Boone County Candidates (Boone County Auditor Primary Election).
   2006 Boone County Candidates (Boone County Council General Election).
   2004 Boone County Candidates (November 2, 2004, Boone County Commissioners General Election; November 2, 2004, Boone County Council General Election; May 4, 2004, Boone County Commissioners Republican Primary; May 4, 2004, Boone County Council Republican Primary).
   2002-03 Boone County Candidates (November 4, 2003, Lebanon Mayor and City Council General Election; November 5, 2002, Boone County Council District 3 General Election; May 7,2002, Boone County Commissioner District 1 Republican Primary).
   2002 Boone County Council Voting Record.
Boone County Campaign Contributions History (for selected local candidates within Boone County)
Boone County Council 2014 Budget
Boone County Council 2015 Budget
Boone County Cumulative Capital Development Property Tax
Boone County Democratic Party Rules
Boone County Departments & Offices Employment: Compared With Twenty-Six Selected Indiana Counties.
Boone County Disbursements
Boone County Education Outcomes Comparison (Public School Corporations with Boone County Students): 2014 and 2013.
Boone County Expenditures Per Capita
Boone County Financial Analysis (Completed by Watchdog Indiana on April 19, 2012).
Boone County Growth Projections
Boone County Highway Department
Boone County I-65 North Overlay District
   Overlay District for the Northern Portion of Interstate 65 
   I-65 North Overlay Zoning District Document 
   Land Owners Within I-65 North Overlay District 
   Overlay District Questions for I-65 North Corridor Land Owners
   I-65 North Overlay District Map
Boone County Key Bank Building Purchase
Boone County Local Governments Nepotism
Boone County Local Income Tax
Boone County Mapleview Rest Home
Boone County Park Tax
Boone County Police Departments
Boone County Property Tax Bills Database
Boone County Property Tax Multiple Homestead Deductions
Boone County Property Taxes
Boone County Republican Party Rules
Boone County Sheriff: 2016 Business Plan and Office Management.
Boone County Solid Waste Management District
Boone County Tax Abatements
Boone County Tax Increment Financing Districts
Boone County Transportation Funding Increases
Boone County Utilities
Boone County Water Resources
Consumer Price Index
Convention Center
County Option Income Tax (COIT)
Duke Realty (Anson) Project.
Emergency Telephone System (E911) Fee
Get-Ahead Wage
Jeff Wolfe Campaign Contributions History
Petition and Remonstrance
Population Data: City Of Lebanon; Center Township; Boone County; State Of Indiana.
Public Access Laws
Recount Commission: 2002 Boone County Commissioner District 1.
Related Sites: Boone County Area Plan Commission; Boone County Chamber of Commerce; Boone County Community Network; Boone County Economic Development Corporation; Boone County E-mail Directory; Boone County Farm Bureau, Boone County Republicans; Boone REMC; Lebanon (City Of), Indiana; Lebanon Community School Corporation; Lebanon Community Vision Committee.
Ronald Reagan Parkway
STATS Indiana: Provides easy, one-stop access to critical statistics for states, counties, cities and towns, townships, regions, census tracts, and more.
Thorntown Clerk-Treasurer Investigation
Unemployment Rates: Hoosiers By The Numbers.
Wheel Tax
Worth Township-Whitestown 2012 Reorganization (Approved Plan of Reorganization Town of Whitestown and Worth Township) (defeated by November 6, 2012 referendum).

 

Watchdog Salem LogoYou Can Help.
Listed below are several ways you can help control taxes and spending in Boone County.

Bookmark this website so you can easily visit Watchdog Lebanon often to help learn about cash revenues, cash spending, and long-term debt assumption in the various Boone County governmental units.

Suggest projects for Watchdog Lebanon to adopt. Please send an E-mail if you know of something that needs the attention of Watchdog Lebanon.

Register to vote. Send an E-mail to the Boone County Clerk to request information on how and where to register to vote.

Review the Watchdog Lebanon  "Boone County Candidate Information" and "Lebanon Candidate Information" (see the above Boone County Topics Index and Lebanon Topics Index) when deciding how to vote in a local Boone County election.

E-mail to the Editor of your local newspaper a letter or opinion article about local cash revenues, cash spending, and long-term debt assumption. Use Letters To The Editor Via E-mail to find the E-mail address of the Editor of your local newspaper.

Use the Local Government Factfinding List to understand and influence the revenues, spending, and long-term debt assumption decisions of your local government.

Watchdog Lebanon summarizes my use of Boone County, Indiana, as a case study to demonstrate how you can work to help control the revenue and spending growth of your local government. Understanding the Fundamental Watchdog Beliefs will help you understand the approach taken in this website. Please send an E-mail telling what you think about Watchdog Lebanon or anything else that comes to mind. Your comments, suggestions, problems, complaints, praise, and opinions are welcome.

Watchdog Indiana Home Page

This page was last updated on 09/21/16.

Paid for by Watchdog Indiana and authorized by Elect Aaron Watchdog Smith.