The County Commission will call upon experts to provide insight on a variety of topics in the coming weeks regarding the proposed incorporation of the city of Golden in northern Miami County.
The four commissioners agreed at their June 30 meeting that deliberations would not begin until August, because of conflicting schedules in July. The commissioners said they would like to be present for all the deliberations. The incorporation of the city of Golden would require a unanimous, 4-0 vote from the commissioners.
Commissioner Danny Gallagher is not taking part in the deliberations because of a potential conflict. He left the commission chambers during the Golden discussion, and he did not attend the June 23 public hearing.
Chair Rob Roberts distributed a document of potential experts in their fields to answer myriad questions. The following are the experts he proposed and some of the topics he would like for them to address (The full document is available for review on the county’s website: www.miamicoks.org).
Sheriff Frank Kelly
- : Address topics such as the level and cost of service to the proposed city; criminal activity in northern Miami and southern Johnson counties; and truck traffic.
County Counselor Shelley Woodard and County Clerk Janet White
- : Explain the county’s role in creating a new city if the petition is approved; how many city government officials/positions would have to be created; and the election process.
Road and Bridge Director J.R. McMahon
- : Provide a detailed list of roads — type and condition — as well as discuss bridges and culverts within the proposed city boundaries; snow removal and other topics.
County Appraiser Justin Eimers
- : Address what effect intermodal warehouses will have on property values in the area; property value trends for the area over the past three to five years; and the property values for improved and unimproved areas surrounding Golden and in southern Johnson County.
Roberts also proposed adding Hillsdale Lake watershed as the 17th criteria to the existing list of 16 the commission is to consider during deliberations. Fourteen criteria are set out in state statue. The County Commission is allowed to add its own criteria to the list. The Hillsdale watershed is the county’s third addition.
Commissioner Phil Dixon said he is interested in learning more about the watershed, and he endorsed Roberts’ proposal to add it to the list.
The four commissioners agreed to make the watershed the 17th criteria.
Commissioner Tyler Vaughan said in addition to Roberts’ list of potential witnesses and questions, he would like to have County Counselor Woodard provide an opinion of the sample contract submitted by the attorney for Golden during the June 23 public hearing. He asked that County Planning and Zoning Director Teresa Reeves be added to the experts list. Vaughan said he would like for her to provide commissioners with an evaluation of land use in the area.
Commissioners concurred with Vaughan’s additions.
The schedule for the upcoming deliberations has not been set, but Roberts told the audience deliberations would take place in a public forum, and ample notice would be given to allow everyone a chance to get those meetings on their calendars.