LaGrange County Boards and Commissions

Alcoholic Beverage Board —This board consists of an appointee from the county council, county commissioners, town of LaGrange and the beverage commission from Indianapolis. The board hears county permit renewals, new applications, and transfers. Members assist the community and permit holders with questions regarding the laws and permits. Members direct inquiries to the local State Excise Police and the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Board of Zoning Appeals — The BZA hears petitions from persons who believe that strict adherence to the zoning ordinance will create an "unnecessary hardship" in the use of their property. Zoning appeals may be presented for restrictions involving building or business, such as setback requirements or businesses that normally are not permitted under normal conditions. The Board has the power to allow a "variance." A variance allows a use that is prohibited by the zoning ordinance.

Convention & Visitors Tax Commission — This commission appoints the directors of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. It manages the income from the Innkeeper's Tax and approves budgets and generally oversees the fiscal operations of the bureau. In addition, the tax commission may authorize grants for other organizations that seek to produce tourism for the county.

Economic Development Commission — The EDC consists of three members, appointed by the commissioners to four year terms. The county council and the town of LaGrange each nominate one representative. The board meets on an as-needed basis and considers requests for using the county's tax exemption status for the borrowing of funds for economic development projects. If approved, the County acts as a conduit for financing the proposed project.

Health Board — The health board manages the local health department and appoints the local health officer, who must be a physician. It consists of seven members; four must be health care professionals, two must be members of the general public and one may be either a professional or member of the public. Accordingly, no more than three members can be from the general public.

Library Board — This board directs the Librarian, sets library policies, approves monthly claims, and approves the annual budget. Monthly public meetings are held and all activities are carried out within the guidelines of “In the Public’s Trust”. The county school boards and various local governing agencies appoint the Board members.

Park & Recreation Board — The park board has the responsibility for the general supervision and rulemaking for the parks department. This includes governing the use of all park department facilities by the public. The board appoints administrative officers and fixes their duties. It also establishes standards and qualifications for park department personnel. In addition, the board prepares an annual budget for the department and reports its recommendations to the county commissioners.

Plan Commission — The county plan commission is a legally mandated group of people who draft a comprehensive plan, a zoning ordinance and a subdivision ordinance. They also make recommendations to elected officials on proposed changes. The Plan Commission has authority to approve and deny subdivisions of land based on the subdivision control ordinance.

Plat Committee — The plat committee was created to expedite the approval process for subdividing lots in the county. The committee does not have authority to issue variance or special exceptions and does not make policy. The committee determines that the proposed subdivision complies with the zoning ordinance and if so, issues its approval.

Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals — The PTABOA hears petitions from county taxpayers who believe that their county property tax assessment is incorrect. The taxpayer files a "Petition for Correction of Errors" to start the appeal process. The appeal may be based on a subjective error or a factual detail. If an agreement cannot be worked out with local officials, the petition is forwarded to the PTABOA and a hearing before the board is scheduled.

Redevelopment Commission — The RDC has the responsibility to identify blighted areas in the county then work to enhance the area so business growth takes place. The commission generates revenue by capturing the increased taxes that are generated from the blighted area after the improvements are made. The commission can borrow against this future revenue to pay for improvements such as sewer, water, electric and data service and roads. The commission can also offer to reimburse private investors for improvements made by the private company with the tax money captured after the improvements are made. The commission must balance the business interests in the county against the need local taxing units (fire departments, schools, libraries etc.) have for increased revenue to operate.

Sewer Board — This board was formed in 1990 to provide sewer systems for the more densely populated areas of the county. The board has established four regional systems with another under construction and a sixth in the planning stages. The board consists of five members, appointed by the county commissioners to four-year terms. The board employs staff to man the LaGrange office and to service the systems and customers.