Sunman student recognized at commissioners' mtg.

Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer

Meredith Struewing, a third grade Sunman Elementary student, was recognized for receiving first place in the Association of Indiana Counties essay contest at the regular commissioner meeting on Monday, May 5. Struewing’s essay contest was titled, “How my county protects its children”, competed with more than 200 other students in the southeastern district. Struewing received $50 and a trophy, as well as the opportunity to read her essay at the AIC conference.

An excerpt from the essay that Struewing wrote, “Many different businesses help to keep us safe. The police make sure we stay away from drugs and other dangerous things. They keep us safe by keeping criminals off the streets. They keep an eye on us whenever we get too close to the road or do dangerous things. They use their time and efforts to protect our family from harm.” Commissioner President Robert Reiners told Struewing, “We are extremely proud of you.” Struewing is the daughter of Lori Wiedeman and William Struewing, both of Sunman.

Area Planning Executive Director Tad Brinson updated the commissioners on the dumping situation at Dabney. He said the thirty day time limit for the clean up of the property in Dabney where illegal dumping has been going on is up this Friday, May 9. According to Brinson, a letter was sent to the property owners asking them to “cease and desist dumping” and to begin the clean up process. He told the commissioners that not only has there not been any clean up efforts made, but there was also evidence of additional dumping.

Commissioner Chuck Folz requested an update on a mobile home at Pierceville that has apparently been abandoned and burned out. He is concerned that the mobile home has become a nuisance. He indicated that someone has come forward to aid in the removal of the mobile home at no cost to the county. Attorney Neil Comer pointed out that the mobile home is on private property, and whoever removes it needs the owner’s permission.

Brinson reminded the commissioners that attempts have been made to find the owner of the mobile home, including a photo published in the local newspapers requesting those who knew any information concerning it to contact Brinson. He said letters have been sent to who he believed were the owners of the property, a holding company in New York, with no response. But, according to Ripley County Auditor, Mary Ann McCoy, Roy Lewis currently owns the property, as the deed has not been transferred since it was purchased at a sheriff’s sale.

Brinson agreed to continue his investigation into the owner of the trailer. County Attorney Neil Comer believes the trailer to be abandoned, and advised the commissioners to look for the property owner and request permission to remove it.

Technology Director Kelly Vollet reported that the first phase of the online auction was a success. Fourteen of the 16 items offered were sold, making $344. She also told the commissioners that they made a “wonderful decision putting in the PA system.” According to Vollet, Design Sound in Greensburg installed the system.

In other business:
• An auction will be held at the Ripley County Highway Garage in Osgood on Friday, May 9 beginning at 3:30 p.m.
• Courthouse maintenance Johnnie Lohrum reported the installation of the carpet on the third floor of the courthouse is nearly complete. He also received permission to refinish and repair the benches in the lobby.
• The commissioners were advised by Comer to advertise bids concerning the bridge #89 repair project.
• The commissioners unanimously agreed to allow the state of Indiana to use the county frequencies during emergencies.

The next commissioner meeting will be held on Monday, May 19 at 8:00 a.m. in the commissioner meeting room in the courthouse annex.

Standing from left are: William Struewing, his daughter Meredith, who received first place in the Association of Indiana Counties essay contest, her grandmother, Roberta Struewing, and County Auditor Mary Ann McCoy. Seated are Commissioners Chuck Folz, Robert Reiners, and Lawrence Nickell. Meredith was honored at the regular meeting of the commissioners on Monday, May 5..