Sheriff reports about jail fencing

Wanda English Burnett

County Commissioners heard from Sheriff Tom Grills at the January 9 meeting.
The sheriff told commissioners that the Department of Corrections had approved the fencing at the jail that is now complete. He requested that the highway garage make some signs to place that would warn about the razor wire. The commissioners approved the request.

Sheriff Grills told The Versailles Republican that people should be cautious around the fence area and remember it is a penal facility. "The razor wire is extremely sharp," he noted.

The sheriff also addressed the issue of the silent alarm that had occurred in the prosecutor’s office months earlier. He played the call for the commissioners and said there were many false alarms coming from the courthouse. While the commissioners instructed the auditor to inform county employees to contact the dispatch office if they have reason to believe they have inadvertently tripped an alarm, they also instructed the sheriff to dispatch law enforcement any time an alarm comes into dispatch from the courthouse.

The sheriff also discussed the comp time that was not paid to former jail employee, Dennis Pippin. The commissioners said precedence had been followed in the case and said they would look into changing the wording of the handbook to eliminate any questions.

Under the sheriff’s items, Robert Reiners, commissioner, told the sheriff that the fixed price bid for fuel for 2012 was $3.229 with Laughery Valley Ag Co-op.
Paul Wells, maintenance for the jail advised the commissioners that Butler Water had not fixed the water problem and therefore would not be paid for the work they had done. He had contracted Southeastern Water Systems, who fixed the problem. He notified the commissioners that a claim for their services would be presented.

Wells was given approval to order backup lock assemblies for the cells after he advised commissioners there were none. Wells also told commissioners he was having problems with the plumbing fixtures in the old jail and would be replacing them as needed with another brand as the current brand is now obsolete.

The clock maintenance agreement with Smith’s Bell and Clock Service was discussed. It was presented with two maintenance calls per year for $500. Auditor Bill Wagner had been instructed by commissioners to contact the company and get a price for a contract for one call per year with a two-year agreement. The company had also forwarded a price quote to repair the chime, etc., which the commissioners did not accept.

In other business:

• Johnnie Lohrum reported there was no leak in the roof at the annex at this time, but he would continue to keep a watch for anything that might occur.
• It was noted that the complaint from OSHA that was reported at the December 22 meeting has been answered.

• Johnnie Lohrum, maintenance, was advised to contact Hughes Tree Service for a quote to trim the trees around the courthouse.

• Kelly Vollet, technology director was advised to provide a new phone for the additional deputy at the sheriff’s office. She was told to take the money out of the Cum Cap Equipment fund.

• Attorney John Ertel gave an update on the Bauer property. He noted that she (Juanita Bauer) has moved out and still wants to get some items from the building. Ertel told commissioners he would contact Bauer and negotiate the date she would be out completely along with a settlement for the easement and for allowing the shed to be removed immediately from the property. (The Bauer property is located where the new annex building is being built on the north side of the courthouse).

• Patrick Rose, EMA director, advised commissioners that the weather warnings for the county would mirror those set by the State.

• Karen Vollmar and Don Karbowski were re-appointed to the Ripley County Tourism Bureau.

• Sam Puterbaugh of LWC, advised the commissioners of the status of expenditures vs. contract amounts along with the construction update on the annex. Color choices for the windows, doors, and storefront were discussed with the commissioners. They chose antique white for the front, colonial white for the windows, sea wolf grey for the gutters and downspouts and charcoal for the louvers and roof.

• Commissioners Gary Stutler and Mark Busching were appointed as the commissioner’s representatives to the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste District Board. Dee Dee Holiday was appointed as the municipal representative.

• Ken Hylton was appointed to continue to serve the county as the Veterans Service Officer for 2012.

At the highway department, commissioners heard from Warren Bruns, Ripley County Parks Department, who gave an update of the 2012 agenda for the park. A harness race has been scheduled for Labor Day with the park board looking for an organization to sponsor the races. Also, they are building a separate track for tractor pulls and truck drags inside the current track. Bruns discussed the possibility of trading the tractor at the park for a larger one, since it doesn’t do the job needed now with the track, etc.

Pat Kissell told the commissioners he was still looking for a front end loader for the garage and will continue to explore possibilities available.

Toni McDonald requested the commissioners’ help with the upcoming Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. They will need to fill in the holes that will be created when tent stakes are driven into the blacktop at the Versailles State Park. She said they will need a hot patch filler. The commissioners took the request under advisement.

Junior Heaton discussed getting additional salt to have in storage. The commissioners agreed to purchase up to an additional 100 ton.

The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be held Monday, January 23 beginning at 7 a.m. at the county highway garage.