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February 23, 2012

Construction continues on courthouse annex

    Although the rainy weather has put construction crews somewhat behind with the courthouse annex project, they are progressing as well as can be expected. At the first commissioners’ meeting of the month of February, Judges Carl Taul, Jim Morris and Shannon Schmaltz with the probation department came to the meeting with some concerns regarding the new plan. Schmaltz presented issues with moving the probation department to the second floor of the courthouse. He said there would be overcrowding in the hallways on the second floor, along with the issue of waiting space for the probation department.

    Another problem was the hours of operation of his department. Schmaltz questioned whether it might be better for his department to move to the new annex building. Both judges expressed their concerns with the overcrowding issue and stated that a move to the new annex building was preferable if the probation department couldn’t be moved to the first floor of the courthouse. They expressed their desire to keep the clerk’s offices on the second floor for the convenience of the court. The commissioners said they would discuss the first floor option with LWC. Their desire was to keep the courthouse as the judicial center and the new annex building as the governmental center. LWC will meet with the clerk, judges and probation departments to determine needs and space issues. Sam Puterbaugh and Gary Turner of LWC presented the commissioners with the final color selections and provided information concerning specs as questions arose.
    LWC gave the commissioners a proposal for the evaluation, design and bidding of the furniture and equipment for the new annex building for a fee of $15,000.00. The goal would be to incorporate this fee into the budgeted amount for furniture and fixtures so that it would not be an additional cost to the project. The proposal met with unanimous approval. Council member Donald Dunbar presented the commissioners with a walnut framed picture of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new annex building for display in the new building. The commissioners thanked Dunbar, assuring him it would be displayed in the new building.

In other business:
• Earline Copeland advised the commissioners that UCB was unable to meet the interest rate being provided by The Friendship State Bank for the deposited funds of the county. She will be moving the majority of the funds to The Friendship State Bank. This will provide additional income to the county through the higher interest rate on deposits.
• Owen Heaton, highway superintendent, discussed the sewer extension and the possible cost for an independent system on the property. They decided to request the Town of Osgood give an extension to the end of February to decide what option to take. It was noted that Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste will be contacted to see if they can provide more assistance since the cost of the extension was substantially higher than originally expected.
• Johnnie Lohrum, maintenance, advised the commissioners he had contracted Hughes Tree Service to trim the courthouse trees.
• Rick Stevens, Milan Rescue 30, came before the commissioners advising them he was the new president of Rescue 30. He said he has been working with Scott Huffman, EMS director for the county, Paul Hildebrand, Rescue 30 board president, to make sure runs would no longer be missed. He also told them in the near future the squad would be operating on a 24/7 basis.
• Mary Ann McCoy, clerk, asked the commissioners about using the anniversary date of an employee concerning vacation time as some employees in her office were having issues with this. The commissioners said they would discuss the matter and respond by the next meeting.
• Kelly Vollet, technology director, advised the commissioners that the clerk’s office needed a printer replaced and that the technology committee had approved the replacement. Commissioner Gary Stutler moved to replace the printer with Title IV funds with a second from Commissioner Robert Reiners with the motion passing.
• A change order #CG006 from Bruns-Gutzwiller was presented and commissioner Stutler moved to approve the order, which was passed unanimously.
• A contract for services from Safe Passage was reviewed and a $10,000 contract was passed unanimously.
• Brittney Chadwell’s request for county employees to have the opportunity for a Sam’s Club membership was denied.
• A printout was presented to the commissioners by Bill Wagner, auditor, showing vacation, comp, and sick time where several employees have exceeded the maximum hours allowed as dictated by the Employee Policy Handbook. Wagner was instructed to prepare a letter for their approval to be included in payroll packets to the departments explaining the handbook provisions. Those exceeding the maximum hours will be notified and adjustments will be made according to the handbook maximums.

    County Highway Superintendent Junior Heaton turned in a check received from FEMA for $32,935.48 for damage from the rains/floods from the spring of 2011. These funds will be deposited into the highway fund.
    Ray Raney came to the highway meeting to discuss a flooding problem on his property and asked the commissioners to look into the water flow to see if they could help with the problem. He was told it would be taken under advisement and they would look at the problem to see if ditching would help. He was advised to filed a drainage complaint with the auditor’s office.
    A replacement front end loader was discussed, but no additional information has been given as of yet. Commissioner Reiners advised that no action could be taken on the equipment without additional information. It was noted that the chipper box should be received with the next 30 days. The change to the distributor truck is underway and will be ready soon.
     The pipeline proposed by Enterprise Liquid Pipeline LLC was discussed. The company had presented information that the pipeline will be a 16-20 inch line five foot deep and will require 28-48 cuts to county roads. The commissioners discussed how to handle the bonding for the cuts or to require them to bore the road crossings. They noted it would be looked at further. The line will not be started for several months.
    Commissioners Robert Reiners and Gary Stutler were in attendance. It was noted that Mark Busching was out due to health reasons.

Osgood boy stable after being mauled by a dog

Wanda English Burnett

A 5-year-old Osgood boy is in stable condition after he was flown to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, after being mauled by a Mastif/Boxer mix dog on Monday, February 20. According to Osgood Marshal Eric Roush, they responded to 225 N. Maple Street, Osgood, just before 3 p.m., where the owner of the dog lived, to find the boy who had been bitten on the neck, left upper arm and upper inner left thigh. He also sustained scrapes on his face. The marshal said the dog was on a chain in his own yard but it was in very close proximity to the alley where children walk. Because of the nature of the situation, the county health department and dog warden are involved. Marshal Roush said protocol is to have the dog put down, but for now he is being housed at a lab. Charges are pending against the homeowner for Harboring an Unimmunized animal, which caused serious bodily injury. The officer said the dog probably weighed about 80 pounds

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