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February 14, 2013

Versailles American Legion award honors


Recipients of this year's Annual Law and Order Awards from the Versailles American Legion were Bob Curl, Holton Town Marshal, pictured left, who was given his award by Roger Kavanaugh and Tony Franklin former Holton Fire Chief, right, who was presented his award by Judge Carl Taul. The event took place before a packed house on February 7 with each receiving accolades for the outstanding service they gave when their town was hit by a tornado on March 2, 2012. Each stayed the course working around the clock to do their best when disaster struck, killing two residents that night, with another losing his life recently from tornado injuries. These men have shown exemplary leadership and were given standing ovations from the crowd, which was estimated to be around 100 people. A meal followed the event with congratulations given to these men from those in the crowd.

Milan Town clerk-treasurer appointed

Cindy Ward
Staff Writer

The Milan Town Council met Monday, February 12, at the Milan Town Hall. Present were Paul Hildebrand, president; Dale "Hobie" Holbert, newly appointed clerk-treasurer; Matt Huffman and Bob Brannigan, council members; John Ingram, town manager; and Gary Skaggs, town marshal.

Town Attorney Larry Eaton was also in attendance.

The meeting opened with the pledge to the flag, followed by a moment of silence for Gladys Moody and Ingram's mother, who passed away recently. Moody actively served as clerk-treasurer for the town until her passing.

Holbert was sworn in by Judge James B. Morris on February 1 and took office that same day. His appointment came from Democratic Chair Cynthia Melton. Holbert, a 1983 graduate of Milan High School, is a Democrat and resides within the Milan town limits. He is a retired member of the Milan Volunteer Fire Department and currently sits on the board of Milan Rescue 30.

He is the sergeant in charge of the Ripley County Sheriff's Office Reserve Deputy Program and has served as a reserve deputy since February of 1998. He brings with him 30 years of work experience in sales, marketing, finance, insurance, banking and operations management.

The minutes from the January meeting were approved with no additions, corrections or deletions. Town claims were presented and paid with no questions.

First on the agenda was the town manager's report. John Ingram started out by thanking council members, as well as the police department, for their kindness during his mother's passing. He said it meant a lot to him to see them at the service.

Ingram reported a water leak at 224 Maple Street and a sewer line repair on Josephine. He said that he ordered 80 more tons of salt. The town currently has 30-35 tons of salt remaining. One of the dump trucks quit running while a town employee was using it to salt roads. It is currently in a shop in Batesville. It was discovered the high pressure fuel pump went out and the cost to repair will be a little over $2,000.00.

On the salt bin building, Ingram reported the sliding doors on it are getting in bad shape. He bought some lumber to make a new door frame. Ingram said he called Halcombs for an estimate on new metal for the doors and their cost is around $160.00 per door, adding the bin has four doors. Ingram stated that he isn't going to be able to do them all at once, but would like to get the metal while it's available so they have it when they get time to work on them. Hildebrand suggested contacting Tree City Metal and other metal suppliers to compare prices prior to purchasing.

Skaggs presented the town marshal's report. He reported the following: two theft reports, one report of criminal mischief, one domestic call, two traffic arrests, 21 traffic warnings, one traffic crash with property damage only, three VIN checks, 58 calls for service, nine assists to other agencies, four assists to fire and EMS, and 85 reserve officer hours donated.

Skaggs also presented a request from the board. On March 2, the American Canine Association is putting on a "winter sniff-off" being held in Little Nashville, IN and he would like to have Officer Terry Wilson and police dog, Kory attend and participate in the competition. The cost will be covered by money in the dog fund. Skaggs said that Wilson's shift would be covered by another officer during the competition.

Skaggs also said that the department has two 2005 Ford Explorers that have 100,000 miles on them and he would like to replace one of them. He presented bids from four different dealerships. The cheapest bid was from Batesville Chrysler for a 2013 Dodge Durango, with a trade-in, he is looking at $22,481.00. Skaggs said he is going to try to use most of the equipment in the Ford Explorer. He is looking at $2,000.00 to $2,500.00 to have everything taken out of the Explorer and put into the new vehicle. A motion was made to go with Batesville Chrysler for the new police vehicle. Motion carried, with Hildebrand abstaining.

Next on the agenda was the grant agreement receipt from the Town of Rising Sun. This is revenue sharing money from the boat. The amount received this month was $15,654.02. A motion to enter into the agreement with the Town of Rising Sun was unanimously approved. A similar agreement was also entered into with Ohio County.

In other new business, the Ripley County Area Planning Commission says that the town must adopt an ordinance concerning flood hazards within the Town of Milan, as well as adopt a resolution to participate in the National Flood Insurance program. A motion made by Hildebrand to ordain and adopt the resolution was met with unanimous approval. Ordinance number 13-0211-1 and resolution number 13-0211-R1 were assigned.

Conflict of interest forms were filed by Hildebrand and council member, Matt Huffman. Both were approved.

It was reported the building owned by Len Eckstein that was completely gutted by a fire recently has no insurance. Eckstein was advised by the state fire marshal to prepare for some lawsuits, because he had some campers and RVs stored in there that did not belong to him, according to Ingram.

Huffman said that he has the preliminaries on the computer hardware for the server, spare hard drive and flash drive with the license for the Microsoft software for the clerk-treasurer's office. Hildebrand questioned cost. Huffman said it really depends on what they get, adding that they could be looking at $25,000.00 to $30,000 for software, plus annual maintenance on top of that plus $6,000.00 more for hardware. If it comes in at $30,000.00, Huffman said it would probably be a $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 maintenance fee, which provides 24/7 support.

Part of the cost would be absorbed by grant money received from the City of Rising Sun in March. The software company they are looking at is Keystone; however, Holbert brought up the fact that Keystone technical support is not great. He said he spoke with the IT person at Columbus Utilities. Their town clerk uses Keystone and they are currently looking into several other places, based on the poor support they have received from Keystone.

It was decided to gather opinions from other towns on the support end of it. Holbert said that he would make more calls this week. His concern was mandatory software updates being received and downloaded from Keystone in a timely manner. Huffman said he would look into other options to compare costs, get some quotes together, etc. and discuss findings at the next meeting in March.

Being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Milan Town Council will be at 6 p.m., Monday, March 11, at the Milan Town Hall.


Milan Town Board met for the first time after the passing of their clerk-treasurer, Gladys Moody. Pictured from left are: Matt Huffman, president Paul Hildebrand, Bob Brannigan and Dale "Hobie" Hobert, who was appointed clerk-treasurer.

New county hires must be approved

Wanda English Burnett

The Ripley County Commissioners met in regular session on February 4 to handle decisions concerning running county government.

They dealt with the sheriff's office hiring a jailer without their approval. After reviewing information from the sheriff's office, they decided to allow the hire and requested that an email be sent under their name to all office holders reminding them of the procedure for hiring.

Commissioners also advised the sheriff's office that if they do not comply with the procedure it could jeopardize future hires from being paid until approval was received.

They heard from Mary Ann McCoy, county clerk, who was not happy with the storage decision and requested that her displeasure be entered into the minutes. She said she did not feel that the current option of putting her storage into locked cabinets inside a locked storage room was sufficient security.

She was advised from commissioners that was the way the storage had been set up and she would have to use it that way. McCoy advised that her office would be the only people to have keys to the locked cabinet storage inside the room. She also addressed the voting machines and stated it created problems for the machines by moving them. Commissioner Rob Reiners said he would contact ServPro about the cleaning and said he would let her know when she could start moving her storage.

Melvin Dwenger of the Delaware Fire Department came before the commissioners to follow up on their request for funds to help build the new firehouse. Commissioner Reiners told him the county could not give money to each fire department to build. However, he noted the county might be interested in an option to purchase the acreage not needed by the fire department to possibly locate the EMS in that existing area.

Dwenger noted there was 7.683 acres and they planned to split the property in half. Options will be explored as the fire department has yet to take bids on the firehouse.

Sam Puterbaugh of LWC presented monthly reports for the progress on the courthouse and annex. He advised commissioners of the revised schedule for the renovation of the courthouse and the change of costs. Commissioners did not accept the proposal of a Terazzo floor.

In other business:

• Johnnie Lohrum reported that smoke detectors for the air handler on the second floor in the courthouse were being replaced.

• A quote from Dave Drew of QPH for piping in the basement of the courthouse for $43,420.00 including new pumps, was taken under advisement.

• A quote from Cardinal Pest Control to treat the halls of the annex for $125 a month was also taken under advisement. Lohrum will get additional information on treating the offices and storage as well.

• Kelly Vollet was asked to send a notice and attachment including the employee handbook to each office so employees could obtain a copy.

• The request by Ginger Bradford, chair of the Ripley County Republican Party, to use the commissioners meeting room for the Republican Party reorganization on March 2 was approved.

• Tony Schneider, health department, explained the software contract with GFC for the septic testing and requirement for his department. County attorney John Ertel advised the contract with GFC was acceptable with one minor change.

• Schneider was asked about the septic need for an additional building on the site to be used for the Delaware Fire Department. Schneider noted that decision would be up to the State since it would be a commercial building.

• Contract for services from Safe Passage, Ripley County Historical Society, and Soil and Water were given unanimous approval.

• Patrick Rose, Ripley County Emergency Management Agency director reviewed the Continuation of Operations plan with the commissioners, office holders and key personnel who were in attendance. He requested any input for changes from those in attendance.

• George Bultman was named the new park board president for the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park in Osgood.

The next meeting of the commissioners is Friday, February 15 due to President's Day falling on their regular date for meeting.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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