"You are no longer the interim EMS director. You are now the EMS director," said Commissioner Rob Reiners to Jim Corbin during the March 18 meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners. Corbin was named interim director on March 4 when Scott Huffman announced that he had accepted another career opportunity and was resigning effective that day.
Corbin advised commissioners that Huffman needs to be replaced as a part-time EMT and presented the application of Stacy Luers for review. He said that he trained Luers and is very confident in her skill level and compassion. Commissioners had no objections.
Corbin told commissioners that more than 300 inter-facility runs have been made so far this year, which is far exceeding expectations. The average is about 600 per year.
The inner-facility runs are from Margaret Mary Community Hospital to city hospitals by ambulance. This project was made possible through the hard work of former EMS director, Scott Huffman. He initated this to help off-set the costs to the county for the paramedic program.
The Delaware Fire Department has expressed interest in selling part of its property. Reiners advised that it may be possible to purchase the excess land and move the EMS to State Road 129. This would make it easier for EMS to get in and out faster for runs. Further information is being gathered, including a soil analysis, to send to the State of Indiana for the type and size of septic system needed.
Ryan King, on behalf of Prosecutor Ric Hertel, presented two applications for summer interns for approval by commissioners. King advised the interns would work from mid-May to the beginning of August. Commissioners approved the request to hire Michelle Hart and Taylor Hunter after reviewing the applications and submitted them to Auditor Bill Wagner.
Paula Goodpaster with LCC had previously presented commissioners with packets regarding a grant she is working on. The need from the county had been revised and the county would serve as the fiscal agent and sponsor for the grant.
After some discussion, there was some confusion on what the auditor's role would be or how the actual funds will be obtained once approved. Commissioners advised Goodpaster to obtain further information and meet with County Council at their meeting that evening. They told her they would sponsor the grant application if County Council was in agreement with her request.
Brandi Fischvogt and Debbie Ault came before commissioners regarding an agreement for the road closure of State Road 229 to replace a bridge. The agreement ensures reimbursement to the county for any damage that may occur to roads being used for the detour. The official detour will be State Road 46 to State Road 229 to State Road 48.
The unofficial detour will be Legion Road East to North Delaware Road and South on North Delaware Road to 1100 North, west on 1100 North to Salem Road then west to State Road 229. The road will be closed from March 21-July 26.
Commissioner Stutler discussed the issue with the vending machines at the courthouse and annex not working and not being stocked by the current vendor, All American. He stated he had informed them if they could not keep them stocked and working he would have them replaced and felt that they had been given enough time to rectify the situation. They will be replaced at the courthouse and annex.
Toni Stinson from APEX appeared before commissioners to discuss insurance renewal quotes for June. She advised that although claims have gone down for the period, a 15- to 20-percent increase in premiums should be expected. She said the move to partially self-insure is saving the county money. Stinson presented several ideas to help minimize the renewal increase to be reviewed by commissioners. Several different re-insurers are currently be looked at for renewal.
Stinson advised about the uncertainties with the Health Care Act that will take effect in 2014. She told commissioners that APEX has contracted with an associate company to perform a study of the impact at no cost to the county. Commissioners unanimously approved the request to have the study completed. Stinson said she should have the renewal information together by April 15.
Fencing bids for separation of the highway and the recycling areas were presented. Bids were received from Indiana Wire for $10,929.00, Indiana Ag for $10,800.00 and Fencecraft for $7,932.77. Commissioners unanimously approved the bid from Fencecraft. Superintendent Heaton announced the three vehicles that were set for disposal brought a high bid from Burkhardt Salvage of $1,500.00.
Kelly Vollet reported that Jackson County officials had recently toured the annex and renovation of the courthouse and were very impressed. She said they commented that a building like this is usually only seen in the bigger cities. They are in the process of adding on to their annex and renovating their courthouse, thus the reason for the visit.
Vollet also advised that the employee handbooks have been sent out to all offices. Commissioners told her to post it to the internet to make it more accessible for everyone to print it.
Auditor Wagner presented a letter from the Ripley Community Foundation advising the funds from the Ripley County Quality of Life Improvement Fund 2013 distribution is available. The amount is $10,004.32. Commissioner Busching motioned to receive the funds for use toward the contract with the Ripley County Humane Society. The motion unanimously carried.
In other business:
• Commissioner Gary Stutler reported that he attended the Fairground Board meeting and had advised the planned repairs of the buildings and painting. The house bought for the office was schedule to have a window installed in the west wall so the fairgrounds are visible from the office.
• Stutler advised that auctioneers Roger Huff and Donny Eads will do the surplus auction. He is working on setting a date.
• Johnnie Lohrum, maintenance supervisor, advised that blinds were needed for the windows in the probation offices and Judge Taul's officer. Commissioners instructed him to purchase and install them.
• Ken Hylton, Veteran's Services, asked commissioners for permission to use the upstairs conference room and break room for a meeting with service officers.
• Dwight Bauman, Building and Planning, made a request on behalf of ISO to complete a questionnaire pertaining to insurance rating information necessary to develop rates for the area. He was advised to complete the questionnaire.
• Judy Schebler, E911, presented an application for an employee she would like to hire. Commissioners approved her request and submitted the application to Auditor Wagner.
• Claims for the different departments and units involved in the March 2012 tornado damage were reviewed. Claims were as follows: Town of Holton, $1,596.27; EMA, $950.73; Highway, $302.00; Sheriff, $1,221.49; Building and Planning, $7,711.00; and Rescue 69, $836.96.
• Commissioners addressed a request from Enriching Spaces to release the balance of funds being held until office holders were satisfied with repairs and final inspection of equipment for the annex building. With no issues, the request was granted.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be Monday, April 1, at 7 a.m. at the Ripley County Highway Department and at 8 a.m. at the annex.