By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Community Corrections Executive Director Barry Andrew came before the commissioners with a vehicle purchase request at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, July 21.
Andrew said the department currently has two vehicles — a 2016 Charger and a 2017 Explorer. Now that the department is fully staffed, Andrew said, there is a new on-call rotation. One vehicle will be used for that and the other will be used for field visits.
“As a director being on call 24/7, there is a need for — multiple needs — for a third vehicle,” Andrew said. “One of those being me being on call 24/7. If one of our other vehicles should go down and needs serviced, fixed, then we have a third vehicle to put into the rotation.”
Andrew said the mileage on the other two vehicles will increase “pretty dramatically” now that they are implementing new policies with on call and field visits.
He said the purchase of the vehicle was approved at an advisory board meeting earlier this month. The board approved the vehicle to be purchased out of the department user fee account, Andrew said, “so it would not be coming out of anybody else’s funds.”
Up to $40,000 was approved for the cost of the vehicle as well as a radio and external spotlight for the vehicle. Andrew said they are in the beginning stages of the process and do not have a potential vehicle at this time.
Commissioner Cary Groninger inquired as to whether the vehicles are taken home by department staff.
Andrew said the vehicles remain in the county, but the on-call officer does take the vehicle home for the week in case they are called out.
Commissioner President Brad Jackson commented that $40,000 “seems kind of steep.” Andrew concurred with that, explaining that he does not intend to spend the entire $40,000 but wanted to make sure they did not cut themselves short.
Commissioners approved the vehicle purchase.
Commissioner Vice-President Bob Conley asked for permission to move forward with a project requested by the Honor and Remember Committee. They would like to put a gold star families’ memorial on the back of the existing war memorial. Conley said he has been in contact with Ken Locke, who would head the project up.
The wording on the memorial would read: “Kosciusko County expresses eternal gratitude to gold star families whose loved one paid the ultimate price defending the United States of America; their sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
The project will be paid for 100 percent by the Honor and Remember Committee, Conley said. Commissioners approved the project.
Kosciusko County Health Department Administrator Bob Weaver requested permission to change an item on the list of procedures to be followed if an employee tests positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Weaver said this relates to the definition of close contact. He told commissioners he needs to add a line or two for clarification due to new standards being released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the “close contact” criteria is being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes.
Weaver said that definition changed a little bit.
“If you go away for half an hour and come back, that 15 minutes starts over. It’s not cumulative, so you could have a lot of 15 minute intervals and you would not be a close contact,” Weaver explained.
Commissioners granted two requests by County Highway Superintendent Steve Moriarty. The first was for approval of an ordinance pertaining to multiple stop signs that have already been placed. The second was permission to apply for the 2021 railroad grade crossing grant in the amount of $22,400.
Area Plan Director Dan Richard and Attorney Steve Snyder provided information about two vacation requests.
The first, by Alvin Prater, was a request to vacate a public way in the plat of Tompson’s River Lawn. Richard said the Area Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of this request. Commissioners approved the recommendation.
The second was a request by Wawasee Marina Inc. to vacate a public way in Turkey Creek Township. This request was continued last month. Snyder said there had initially been some resistance to this vacation but said the parties had reached an agreement. This was confirmed by Travis McConnell, attorney for the remonstrator. Commissioners approved the request.
In other news:
- Commissioners approved the Tippy-Chapman Sewer District by-laws presented by County Attorney Chad Miner.
- Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton was granted permission to apply for a 2021 VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) grant in the amount of $72,035.50.
- Two grant requests from the Kosciusko County Emergency Management Agency were approved.
- Two library board appointments were approved. Carolyn Zimmerman was approved to serve a second term on the Milford Library board. Annette Hughes was approved as a replacement and will serve a four-year term on the Pierceton Public Library board.
- Commissioners approved a request made by Randy and Connie Norman to vacate two platted alleys off of South CR 1000W in Sevastopol. These alleys were never developed and similar alleys in the neighborhood have already been vacated.
- County Administrator Marsha McSherry said that a CARES Act committee was recently formed. The committee has come up with a list of expenditures that totals $1.3 million. Expenses include items such as payroll, PPE, video conferencing and live streaming. McSherry asked for permission to move forward with the most urgent items on the list. This was approved.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4.