By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Kosciusko County Commissioners have approved allowing an application for a $30,000 reimbursable court interpreter grant.
At their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, the commissioners heard the request from Kosciusko Superior Court 1 Judge Karin McGrath.
“It would be state funds,” she said. “We have had a grant of this sort years ago … and somewhere along the line it was discovered that … it wasn’t worth the administrative costs to maintain the grant and I think it’s maybe worth trying again.”
“We currently do the best we can to provide interpretive services for our non-English speaking litigants and also hard of hearing/deaf litigants,” she said. “We just simply sometimes run into issues with finding quality interpreters and although much frowned upon and we acknowledge that and respect that, there are occasions we have to rely on bilingual staff and even family members to assist us, which for obvious reasons is not an ideal course.”
“So this grant would allow us some additional funding, I hope, to pay our certified interpreters to be available to interpret effectively and accurately regardless of the type of case. This would be for criminal cases, civil cases,” she said.
In response to a question from Commissioner Bob Conley, McGrath said interpreters were currently paid for out of a court services fund, but the idea for the grant was to help save that money for other needs.
McGrath noted the grant money would be used for all five county courts.
Commissioners unanimously approved the request.
In other business, commissioners:
- Approved requests from Kosciusko Senior Services, Fellowship Missions, Kosciusko County Community Corrections, Mentone Four-Way Ambulance Service and the county for using some of Kosciusko County’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. The county’s ARPA committee previously OK’d the requests at its meeting on Nov. 9. The requests will lastly have to be approved by the Kosciusko County Council.
- Approved purchasing 35 computers and 35 monitors at a cost of $52,451.35 at the request of Kosciusko County Systems Administrator Bob Momeyer. He already had the money budgeted.
- Approved a lease with Kosciusko REMC for fiber connection for the county’s new public safety communications tower system. It’s a five-year lease at a monthly cost of $4,898.50.
- Approved a rezoning request that was previously approved by the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission at its meeting on Nov. 2. It was from Don McCulloch to rezone about 140 acres on the west side of Bishop Road on the south side of CR 1300N, near the old Wawasee Airport in Turkey Creek Township, from residential to agricultural.
- Approving allowing Kosciusko County Highway Superintendent Steve Moriarty to apply for a federal grant for work on Bridge 139 on CR 700E across the Eel River.
Commissioners’ next meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Kosciusko County Courthouse’s Old Courtroom.