Decatur County Commissioner Meeting 5-20-24

The Decatur County Commissioners met on May 20, 2024, at 8 am. 

The meeting began with approval of claims, payroll, May 6th meeting minutes, and May 17th Special Session meeting minutes. 

Todd Houk, Highway Department, said that the employees at the Highway Department completed the LTAP training. They continue to patch roads, mow grass, weed eat, grade roadways, and sign maintenance. Todd said they have created an entry-level range course for training drivers at the Highway Department. RFP bridge 31 selection and scoring is being completed. Todd said that Fuel bids are being accepted and being advertised. Todd also said that the CCMG chip & seal are open and being advertised. Todd said that he is working on Bridge inspection paperwork for bridges 25-28. Todd said that he has decided to work with a contractor to come in and work on the roadway drop-offs that have been a concern. They will put in a stone shoulder where feasible. A commissioner received a call about a pothole near Love’s Truckstop. Todd said that INDOT will be coming in and doing some work on their right of way to the exit ramps and once they are done they will follow behind and complete some work.  An update from Fletcher Power was given. They are working on their road use agreement and decommission agreement. Fletcher Power will submit a finalized copy of their agreements to the commissioners to be voted on during the June meeting. 

Kenny Beuning, Building Inspector, completed 38 building inspections, 10 new permits, and received 2 complaints. He has drafted and getting ready to send out letters to 10 Lake McCoy property owners for violations. He said that he has more to go out to Lake McCoy and to Burney residents and would be working on that. Tony Blodgett, Commissioner stated that he is concerned with the amount of time it is taking to get these letters and items sent out. Tony pointed out that many of these items have been in the process since the fall. Tony did say that Kenny is the only person in his office. Kenny is going to see about getting some assistance from the Administrative team in the Area Plan office. 

Minde Myers, Animal Shelter, requested approval to purchase an incinerator for the shelter. This would take the cost of the current dumpster which is $100 monthly out of her budget. She has secured a used incinerator and fuel tank for the amount of $2,400. She did say that it would emit some smell but that she would be mindful of events at the fairgrounds and not use it during the fair or other events. Minde said, “This will be a more dignified way for the end of their life.” Currently, the animals are stored in a freezer and placed in a landfill. The shelter will also offer cremation services to the public. Minde added that both Rushville and Shelbyville Shelters already do this. Minde said that the Rushville Shelter Director would be coming and providing the training needed. The commissioners approved the purchase of the incinerator and a fence to be put around it. The costs for both purchases will be coming from her unrestricted donation account. 

Dorene Greiwe, Assessor, received approval to rent an Enterprise rental vehicle for her and 2 staff to attend a conference in Ft. Wayne. The funding will be out of her budget. 

Christopher Fogle, Purdue Extension, provided the commissioners with a 1st QTR report of what the Extension Office has been doing. He also introduced the new Community Wellness Coordinator. Christopher did say that 4-H involvement is on the rise and they are seeing continued growth. 

Abby Harry, Community Corrections, provided an update on statistics for their department. They have completed 144 risk assessments. They currently have 51 individuals who are under house arrest. They currently are monitoring 15 transfers that have been transferred to other counties. Supervising 2 in pre-trial, 7 wellness courts, and 5 CTPs. They have a pending list of 170 individuals. Abby added that by having inmates transferred to house arrest and out of the detention center they saved the county in 2022 $743,470 and 2023 $495,180. 

Chad Smith, Attorney, provided a proposed ordinance to be adopted that addresses the no alcohol in any park that the county commissioners maintain or oversee. Chad mentioned that there is rules in place, however, those rules are not enforceable criminally. This ordinance will make it more simple to enforce. Today was the first reading and will be advertised and brought back to the June meeting for approval upon the second reading. 

Kevin Krekeler, Assured Partners, received approval for the Insurance renewal, Workers’ Compensation, and Property & Liability. The commissioners have asked that he come to the meeting monthly and provide a report on any claims that have occurred during that month so that they can watch for trends and address those to avoid higher premiums in the future. 

The commissioners approved the annual report of the Congressional School Fund. Janet Chadwell, Auditor, stated that these friends were for the building of a school. It is unknown which one. Janet said these funds have been available for some time however she wants to clean them up and is going to go to County Council to get approval to send these funds back to the state. 

Tony Blodgett discussed the policy updates that he mentioned in the prior meeting. The weapons policy will be updated and will align with the ordinance and with the Sheriff’s Safety Policy. They have also approved for HR to become involved during any complaint or issue that comes up for non-elected staff and department heads. 

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