Decatur County Commissioners last regularly scheduled meeting for 2024

Chris Ramey covered the meeting for WTRE news

Decatur County Commissioners 12/18 Meeting
At 8 am the meeting was called to order. All 3 Commissioners were present. The pledge and
prayer began the meeting. Followed by approval of December 4, 2023 meeting minutes.
Approval of claims and Payroll claims were approved as well.
Todd Houck provided an update for the County Highway Department stating that at this time the
department is grading gravel on county roads, weed control, and patching. Todd also mentioned
that they found out this past weekend that they will be piloting a project for the Community
Crossing Grant for 1.5 million dollars in 2024. Commissioners also discussed with Todd about
drop-offs when paving roads and how they can work to be proactive vs. reactive with this
problem. Commissioner Jeremy Pasel stated that he received a picture this past weekend of a drop-off
that was probably close to a foot. They will continue that conversation as they prepare to work
on roads.
A representative for Strand & Associates came to the board asking for an amendment to
their contract with an $11,000 increased cost due to the project timeline being extended from
December until May. This concerns the Decatur County Highway garage. The delay is due to waiting on parts and final inspections. Currently, they are waiting for the generator, permanent utility poles, and electrical panels to get a final inspection. Commissioner Tony Blodgett asked when these items were ordered and who should be paying this additional expense. Steve then reminded the commissioners that no penalty or bonus was in the contract for projects that exceeded the project deadline. Commissioners
approved this amendment.
Kenny Beuning, Building Inspector states that since the last commissioner meeting, he has
completed 38 building inspections, 11 new permits, 4 permit renewals, and is working to contact
those with expired permits. He states that per County Attorney Chad Smith’s request, he did get
pictures of the conditions at the property located on 850S. The commissioners are going to
move forward with the judgment that they received for the clean-up of the property.
Commissioners requested that Kenny develop a scope of work for what is needed to bring this
property up to code, and then they will do a request for bids to complete the project.
Bill Meyerrose, Decatur County Sheriff discussed dash cams for patrol vehicles. He states that
two staff at the Sheriff’s department applied for a grant and received $194,762.88 towards the
total cost of $222,069.60. Leaving the Sherriff’s Department with a total of $27,306.72 with the
ability to pay a payment yearly. Sheriff Meyerrose states that this will be worked into his budget
going forward and just needed approval from the commissioners to install these cameras and
move forward. All 3 commissioners approved and thanked the sheriff and his staff for their hard
work on the grant.
Bryan Robbins, Economic Development Director requested approval for Ordinance 2023-33 for
the commissioners to approve an Unincorporated Designated Infrastructure Development. This
will be an incentive for Broadband providers to come to the county and incentivize them to bring
broadband with an emphasis on fiber. This is to focus on homes, businesses, schools, and government-owned buildings. This ordinance is for 6 years. Robbins also brought forward a
request for approval for an Economic Development Agreement for Battery Storage. Both
requests from Bryan were approved.
The Decatur County Highway Garage auction was held on Saturday 12/16/23 with a high bid of
$530,000. The high bidder continues to be kept confidential. The discussion was brought
forward by commissioners Pasel and Blodgett on wanting a true picture of the county budgets
and how the old county highway garage fits into the picture. After continued discussion
commissioners Pasel and Blodgett voted to not accept the $530,000 high bid for the property
citing the low amount of the bid, Commissioner Koors didn’t vote which ended with not
accepting the bid. Commissioners also decided to not counter back with the high bidder for the
amount they would need to sell it. It was agreed that they would have to have an Executive
Session to discuss with Council and Janet, the Auditor on what money is available before they
can move forward with trying to rehab or sell the property a second time. Commissioners
Blodgett and Pasel stated that they have several departments needing additional space and
they need to take into account the costs associated with expanding down the road compared to
maintaining ownership of the current property. The commissioners did thank the auctioneers for
their hard work and for holding the auction. The County Council President Danny Peters was in
the room when the vote was cast and stated “I think you made a mistake. Everything comes out
of County general and we will have additional costs holding onto that building. I believe we need
to keep the departments consolidated and in their current spaces.”
Commissioner Mark Koors brought forward the courthouse elevator modernization quote. He
received two quotes. Mid America quoted $99,775 and Otis quoted $125,000-$140,000. After
discussion commissioners accepted the Mid-America quote. Koors stated that it may take a
while to get the parts needed, once they arrive the elevator will have an 8-week closure. During
that time to allow access for employees and visitors there will be a chair lift installed on
stairways. Once the elevator project is completed those lifts will remain in operation to increase
Dawn Lowe, Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director provided a
year-end report to the commissioners. The chamber has given $21,000 back to the community
through grants, scholarships, and having a summer intern. They have gained 34 new members
bringing their total membership to 358 businesses and organizations. They held 20 ribbon
cuttings. Dawn thanked the commissioners for their continued support and the commissioners
stated that Dawn is a true asset and thanked her for all that she does.
Shannon McLeod & Diane Hart Dawson representing the Decatur County YMCA came up and
held the public hearing #2 as required by the OCRA grant. The YMCA roof on the pre-addition
part of the building needs a complete reconstruction at a cost of approximately 1 million dollars.
They will be submitting the grant application on Friday 12/22/23 for a $500,000 OCRA grant with
the YMCA covering the $500,000 remaining cost. They came to ask the county to be the
sponsor of the application. County Attorney Chad Smith asked that he review the application before it is submitted. Commissioners voted to approve the submission and sponsorship
following approval from Attorney Chad Smith.
Approval of board appointments was approved with no discussion or concerns.
The 2024 Holiday Schedule was approved with a few changes which included adding New
Year’s Eve and switching Columbus Day for the Solar Eclipse Day. Juneteenth will not be part
of the holiday schedule as County Attorney Chad Smith contacted the Child Support Division
per the last meeting and found that the concerns the clerk’s office had brought to the
commissioners on Child Support will face no concerns and can proceed with the office being
open that day.
The 2024 Commissioner Meeting schedule will be the 1st meeting of the month will be evening
meetings at 6:00 pm and the 2nd meeting of the month will be morning meetings at 8:00 am.
Mark Koors was re-appointed as President of the Commissioners.
Commissioners agreed that going forward any county-owned vehicles will need to have the new
county logo. This is exempt for Sherriff’s department as they have their department-specific
logos and lettering. When vehicles are replaced and/or purchased they will need to have logos
on them.
Mark Koors would like to remind everyone that the new Decatur County Highway Garage has
an open house on 12/20/23 from 10 am-2 pm.
A brief discussion was held concerning the creation and editing of the Fair Board By-laws. The
commissioners will continue to edit those.
The commissioners meeting was adjourned.

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