Decatur County Commissioners Meeting

The Decatur County Commissioners met on May 6, 2024, at 6 pm.

The meeting began with The Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer.

The commissioners approved the April 15th meeting minutes, claims, and payroll claims.

Todd Houk, Highway Department, stated that he is currently completing driver training with a few new staff that will be eligible to take the CDL test in the coming weeks. He states that staff at the Highway Department has been working to receive training recently including LTECH Work Zone Traffic Control Training and Trenching Safety Training. Staff continue to grade roads, sign maintenance, and ditching. An attendee raised concerns about drainage issues on a county road near Lake Santee. Todd will contact her in the future and will see what he can do.

Kenny Beuning, Building Inspector, could not attend the meeting this evening. However, Jeremy Pasel, Commissioner, read Kenny’s report. Since the last meeting, Kenny has completed 46 inspections, 20 new permit & plan reviews, 4 inspections, and 3 red tags that were corrected. Kenny is also working to draft letters for Burney & Lake McCoy residents to take care of blighted properties. Tony Blodgett, Commissioner, stated that with the discussion he would like to create an ordinance to require residents to keep their properties yards mowed. This ordinance would work to eliminate excessive tall grass. Jeremy Pasel said that he is for enforcing excessive vehicles and blighted properties but that he has concerns about creating an ordinance for excessive grass height. Jeremy added that he wants to avoid over-regulation. Mark Koors said that he believes that they need to focus on excessive vehicles and blighted properties and hopefully other concerns will fall into line.

Bill Meyerrose, Sheriff, came before the commissioners to seek approval to switch food service vendors. The current contract ends in the coming weeks and he wants to switch. Currently, the cost to feed inmates per meal is $1.43, and with the change to a new provider that will be reduced to $0.90 per meal. Switching vendors will also allow for better-quality food. The commissioners approved this request.

Alicia Nobbe, Board of Health, came to the commissioners to let them know of a change to the food ordinance to include changes to the timing of inspections. Currently, inspections are conducted every 6 months. However, the inspections will be conducted on a risk-based inspection schedule. The higher the risk of your food it could mean you are inspected more often than those places with lower-risk food.

Erika Free, Communications, received approval to enter into a contract with Ritter Strategic Services to create a standard operating procedure handbook and to review all policy manuals and best practices for her department. This consultant will ensure all policies align with industry standards. Erika stated that the costs are within her department budget and will not be requesting any additional funds to get this completed. The contract will be a per-hour fee not to exceed 50 hours.

Minde Myers, Animal Control, was not available to attend due to illness. Mark Koors, Commissioner, stated that he had received a call from Minde and also Chris Ramey and that he thought this was about a grant that the shelter would like to apply for with Best Friends. All three commissioners said they support applying for any grant that the shelter can get. Mark said that he would contact Minde and tell her that she has their blessing to move forward.

Doug Banks, Coroner, received approval to purchase a 3 body cooler for the Coroner’s Department. He said that the current cooler is from 30 years ago and has several concerns that it has exceeded its life expectancy. He states that currently he has and continues to lean on Funeral Directors in the County to store any bodies that he needs stored. However, he does not want to continue to do that and would like for the approval of a new cooler to be approved for the amount of $8,199 plus shipping costs. The commissioners approved this request and the funding will come out of CumCap.

The commissioners approved the YMCA Sub-recipient agreement after approval from their attorney.

John Lecher, Lake Santee Manager, requested approval and signature from the commissioners to sign a Conflict of Interest for Mr. Coffman who is on the board for Lake Santee. Mr. Coffman can conduct water quality and other inspections at the RWWD Plant for half of the cost of the lowest contractor that was contacted.

Debbie, Lifetime Resource Representative, came to the meeting requesting that the commissioners approve and sign an agreement that Catch-A-Ride be the county’s public transportation. This is because of changes that INDOT has made. After discussion, the commissioners stated that they will need to have their attorney review this agreement and then have a special meeting to review and approve this request.

Commissioners discussed the DORA at Rebekah Park. All commissioners showed dissatisfaction that they were not part of the discussion or planning for the map and if it should include Rebekah Park. After discussion, it was decided that they would move forward with creating an ordinance that would limit any alcohol use at any city park to a special use petition request. This would require commissioner approval and notice would be given for events that would allow alcohol.

Tony Blodgett, Commissioner, stated that he would like to see an ordinance drafted that would require Solar projects utilize toxic free options when available. This would eliminate contamination of water and land. He also stated that vegetation screening should be also required. All commissioners agreed and they would be recommending this change to the Area Plan Commission. They will then look at that recommendation, conduct a public meeting, and then draft what the ordinance would look like, and then send that back to the commissioners for approval.

Kevin Krechler came to the commissioners this evening to discuss Property and Casualty Insurance coverage, as the current plan is up for renewal later this month. The agent stated that the county has seen a 6 million dollar value increase since last year with property value. 

He recognized those employees in the Auditor’s office and Patty Hensley for their hard work with everything that goes along with preparing for a renewal. Overall the county will see a 14% increase in costs. He will be back at the next meeting to get approval to move forward with the policies that were presented to the commissioners.

A representative came to the commissioners to discuss the Safe Streets for All project and look for buy-in from Decatur County Commissioners. This project will be a committee to create an RFP to go out and work to create safer roads between I-70 to I-74. The hope is if Greensburg and Decatur County are on board then this could expand to US Hwy 421. They are working with Henry County, New Castle, Rush County, and Rushville, and they would like to have Greensburg and Decatur County come on board. If Decatur County decides to participate they will need to put a commissioner up to be a part of the committee. The estimated cost to Decatur County would be $43,000. Tony Blodgett said that he will bring this to the next ARPA meeting and will see their thoughts on providing the funding for the project. They asked the representative to come back to the first June meeting and he agreed.

The meeting was adjourned.

Post Ad 2