Decatur County Council 12/19/23 meeting

Chris Ramey covered for WTRE news

The Decatur County Council began at 9:00am sharp on 12/19/2023. The pledge was said and
the November meeting minutes were reviewed and approved.
Patricia Louagie, represented Janet Howell, Clerk. Requesting that the Council reconsider the
request they had at the November meeting for utilizing money set aside for a part-time position
that was not utilized and using those funds as a one time bonus of $2,000 to each one of the six
deputies in the office. This was reduced from the $2,500 requested at the November meeting.
County Council member Bill Metz said that he would like to wait to approve any bonuses or
raises until the salary study is back. The council said the salary study is scheduled to be
completed by May or June. County Council member Melanie Nobbe motioned for a vote. The
vote was completed by a Roll Call Vote. Yea’s: Deanna Burkart and Melanie Nobbe. Nea’s:
Ernie Gauck, Kenny Hooten, Bill Metz, and Ashley Hungate. The motion failed. Other
department heads were in the room with comments about a department receiving approval for
this type of situation in 2022.
Dorene Greiwe, Assessor came to the Council requesting Supplement Pay. However when
called on, Dorene stated that the Council had already said no to the first request and her
request was along the same lines. She voiced that it is not fair that they allowed this in 2022 and
not approving now.
Dottie Robbins, Recorder, came to the Council to discuss longevity and experience pay. She
stayed that she has a staff member that has been an employee since 2011, and the experience
she brought to her office. The Council said that the longevity pay does not include any years as
an elected official. Dottie did say that Denise is only getting counted as 4 years in longevity pay
when she should be for 5 years. The Auditor’s office stated that this was a clerical issue and
they can change it to honor her 5 years of experience. The Council approved the change.
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 Sheriff’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 council to install these cameras and move
forward. All Council members approved this.
Sean Durbin, Decatur County Health Department Director, wanted to discuss the plan for the
2024 funding that they have been approved to receive from the state. Sean stated that the
plan’s overall goal is to improve the lives of Decatur County residents. Providing statistics for the
County. We are:
Life expectancy: 75.8 years. 56th in the state
Obesity: 38th in the state
Child Vaccine:13th in the state. 70.5% of children have the vaccines recommended
Infant Mortality: 55th in the state. 7.7 per 100,000
Smoking: 12th in the state 17.6%

Suicide: 5th in the state 11.2%
Potential Years of life lost: 17th in the state 1,594 years (This would be any fatality caused by an
accident that decreased the persons life.
Sean stated that these are all areas that he plans to focus on during 2024. He states that he
also has $22,000 in possible grants that he can work with other agencies in the county and that
will help him meet their goals. Sean stated that he is in support of a community pool and would
also like to work with Parks & Recreation on opportunities for funding reduced entrance fees if
the individual is doing swim lessons which will reduce drownings, or participating in exercising to
reduce obesity. Sean stated that this isn’t construction type of funding, but the Health
Department could possibly be a program support.
Tony Blodgett, representative for the Solar Eclipse Committee, came to the Council to request
funding and an approval of his budget. This event will be held at the Decatur County
Fairgrounds. Blodgett provided a budget showing what costs they are projecting, as well as
what income they are projecting. Tony told the Council that the Solar Eclipse Committee does
not see any costs that will not be paid for by the end of the event. He believes that the event will
be a profitable event, even though the goal is not profit it is public safety. The Council made the
decision to approve $15,000 to be used out of the Fairgrounds account. Then, as money comes
in, it will replace money spent. Tony did ask that any profit after all expenses are paid be given
to the Power of the Past group for all of their hard work and dedication to the success of this
event. Tony stated that preliminary plans include vendor markets, food, 4-H exhibits, petting
zoo, pony rides, karaoke, DJ, balloon animals, and camping opportunities. If someone would be
interested in being a part of the event please contact Kim Carpenter or call Tony Blodgett 812-614-9884.
Additional topics on the agenda were Additions and Transfers which were all approved. The
2024 meeting calendar was approved. The election of Council President was the last topic of
the meeting. Kenny Hooten made a motion to continue with the current officers for the Council.
Melanie Nobbe made a motion that Deanna Burkart be the Council President. Danny turned this
over to Janet, Auditor, and a request for a second motion for Deanna Burkart to be Council
President was not made, and the motion failed due to that lack of motion. A second motion was
made to retain the current officers. A roll call vote was called with Yea’s: Deanna Burkart, Ernie
Gauck, Kenny Hooten, Ashley Hungate, and Bill Metz. Nea’s: Melanie Nobbe. The motion
passes and Danny Peters will be Council President for 2024 and 2025.

Post Ad 2