Decatur County Council Meeting

The Decatur County Council met on April 16, 2024. Council members approved the March minutes.

Teresa Kovacich, Parks Department, & Zach Wirrig, Director of Public Projects, came to the commissioners to discuss Rebekah Park Parking lot concerns and designs. They said that there is a need to upgrade the parking lot at Rebekah Park. Teresa stated that the current parking flow is not safe with the increased amount of people parking and utilizing the park. Zach said that they have a current design that is out for the trail. The grant is currently maxed out. He believes we should include this parking lot just in case they can come in under budget on the trail and could use the leftover money to do the parking lot project. He provided three designs that are 45 parking spots- approximately $178,000, 85 parking spots-$420,700, and 79 parking spots- $299,650. They are not asking for approval to move forward with the project. Instead, they are just asking which design they should include. The council members said that it would be 79 parking spots. The commissioners reminded that this was not agreeing to anything and that they have so many projects that they are considering this would have to become part of the conversation. Teresa added that she plans to start looking at the bathroom upgrades that are needed at Rebekah Park.

Matt Hoeing & Abby Harry from Decatur County Court Services came to the council to discuss programming and insurance. Abby provided statistics of the services that they are currently providing services to. Abby said that recently they have reached out to the jail to work on assisting inmates from incarceration to the public. The services that their service provide has saved the following amounts by not having these individuals incarcerated in the Decatur County Detention Center. In 2022 $743,000, 2023 $495,000, 2024 (1st QTR) $92,000. Matt Hoeing added that their department will be able to afford to pay the fringe benefits that they were asked to provide. However, he said that he would be back at the budget hearings asking for funding as this is not sustainable for their department.

Chris Ramey, Founder & President of the Friends of the Greensburg & Decatur County Animal Shelter, came before the commissioners to discuss the creation and launch of a capital campaign that will raise funds for a new animal shelter. Chris said that the group plans to raise as much funds as possible and have the ability to go after matching grant opportunities. Mr. Ramey said that if we can explore grant funding and corporate funding then we should explore that option to reduce the tax burden on our residents in Decatur County. Chris said that the shelter is doing great things and that this is just part of the puzzle for the shelter. The council members were all in favor of this and thanked Chris and the Friends of the GDCAS for putting the hard work in.

Bryan Robbins, Economic Development Corporation Executive Director, gave an update on the READI Program, saying that our region was awarded 30 million dollars and that the award was the largest award per capita in the state.

The Council approved all additionals and transfers.

Todd Houk, Decatur County Highway Department, said that he would like approval to pay new staff at the Highway Department $19.50 per hour when they are hired without a CDL. Then once they earn their CDL they will be paid $20.14 per hour. He said that he currently has 4 openings for staff. Deanna Burkart, Council member, asked if he has looked into regional programs to reach out to and look at and possibly hire graduates. Todd said that he has looked into this and will look into it more.

Danny Peters, Council President, said that due to vacations of the Council Attorney and the financial advisor, the public hearing that was scheduled for today is pushed to the May meeting. The public hearing for lowering the Special Use Jail Tax and to separate investments to be able to put the investments back in original accounts will begin at 9:05 am at the May County Council Meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.

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