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7/2/2018 - County Commissioners Meeting - Click here to print this information

The Decatur County Commissioners met Monday morning. Highway Superintendent Mark Mohr reported that the paving on Moscow Road, which is part of the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program, is taking place on July 2nd and 3rd. He reported that there are 3 more Community Crossings projects to complete. He stated that work on Bridge 168 is starting to take place. Lights and warning signs will be put in this week. He stated that there are some funds available to work on the Covered Bridge. He was given approval to put a plan together to obtain bids with the goal of completing the work before the next Westport Covered Bridge Festival.

According to Mr. Mohr, CR 900 W should open on Monday. An area on CR 280 E with a lost pipe should be fixed on Monday. He informed the commissioners that he is beginning to receive calls about corn restricting visibility for drivers at intersections. He reported that the fields are private property, but the county does cut weeds in the easements. Work on a $217,714 INDOT project on Bridge 236 is beginning. The county has an interlocal agreement with the City of Greensburg to ensure curbs and sidewalks match the city streets.

Chris Grabowsky from Maxwell Construction presented several documents pertaining to the jail project. The commissioners signed the notice to proceed document which serves as the official start of construction. They also signed a testing and inspection contract with Intertech at a cost of about $14,000. In addition, the commissioners signed the contract for bid package 2 for masonry with Bruns-Gutzwiller for $1,239,000; bid package 4 for steel with JL Walter and Associates for $793,400; and bid package 12 for detention equipment and security electronics with Pauly Jail Building Company, Inc. for $6,138,400. It was pointed out that there is a storm sewer through the jail site property that will have to be relocated. President Rick Nobbe stated that the public hearing for bonds will take place during the county council meeting on July 9th. The maximum bond amount will be $24.3 million, but the goal of the project is still to attempt to get the lowest possible amount of bonds. The notice to sell bonds will take place on July 19th with an expected closing date of August 2nd.

President Rick Nobbe pointed out that the city and county do not have fireworks ordinances, but do comply with Indiana state law. During the period from June 29th to July 3rd, fireworks are allowed from 5:00 pm until 2 hours after sunset; on July 4th from 10:00 am until midnight; and July 5th to July 7th from 5:00 pm until 2 hours after sunset.

The commissioners discussed the mid-year report regarding insurance changes and the summary plan documents. Dunn and Associates is scheduling a time to come to the courthouse to meet with, and answer any questions from, employees. They also discussed the need for insurance for events taking place on courthouse grounds. The county's insurance company reported that the county is covered for events with its existing policy. The commissioners will likely continue to require a certificate of insurance for larger events.

A discussion took place regarding possession of firearms in county buildings based on a request from a county employee. There is not a policy in place other than the courthouse. A review of surrounding counties showed that Jennings and Jackson Counties have no ordinances; Shelby County has an ordinance authorizing only law enforcement to carry firearms in county buildings; Ripley County does not have an ordinance, but judges ruled that no firearms are authorized in the courthouse or county buildings. The commissioners will take the issue under advisement.

It was pointed out that the county's insurance is in the red and will take about $1.4 million to get in the black by the end of 2018. A suggestion was to take $175,000 from the local income tax and $300,000 from the county rainy day fund. Any money from the rainy day fund would have to be replaced at some point. The commissioners will take the issue under advisement until the next meeting.

The commissioners will hold their next meeting on July 16th at 8:00 am at the Decatur County Courthouse.

Tom Flemming-WTRE News

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