Commissioners continue talks on Regional Sewer District

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The Switzerland County Commissioners met for their October meeting, and had a wide variety of topics to discuss, highlighted by the ongoing discussion about the Moorefield/Bennington Regional Sewer District.

Lonnie Harris, who is working at the Moorefield/Bennington Regional Sewer District, told the commissioners that since Sherry Labs is no longer doing the actual sample taking for the district, the lab is adjusting its price. He said that he has been talking with Shannon Jackson of the Florence Regional Sewer District about the testing, but that Florence is not required to do the same testing. Shannon Jackson will check into the equipment price for Florence to do the testing for the Moorefield/Bennington district.

Lonnie Harris said that the next two tests will be with Sherry Labs, but it is hoped that for testing after that he will be able to work with Florence.

Commissioner Brian Morton asked if Holman Construction had finished its work, and Lonnie Harris said ‘no’. He said that Holman still has two septic tanks to finish grading; and that one septic tank had collapsed. Holman also has to move one check valve that was installed at the wrong site. It was also noted that spare parts left by Holman will be billed to the county since they can be used.

Gayle Rayles said that Jodi Comer from the Southeast Indiana Regional Planning Commission said that the county still owes Holman approximately $51,000 plus retainage fees from the escrow account. County attorney Wil Goering said that he would tell Holman to finish its work that week, and would then get a firm to provide a final approved pay application.

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Other items discussed by the commissioners:

– Emergency Management Agency executive director George Adams told the commissioners that his office earned a score of 233 out of a possible 250 on its recent state assessment, and because of the high score, the office will be receiving an additional $3,378 from the state that can be used towards enhancements for the agency.

– The commissioners granted Colonial Life Insurance Company permission to speak with county employees concerning supplemental employee insurance.

– Connie Adams had sent letters to all county commissioners and county council members concerning Switzerland County EMS. She is requesting information from the EMS, and wanted to make sure that the commissioners did not have any questions.

She said that she has been asked questions by the public, and is on a “fact finding mission”.

– Commissioner Robbie Smith asked County Highway Superintendent Chris Clerkin to check on the construction of a fence that a landowner was building on Everett Scudder Road. There is a concern that the fence is too close to the roadway.

- Keli Gabbard of the Switzerland County Animal Shelter asked the commissioners to pay for a new set of tires for the animal shelter truck. The commissioners agreed to pay for them from infrastructure funds.

-The commissioners are not ready to sign a new contract with Switzerland County EMS at this time.

– County auditor Gayle Rayles discussed recent appointments to the County Tourism Commission. She said that some of the terms of people who were just appointed are scheduled to run out at the end of this year; and she wondered if the commissioners wanted to let the terms run out and then reappoint; or if they wanted to go ahead and extend the terms by two years now.

The commissioners opted to allow those now serving to have their terms run out, and then the member can be appointed.

– At a previous meeting of the commissioners, it was decided, with reference to who is a “county employee” for the purposes of memberships at the YMCA, that anyone who receives a W2 from the county was eligible for membership.

At this meeting, the two employees of the Purdue Extension office here in the county asked about this, since they are technically paid by Purdue, but receive their pay indirectly through the county.

The commissioners will amend their decision to cover this matter.

– Commissioner Craig Bond asked about the tax sale properties that did not sell at the last auction. He was told that SRI could do an online auction or live auction, and the commissioners can set whatever price they want as a price for each parcel. Commissioner Brian Morton said that he would like to see the physical addresses for those properties, and Gayle Rayles will have those at the next meeting.