Commissioners drop testing service, move back to original company


The Switzerland County Commissioners have canceled a contract with a new drug testing company and have returned to their original vendor.

The county has used Midwest Toxicology for its employee drug testing program for several years, but earlier this year entered into a contract with Indiana Testing.

At the commissioners meeting recently, County Highway Superintendent Chris Clerkin told the commissioners that Indiana Testing had not shown up for scheduled appointments, and that the firm had not shown up on three different occasions.

Not being able to rely on Indiana Testing coming to the county when appointments are made, the commissioners directed county auditor Gayle Rayls to call Midwest Toxicology and renew its contract with the county, and terminate the contract of Indiana Testing.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners entered into a lengthy discussion with officials of Bernadin and Lochmeuller, the engineering company for the Moorefield/Bennington Sewer District, over the problems with the district’s operation.

Included in a wide range of topics during the discussion was a confirmation that the tanks were cleaned; change orders have been signed; and there was a discussion about landscaping issues in Bennington.

After more discussion, the commissioners signed an extension of grant time for the project; and will continue to closely monitor the progress on fixing the problems with the system.


In other business discussed by the commissioners:

– Keli Gabbard of the Switzerland County Animal Shelter requested that the commissioners put rabies information in the form of a county ordinance. She also asked that the county ordinance be changed so that it also pertains to animals running loose on an owner’s property.

The commissioners approved both requests.

– Chris Clerkin of the highway department asked the commissioners to sign off on the bridge plans for Mary Lamb Road; and he also requested that some county equipment be used at the Switzerland County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The commissioners told him that county equipment cannot be loaned out; but added that a county highway employee could volunteer to do the work and use the county equipment to do it; or the fairboard could pay a county employee for his time to do the work.

– A proposal by Keystone to install the HVAC system in the new County Extension Building was approved.

– Terri Grove approached the commissioners about adding an additional $10,000 to the contract that the county has with Switzerland County EMS. This addition would make the annual contract $52,500.

The commissioners did not take any action on the request; and will revisit the request when annual budgets are discussed.

– The commissioners discussed an assessment that had been made to determine if the state would pay for half of the salaries of the employees of the Switzerland County Emergency Management Agency. To qualify, an assessment score of 160 was needed, and Switzerland County EMA employees George Adams and Connie Wallace received a score of 223.

The commissioners signed a grant request for EMA; and a new vehicle for the department was discussed, but no action was taken.

– County auditor Gayle Rayls asked the commissioners about the IRS rule covering “take home vehicles” for county employees.

County attorney Wil Goering noted that the county needs to develop some type of policy to cover take home vehicles and their uses. The commissioners will continue to consider the matter.

– The commissioners accepted a quote of $5,700 from Dewayne Bates to seal the driveways and parking lots for the courthouse, medical center, and senior citizens center.

– The commissioners accepted Lonnie Harris’s offer to do future work and maintenance on the Moorefield/Bennington Sewer System at a rate of $30 per hour. Bill Jones will be doing the mowing.

-JoAnn Connolly, President of the Switzerland County Recreation, Tourism, and Convention Commission, asked the commissioners about what happens to inkeeper’s tax money that is owed to the commission when a property is sold at Sheriff’s Sale.

Wil Goering and Gayle Rayls will look into this matter.

Commissioner Robbie Smith also told his fellow commissioners that he had received a letter from Deric Brown resigning from the tourism commission board; and JoAnn Connolly spoke about an idea of having a bus route from Vevay to Belterra.