Commissioners look at high phone bills, redistricting


The Switzerland County Commissioners met this past Monday in a regularly scheduled meeting.

County Auditor Gayle Rayles informed the Commissioners that the county phone bills were well over $9,000 a month. Gayle Rayles said that she had contacted a representative from CenturyLink to discuss the matter, but didn’t get a response.

The Commissioners agreed that something needs to be done in order to reduce the bills. They will ask a representative from ESPY, an outside company that investigates phone companies, to attend the first meeting in January. If ESPY finds discrepancies in the phone bills from the past three years, the company will get 50-percent of the refund and the county will get the other 50-percent.

The Commissioners advised Auditor Rayles to talk to CenturyLink to try to resolve these high bills.


In other business discussed by the Commissioners:

– The issue of “redistricting” was discussed. This topic is in regards to the seven County Council members. Presently there are three council members that are At-Large. They are elected from all registered voters in the County. The remaining four council members are elected from only the district that they live in. An outside company will review the current census to determine if the representation is correct or if the districts need to be changed.

– Chris Clerkin of the Highway Department informed the Commissioners that one of the trucks needs major repairs. He will get a trade in value before a decision is made.

– The bridge at Sand Run Road is progressing and should be complete by the end of next week.

– The board appointments to the Switzerland County Public Library Board were approved. Denise Crawford and Diana Johnson have been reappointed to serve on the board.

– A letter was reviewed by the Commissioners from the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. Federal funding may be used to determine if there are “brown fields” in this area.

A “brown field” could be an area that previously had a gas station, dry cleaner, or any other business on the property that could have contaminated the ground.

– Snow removal bids were opened. Gosnell Bobcat was awarded the bid of $60 an hour to clean snow from the county parking lots. If salt is needed it will be at a cost of $5.50 per bag.

– Only one bid was presented to the Commissioners for the bridge kit to replace the bridge on Bennington Pike. E&H Bridge Grating of Bedford Indiana was awarded the bid. The cost to the county for the bridge kit will be $170,197.

The bridge work will not take place until 2014. At that time, bids will go out for the construction of the bridge.

– The Commissioners discussed the appointment of a member to serve on the Tourism Board. The present board member from Belterra is relocating. That vacancy will need to be filled with an Innkeeper.

– The Commissioners approved the 2014 County pay dates and schedule.

– Reappointed to serve on the Health board were Dr. Robert Findley and Edsel Detraz.

– Commissioner John Haskell asked attorney Will Goering to look into the mineral tax exemption that Hilltop Basic Resources is presently filing.