County discusses new dog pound, sheriff in need of new car

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The Ohio County Council and county commissioners met in joint session on Monday, July 24th.

Two items of discussion were dog pound improvements and the need for a new sheriff car.

Commissioner Todd Walton reported on a $15,000 grant secured through the Rising Sun Regional Foundation and Ohio County Community Foundation.

Added elements to the project include concrete apron and gutters. The purpose for the pound addition was originally to store food.

A major increase to the pound is an estimated 700 cats that were brought in last year. Walton noted there was a grant to have them spayed and neuter. The animals are then out on the internet.

Councilman Tim Adams asked for more bids to be sought for the job. Walton later clarified the that Fletcher already had been approved as contractor for the project.

Walton said he will get info before the next Aug. 25th meeting which will include plumbing for future use and development.

Councilman Don Grace expressed concern that the dog warden assistant was taking the new truck home to Guilford. Walton explained she helps with after hour calls. Grace was concerned about the wear and tear and the vehicle being out of the county more than in the county.

A pass through grant from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation through a match from the Ohio County Community Foundation was approved by council and commissioners.

Council president Tammy Elbright read a letter from sheriff Glen Potts reported one of the best vehicles being totaled with an insurance estimate of $10,000. Officers were able to salvage equipment.

Also the pool car (extra vehicle) needed $900 in maintenance. It is used full-time to transmit inmates when they must come from Dearborn and Switzerland County at the same time. Potts followed up with a second letter by reporting another vehicle with 140,000 miles had to be parked because of engine problems.

Potts added he has been dealing with logistical issues when it comes to getting officers a vehicle to use while they are on duty.

Council will ask for estimates before the next meeting.

The joint meeting opened with the commissioners approving Michelle Otter as an independent contractor funded through a CRI grant.

County office holders who plan attending out of state conferences must now submit information on the their trip 90 days prior while filling out documents showing who’s attending and other pertinent information.

Commissioners addressed a policy handbook amendment related to elected officials and vacation time.

They discussed monthly elevator inspections with Vertical Systems. Auditor Deb Cappel said the fire marshal reported the county maintenance man should be able to do the job. Cappel will check into if there is a contract with the company.

Highway superintendent Ron York reported that requests for funding through the Community Crossing Grant. York noted that a bridge on Salem Ridge has been listed as critical by building inspectors and could cost $600,000 to $750,000 which the grant paying 75 percent of the cost and 25 percent by the county.

Council tabled a memorandum of agreement with the school. Council attorney Lane Siekman said the agreement is the same as last year which allowed for riverboat gaming revenue to the school be used for the general fund except for $5000 in scholarships.

Councilman Mark Guard spoke against the agreement and the matter was tabled as school superintendent Branden Roeder was unable to attend due to illness.

Elbright said something needs to be put into the employee handbook. Jeff Iceberg added the various jobs should be clarified in writing.

York discussed the abundance of ash trees that need trimmed and possibly purchasing a bucket truck to do the job.

Also, York presented a bill for $370 for a restocking fee for light originally purchased for church in Bear Branch.

Council will meet on August 25th for its annual budget meeting.