Commissioners approve construction of animal shelter

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The Switzerland County Commissioners on Monday night approved a contract for the construction of a county animal shelter at a cost of $333,135.

The animal shelter will be constructed on the site of the county highway garage complex on McCreary’s Ridge near East Enterprise, and the winning bidder to build the facility was the Poole Group of Dillsboro, Indiana. It was noted in the meeting that the bid did not include the dog cages for the facility.

County Commission president Craig Bond said that he had spoken with members of the County Council concerning funding, and that there is a riverboat account that has been drawing interest – and that interest can be used to pay for the shelter.

The county council will still have to officially approve the money at its next meeting.

Still, there was quite a bit of discussion about the animal shelter, as all three commissioners agreed that the county needs an animal shelter – but at what price?

“It’s something we know we have to do,” Craig Bond said. “It’s something that’s needed.”

“I know we need one badly,” Commissioner Brian Morton said. “But even though we have the money, that’s just too much to spend. I can’t agree with that much money, but I do agree that we need a shelter.”

After more discussion, Commissioner K.C. Banta moved to approve the contract for the construction; with Craig Bond seconding the motion. Brian Morton voted no on the motion, but it passed by a 2-1 vote.

The animal shelter should be completed by October 1st of this year.

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In other business discussed by the County Commissioners:

– Eric Cole of the Switzerland County YMCA reported on the organization’s “Strong Kids” campaign, which raises funds for children’s programs at the facility. The commissioners have made a $5,000 donation to the fund in the past, and agreed to provide that amount again this year.

– Joe Leatherbury asked about whether or not a section of Roberts Road has been closed or if it is still a county road. He said that a gate has been erected across the road near the old county Poor Farm; and the commissioners said that they did not recall that the road had ever been closed, and will check into having the gate removed.

Joe Leatherbury also asked about having a guard rail installed along a section of Plum Creek Road. The commissioners asked highway superintendent Edd Cook to look into getting a guard rail up.

– In his report, highway superintendent Edd Cook told the commissioners that he is looking into some new trucks for the highway department, which are needed to continue keeping the roads in good shape for motorists. The commissioners said that they needed to see where the money to pay for the trucks would come from, and asked him to report back at the next meeting.

– County auditor Rachel Bladen said that companies will be making presentations on group health insurance at the commissioners’ next meeting.

- George Miller told the commissioners about a public meeting being held by the Patriot-Posey Park Board on Tuesday night, April 10th, at 7 p.m. in Patriot Town Hall. The meeting will be a presentation of the findings of a study on the stabilization of the Patriot waterfront.

– The next meeting of the Switzerland County Commissioners will be on Monday morning, April 16th, in the meeting room of the courthouse. Anyone wishing to speak with the commissioners about an issue should contact the auditor’s office and be put on the agenda.