Meeting: Dubois County Commissioners

The Dubois County Commissioners met Monday and:

• Approved the five-member regional development authority, which will be involved with the effort to get the state to prioritize a bypass road that would connect Dubois County to I-69, known locally as the Midstate Corridor. A full story can be found here.

• Approved an ordinance that addresses dilapidated buildings, which follows the state statute. Before the ordinance was passed, the county health department could, for safety reasons, declare a property as unfit for human habitation, but only if someone was living on the property. Some of the properties the department hears about have no one living on the premises. This new ordinance, which is now in effect, includes properties on which no one lives. Because it follows the state statute, violations could include prosecution through the county prosecutor’s office.

• Approved closing James Street just north of 2620 North James St. in Ireland. Lechner Excavating is working on the new St. Mary Church in Ireland and wants to close the street for two weeks to keep traffic from going through the area.

• Heard that the county highway department closed Club Road between County Roads 550 South and 600 South to repair a bank slide on the west edge of the road; the slide did not damage the road, County Highway Superintendent Steve Berg said. The road was closed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and today, so that crews could get dirt and riprap to the area quickly without worrying about traffic, he said. Although the closure doesn’t not affect school bus traffic, Berg told Southeast Dubois Superintendent Rick Allen about the closure.

• Learned via letter that the committee studying the county’s criminal justice system will not be taking the National Institute of Corrections’ Planning of New Institutions program because NIC’s 2018 funding, which would have covered the cost of the one-week class, has been cut. Commissioner Chad Blessinger, who is a member on the committee, will present the letter to the committee when it meets next, which will be May 1. The group plans to meet at the community corrections center at 4 p.m. and carpool to Daviess County to tour its jail and corrections facilities.

• Suggested to the Dubois County Council that a summer intern be hired for the county prosecutor’s office. The intern would work no more than 29 hours a week, Prosecutor Anthony Quinn said. The council must approve funding the position, which Quinn said would come from the pretrial diversion fund.

• Heard from Ed Cole of Dubois Strong that Radius Indiana, the regional economic development partnership, is going to conduct a wage and benefit survey of the eight counties in its coverage area, which includes Dubois County. Dubois Strong tried to do a similar study with local manufacturers, Cole explained, but had trouble getting the companies to take the 60-plus question survey.

• Heard that the county’s freeze-thaw ordinance expired Sunday and signs are being removed now. The ordinance stated that from Jan. 15 to April 15, county roads had a 10-ton weight limit.

• Decided that it will discuss proposed updates to the county’s subdivision control ordinance at 10:15 a.m. Monday, May 7, in the commissioners’ room, on the second floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex, 602 Main St.

• Heard from Blessinger that he recently heard compliments from residents about the work and helpfulness of the county’s highway department and veterans service department.

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