Meeting: Dubois County Commissioners

The Dubois County Commissioners met Monday and:

• Heard about safety concerns regarding St. Anthony Road West and Schnellville Road. A story is on Page 3.

• Hired Umbaugh and Associates to guide the county in financial aspects, like bond issues, as officials work on improving the county’s justice system. The commissioners inquired about having financial planning work done for an overall comprehensive plan, but opted to wait on that component. They will direct Umbaugh representatives to talk to the Dubois County Council, which controls the county’s finances, directly about the benefits of such a plan. Umbaugh indicated previously that the justice plan would cost between $65,000 and $90,000, while the capital planning study would cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

• Approved adding a third full-time cook position to the sheriff’s department. Currently, cooks and some jail staff are being paid overtime to help with cooking duties, Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter explained. The $27,000 needed for the third cook’s salary will come from the department’s fund for part-time workers. Kleinhelter said he has no part-time cooks currently because no one has applied, despite him advertising the positions.

• Approved replacing a shed that holds the highway department District 1’s equipment and signs, which will cost about $150,000. They opted to wait on approving the construction of a heated building that would house a wash bay, telling County Engineer Brent Wendholt to talk to the county council about covering the cost, which would be between $150,000 and $200,000. Wendholt said it is needed. Crews clean the salt and dirt off snow machines outdoors with a machine that generates a lot of steam; that is being done after a big weather event, when it is very cold. When the steam from the cleaner hits the outdoor metal of the bay, it freezes, which can be dangerous for workers, he explained.

• Recommended that the council appropriate $12,500 to outfit a new space the Town of Ferdinand is providing for EMS at 202 E. Third St. The new site will be across the parking lot from the Ferdinand Fire Station, which is where EMS is currently stationed, county ambulance coordinator Suzan Henke said. The new site will have more space, she said, including a day room, utility room with a shower and laundry facilities, kitchen area, a report room where the computers will be located, and separate sleeping rooms. EMS staff work 24-hour shifts, so they stay overnight at the site, Henke said. The ambulance will remain at the fire station, Henke said.

• Approved a written plan for using some of the Local Income Tax/Economic Development revenue the county receives, which the state requires entities that receive LIT funding to have on file. The three-year written plan, which is a fluid document and subject to change, includes money for Dubois Strong and Grow Dubois County, the Midstates Corridor project, the 4-H Council, Dubois County Solid Waste Management District and the health department’s vaccines. Other things in the document’s plan for this year include funding for Huntingburg’s Stellar project, the security center’s feasibility study and possible improvements, and the highway department’s building improvements.

• Approved road closings in Ireland for the annual St. Patrick Day’s Celebration. Sections of county roads 500 West, 150 North and 490 West, Ladino Lane and Wheatland Drive will be closed from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 16, for the Irish Trot 5K run/walk. Walnut Street from Green to North James streets will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 for a sliders grilling competition. Parts of County Road 500 West, Green, Clay, North Grant, West Center and North James streets, will be closed from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, for the parade.

• Approved a request from Court Appointed Special Advocates to place signs around the Dubois County Courthouse in April, which is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Signs about the need for volunteers will be places on all four sides of the courthouse for the month. Also, 90 pinwheels, one for each child in the CASA system, will be placed on the west side of the courthouse for a week, to give people a visual of the number of children being served by the agency. “I think people would be shocked that we are consistently in the 90 range,” CASA head Deena Hubler said.

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