As the summer-type heat has ramped up, so has the workload in the Commissioners’ office. Later in the year we will hopefully be able to look back at recent weeks and take pride in what we were able to accomplish.
A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• As many of you know, funding for 911 Dispatch has been an ongoing challenge for the County and all entities that utilize the service. The 911 Advisory Board, made up of representatives of all emergency services as well as 3 citizens at large, put in a lot of work researching the issue and ultimately made the recommendation to the Commission that the best long-term solution to the funding issue was a sales tax issue on the April 2019 ballot. The Commission agreed to pursue the recommendation, provided all entities agreed to participate and support the ballot measure. While there was some support expressed, there were also a number of board members throughout the County who were opposed to the issue. Based on this less than whole-hearted support and widespread negative feedback from taxpayers, the Commission voted today against proceeding with placing the proposed sales tax on the ballot. After much deliberation, we could not justify pursuing such an endeavor with such clear opposition. Captain Pirtle and the staff will continue to provide the best service possible within our current budget constraints and life will go on.
• In addition to the easement acquisition issues that I mentioned last week, we continue to watch for the Indiana bat, test for lead paint, and perform a variety of tests and studies as we move forward with our bridge construction projects. Work on Bunker Hill Rd. bridge began last week and Snyder Rd. bridge should get underway very soon as well. Where we go from there depends on the bats I suppose.
• Now that the legislative session has come to a close, I will be reviewing the end of session reports to see what impact the passage or failure of certain bills will have on the County. It looks like prisoner per diem is going to stay at $22.58, which is just over half of our cost to house State prisoners. If you get a chance to speak to a member of the State Legislature, ask them when they plan to implement a fair reimbursement to the Counties for housing the State’s prisoners.
That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…