Commissioners talk weather, saving money
Several inches of snow caused a bit of discussion at a regular Pulaski County Commissioners’ meeting on Monday.
During the meeting, commissioners talked about plowing snow, creating a snow delay for some employees and what to do when highway signs are hit.
As the meeting started, highway superintendent Mark Fox was asked how the plowing went during the recent snowstorm. Fox said there were a few minor issues with the equipment but nothing that couldn’t be handled.
Later in the meeting, commissioner Terry Young gave the public a reminder.
“We had an issue the other day, towards the end of the week. With this weather, if the public sees a sign down or someone hits a sign they need to report it to the county highway or commissioners for safety reasons,” Young said. “It was a really bad intersection and at night it would be a really bad deal.”
Young said Fox and the highway department quickly took care of the problem after they were notified.
In regards to a county snow delay, commissioner Larry Brady said county officials are talking about the options of a delay.
“If in inclement weather, do we shut down the county, the county offices? We are kicking around the idea of doing a two-hour delay,” Brady said.
According to Brady, employee safety would be the reason for the delay. He suggested that the delayed two hours could be used as comp time or employees could work during their lunch hour to make up time.
“Granted you have some employees who are here in the Winamac area and they may not be affected and they could still come in at the regular hour. But we have individuals living on the other side of the county and getting them on the road in the daylight is just a thought,” Brady said.
He would like to see suggestions made and possibly approved sometime soon.
In other business:
• Two bids for a new highway department truck were opened. Fox will review the bids and make a recommendation at the next commissioners’ meeting. A bid for an upfit on the truck was also opened.
• Kris Smith, from Copiers Plus, discussed a few different ways the county could save money on copies. Brady said the county has experienced several overages and officials are trying to find ways to fix the problem. Initially, the cost of copies per month was $4,180. In the last few months it has cost $5,353. There have been a few copiers added to the contract but the main costs are color copies. Smith made a suggestion of replacing some of the current color machines that will decrease costs. The savings could be about $1,500 a quarter. Young and Brady agreed that if there is a better way to save money then they should proceed. A motion made by commissioner Bud Krohn to proceed with changes was approved.
• David Webber, assistant building inspector, presented a recommendation to rezone 50 acres north of Winamac from A-1 to RR-1, or recreational use. Bobby Rugg wants to use some of the property to create a recreational park. Young said the planning commission didn’t have any negative comments in regards to the rezoning. A motion to rezone was approved.
• Holly Van Der Aa, assessor, requested to make changes to the assessor’s office staff. Pat Tiede is planning to retire on Feb. 27, so changes are needed, according to Van Der Aa. “I have a wonderful staff. They do a great job for the county.” A motion was made to approve the changes. The changes will now be presented to the county council.
• In regards to old business, commissioners have been discussing whether sheriff deputies can enforce a proposed golf cart ordinance in Monterey. The idea was brought to the attention of the commissioners during the last meeting by sheriff Jeff Richwine. Richwine questions under what authority can the sheriff’s office enforce the proposed town ordinance. Attorney Kevin Tankersley suggested tabling the issue until he can review it further. Young said he feels the county should support the town ordinances. Richwine said he will be meeting the Monterey council on Feb. 11. The issue was tabled until further review by Tankersley.
• An application for a buried telephone line in the area of CR 50 E., starting at CR 150 S. traveling south to Vander Hagg’s Inc. was approved.
• The Nordic Energy Service contract was approved. The contract allows the county to save money on natural gas.
• Commissioners received two letters regarding two feeding operations from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The letters are in regards to IDEM renewals of the operations. The renewals are for five years.
• Conference requests from the auditor’s office, animal control, dispatch and emergency management agency were approved.
• Minutes from the Jan. 20 meeting and the executive sessions on Jan. 26 and Jan. 30 were approved.
• Claims and payroll were approved.