budget increases by 25%
Cathy May, Contributing Writer
President of the Ripley County Council Donald Dunbar appeared before
the Ripley County Commissioners at their June 13 meeting. He reported
the budget figures for 2008 came in at 7.4 million, which is 25%
more than last years budget.
The county will only be getting a 3% increase from last years
budget of 6.1 million, which is $180,000. Dunbar indicated he might
send all the budgets back to be redone. With that, Auditor Mary
Ann McCoy replied, Youre going to have chaos on your
hands if you turn the budgets back in.
Commissioner Rob Reiners said the health insurance alone is going
up 20 to 25% to about $1 million. Also, he said costs of fuel and
other items have gone up, which is out of our control. You
can only spend the money youve got, said Dunbar.
Sheriff Tom Grills asked the Commissioners what he should do with
the small bills he has that he used to pay from the Sheriffs
Improvement Fund. The Commissioners paid the bills from the Cum
Grills also said the jail inspector told him the isolation cells
need to be painted. He figures that will cost him about $400.
Grills wanted some guidance on snow emergencies. He said some employers
are still telling their employees to come to work. They can get
a letter from the Highway Department stating there is a snow emergency.
He also wanted to know what to do with vehicles that are blocking
the way so that snow removal crews and/or emergency vehicles cant
get by. Attorney Neil Comer said the vehicles would be removed at
the owners expense.
When Planning Director Tad Brinson appeared, he was told to inspect
the Arthur McGuire property. (McGuire had gotten a temporary permit
to live in a FEMA trailer because his house was filled with arsenic
treated wood). Commissioner Chuck Folz said he had been to the property
and there was a permanent structure around the FEMA trailer. Then
he found out that McGuire was back living in his old home. He is
not allowed to live there since he got the temporary permit for
the FEMA trailer. Brinson said he would have the site inspected.
Ripley County Park Manager Julie Brancamp reported on vandalism
at the park. She had looked into the cost of security cameras. She
asked the commissioners to participate in a survey on the future
of the park. There will be a public meeting on the subject on September
12. She also asked for written guidelines on what equipment those
who are doing community service are allowed to use at the park.
Attorney Neil Comer said that would be the park boards call.
Jeff Stenger asked for a Commissioners letter stating its
okay to add an additional lot on Mill Street in Morris at Amandas
acres. A letter of approval from the highway department will be
In other business:
Doug Skinner presented a dental plan option.
AECON representatives came to discuss Bridge #9 at Friendship.
Donald Dunbar said the Belterra law suit was going to cost
about $30,000. Half the cost would be the countys and half
would be divided up among the towns.
Darren Woods claims he doesnt need building permits
and the county cant make him pay, reported Tad Brinson.
All three commissioners were in attendance: Robert Reiners, Chuck
Folz and Lawrence Nickell. County Attorney Neil Comer and Auditor
Mary Ann McCoy were present to advise the commissioners. The next
meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be August 27 at
8:00 a.m. at the Commissioners Room in the Ripley County Annex.