$28,800 owed to Ripley Co. in 911 fees

Cathy May, Contributing Writer

Judy Schebler, Enhanced 911 coordinator, appeared before the Ripley County Commissioners at their October 22 meeting. Schebler explained that in 1993 there was a verbal agreement between Ripley and Franklin County that Ripley County would provide 911 service for 1,456 Franklin County residents.

However the telephone company would not pay Ripley County for the 90-cent surcharge for those Franklin County residents which would have come to $1,270 a month. The two counties agreed that Franklin County would just pay Ripley County a flat fee of $1,200 a month for the 911 service to those areas.

Schebler discovered in May of this year that Franklin County had quit paying the $1,200 a month in October of 2005 and yet Ripley County had continued to provide 911 service for them. This area relates to the telephone exchanges that have the same numbers as Batesville and Sunman.

Schebler said she is working with Franklin County to try to work out a solution since there is nothing in writing. Schebler said that since 1993 when this was first instigated the resident homes involved have almost doubled. She did not ask for any action from the commissioners, she just wanted them to be informed of the situation.

Representatives from Quality Plumbing and Heating brought a maintenance agreement before the commissioners for the Ripley County Jail. The one-year contract is for $6,804 a year or $567 per month. The commissioners signed the agreement.

They also reported the water leak in the men's restroom was more serious than first thought. They are going to have to shut off the water at the street and take off the t-valve and put in a 2" ball valve. This will have to be done on a Saturday.

A tree expert looked at the trees around the courthouse and found that three of the old Maples are dying. They are a danger to pedestrians and cars that are parked around the courthouse as large limbs are starting to fall. The commissioners will have the three trees removed and replace them with 3" Red Oak trees. They will get estimates for the work to be done.

Ray and Barbara Williams and their neighbors came to ask the commissioners if they would pave 725 N. The mile long stretch is graveled twice a year and graded. The Williams thought in the long run it would be cheaper to blacktop the road which they say is heavily trafficked. Commissioners Rob Reiners said it was too late for this year but could be put on the list for next year. Of the 740 miles of Ripley County roads there are 240 miles still in gravel.

Technology Director Kelly Vollet said the Gavel Court System that has been used for years, will become obsolete in 2010. Vollet indicated the state is working on a new JTAC system which they hope will be in place by 2009. If not, then the county will have to purchase another system which could cost a hundred thousand dollars or more.

Park Manager Julie Brancamp would like to have a phone installed in the maintenance office shop. She also discussed asking organizations to plant a tree in the park for Arbor Day. The trees that are there now are very old and will soon need to be replaced. Commissioner Chuck Folz said he had thousands of trees on his property he would donate if they could be moved.

Next year's county budget puts the maintenance on the buildings at the park in the Commissioners' Cumulative Capital Development budget. A $500 limit will be placed on the manager for purchases. Anything above that will have to be brought before the commissioners unless there is an emergency.
All three commissioners were in attendance: Rob Reiners, Chuck Folz and Lawrence Nickell.

County Auditor Mary Ann McCoy was present to advise the commissioners. The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be held on Monday, November 5 at 8:00 a.m. at the Commissioners' Room of the Ripley County Annex.