County earns less in interest

Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer

The Ripley County Commissioners, acting as the board of finance, heard the annual financial report from Ripley County Treasurer Earline Copeland, at the regular meeting held on Monday, January 26. According to Copeland, the treasurer’s department utilizes the resources of several local banks for the investment of funds.

Copeland noted that the interest earned in 2008 was lower than the previous year. She said the interest earned in the checking account only was approximately $574,744.57. Last year it was almost $1M. Also, during this meeting, Robert Reiners was elected president with Gary Stutler elected secretary for the board of finance. The motion to accept the financial report as presented by Treasurer Earline Copeland was unanimously approved.

Ripley County Parks and Recreation Director Julie Brancamp updated the commissioners on maintenance projects needed at the fairgrounds in Osgood. Brancamp noted that building #10, known as the commercial building, is in need of a new roof along with insulation installed in order to save money on the heating bills for the building.

She told the commissioners that there are 13 dead or dying trees at the fairgrounds that need to be removed. Brancamp noted that a few of the trees pose a hazard due to their proximity to buildings.
Commissioner President Reiners requested Brancamp solicit quotes for the roof repairs and for the tree removal for their consideration at a later meeting. Brancamp gave an update on the lighting project for the west end of the fairgrounds. She also noted she is still waiting for a response for some grants that have been applied for.

The new phone system is up and running at the courthouse, according to Technology Director Kelly Vollet, along with the ten jacks at the EMA office installed. “Things are going good,” she said.
In other business:

• Courthouse maintenance Johnny Lohrum reported on general maintenance repairs at the courthouse
• The motion to approve the agreement between the county and the Town of Osgood was unanimously approved.

• Drew Barth of Barth and Associates, reminded the commissioners that the last day to apply for federal grant money for bridge repair was February 21. According to Barth, several bridges in Ripley County might apply to the grant requirements.

Commissioners attending were Gary Stutler and Robert Reiners with Mark Busching absent. Also in attendance were Mary Ann McCoy, auditor, to take the minutes and Attorney Neil Comer to advise. The next commissioner meeting will be held on Monday, February 9 beginning at 7 a.m. at the Ripley County Highway Garage in Osgood and reconvening at 8 a.m. at the commissioners’ office in the courthouse annex.