denies request to change retirement benefits
A great portion of the Ripley County Councils
meeting Monday night was taken up with discussion on changing
the years a merit employee is vested at the Ripley County Sheriffs
Sheriff Tom Grills proposed that employees have to be employed
with the sheriffs office for 10 years instead of the present
8 years, to be vested and be eligible for retirement benefits
at the age of 50.
He said it wouldnt be fair to the present employees if someone
off the street runs for sheriff, works eight years and then is
eligible for retirement benefits.
Elaine Beaty, vice president of McCready and Keene, Inc., actuaries
and employee benefit consultants from Indianapolis, was present
at the meeting to discuss the pros and cons of changing to the
Council President Dephane Smith had concerns that if someone comes
in as sheriff and then isnt retained after the eight years,
they wouldnt have the chance to work the proposed ten years
to gain retirement benefits.
Council member Ed Armbrecht said he also had concerns that a qualified
candidate might not run for sheriff knowing they could potentially
never get enough years in to draw retirement. He asked Beaty for
the financial breakdown of how it would benefit the county by
making the change.
Beaty explained the change, if approved, would only affect new
hires, not the present employees at the sheriffs department.
She said the 10-year proposal would prevent payouts after only
working for eight years. She said it would be a savings to the
Armbrecht said he had done some research before the meeting and
employees of several area businesses are vested after only five
years. He wanted to table the matter for further discussion and
to look at a broader picture in regards to benefits and pay at
the sheriffs department.
In the end, Juanita Kaiser made a motion to accept the 10-year
proposal with Bill Warren giving the second. The vote was three
for, four against, with Bill Dramann, Ed Armbrecht, David Simon
and Donald Dunbar voting against the motion.
The sheriffs requests were not entirely in vain as he was
given a unanimous vote on the DROP program.
This program would allow employees of the sheriffs department
to retire for pension purposes only. This means they
could continue to work and have their retirement go into a fund.
Beaty explained this would be done without expense to the county
and was an incentive to keep people beyond age 50. She said it
provides a nice nest egg and can be for a period of
up to five years.
Beaty explained that once an officer signs up for the program,
he or she cant change their mind. Its a done
deal, she noted. The sheriff said the officers and merit
board were in favor of this, as they had been for the 10-year
proposal, which he said he was disappointed in not getting passed.
Melvin Meisberger presented a storm sewer project proposal to
the council with George Bultman, park board member, showing the
drawings of how it would work.
Meisberger, who is president of the Ripley County Department of
Parks and Recreation, said the park board would work with the
Town of Osgood to put in a storm sewer drain along Fairground
In a prepared statement he noted, This would provide drainage
for Fairground Road and particularly the parks track area.
To do this would require taking Building 13 down, which is the
old red horse barn.
Dephane Smith said she had toured the area in question and indeed
saw a large amount of water.
Robert Reiners, president of the county commissioners, said the
commissioners were in support of the project, pledging the countys
labor help with the project.
In committee reports it was noted that Aaron Bell has been hired
to take the position of Tom Perotti who recently retired as executive
director of the Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste Department.
The sheriff reported he got the COPS grant submitted and is working
on a grant to enhance jail software.
Reiners said a grant was being submitted to the Rising Sun Regional
Foundation to help with the Intregrator System and make needed
repairs at the jail.
Additional appropriations included:
$9,314.51 appropriated for road signs for the Ripley County
$5,000 appropriated for the lighting project at the Ripley
County Fairgrounds Park.
$18,647.67 was appropriated for Ripley County LCC, Drug
Free Community Fund. Paula Goodpaster, representing the Ripley
County Local Coordinating Council gave a breakdown of the funds
requested. She explained that the organization has four tiers-
treatment, law enforcement, prevention, and administration, with
each having a budget of $10,000.
Under treatment they were asking for $5,000 for One Community,
One Family for training; law enforcement, the request was for
$3,500 for the Prosecutors Office and $1,170.68 for Batesville
Police, again for training; Prevention was broken down into four
requests: $250 for SIEOC Child Care R&R, $1,200 for Big Brothers/Big
Sisters, $2,500 for Choices Program at the Batesville schools,
and $2,145 for Milan SADD; $2,980.99 was requested for administration.
$50,000 from the Gas, Oil & Lubricants fund to Machinery
and Equipment for the purchase of two new tractors for the county
The next regular meeting of the Ripley County Council will be
May 18 at 7 p.m. at the commissioners room in the Ripley
County Courthouse annex in Versailles.
George Bultman, right, showed the plans for the proposed
storm sewer project on Fairground Ave. in Osgood to members
of the Ripley County Council at their regular meeting Monday,
April 20. All members were in attendance, pictured from
left: Bill Dramann, Ed Armbrecht, David Simon, Donald Dunbar,
Dephane Smith, Bill Warren, and Juanita Kaiser.