Group has questions about animal control officer

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Geneen Ostendorf, of the newly formed County Animal Rescue and Education (CARE), requested information regarding animal control in Ripley County as well as the location of pens used by the county dog warden Bill Lovins at the regular meeting of the commissioners on Monday, April 19.

According to Commissioner President Rob Reiners, an ordinance was passed in 1979 that addresses vicious animals and established the county dog warden as the county animal control officer for small animals as well as assisting the Ripley County Health Department with the larger animals.

When requested to provide information on the location and number of holding pens on the property, Lovins reported that there is the ability to house 12-15 dogs and approximately 6 cats at the facility located on County Road 400 N, east of State Road 129.

According to Lovins, the animals are held five days before being euthanized by the county veterinarian Dr. Harley Robinson. He noted that the towns within the county have the ability to contain stray animals and hold them until he picks them up.

Lovins reported that in 2009 the county spent $449 in feed as well as approximately $3200 for mileage. There were 85 animals euthanized by the county vet and 14 dogs he destroyed, nine of which were hit by automobiles.

Prior to the meeting, commissioners Reiners and Gary Stutler made unannounced visits to the facility and found the pens to be clean and well maintained. Reiners read a letter from DeeDee Holliday, Ripley County Humane Society, praising his work as the county dog warden. “Mr. Lovins is the best animal control officer the county has had in 12 years,” Reiners said.

Randall Frye, candidate for the Indiana House of Representatives District 67, presented the Ripley County Commissioners a plan for providing sufficient fresh water for Versailles and surrounding areas.

According to Frye, his goal is to provide fresh water for this and future generations, existing and future businesses; provide adequate fire protection for Ripley County as well as provide a large recreation facility, which would attract new businesses and provide jobs.

In his plan, he proposes to develop existing land within the Versailles State Park for a 500-acre lake to act as a reservoir large enough for power boats and water skiing. The proposed lake would attract recreational boaters from the surrounding areas and would boost the local economy, according to Frye.

“This project would be a great economic development tool and I believe it would attract more businesses to the area,” said Frye.

In other business:

• The commissioners continued to consider health insurance for county employees. Representatives from MainSource Insurance, Maverick Insurance and Apex Insurance presented several options for review.

• Ron Merkt, Access Doors, provided information on replacement doors for the courthouse which would enhance the look as well as reduce maintenance costs. The commissioners requested a quote on cost of the doors and installation.

• Midwest Engineering presented their findings on the initial investigation for an annex for the courthouse. A site plan detailing the location and plans for the parking lot and basement was requested.

All commissioners were in attendance along with county attorney, Neil Comer, to advise. The next meeting will be held on Monday, May 3 beginning at 7 a.m. at the Ripley County Highway Garage in Osgood and reconvening at 8 a.m. at the courthouse annex in Versailles.