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October 28, 2014 • Headlines

Donkey basketball followed with lots of laughs as team members tried to score while riding a donkey. Napoleon won over the Delaware Fire Department. They won in the final against JCD staff who had played against the Osgood fire department. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Minty Rose, who most know as Shawn Negangard, center, was named queen Friday at the Osgood Kiwanis Womanless Beauty Pageant. The 2nd runner up was left, Dorothy Bee, better known as Bo Kaiser and 1st runner up, Betty Sue or Allen Hooten. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Lula Joyce, or Evan Borgman leads the “beauty “pageant contestants to the JCD gym. He’s followed by Riley Thomas, Alex Pilz and Reuben Benham. There were nine contestants in all. The Osgood Area Kiwanis sponsored the fundraiser. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
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Osgood integrating utilities

Cathy May

The Osgood Town Board met on Tuesday, October 21. The U.S. 421 curb, sidewalk and storm sewer project claims were presented. Final payment for the release of retainage for Sections 3, 4 and 5 to Johannigman Excavating in the amount of $11,962.59 was approved.

The town adopted the Substance Abuse Policy for Federal Motor Carrier and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration compliance. This policy is intended to comply with all applicable federal regulations governing workplace anti-drug and alcohol programs. The Town also adopted an Employee Education and Assistance Program to meet requirements of 49 CFR Part 199.113 & 199.239.

WTH Technology Inc. prepared a proposal for the Osgood Gas and Street Department for mapping. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has required the gas department to keep mapping updated and in compliance. With this system the town will be able to get markings and training to build their maps. There will be history to go back to and look at for future inspections. WTH updates all information regularly concerning properties and name changes. This proposal is for $16,212.50. The proposal was approved. WTH also prepared a proposal for the Wastewater Department. Tony Wood with the sewer department, stated all the county, state, and local services are pushing to get all systems integrated into one. All the utilities in time will need to be documented. He would be able to map service laterals, mains, and pump stations. The town will own their copy of the map and will be able to make changes when needed. This proposal is for $12,236.25. This was tabled. A handheld G07X Tremble Unit will be looked at to help with the mapping procedure. Utility budgets will be reviewed to see if the cost can be split. An Addendum to Napoleon’s Water Purchase Agreement will increase their minimum purchase to 6 million gallons per month and allow them to purchase up to 15 million gallons per month. This was approved.

Fire Department
Shawn Negangard gave monthly statistics: 10 EMS runs, no fires, and 1 auto accident. A power unit and cutter have been ordered at $12,300 with $4,000 of that being grant funds. They are looking at buying rescue jacks for extrication with prices ranging from $8,997 to $11,499. An 800 radio will need to be replaced for $3,395 and the other 800 radios will need upgraded at $1,000 each. They have received their ISO (Insurance Services Office) report and have maintained their classification. Some of the areas they fell below in are just not feasible for a volunteer fire department to obtain. Negangard stated they will not be back for another 12 years unless they are requested to return and take another look. Board member DeDee Holiday said regarding Shawn Negangard that she has had several people compliment his good work as fire chief.

Sewer Department
Tony Wood stated the compliance schedules are good. He has taken steps to get approved by Indiana Department of Environmental Management to do all reporting online. President of the Board Linda Krinop will need to give authorization as signatory status to Wood. Each month he can still print a hard copy for council’s review. They are currently waiting on the farmers to get soy beans out of the fields to empty a couple of their tanks. Also, inflow dishes were installed.

Water Department

Chuck Gill stated they have been cleaning clarifiers. An ad will be put in the paper for flushing water hydrants the month of November and water may be roily.

Street Department

Steve Wilhoit stated they have started leaf pick up. There was a concern with the grass on the U.S. 421 project. The contractor put fertilizer on the grass again and with the rain it is doing much better. If there are still bad spots in the spring, they will come back and reseed. The surveyors have been in town the last few days for the new Sidewalk Project on U.S. 421 south of town. Wilhoit explained the reason they stop picking up leaves on November 21 is that they have to get the equipment switched over and ready for snow. They will pick up leaves after the 21st if they are placed in a bag.

Gas Department
Steve Wilhoit stated that USDI (Utility Safety and Design Inc.) will be coming in to install a safety device at the Napoleon pressure station and around regulator stations. After these items are completed, the town should be in good standing with the IURC. ADA complaint forms will be put on the town’s website for people to access. An ad will be put in the paper for the upcoming opening for the deputy clerk-treasurer/utilities clerk position. Applications can be picked up at the Town Hall until November 3.

Board members Norman Kappas and DeDee Holiday were present. Attorney Mary Ann Gay and Clerk-Treasurer Tammy Wilhoit were present to advise the board. The next regular meeting of the Osgood Town Board will be Tuesday, November 18 at 7 p.m.

Top jail position redefined

$16.5 million budget approved

Mary Mattingly

A $16.5 million budget was approved by Ripley County Council on Oct. 20. This included an additional $5,000 which was approved that evening for a newly defined county jail leader position.

Sheriff Rodney Stratton came to the council with an idea to streamline the department and requested the jail commander position be changed to jail administrator. This would also mean a salary increase for the position of about $5,000. The jail administrator would be a sworn officer instead of a civilian. That way, the jailer could take action on things he may observe in the jail, Stratton said. For example, if he walks by and observes a fight in progress or vandalism he could intervene rather than call for a deputy as it is now. And, rather than wait for a deputy to write the report and file charges, the administrator could do so, thereby freeing up the deputy for other tasks. “My contention is a jail administrator, a sworn officer, would be of benefit to the county and to the department,” Stratton said. “If you make this a sworn officer position, you get more benefit out of the person.” In 2003, the county had a jail administrator and a jail commander, but the administrator was eliminated when a new sheriff came on board. “I think if you’re only going to have one and not both, then a jail administrator would be of more benefit.” Stratton said it is a full-time position, but the hours could be flexible. He commented the administrator may prefer to overlap two shifts. The administrator would report to the chief deputy or sheriff. He also commented that bigger jails often have an administrator and it’s a high ranking position. The council unanimously agreed to the request with Bill McDonald, the current jail commander, abstaining. The position will be effective immediately. The base pay is $37,019.

Another staffing proposal was presented to council, but from the prosecutor. Ric Hertel said that council approved an investigator for 2015 at a salary of $37,800, but he would like to change that position to deputy prosecutor. He had requested funding for another deputy prosecutor for 2015, but it was not approved in the budget. Hertel was not asking for more money. He would like to hire someone with a law degree. “He or she will take care of those duties of investigator, such as talking to witnesses, field work and liaison with the sheriff’s department, but a lawyer also could handle court cases and charging information. The job description as is does not specify a law degree. ”I’m looking for innovative ways,” Hertel added, to better conduct the office. Hertel said this would be on a trial basis starting in January; however, after some discussion it was decided no action by council was necessary since the salary and job description remained the same. Hertel just wanted them to be aware of his plan. He also gave a heads up to council to expect to see him back at the start of the year requesting money for additional costs due to a murder case. He had asked for $20,000 for 2014 from the CAGIT funds to help with costs of three murder trials, but two of the cases reached a plea agreement; however, the third one won’t be heard this year due to an appeal in court. He doesn’t expect to need nearly $20,000, but will ask for some extra funding. The prosecutor also had several transfers of funds request, amounting to over $13,000. The money is already budgeted, he said. It was an oversight, and money was taken from an incorrect fund.

Clerk Requests
Mary Ann McCoy, the county clerk-treasurer, made a request for $98.69 for six hours worked overtime during the primary election by a deputy clerk; however, her office does not pay overtime but comp time. There was another worker absent so she could not take comp time as is typically suggested. It wasn’t deliberate but there was no one else in the office who could do the work during the busy election time, she explained. After some discussion and questions from the council about cross training and overtime, Bill McDonald moved to approve the request; however, three people voted against it: Dephane Smith, Ed Armbrecht and Ron Decker, and Brenda Wetzler abstained, so it did not pass. McCoy’s request for $612 to cover clerical costs during the election was tabled so they could advertise it. They’ll decide on it next month.

Parks and Recreation
George Bultman asked for a pay scale change for the assistant caretaker to $11 an hour. The caretaker would remain the same at $11 an hour; however, this exceeded the two percent salary increase for the assistant. Council approved a two percent increase for both positions.

Patrick Rose with EMA reported he is assisting the sheriff’s office with submitting an application for a $3,000 state Justice Assistance Program grant. He said the goal is to replace the sheriff’s radios. No matching funds are required.
The application is due October 31. The program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. JAG funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures.

Budget Adopted
The regular meeting of the council recessed and the budget hearing began. Beside the $16,541,209 budget for the county, they also adopted the solid waste budget at $1,054,377 and adopted the ordinance for the salary base. Commissioner Robert Reiners was there and thanked the council for their hard work on the budget, and did so without paying for a consultant. The budget will be sent to the state. When the budget hearing ended they went back into the regular council meeting for patron comments and committee reports. Jim Corbin, chief of the Ripley County EMS, spoke about the rescue units county contract, which was drafted and sent to the units for review. (The council had to adopt the budget first.) One unit has said they probably will sign it but wants an attorney to review it. Corbin said some issues were with use of the county paramedics, the billing company change and a three-year contract. Wording regarding adjoining county contracts also needs to be clarified. The units had asked for a 30 percent increase, but this drafted contract calls for a 10 percent increase from the county to the rescue units. “They understand if they do not sign it, they do not get money from the county,” Corbin reiterated. If it is not signed, they are prepared to move forward on the approved budget and would take the EMS funds to pay for additional costs to cover the runs, Corbin said.

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Supporting first responders, by Representative Randy Frye (page 4)
• LHS graduate and cancer victim [Lauren Hill] fights to play ball (page 7)
• Regional Wrap-Up: Motorcyclist killed (page 8)

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