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February 7, 2017 • Headline News
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Commissioners sign final papers on Milan Rescue 30 contract

Wanda English Burnett

At the January 31 meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners Scott Huffman, EMS director, came before the commissioners to answer any questions about the contract between the county and Rescue 30, Milan. They were all in agreement that the county will begin providing emergency response to the Rescue 30 area beginning February 1, 2017 per the contract. The Warranty Deed for the property in Milan that is used for the Rescue 30 operation was also provided.

A letter from Milan Rescue 30, Inc. to commissioners reads in part: “After long and tenuous consideration, the Board of Directors of Milan Rescue 30 Inc., made a unanimous decision to proceed with the proposal of Ripley County EMS assuming the 24/7 ambulance service utilizing the Milan Life Squad building.” It went on to say: “It is the belief of the board that working with the county to have a smooth transition is in everyone’s best interest. We are willing to work with the county in any way we possibly can to keep EMS in Milan.” They further said the county had the full support of the Town of Milan. Working together, both entities hope this will fill the gap for needed rescue medical service in the Milan town and surrounding areas. Commissioners approved the transition unanimously without much discussion.

Patrick Rose came before the commissioners to brief them on what the emergency management agency has been doing. A 1,000 watt all hazard weather radio booster was again on the report. Rich Corkhum, deputy director, is the coordinator for this project that will enhance the function of weather radios many citizens have in their homes in the county. In paperwork provided to the commissioners, it noted the county cost is estimated to be about $5,000 for a tower assessment. It does not include installation and shed construction. Rent for use of the tower is $3,600 a year. The National Weather Service will provide the booster with a value of around $3,000. The coverage area would include all of Ripley County, northern Switzerland County, southern Franklin County and western Dearborn County. The EMA will pursue a grant and are in the process of getting paperwork in order. Rose requested permission to apply for a grant for encrypted radios for the policing departments in the county. Commissioners voted yes across the board.

Kelly Vollet, technology director for the county, had all of her requests granted at the meeting. She noted that since the commissioners approved the change to Odyssey she would only need to request 66 new computers to replace all the computers that are approximately seven years old or older. The Lenovo brand, approved by the Technology Committee, was approved for a total of $67,978.68. The next items approved were the purchase of a copier for the county extension office for $7,175.00 and the prosecutor’s office for $4,410.00. Vollet advised that Boyer does not provide support for the phone system any longer and requested the commissioners sign a contract with ETC for $3,420.00 per year.

Superior court
Judge Jeff Sharp appeared to request approval to change the case management program now being used CSI to the state approved system, Odyssey. This is supplied through the State of Indiana Supreme Court’s Office of Appellate and Trial Court Technology.
With this system he noted the local courts would receive several items such as computers etc. with a value of $28,523.99 at no cost to the county. There would be no support cost to the county as the state provides this. Commissioners approved his request.

Historical society
Janice Wilson and Cheryl Welch, representing the Ripley County Historical Society, showed the commissioners the prototype of the plaque of the Ripley County Patriots of the Revolutionary War to be placed in the annex when completed.

Sheriff’s department
Sheriff Jeff Cumberworth advised his department has purchased a new transport van and was keeping the old one for backup as they are now making juvenile transports. He asked if the commissioners had made a decision on additional comp time for the deputies and was advised they have not made a decision yet.

Ginger Bradford, clerk, provided the commissioners with quotes from Jeff Hafft Contracting and Construction and The Poole Group, Inc. on the annex office completion. This would be for the Election Office and Coroner’s Office. This was tabled and not read until additional information and clarification was obtained.

Parks and recreation
Ken Bowling and Chris Schmaltz were given the go ahead to purchase a mower from Batesville Farm & Tractor Supply for $9,200.00. This money will come from EDIT-Parks funds.

Probation/court services
Shannon Schmaltz, director of court services, obtained grant signatures from the commissioners for a grant submission. He also requested signs be made and placed on the parking spaces for his vehicles and equipment in the annex parking lot. He was advised to have the county garage make reserved signs for him for the needed slots.

County highway
Highway Superintendent Ray Toops was given the go ahead to apply for a road crack sealer through a grant with the Town of Osgood. He also advised commissioners the concrete pad at the fairgrounds park would be poured as soon as the weather was agreeable. Foreman Pat Kissell requested a lift gate to install on a pickup truck for picking up debris and dead animals. He was granted the request to purchase the $4,000 piece of equipment. The grader lease property tax issue was discussed with Kissell saying he would contact John Deere and report back.

Next meeting
The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners is set for February 13 beginning at 7:00 a.m. at the county highway garage, then continuing at the courthouse annex at 8:00 a.m. The public is invited to these meetings and will see county government in action.

Editor’s note: This story was written from documents from the meeting and unofficial minutes. Things could change before the next meeting when the minutes are read and approved or amended.

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