The county commissioners met recently and county highway superintendent Jerry Sitton was pleased to announce that his department now has fiber optic lines that are operational. According to county IT Randy Herbert, the county highway now has considerably faster internet access.
In an unrelated matter, Sitton said that the cost of snow removal and keeping county roads has come with a steep price since Jan. 1 with more than 200,000 pounds of sand utilized as well as additional labor hours by county highway employees.
Herbert then addressed security issues at the court house and said that grant monies were available to purchase additional security cameras for the courthouse. Herbert said that if approved, additional cameras would be placed outside the north and east sides of the courthouse as well as in the elevator. He continued by saying that the elevator has recently been vandalized and he feels the additional security could curb such activity. No action was taken and the matter will be revisited at a future meeting.
In other matters, Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey spoke to the county leaders and said he believes there is a need to look at existing city and county codes regarding unsafe buildings and zones.
According to Pavey, some of the current ordinances are dated and may not serve the public’s best interest. He continued by saying that Wheatfield has worked at the state level for a number of years and is familiar with state zoning and building code issues.
He continued by saying that he anticipates county Area Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Executive Director Kevin Tolloty will ultimately be responsible for much of the additional work load involved with inspections following implementation of the expected new ordinances.
“If Kevin (Tolloty) is going to take on additional responsibility, I believe it is safe to assume we should expect additional compensation is in order. We need to look at how much the city contributes to that,” Pavey said.
Commissioner Mark Bacon said that the county would also look at future budgets in that regard.
“We need to explore the situation and see if it’s what we (the city and county) are looking for and the cost to taxpayers,” Bacon said.
In a final matter, chief deputy Terry Drake said the Rush County Jail currently houses 40 inmates; six are being held no bond set and only four of those incarcerated are facing misdemeanor charges while 36 are charged with felony counts resulting in higher bonds.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.