Rushville Republican

January 28, 2014

Answers to frequently asked questions about life in Rush County


Rushville Republican

---- — Who do I contact if I need assistance feeding myself or my family?

There are three food pantries operating in Rush County.

The Rush County Community Assistance food pantry is staffed by trained volunteers and is located at 109 E. Third Street, Rushville. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Blue River Community Harvest is located roughly half a mile north of Carthage on the Carthage pike.

THE BRCH food pantry is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

BRCH offers more than just food; clothing and some furniture is also available to area residents in need.

Milroy United Methodist Church also operates a food pantry. For more information on hours and assistance, call 765-629-2683.

How is government structured in Rush County?

The Rush County Courthouse, located in the 100 block of N. Main Street, Rushville, serves as the seat of county government.

The courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Within the courthouse are the offices of the Rush County Commissioners, the Rush County-Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, the Rush County Health Department, the Rush County Surveyor’s office, the Rush County Emergency Management Agency, the Rush County Clerk’s office, the Rush County Treasurer’s office, the Rush County Auditor’s office, the Rush County Area Plan office, the Rush County Assessor’s office, the Rush County Recorder’s office, the Rush Circuit Court, Rush Superior Court, the Rush County Prosecutor’s office and the Mental Health America in Rush County office.

Here’s an overview of Rush County’s elected officials and their responsibilities.

The Rush County Board of Commissioners is a three-person panel which maintains an office on the first floor of the courthouse.

The commissioners are the county’s executive branch of government and the three officials have a myriad of duties.

The Rush County Council’s primary function is to review and approve the county’s annual budget and consider requests for additional appropriations that are brought to their attention from time to time.

The Rush County Clerk (765-932-2086) is responsible for receiving, docketing, and keeping records for all civil, criminal, probate, guardianship, and adoption records for the two local courts.

The clerk’s office is also responsible for all small claims, plenary, and criminal and traffic cases.

Responsibilities of the clerk’s office include garnishments, judgments paid, monies placed in trust, support funds, issuing marriage licenses and handling passport applications.

The clerk is also responsible for maintaining voter registration lists, purging voter lists, conducting elections and collecting probation fees.

The Rush County Treasurer (765-932-2386) is responsible for all money coming into the county.

Other duties include collecting real estate, personal property, inheritance and gross income taxes, and administering county investments.

The Rush County Recorder (765-932-2388) records the various types of deeds, mortgages, contracts, federal tax liens, plats, military discharges, surveys, and Uniform Commercial Code liens.

The Rush County Auditor (765-932-2077) is secretary to the county commissioners and the county council.

The auditor is responsible for paying all claims and handling the bookkeeping for the county.

This office also prepares tax duplicates and audits tax books after collection.

Other responsibilities this office handles includes keeping records of all property owners and making transfers of owners for tax collection.

The auditor also handles the county’s payroll.

The Rush County Assessor (765-932-3242) is responsible for determining the value of land and buildings for tax purposes.

The assessed figures are submitted to the auditor’s office for taxes.

The assessor also plays a role in figuring inheritance taxes, plus has the authority to review lock box contents for estate purposes.

The Rush County Health Department (765-932-3184) serves all city and county residents and consists of three divisions: Nursing, vital records and environment.

The department routinely sponsors free health screenings and immunization clinics.

The Rush County Surveyor (765-932-3184) has many duties including maintenance of survey maps, accepting surveys from licensed surveyors, locating section corners and recording them, and maintaining and reconstructing regulated county drains and record such repairs.

In addition, the surveyor provides section corner locations; provides watershed data to the county highway department; and provides information from topographical, aerial, flood plain, and gas well maps.

The Rush County Coroner has several responsibilities including the investigation of any deaths considered suspicious in nature and issuing death certificates.

The Rush County Area Plan office (765-932-3090) is responsible for planning and enforcing local zoning and subdivision control ordinances.

The APC executive director also is responsible for inspecting all new construction and issuing building permits.

The APC executive director serves as the secretary to the Area Plan Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals and is appointed by the Rush County Commissioners.

How is government structured in Rushville?

Rushville is governed by a mayor, an elected five-person Common Council and an appointed five-member Board of Public Works and Safety and Unsafe Hearing Board.

The mayor acts as the chief executive officer and town manager. Most often, the mayor heads any committees or other official bodies involved with economic development, expansion of city boundaries or services and matters involving personnel.

The mayor’s office is located in City Hall, 133 W. First Street, Rushville. The mayor can be reached at 765-932-3735.

The Common Council is the city’s legislative body. The council is responsible for drafting and passing ordinances involving public safety and well-being.

Like the mayor, members of the Council are elected to four-year terms of office.

In addition to the mayor and Council, city residents’ tax dollars are tracked, recorded, and invested by the city clerk-treasurer following the recommendations of the Council.

As well, the city clerk-treasurer also takes official minutes of meetings involving the Board of Public Works and Safety and the Common Council.

The clerk-treasurer also keeps accounts of public business conducted by city government.

The Board of Public Works and Safety discusses matters of public safety and passes on its recommendations to the Common Council for further consideration and action.

They also review contracts for services with outside firms performing work for the city.

The board also acts as the hearing authority for the city’s unsafe building ordinances, lets public bids, and is responsible for the hiring of all city employees including police and fire personnel.

The City Utility Service Board is a five-member board that oversees the management and safety of the city’s water supply and the adequate environmental treatment of sanitary sewage.

This board is semi-independent of other city government and is self-supported by consumer rate charges and fees.

A six-member Board of Parks and Recreation oversees the parks and recreational facilities within the city.

The board oversees activities at all city-owned parks, the swimming pool and city-owned ball fields.

In addition, the mayor has the authority to appoint the city’s fire and police chiefs, the streets commissioner and the animal control warden.

Is Rushville the only incorporated town in Rush County?

No, there’s also Glenwood and Carthage.

Both are governed by a town board of elected representatives and a clerk-treasurer.

Is there a safe place where local children can spend time?

The Boys & Girls Club of Rush County, 1590 N. Sexton Street, Rushville (765-932-2765) has been a safe haven for children for a great many years.

The Club provides guidance, education and a variety of programs for local children between the ages of 5 and 19.

The interested in joining can visit the front counter of the facility, fill out an application and pay their membership dues: $25 per child for one calendar year.

Families unable to pay the membership fee should discuss the matter with CFO William Walker. The local Club operates under the premise that no child will be denied access because of an inability to pay.

During the school year, the Club is open from after school till 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 6 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. (Closed Sunday.)

On school vacation days the facility opens at 8 a.m. and remains open until 4 p.m.

During summer break, hours of operation are generally 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Where can I go if I need help paying my bills?

To find out what assistance may be available, Rush County residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1.

The township trustees also have some discretionary funds for temporary assistance. Call the Rush County Clerk’s office (765-932-2086), located on the second floor of the Rush County Courthouse, for information on how to contact the trustee in your area.

Also, the Salvation Army provides emergency assistance to persons in need. Call the Rushville Police Department (765-932-3901) for more information about this avenue of assistance.

Is local help available for victims of domestic violence?

Rush County has a victim’s assistance program in place and recently opened the county’s first domestic violence shelter, Phoenix House, at 924 N. Main Street, Rushville.

Barbara Kuhn serves as executive director of Rush County Victims Assistance, Inc. and can be reached by phone at 765-938-1555.

Other services offered by the RCVA include court support, advocate counseling, legal and social services, counseling referrals, community workshops and volunteer opportunities.

Other numbers of importance are Rush County Child Protection services (765-932-2392), Rush Memorial Hospital (765-932-4111), Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (800-332-7385), National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233), and the Prevent Child Abuse Indiana Careline (800-962-2798).

What recycling options are available in Rush County?

Rushville provides a free recycling program for city residents.

Recycle containers are provided at no charge and may be picked up at the Rushville Street Department, located in the 500 block of East Ninth Street.

The green plastic containers should be placed at curbside for collection early Friday morning.

The county has provided a central location for residents to drop off recyclable materials in the 100 block of East Water Street. A partitioned dumpster is available for a variety of materials and “clean” paper products can be placed in another on-site receptacle.

Paper products collected from the central collection site are hauled away at no fee; hauling for other items placed in the partitioned dumpster must be paid for by the county.

Newspapers and magazines are heavy and add to hauling costs, so county residents are encouraged to place them in the clean paper receptacle rather than the co-mingled dumpster.

The county also has a tox-away center located at the Smiley Avenue transfer station, 225 S. Smiley Avenue (next to the Animal Shelter).

The pollution prevention center provides county residents a safe way to properly dispose of household hazardous materials and is open from 8 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month.

For unwanted or out of date prescription medication: Take these types of materials to the Rushville Police Department or the Rush County Sheriff’s Department.

Leave medication in the original container, especially narcotics so they can be easily identified for proper chain-of-custody logging and disposal.

There is no cost and no questions will be asked.

Old electronics and related items may be disposed of the first Saturday of each month at the previously mentioned tox-away center on S. Smiley Avenue, Rushville.

There is a nominal fee for the disposal of some items including computer monitors and televisions.

Plastic grocery-store type bags are best recycled at supermarkets and other retail outlets that accept them.

As for batteries, small disposable batteries (ni-cads, lithiums, etc.) should be placed in the collection box located next to the vending machines just inside the First Street entrance of the courthouse.

Walmart and Radio Shack also have collection boxes for these types of batteries.

Alkaline batteries are very little threat to the environment, since they no longer contain mercury, and can be put in your regular trash.

Acid-based batteries should be taken to the tox-away center on the first Saturday of the month.

For more information about local recycling options and programs contact Clean Green Rush at 765-938-1342 or visit www.cleangreenrush.org and click on the “What Do I Do With ...” tab.

How do I get my utilities turned on?

Rushville City Utilities, 601 W. Third St., Rushville, provides water and sewage service.

The office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A deposit must be paid at the time of application for residential service. This fee varies depending on the size or type of residence.

In Carthage, visit Town Hall, 6 W. First Street, to apply for water and sewage services. The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A deposit is required; it may be paid at the Carthage Clerk’s office.

Glenwood residents should contact the Glenwood Water Works, 208 W. Pearl Street. The office does not maintain full-time hours. Call 765-679-5906 or 765-561-6289 for assistance.

Service can usually be started with 24 hours.

A deposit, initial start-up fee and a signed contract are required before service begins.

The Anderson Township Regional Sewer District, 204 W. South St., Milroy, can be reached at 765-629-2913.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A deposit is required for service.

The Western Rush County Regional Water & Sewer District services much of western Rush County including the communities of Arlington, Homer and Manilla.

This utility is headquartered at 6682 W 235 S, Homer. The phone number is 765-663-5871.

How do I register to vote?

You must meet statutory requirements to register to vote.

You have to be 18 on or before the General Election being held during any given year. You must also be a citizen of the United States of America, and resident of Indiana and a resident of the county where you are registering for at least 30 days prior to the election in which you wish to vote.

There are numerous ways to register to vote.

The two easiest ways to register are at the Rush County Clerk’s office on the second floor of the Rush County Courthouse or at the nearest Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office.

A voter registration must be filled out and signed.

You will be asked to show your identification; a driver’s license or state-issued I.D. card are both acceptable forms of meeting this requirement.

If you do not have either of these then you may use the last four digits of your Social Security number.

The county clerk’s office will process your voter registration application and send you an acknowledgment card. This is your receipt for registering and will note what precinct you live in and where you will vote on election day.

All license branches will allow you to register to vote if you are there for one of the following reasons: When applying for or renewing your driver’s license; when applying for a photo I.D.; when completing the driver’s license mail-in renewal application; or when changing your address through the BMV’s website.

What are local health care options?

Rush Memorial Hospital and Family Health Services, Inc. provide health care to area residents.

Rush Memorial Hospital is located at 1300 N. Main Street, Rushville. Call 765-932-4111 or check your phone book for the numbers to specific departments at RMH.

Services and departments available include ambulance/EMS, athletic trainer, blood disorders, cancer care, cardiology services, diabetic education, emergency department, extended hours, imaging, infusion clinic, in-patient nursing, laboratory, massage therapy, nutritional services, occupational health, orthopedics, pediatrics, Pro-time clinic, rehabilitation therapy, surgical associates, skilled care, sleep study, SmartSkin, smoking cessation, social services, surgical services, visiting specialists and volunteer programs.

Family Health Services, Inc. is located at 509 Harcourt Way, Rushville and provides health care for all ages.

For an appointment call 765-932-3699.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Closed for lunch noon to 1 p.m. every business day.

Services include pre-natal care and hospital delivery by board certified obstetricians, well-baby and well-child exams, care during menopause, routine physical exams for adult, health care when you are sick, free childhood immunizations, free childhood lead screening, women’s health exams, free pregnancy testing, disability physicals, chronic disease management, smoking cessation education, assistance with Medicare D, assistance with medications, assistance in completing Hoosier Healthwise application, appropriate referrals, evening appoints available, mental health services available.

There are also two chiropractors practicing locally: Dr. James Todd and Dr. Darrin Wallace.

Dr. Todd operates Rushville Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Clinic at 312 N. Main Street, Rushville. His phone number is 765-932-4444.

Dr. Wallace’s office is located at 1520 N. Main Street, Rushville and his phone number is 765-932-5600.

Persons in need of mental health assistance may contact the Dunn Center, 201 Harcourt Way, Rushville. The phone number is 765-932-3974.

Harcourt Counseling Services is located at 121 E. Third Street, Rushville. Their phone number is 765-932-5905.

Mental Health America in Rush County maintains an office on the third floor of the Rush County Courthouse. Their phone number is 765-932-2004.

Centerstone also provides a variety of mental health related services. Centerstone is located at 201 Conrad Harcourt Way, Suite A, Rushville. You can contact Centerstone at 765-932-3974.

What is the process for getting a building permit in Rush County?

There are various types of building permits.

Keep in mind that all permits must meet state requirements including a design release if necessary.

Requests for permits must include a diagram and, depending on the type of building permit, the diagram must include a septic plan or include a letter of hook-up with the proper utility provider.

Also required is a plan showing setbacks.

The next step is to submit an application and pay the necessary fee to the Rush County Area Plan Commission office located on the second floor of the Rush County Courthouse.

If the permit sought requires a variance or a special exceptions you must appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Fees vary depending on the type of building or structure permit that is sought.

Permits are required for new or reconstruction improvements including rewiring projects, additional plumbing, pools, decks, garages, sheds and regarding either the placement of new signs or changes to existing signs.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting the APC office on the second floor of the county courthouse or by calling 765-932-3090. The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What parks are available in my area?

There are several parks available throughout Rush County.

Carthage has two parks: Veterans Park and McNabb Community Park.

Veterans Park, located at Main and Mill Streets in Carthage, was established in 2000. It includes a gazebo with benches and a monument commemorating veterans.

McNabb Park is located at the corner of Walnut and Log Streets in Carthage.

The long-established park was named in honor of Dr. McNabb, who took care of Carthage and surrounding residents for many years.

There are six parks in the city of Rushville.

North Veterans Memorial Park is located north of Rushville Consolidated High School. Waggener Community Pool, the Bob Sheppard Horseshoe Courts, a fitness trail, picnic areas, open shelters and playground equipment can all be found in this park.

South Veterans Memorial Park is located between Jackson and Sexton Streets and Ninth and 11th Streets. Facilities include basketball courts, a shelter house, restrooms, a gazebo, fitness trail, open shelters and picnic tables.

Community Park is located on Fort Wayne Road, on Rushville’s east side. Features include a shelter house, restrooms and playground equipment.

Laughlin Park is located on Rushville’s west side, at Second and Spencer Streets. This park has baseball and softball diamonds, a shelter house, basketball courts, playground equipment and picnic tables.

Willkie Park is located in the 200 block of N. Main Street, Rushville. It features a gazebo, benches and is home to Santa’s workshop during the Christmas holiday season.

Riverside Park is located along the north side of Flatrock River, west of Main Street and south of Water Street. This “primitive” park’s lone feature is Riverside Park Amphitheater, where a series of free summer concerts are performed annually.

For information about renting a shelter house or hosting a special event in one of Rushville’s parks contact City Hall at 765-932-3735.

Who is responsible for maintaining roads in the county?

The Rush County Highway Department, located on State Road 44 approximately one mile east of Rushville, (765-932-2926) is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all county roads.

The highway superintendent works in conjunction with the Rush County Commissioners in the upkeep and maintenance of the county’s many bridges.

What does the local Extension office do?

The Rush County-Purdue Cooperative Extension Service office is located on the first floor of the Rush County Courthouse (765-932-5974).

The Extension office provides support to the community in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, home economics, public policy, health and 4-H.

The office operates by way of a grant from Purdue University.

Is there a local Chamber of Commerce?

Yes. The Rush County Chamber of Commerce is located at 315 N. Main Street, Rushville.

The phone number is 765-932-2880.

The Chamber of Commerce shares the building with the Rush County United Fund (765-932-4191) and the Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation (765-932-3232).

How do I contact law enforcement?

In the event of an emergency call 911 and the nearest law enforcement agency’s dispatch center will assist you.

The Rushville Police Department, 270 W. 15th Street, Rushville, can be contacted in non-emergency situations at 765-932-3907.

When the dispatcher answers it is important that you clearly tell them your name, the nature of the call, and the location of the problem.

The Rush County Sheriff’s Department, 133 W. First Street, Rushville, can be contacted at 765-932-2931.

Deputies from the RCSD frequently assist members of the RPD and the town marshals in Glenwood and Carthage.

Who do I contact if I have a fire?

In the event of a fire, both city and county residents should call 911.

The 911 service is designed to get the quickest and most efficient response from all emergency responders.

Aside from the Rushville Fire Department there are a number of volunteer fire departments throughout the county. They are most readily dispatched via the Rush County Sheriff’s Department at 765-932-2931.

Each residential structure in Rush County is required to have working smoke detectors and it is recommended that all occupants of homes and apartments have a working escape plan in place that is known by all of the occupants in the event of a fire.

The plan should provide for two exits from every room in the residence with a pre-designed meeting place outside the home or apartment.

Once outside, call 911 and do not re-enter the building.

It is recommended that each residential building also have a working fire extinguisher that is tested and annually recharged or replaced to be used in extinguishing small and/or contained fires.

How is the local school system set up?

With the exception of the northwest corner of Rush County, which is served by the Charles A. Beard School Corporation, Rush County is served by the Rush County Schools Corporation.

RCS elementary-aged children attend one of the following schools - Arlington Elementary, Mays Elementary, Milroy Elementary, Rushville Elementary East, Rushville Elementary West - depending on where the child lives.

St. Mary School is a private elementary school located at Fifth and Perkins Streets, Rushville.

Seventh and eighth-graders attend Benjamin Rush Middle School, located on North Sexton Street, Rushville.

Students in grades nine to 12 attend Rushville Consolidated High School.

Questions about the local school system may be addressed to the superintendent at 765-932-4186.

Are there education opportunities for adults in Rush County?

Yes. Ivy Tech College Cooperative provides a wide range of learning opportunities.

Visit 126 S. Main Street, Rushville or call 765-932-7191. For more information on enrolling for the summer or fall semesters or exploring Ivy Tech degree programs go online to ivytech.edu/richmond.

How do I get cable television hooked up?

COMCAST is the primary provider of cable television services in Rush County. Check the phone book for the best number to call.