By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
---- — The single bid received by the 9 a.m. Monday deadline to provide gas for Rush County Sheriff’s Department vehicles during 2014 was tabled following a brief discussion between sheriff Jeff Sherwood, the county leaders and the bid provider, a representative from Country Mark.
According to Sherwood, the bid figure submitted of $3.387 per gallon was nearly 50 cents higher than the figure he and the representative spoke of recently and the price agreed on to provide unleaded gas for the department during 2013.
According to the representative, gas prices fluctuate daily and weekly and since a price had not been previously agreed to and a contacted signed, the bid submitted for consideration Monday reflected current gas prices.
The county leaders will permit Sherwood to enter into an agreement with County Mark should gas prices be reduced prior to future commissioner meetings, although Sherwood cannot enter an agreement if prices continue to increase.
In an unrelated matter, the sheriff said that although the jail population increased as a result of five arrests during the recent weekend, the overall inmate population has remained relatively unchanged during the past two weeks. Currently, 34 individuals are being housed at the Rush County Jail including two serving Indiana Department of Correction time and two individuals being held without a bond being set.
Sherwood next turned his attention to a retiring deputy and his replacement. The sheriff explained that chief deputy Duane Raab, a 30 year veteran of the department, will be retiring at the end of 2013 and he asked that the department be able to replace him.
“I’m not asking to increase the staff, just to maintain the number of deputies we currently have,” Sherwood said.
He continued by explaining that the budget submitted for 2014 reflects the position and 2013 monies will not be effected. The county leaders agreed to allow Sherwood to begin the lengthy process of replacing the deputy.
In other matters, Commissioner Bruce Levi announced that longtime county fiber board member Tom Barnes recently announced that he is stepping down as the county appointed member. The county will advertise to fill the vacated position.
In a final matter, Ride Rush Director Wanda Henderson requested and received the necessary signatures for a 2014 INDOT Public Transportation Grant. The county leaders also signed a number of other documents pertaining to public transportation in Rush County.
Henderson said that since its inception locally (in January, 2008), ridership has posted annual increases in ridership and the demographic of riders has changed.
“Currently, 40 percent of our riders are over the age of 60 while 60 percent of our riders are under the age of 60. That is quite a change from when we began,” Henderson said.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106