The Rush County Commissioners met recently for the first time of 2013.
New commissioners Bruce Levi (central district) and Mark Bacon (southern district), along with fellow county leader Ken Masters, addressed the business before them.
Masters nominated Levi to serve as chairman of the Board of Commissioners and the motion passed.
Masters was then nominated to serve as vice-chairman for 2013. This also passed.
The trio next turned their attention to making appointments to various boards.
Bacon will serve as the county representative on the Area Plan Commission; he will also serve on the Animal Control Board.
Levi will serve on the Rush County Health Board and the Emergency Management Board.
Masters will serve on the ECDC Board, Ag Committee and the Work Force One Board.
Former commissioner Tom Barnes will serve on the county Fiber Board and Bacon, Levi and Masters will serve collectively on the Ride Rush Board (Rush County Public Transportation), Clean Green Rush Solid Waste, Drainage and RMH Hospital boards.
The county leaders then heard county IT Randy Herbert’s request to begin replacing computers in the courthouse. According to Herbert, a complete replacement of equipment will take four to five years and the first phase will be replacing computers in the county clerk’s office. The initial purchase includes 20 units at a cost of $650 each.
County treasurer Cindy Humphrey was next to speak. According to Humphrey, the county has less monies in reserve to begin 2013 than 12 months earlier. Humphrey said that although Rush County is beginning 2013 with less monies, so are counties throughout the state.
Rush County ended 2012 with $1,392,468.67 in the General Fund compared to $1,730,037.71 a year earlier, a decrease of $337,569.04.
Humphrey and the county leaders cited the economy as the major contributor to the loss in monies and said that the county will go forward with what monies are available.
“We are better off than many counties and our investments are safe,” commissioner Masters said.
In other matters, the county leaders agreed to a request from clerk Debbie Richardson to continue a $9,500 annual contract with Micro-Vote for programming and future upgrades to the county’s voting system. Richardson contended that although 2013 is a non-election year, the contract serves as an insurance policy of sorts and noted that during election years the county is assured of upgrades to programing and technical needs.
“We get our money’s worth. It is a good safeguard for the county,” Richardson said.
Sheriff Jeff Sherwood was next to have the commissioners attention. According to Sherwood, the inmate population at the jail is again increasing with the facility currently housing 43 inmates.
“Officers arrested 11 individuals during the past weekend and they have not been to court yet,” the sheriff said.
He next turned his attention to a heating issue at the jail. An 18-year-old boiler at the jail used for heating purposes is experiencing problems and it is unclear at this time if the piece of equipment is in need of replacement, according to Sherwood.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106