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Commissioners upgrading Dispatch Office

New equipment will cost $148,000

June 11, 2008
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners recently considered purchasing $148,000 worth of equipment to upgrade the County Dispatch Office.

The three-member board, meeting May 29, asked County Attorney John E. Colin to review contracts to purchase a two-position console (expandable to 16 positions) for $120,000 built by Motorola from Tri-State Communications, as well as the software needed for the console.

The CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) software needed for the console will cost another $20,000, bringing the total to $148,000, and would be purchased from WTH Engineering Inc.

The County Council earlier approved using Orange County riverboat gaming funds to purchase the equipment, but use of those funds also requires approval from the commissioners.

"This will actually bring Dispatch up to where it should have been years ago," Crawford County Emergency Management Agency Director Kent Barrow said.

Crawford County Chief Deputy Sheriff Andy Beals said the county's dispatchers currently document everything by hand — the only ones in the state to do so — which is a "huge liability." This system, he said, would prevent that, because everything would be computerized and linked together.

Steve Doter of Tri-State Communications said the new console system would also be safer during lightning storms because the high voltage equipment would be kept outside, lessening the chances for a lightning strike in the dispatch office.

He added it would take about 60 days from the date the commissioners approve the contract for the new system, which is custom-built by Motorola, to be installed.

In another matter, Larry Bye, president of the board, said language problems with the contract concerning the repair of Bridge No. 129 (the curved bridge) at Milltown, which has been closed for weeks, stalled repair work.

He said the scope of the work, to be performed by Gohmann Asphalt and Construction Inc., has changed, with a better fix now to be done. However, the price increased to $48,556, from $38,921, but, Bye noted, that is still less expensive than the other quote the county received.

"And they are going to start within 72 hours," he said, adding the project should take about two weeks.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Were informed by Crawford County Economic Development Director Don DuBois that he submitted the application to the state for the county to become a Shovel Ready economic development site.

Shovel Ready status will put the county ahead of other locations in the state because it speeds up the permitting at the state level. Such sites are few, with only 30 in the state.

"A lot of people (including courthouse employees) worked a lot of hours on this," he said.

DuBois said he believes the application is a strong one.

"It would be in my estimation very hard to turn down," he said.

•Voted 3-0 to approve DuBois being an independent contractor and giving him control of the balance of the 2008 Economic Development budget — $48,857 — from June 1 through Dec. 31. He is responsible for paying all of the office's expenses.

•Voted 3-0 to release the mortgage on the former Poe Lumber Co. property in Marengo that had been tied up in litigation for years. The commissioners a year ago reached an agreement with Steve Haley, who also claimed ownership of the property, stipulating that it be sold within a year, and if it wasn't, he could purchase it from the county for $32,500, which he has done.

Bye said the county had been storing its road chips for the winter in the building, and proposed the $32,500 be used to repair a building at Marengo and to move another one on the western end of the county for storage. The other commissioners agreed.

•Voted 3-0, pending Colin's review, to approve a supplemental agreement for engineering services provided by Beam, Longest and Neff for work done on County Bridge No. 139 at Milltown.

•Voted 3-0 to approve a three-year contract with Maximus Financial Services, at a rate of $2,900 per year, in assisting the county in recovering lost revenue.

•Voted 3-0 to allow Bye, as president, to sign a grant application for Hoosier Hills PACT to again apply for Indiana Criminal Justice Instate funds for a program at Crawford County Junior High School. The application requires no matching dollars from the county.

•Were asked by Madison Seib, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security District 10 administrator, to make appointments to various committees that represent the 12 counties within the district. The commissioners are expected to do so later.

•Were asked by a WTH official to consider Patoka Lake Regional Water District's request to exchange data. Patoka is asking for the county's GIS information in return for it giving the county the location of its water lines.

Colin is to review the proposed agreement, which would be on an annual basis.

•Voted 3-0 to give Crawford County Ambulance Service Director Debbie Wiseman either a surplus laptop computer or new desktop computer in exchange for her providing the county the home computer on which she stored records.

Wiseman said she violated no privacy laws since the records were password protected, and added that she had no choice because the Ambulance Service didn't have a computer and Internet access at the time.

Commissioner Randy Gilmore, however, disagreed.

"Under no circumstances … it shouldn't have gone to that," he said.

•Approved, 3-0, having Bye, as president, sign the title on a 2004 Ford cruiser the Crawford County Sheriff's Department recently purchased from Floyd County.

The commissioners also voted 3-0 to allow Bye to sign the title on a 2003 cruiser the department may buy from Floyd County.

•Voted 3-0 to apply to get a Voyager fuel card for Barrow, the Crawford County EMA Director.

•Voted 2-1 (Gilmore abstained) to have Colin contact Jim Montgomery, who served as the county's prosecuting attorney from 2003 through 2007, regarding missing law books from the office. Montgomery, who once agreed to reimburse the county the $1,700 cost of the books, has since changed his mind. Colin is to ask him to reconsider or notify him the county may look into other options.

•Voted 3-0 to make direct deposit of county employee payroll checks optional.

•Announced their next meeting will be Thursday, June 26, at the Crawford County Judicial Complex at English. The public meeting will be at 9:30 a.m., and will be preceded by an 8 a.m. closed executive session.

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