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Council approves major expenditures

December 03, 2008
The Crawford County Council voted 7-0 Nov. 18 to approve $200,000 from the county's Orange County Wagering Fund to pay unpaid bills within the county highway department, fuel costs and bridge projects from this year.

Larry Bye, president of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, made the request, saying the county has had a lot of expenses, especially in regard to bridge repairs, and has received less gas tax money than usual because of a decrease in driving due to high fuel costs.

The council's OK was contingent upon the commissioners' approval, as allocations from the Orange County Wagering Fund must be approved by both bodies. The commissioners gave their OK at their Nov. 25 meeting.

Bye also requested that $45,000 of the remaining $55,322 of bituminous funds from District 1, which Bye represents, be allowed to be used for the downtown Milltown bridge project. Bye said current invoices from the project total $20,600, he said, adding he wanted to leave $10,000 in the fund for emergencies.

In another matter, Bye asked the council to pay Richard Sharp as a contract employee $15 per hour to complete the county's platting.

"It seems like we come up every few months where we're behind on our platting, we can't get our reassessment done," he said.

Sharp, Bye noted, has 30 years of experience doing platting.

"It's unfair (for) some taxpayers to be paying on 2002 assessed valuation and some paying on 2008 assessed valuation," he said.

The county has attempted to have others help complete the platting in the past, but the job has been too big and hasn't been completed, Bye said.

Council President Jerry Brewer added the platting is necessary so the firm doing the county's trending can complete its job and the county can fulfill its agreement with the state to correct the county's reassessment.

The council chose to provide $3,000 from the county's Riverboat Wagering Fund to pay Sharp through the end of the year and then make a decision regarding funding for 2009 based on the commissioners' recommendation. As a contract employee, Sharp will not receive any benefits.

The council also increased the 2009 salaries of the county jailers and Nicole Wright, a deputy in the Surveyor's Office. The council had discussed doing so when it considered the county's 2009 budget, but forgot to make the change.

The jailers will receive $555.10 extra next year, making their pay equal to that of the county's dispatchers, while Wright will be bumped up to the pay of a first deputy in the courthouse.

The council, after listening to a brief presentation, regarding how Blue River Services Inc.'s Southern Indiana Transit System provides low-cost public transportation to many Crawford County residents, agreed to provide a $5,000 match.

The match, from the county's Riverboat Wagering Tax Fund, will be leveraged by BRS so SITS can receive several times that in state and federal subsidies.

In other business, the council:

•Voted to provide $8,500 for several requests by Crawford County Emergency Management Agency Director Kent Barrow.

The council agreed to allocate $4,500 from the Orange County Wagering Fund for 10 headsets for the new console system in Central Dispatch. The commissioners must also agree to using the funds.

The council also provided $4,000 of regular riverboat funds to pay for a weather station and cost associated with purchasing and relocating the former car lot building in front of the Crawford County Judicial Complex to store communications equipment.

•Were notified by Sheriff Tim Wilkerson that two deputies have left, and, as a result, Deputy Debbie Young is giving up her remaining 96 hours of vacation time. Wilkerson requested that $1,216 be transferred to the Vacation Fund so she can be paid for the lost vacation time. The council agreed to do so.

Wilkerson also provided the council revenue totals for housing Department of Correction offenders at the county jail. Since February 2007, the county has billed the state $730,380 (the state pays $35 per day per offender) and has been paid $576,590, with $153,790 outstanding.

•Approved advertised additional appropriation requests, as well as transfer requests.

The council, however, tabled requests from the Prosecutor's Office to transfer $3,500 of the Prosecutor's IV-D Incentive Fund to personnel services, to provide employees extra pay. It also tabled a request to give the department's child support employee a $5,000 salary increase, of which 66 percent would be reimbursed by the state.

•Announced that their next regular meeting will be Dec. 9 at the Crawford County Judicial Complex at English. It will begin at 6 p.m.

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Barbara Shaw
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