GRACE House lease amended by county
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners, at its Feb. 9 meeting, agreed to amend the lease the county has with GRACE House.
GRACE House is a residential facility for individuals participating in a 12-step program following release from jail for drug-related offenses. However, nobody is currently living there due to fire-code issues brought to light last year.
The GRACE House board learned if the property is leased as a residential facility through a sublease and rental arrangement, it would be allowed to house people there.
The change was approved with it being noted the GRACE House board is responsible for property upkeep.
Also, the commissioners addressed questions regarding a vacant property in Marengo.
The Town of Marengo is making a concerted effort to improve the town’s appearance by enforcing ordinances already on the books. Decrepit, vacant properties are a major focus. The town sent a letter to the commissioners inquiring about a vacant Bradley Street property which the town council would like to have torn down.
The property went up for tax sale in 2015 with the county taking possession of the tax deed because it did not sell. However, it was never officially transferred to the county and remains in the owner’s name.
Attorney Marcus Burgher IV said the commissioners talked early last year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, about addressing numerous properties that haven’t sold at tax sale. He said the board would decide what to sell such properties for and could have a commissioners’ sale.
No decision was made at this time about how to address such properties. It was noted the Marengo council would have to decide if it wants to demolish the Bradley Street home.
The commissioners made appointments to two boards, both which had vacancies created by the recent deaths of members. Steve Calhoun was appointed to serve the remainder of Roscoe Hooten’s term, through Dec. 31, 2021, on the Blue River Regional Water District Board. Marvin Culver was appointed to the Leavenworth Fire District Board to succeed the late Gary Kemp; that term will conclude in January 2024.
EMS director Tim Farris brought up a parking issue. Some people are parking in a way that makes it difficult for ambulance crews to get out; Farris noted when the parking lot was ice-covered recently, one truck almost slid into a car parked in an area where it shouldn’t have been.
Drivers are also making it difficult for large trucks to access the unloading area for the jail.
The commissioners said they will post no-parking signs where appropriate and will send an email to county employees directing them to use the parking lot behind the judicial complex.
Commissioner Larry Ingle reported on a recent Emergency Management Agency board meeting. He said a new building is needed at the radio tower off S.R. 37 where the county’s main repeater is housed. The current structure has been damaged due to settling. Plans are to discuss putting up a pre-fabricated building with the county council.
Ingle said the county has an easement with the Town of English and said a rock road has been put in at the site.
The commissioners accepted annual bids with the exception of the Marathon fuel bid due to the tanks currently being owned by Premier.
Burgher will review a request for proposals for a new camera and security system for the jail. The county will then advertise for bids.
The board approved paid time off for a county employee who tested positive for COVID-19. It was noted all required paperwork had been submitted.
The commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the judicial complex in English.