?Brown and Mishler welcome challenges and opportunities PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:00
?    In separate luncheon interviews, new Washington County Board of Commissioners (BOC) members David Brown and John Mishler addressed what they see as the greatest opportunities and obstacles the county will be faced with over the next several years. Identical questions were asked of each Commissioner and those questions along with the respective answers are as follows:
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 10:54
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?FAA approves new airport plan PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:00
? ?    According to a copy of a letter addressed to Salem Municipal Airport Board of Aviation Commissioners (BOAC), Bill Barnett, “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is in receipt of plans which were submitted for the above-mentioned study (Salem Municipal Airport).  We have conducted an Aeronautical Study to determine the effect of the proposed airport layout plan on the safe and efficient utilization of navigable airspace by aircraft.
    Based on our study we offer no objection from an airspace utilization standpoint . . .”
    The letter, dated December 18, 2008, sets out several requirements that must be met after the construction of the facility is near completion that have to do with navigational beacons.  However, according to Barnett, those are normal regulations regarding the installation of beacons at an existing facility.
    In the ongoing conflict between the BOAC and the Salem Common Council (SCC), FAA approval has been a sticking point. In several meetings, members of the SCC have expressed concerns due to a lack of the approval.
    With the aforementioned approval and a supposedly solid financial arrangement to lease/purchase the current airport facility for an amount in excess of the estimated $800-$900 thousand price tag for the local match to the FAA and State of Indiana planning and construction grants, the path seems clear for the SCC to throw its support behind the project.
    President-elect Obama’s proposed stimulus package targets public works projects that are “shovel ready.”  That means any project that has met all of the regulatory requirements and are simply waiting for funding to become available.  The approval of the new Salem airport by the FAA, puts the it in that group of projects ready to begin.
    The proposed federal stimulus plan calls for identifying projects that have a multi-year financing schedule and shorten the cycle.  In theory, the projected five year time line for construction of the new airport facility could be shorten significantly by a increase in the amount of federal funding being offered each grant cycle.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 10:54
 
?Commissioners award property assessment contract PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:00
?    The Washington County Board of Commissioners met for the first time in 2009 on Wednesday, January 7; all members were present. The minutes of previous meeting, all claims and payroll were approved unanimously.
    County Attorney, Tom Scifres, conducted an election of the Board President for 2009. New Commissioners David Brown and John Mishler, nominated and seconded Lana Sullivan to serve as Board President.
    The Commissioners followed the recommendation of Washington County Assessor, Jason Cockerill, by awarding a contract for performing the upcoming property tax re-assessment. The contract, in the amount of $446,537, was award to Tyler Technologies of Dayton, OH. Last year, the State of Indiana eliminated the position of Township Assessor effective July 1. According to Cockerill, that action will save the county approximately $70,000 per year.
    When asked when property tax billing cycles would get back to normal, Cockerill said, “We should be back on schedule by fall unless the Department of Local Government Finance changes something in the process–spring tax bills might be just a little late, though.”
    In other business, the Commissioners made several appointments. One appointment of interest was that of County Service Officer. Following the County Council lead of funding one full-time position in the Veterans Affairs Office (VAO), the Commissioners appointed Pat Rice to the full time position. Recent controversy over Madge Lyles working in the VAO would seem to be put to rest by this appointment. Lyles and some of her supporters were present at the meeting and were heard by the Commissioners.
    The Commissioners also appointed Rick Graves to continue as Highway Superintendent. Graves’ recommendations for several positions within his department were also approved by the Commissioners.
    Mark Nantz of Knapp Miller Brown addressed the Commissioners regarding increases in the county employee contribution for family medical insurance. The employee share of the insurance premium went from $400 to $700 per month. Nantz explained the reason for the increase on that particular part of the dependent insurance but noted that the county as a whole was paying less.
    Sullivan noted that even though she has not heard from any county employees regarding the increase, it is of concern to her. Brown commented that when a person’s take home pay decreases that much, it hurts.
    The Commissioners authorized the purchase of a new server for the courthouse computer system. Apparently, concerns exist about the storage capacity and back up capabilities of the current server. The new service will cost $6598, the majority of which is likely to be paid out of the Recorder’s budget due to the large amount of server space that office uses in relation to the rest of the departments.
    Scifres gave the Commissioners an update on land acquisition efforts associated with Bridge #113 near Fredricksburg. According to Scifres the landowner has agreed to sell the parcel of land for $2500.
    With no further business to conduct, the Commissioners adjourned until their next regularly scheduled meeting on January 21.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 10:56
 
?County Council begins new year by tweeking budget PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 00:00
?    The Washington County Council met in its first regularly scheduled meeting of 2009 with all members present.  After one correction, the minutes of the previous meeting were approved unanimously.
    The first item of business was for reorganization of the Council by way of electing a Council President and Vice-President.  In a split vote, the Council elected Mark Manship as President and John Fultz and Vice-President.
    The Council heard from Washington County Prosecutor, Dustin Houchin, who explained his efforts thus far to cut expenses by turning over the responsibility of bad check collections to a secretary rather than a deputy prosecutor.  In addition, Houchin requested and received approval to distribute $3,252 of state money into education and travel expense funds for Adult Protective Services.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2009 11:18
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?Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship applications available PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 00:00
?    The Washington County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that it is time once again for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Applications are available to traditional seniors and non-traditional students and are available at the all three county high school guidance offices and the Washington County Community Foundation office.
    In order to qualify, high school students must be a resident of Washington County and must graduate from a Washington County high school or the Indiana Academy by the end of June 2009.  They also must have applied and been accepted to at least one accredited Indiana college or university to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course of study by the time the application is submitted to the Foundation.  Additional criteria being used to evaluate the applicant include GPA, SAT/ACT scores, Family Income and Financial Need, First generation college student, Extra Curricular activities, Community Service, Honors and Awards, Application, and Essay.
    Criteria for non-traditional applicants include having graduated from an accredited Indiana high school five or more years ago.  They must have applied to and been accepted by at least one accredited Indiana college or university to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course of study by the time the application is submitted to the Foundation.  Additional criteria being used to evaluate the applicant include less than one year of college credits, not currently attending college on a full time basis, demonstrated financial need, ability and motivation to attend college on a full time basis, current resident of Washington County, first generation college student, Community Service, Application, Essay, and recent SAT/ACT scores.
    All applications are due to the Washington County Community Foundation office no later than January 9,  at 3:30 p.m.  High school students should consult with their guidance office to determine the deadline at their school, as this deadline will be prior to the January 9 deadline. For more information please contact Lindsey Wade-Swift or Judy Johnson at 883-7334.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2009 11:21
 
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