Scott County Commissioners had yet another full agenda for their first business meeting on February. Kelley Robbins, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, called the meeting to order with only Commissioner Mike Jones to keep him company.
Commissioner Bob Tobias was tied up with another matter but made it to the meeting less than an hour later.
Officials plowed through items in a fairly brisk manner at first, approving several service contract renewals with the Scott County Economic Development Corporation, the Scott County EMS clinical affiliation and workers’ compensation insurance. They even got through the Maximus contract with Circuit Court in a fairly short time after Judge Jason Mount explained to them that the firm seeks child support payments from responsible parties in IV-D cases. Two-thirds of what is recovered returns to the county.
Judge Mount also advised Commissioners that he had contacted state legislators in an attempt to attach Scott County to a bill which would approve a local magistrate’s court.
That court’s judge would be able to conduct initial hearings on criminal cases and handle other issues, thus allowing the Circuit and Superior Court judges more time to move bigger cases more quickly through the local system. If the magistrate’s court is allowed, Judge Mount said, it would not activate until January 1, 2018.
As the meeting progressed, Commissioner Robbins announced that there would be no update that morning on the proposed jail renovation/building project from the contracted firm DLZ. “They are still working the numbers on it,” he told those gathered.
That subject was of interest to Scott County Councilmen Mike Zollman and Eric Gillespie, who were in attendance as was retired councilman Raymond Jones.
What bogged down Commissioners briefly was a $4,700 bill from the company which installed the new jail’s elevator last year. The bill covered two trips by the firm to the county jail for needed repairs when the elevator stopped working. After talking with Sheriff Dan McClain and Chief Jailer Doug Herald about the issue, they tabled that claim until more information could be obtained about the elevator’s warranty.
They also recommended to the Sheriff that he locate a service company for the elevator.
Commissioners approved adding a dumpster for recyclable materials at the jail.
A quote to move a safe from the current Health Department to the old John Jones building was presented by Michelle Goodin, Health Department Administrator. It was approved. She also advised Commissioners that she had no update on the renovation of the John Jones building into new Health Department headquarters.
Goodin and Health Inspector Tim Brunner presented a proposed ordinance to force owners of neglected properties to clean them or face having the cost to clean them added as liens on the properties. Some discussion was held over the fact that the Scott County Area Plan Commission (APC) also has an ordinance covering some of these issues. Commissioners approved the ordinance but requested that Brunner meet with APC Executive Director April Ramoni to compare the two so that they do not overlap.
The ordinance must be legally published in these Green Banner newspapers with a wait period of 30 days before it takes effect.
Brunner also went over the procedure to file a complaint about a residence or site with the Health Department. Complaints may be phoned to the department, but written complaints are also accepted, they learned.
“We can’t start acting on an issue until we receive a formal complaint,” Brunner explained.
Umang Patel, a local businessman who owns two sandwich shops and two motels in Scottsburg, was named to the Scott County Visitors Commission.
The county’s long-awaited auction will be held at the old John Jones facility on U.S. Highway 31 North in March. Unsure of the need for advertising the event legally, Commissioners selected March 4 as the initial date and March 11 as an alternate date for the auction of unneeded equipment, vehicles and the like.
Trash collection was also a subject brought up by Commissioner Tobias. Too many people are dumping at designated county dump sites when there is no personnel there.
Each township has a dumpsite open at scheduled hours on scheduled days of the week. “But we’ve got some people that, if their day to bring trash is Tuesday, they’ll bring it in Monday, and by the time the site is open on Tuesday, we got a huge mess on our hands,” Tobias said. Animals tear open the bags, allowing trash to spread.
Trash can only be brought to these sites at designated times, Tobias stressed. Additional policing for illegal dumping is being considered.