County Council struggles with proposed 2010 budget PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 00:00
      The Washington County Council met in regular session on Tuesday, September 8 with all members present.  The minutes of previous meetings and all claims were approved unanimously.
    After quickly dispensing with an abbreviated agenda that included a legal opinion on the make up of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeal and agreement to act as agent for the hospital to receive nearly $600K from the state of Indiana, the Council turned its attention to the proposed 2010 budget.
    Depending on whose numbers are to be used, the proposed General Fund must be cut somewhere between $330K and $380K.  According to Washington County Auditor Sarah Bachman, her sources at the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance said that a proposed budget overage of somewhere under $400K would not be out of line.
    Various members of the Council discussed the logic of submitting the current proposed budget.  After exchanges marked by what can only be described as confusion and uncertainty, the Council agreed to call for a joint public meeting with the Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, September 16, in hopes of working out a solution.  
    The Council is required to provide a completed proposed budget for public review and input prior to submitting it to the state.  The public hearing on the proposed 2010 budget is set for Tuesday, September 22 at 7pm.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:49
 
East Washington Elementary recognized for receiving Healthy Hoosier School Award PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 00:00
     East Washington Elementary school was recognized for being named a Silver Level winner for 2008-09 in the Indiana Action for Healthy Kids-Healthy Hoosier School Award at the recent board meeting held on Tuesday, September 8.
    The meeting open with a public hearing for 2009-10 proposed budget, bus replacement and CPF plan as Superintendent Amick presented a summary of the proposed budget. After the presentation the board adjourned the proposal and the regular meeting was called to order with minutes and executive session approved along with vendor claims and payroll.
    The final reading of policies 0144.2, 2464, 5460, 6460, 7530.01 and 7541 were approved as read.
The personnel was approved:
    Cindy Roberts resignation as High School Business teacher effective, September 4; resignation of Kim Hall as Elementary School full time substitute; resignation of Don Balentine as Middle School/ High School computer technician effective, September 15; resignation of Debra Gream as Middle School second shift custodian effective, August 31. Medical leave was approved for Hannah Johanningsmeier set to begin tentatively November 2 through March 1, 2010. The board accepted retirement of Judith Lincks effective December 11.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:50
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AWC holds opening retreat PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 00:00
     Awareness Washington County held its opening retreat at the Spring Mill Inn on Sept. 9-10. The theme for the year is "cultivating leadership."
    This year's class is made up of 21 people from diverse backgounds in Washington County. At the retreat, they learned about servant leadership, were introduced to the 21st century leadership capacities, and began to analyze Washington County in terms of how the various groups in the county operate.
    Many of the topics to be explored this year include themes that were brought out by the community in the Washington County Hometown Competitiveness survey. The group has already discussed the importance of elected leaders being servant leaders.
    Many class members stated that Learning Styles and Steps to a Performing Community were among the significant learnings to date. In the next few weeks they will be applying what they have learned so far and exploring the county for their Camera Safari.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:52
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Washington County Courthouse art contest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 00:00
     The Washington County Bar Association is soliciting original pieces of artwork in oils, water colors, pen and ink, or other media of art depicting the Washington County Courthouse, located on the Salem Town Square. No photography of the courthouse will be accepted.
    The contest entries will be judged by the Washington County Bar Association members and the first place winner's piece of art will be donated to the Indiana Bar Association. The piece will be displayed with the donations provided by other counties ans displayed n the Indiana Bar Association Office located in Indianapolis.
    Second and third place winners will remain property of the Washington County Bar Association and will be displayed on the Circuit and Superior courts of Washington County.
    The first place winner shall have a monetary prize of $450, second place, $300 and third place, $200.
    All entries must be submitted to the Clerks of the Courts office, located on the first floor of the Washington County courthouse, who will obtain name, address and contact information of the artist and entry will be marked to correspond with, as to identify with the artist.
    Artist are asked not to sign their works of art until after judging is complete as the Bar Association wants all entries to be anonymous before being judges.
    All entries must be submitted by 4 p.m., Monday, November 30.
    Prize winners will be announced in the Washington County Circuit courtroom on Monday, December 14 at 10 a.m.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:53
 
Commissioners have limited options for Sparksville Road PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 00:00
    The Washington County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Wednesday, September 2 with all members present.  The minutes of the previous meeting(s), payroll and all claims were approved unanimously.
    The Commissioners heard from Jill Saegesser of River Hills Economic Development, the organization that administers grants for the county, regarding funding options to solve the ongoing problems with Sparksville Road.
    Several years ago, a new road and a new bridge were designed by the Indiana Department of Transportation and located downstream from the original roadway and iron bridge that was declared as unsafe.  The original roadway was at the level of the surrounding land and would be be underwater when the river swelled out of its banks.
    However, the new roadway is built up above the surrounding fields creating, for all practical purposes, a dam.  When the water rises high enough to breach the roadway, a hydraulic results on the downstream side.  That action undermines the road foundations, washing away blacktop, gravel, and rip rap from the roadway and top soil from the fields.
    Several people familiar with  road construction practices and flood water issues have told the Commissioners over the years that the roadway project was “poorly designed.”  That opinion, be it right or wrong, does not give the county any leverage for getting the funds to correct the problem.
    Saegesser went through several options for obtaining grant monies for such a project but, at least at this point in time, the Sparksville Road doesn't seem to meet requirements for those grants.
    Admitting that the problem will continue until the roadway is either rebuilt on some sort of a bridge system above the high water mark or is taken back down to the level of the surrounding fields, the Commissioners agreed to continue repairing the water damage with gravel and topsoil.  Recently, the Washington County Highway Department used $11K of gravel to repair the spring flood damage on the 1200-1500 feet of roadway affected.
    In other business, the Commissioners took the following action:
Heard from a private citizen with plans to rehab 14 acres of the old Smith Cabinet property for use as an industrial warehousing facility.
- Received an update on recent lightning damage to the county's computer system and the recovery efforts.
- Approved an amendment to a contract for services recommended by Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin.
- Heard comments for a private citizen regarding Comprehensive Land Use Planning.
- Discussed plans for a joint effort among the City of Salem, Washington County, and National City Bank to purchase three lots at the corner of Walnut and Water Streets in Salem to be eventually used as a parking lot to help provide additional space for court house workers and works of business located on or around the square.
- Heard from Julie Graham and Mike Haddon of the Washington County Health department with updates on efforts to deal with the recent discovery of mosquitoes with West Nile Virus at the fairgrounds.  
- In addition, Graham and Haddon requested that the Commissioners consider enacting an ordinance to mandate state guidelines for sanitation procedures and inspections at tatoo parlors and establishments performing body piercings.
- County Attorney Tom Scifres has agreed to look at the guidelines and report back to the Commissioners at their next meeting with a recommendation.  
- Haddon also recommended to the Commissioners that the fees for food service inspection and licenses be increased to be in line with surrounding counties.

    With no further business to discuss, the Commissioners adjourned until their joint executive session with the Board of Critical Access Health Services and the Washington County Council on September 3.  The next regularly scheduled public meeting for the Commissioners will be on Wednesday, September 16.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 08:47
 
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