Salem Common Council Meeting PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2009 00:00
    The Salem Common Council met in regular session on Monday evening, February 9, with all members present except for Pete Brown; Brown is recovering from extensive back surgery.  The Council approved the minutes of previous meetings and all claims unanimously.
    After reviewing the financial statement prepared by Salem Clerk/Treasurer Pat Persinger, Council members noted that the February 10 property tax draw should help the tough economic situation that city government is facing.  Mayor David Bower reminded the Council members that his administration continues to look for ways to save money without cutting services.
    One example of cost cutting that Bower pointed to was his recommendation for Salem to withdraw from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURG).  According to Bower and Persinger, any time the city wishes to take on a major infrastructure project, complying with IURG guidelines adds considerable cost to the project.  That cost must be absorbed by the taxpayers.  Bower cited the proposed project to raise the level of Lake John Hay as a prime example of how Salem can save the taxpayers money by withdrawing from IURG.  Bower said if the city goes ahead with the project without going through the IURG it will mean a savings of over $200,000 on just this one project alone.  City Attorney, Drew Wright gave examples of nearly 300 Indiana cities and towns that have withdrawn from IURG over the last three decades for the same reasons cited by Bower.
    In other business, Persinger requested Council approval to obtain a credit card for the city.  Persinger said that making travel reservations and ordering needed supplies online are all but impossible without a credit card.  She also indicated that considerable savings can be realized in some cases if payment is made when an order is placed rather than having it billed.  Salem Police Chief, Scott Ratts, chimed in to support Persinger’s request, noting that the price his department pays for certain electronic equipment ordered online is as much as 25% more than what the Washington County Sheriff’s Department pays for the same items by using a credit card.  After lengthy discussion and an agreement on usage limitations, the Council approved Persinger’s request.
    Two city department heads came before the Council requesting a revision in the city’s personnel policy regarding employee sick leave.  The Council agreed to take the department heads’ request under advisement.
    With no further business to conduct, the Council adjourned until its next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 10.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 13:41
 
IU School of Optometry closes Rural Eye Clinic in Campbellsburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 February 2009 00:00
    The rural eye care services offered through Campbellsburg Family Health Care Center have been discontinued as of the beginning of the year.
    IU School of Optometry community outreach director, Dr. Jeff Perotti said, “That the School of Optometry would like to continue providing rural eye care health services at the Family Health Center in Jeffersonville.” Perotti also added that programs like Volunteers in Medicine in Monroe and Owen counties and the Eye Care Community Outreach Program (ECCO) that serves eight central Indiana counties will operate unchanged.
    “We will continue to look for ways to serve the communities in need.” he added.”We always regret having to make difficult decisions, especially in difficult times. However, we remain committed to training the best eye care providers in Indiana, for the nation and the world.”
    Eye care patients who wish to obtain their eye clinic records should contact the Campbellsburg Family Health Center at 755-4443. The closest remaining rural eye clinic in Southern Indiana is located at 1319 Duncan Avenue, Jeffersonville. To schedule an appointment there call 812-285-5980.
    For more information contact Dr. Perotti at 812-856-3815 or Steve Chaplin, IU Office of Communications, at 812-856-1896.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 13:43
 
Community First Bank to be lender for Bradie Shrum HVAC project PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2009 00:00
    At the recent Salem School Board meeting held on Monday, February 9, Community First Bank was awarded as lender for the Bradie Shrum HVAC project to start at the end of this school year.
    Community First Bank had the lowest rate at 3.71 percent with each six months the school corporation paying $137,302.81 or once a year $274,606.00
    There were three school board members not present, Steve Motsinger, Marie Lowery and Jason Pepmeier. The minutes of January 12 and all claims were approved.
    Assistant Superintendet Kim Thurston along with helpful imput from Dr. Reed and Bonita Purlee    the school system is in need of a new telephone system. Thurston stated he visited Scottsburg, New Albany and Clarksville regarding phone services that they have in place.
    There are two different systems ranging in price from $35,000 to $100,000. According to Thurston the system that is currently installed creates confusion for callers and is a safety risk. If a 911 call is placed from the Middle School, and all lines are tied up, and the Police or EMS try to call back, they could indeed reach someone at the High School, who is not aware of the situation at the Middle School and mass confusion could be caused; with the phone being rolled over the caller ID will state the wrong school. The  provider of the phone system will be Education Network of America and they will also route the calls. A significant amount of the cost will be covered by Erate through the state.
    The board agreed to install the $35,000 system as long as they will be listed in the phonebook for the community to have access to the community schools.
    The following personnel recommendations were approves by Ben Bowling and seconded by Tracey Payne: Rachel Irwin, BSLE Title I after school instructor; Wilma Bowling, BSLE Substitute Title I after school instructor; Beverly Lanham, BSLE Substituter Title I after school instructor; Pam Berry, BSLE Substitute Title I after school instructor; Terri Walton, BSUE Substitute Title I after school instructor; GariLou Crane, BSUE Substitute Title I after school instructor; Rita Kay Maudlin, BSUE Substitute Title I after school instructor; Melissa Sears, BSUE Substitute Title I after school instructor; and Robert Deirth, Math ISTEP Remediation.
    By the recommendation of Superintendent Kim Thurston, the board unanimously agreed to suspend the monthly financial reports until Spring. According to Thurston, a better hand on the tax information is the major reason. The 2008 property tax money is the problem.
    Also according to Thurston the corporations general fun currently has a balance of $1,661,224.98 with $1,500,000.00 being a temporary loan which would leave the balance of $161,224.98 if the temporary loan would be paid  back as of today.
    “That amount is not enough to make payroll which is $345,937 every two weeks. Although we are paying interest, I recommend we not pay the temporary loan back as of yet and wait for more tax money to come through.” stated Thurston. The Board unanimously agreed with Thurston.
    The 2009/2010 school calendar was approved but subject to change on early release days and one professional teachers day along with a SADD trip to Lazer Blaze on March.
    The board agreed to the first readings of  New and revised policies concerning Early Entrance and Student Discipline. Early Entrance in regards to kindergarten. As of right now, the child needs to be five years of age before August 1,  the new policy,  will state students can turn five between August 1 and September 1  and be enrolled in kindergarten as long as the parent has put in a request by April 1 and the kindergarten screening is taken. The Student Discipline policy will replace four existing policies that were outdated and placed into one standard policy. The policy will outline everything that could possibly get students in trouble at school.
    The board agreed to cancel  six outstanding checks dating back to 2006 with two of the checks being from Administration office is the amount of $222.11 being placed back in to the general fund and four checks from the high school in the amount of $51.62 and being placed in the ECA fund at the high school.
     A note from Dr. Reed: As of February 9, the last day of school will be May 28, with graduation being May 30. This is contingent upon no more snow days.
    The next Salem Community School Board meeting will take place on Monday, march 9 at 6:30. The public is always invited to attend.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 13:45
 
Commissioners favor County Planning Commission PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 February 2009 00:00
    Prompted by issues brought forth by Debbie Schreiber and Diana Green concerning policies and procedures for subdividing land, the Commissioners agreed that the time has come to revisit the issue of establishing a County Planning Commission.  Back in 1996, a County Planning Commission (CPC) was established but not without controversy and substantial opposition.  In April of 1997, a newly elected Board of Commissioners did away with the CPC.
    Commissioner John Mishler pointed to the issue as one of the key planks in his platform as a candidate.  “Now is the time for a County Planning Commission to be formed.” said Mishler.  As outlined in a subsequent telephone interview, a CPC would be appointed and that group would oversee the development of a county-wide land usage plan.  The makeup of the CPC is yet undetermined but one suggestion floating around is to have a representative from each of the townships in the county to be appointed.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2009 13:41
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County Council and Commissioners meet with Park Board PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 February 2009 00:00
?    In a rare joint meeting involving the Washington County Council, the Washington County Board of Commissioners, and the Washington County Park Board, the financial well-being of the Delaney Park operation was the main topic of discussion on Monday, February 2.  
    According to Park Manager, Chris Strange, revenues are up over the last few years.  Furthermore, Strange told the Commissioners and Council members that the county only pays 12 per cent of the park's $465,000 yearly budget.  Strange questioned if any other county department with revenue could say the same.  Council President, Mark Manship, noted that the park is $140,000 in the red at present but much of that has to do with the late property tax distribution. Stating that Delaney Park is truly an asset for Washington County, Manship went on to say that the Council's concern is that with diminishing tax revenues, it is imperative to evaluate all county services, both essential and non-essential.
    Park Board President, Paul Jolly, indicated that all options are on the table to improve the financial condition of the park.  According to Jolly, fees have been increased for 2009 and serious consideration is being given to closing the restaurant.  In addition, the park's tax rate will increase for 2009 and thus so will the amount of property tax revenue earmarked for the park's operation.  By most estimations, the increased tax rate will generate approximately $200,000 for the park's operation.
    At the end of the joint meeting, all parties agreed that better communication need to take place and that more timely adjustments to the park's budget need to be made to offset decreases in revenue.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2009 13:45
 
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