PAOLI — The Orange County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning to begin addressing the county’s business for April.
In an update from Orange County Sheriff Davy Henderson, the commissioners were told the current jail population as of Tuesday morning was 56 and the current cost of meals are $2.02 per inmate meal. Henderson also said a recent meeting with Senator Mike Braun, the National Forest Service and Protect Our Woods went well.
Valerie Moon of Orange County Transit presented the commissioners with a de-obligation letter for Capital Assistance 5311 grant funding to be reviewed. The board voted 3-0 to approve and allow board president Richard Dixon to sign the letter. The board also recessed its meeting to conduct a public hearing regarding the grant, with no public comment provided.
County highway superintendent Carl Anderson reported progress being made on county bridge #62 on County Road 25 South. Anderson if weather permits, a new structure should be in place with the roadway re-opened before the estimated May 1 completion date. Anderson also noted flooding and wind damaged trees impacting county roadways. Anderson also said stolen road signs continue to be an issue.
Anderson also received a 3-0 vote of approval to approach the county council for an amount not to exceed $25,000 for the purchase of a used hole ram for a department excavator. Lastly, Anderson reported a successful county-wide clean-up effort, with 200 yards of junk and trash, along with 120 yards of tires collected.
County maintenance director Frank Lynd provided a report on repairs at the community center, courthouse and courthouse complex. The board voted 3-0 to approve a low bid of $7,150 from LRC to install an awning at the community center to keep birds from nesting.
Lynd also reported an insurance claim to replace the server/controller for the courthouse HVAC system was approved for $48,000. The commissioners then voted 3-0 to approve a bid from Mehringer Plumbing, Heating & AC of Jasper for the replacement work, not to exceed $48,000.
Lynd said HVAC repairs are progressing at the community center and council room repairs are awaiting carpet.
Orange County Treasurer Shelly Hammock informed the board property tax bills are to be mailed next week and is actively working on investments for the county.
Hoosier Hills PACT’s Justin Winniger presented a letter of approval for 2024 Indiana Department of Corrections grants. The board voted 3-0 to approve the grants, providing funding to community corrections, probation and the jail for treatment services.
Orange County-Purdue Extension’s Amie Wilson presented a financial report on rentals and expenses of the community center. Wilson noted Grace Thompson will serve as the county’s interim extension director, effective March 28. She also noted the search for a program assistant.
In a presentation from county attorney Lyn Tucker Fulem, the board reviewed by a request from Marcus and Jamie Carlson regarding the Moores Ridge Meadows Subdivision. The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the requests regarding setback lines.
Auditor Lonnie Stroud presented the commissioners with a pair of requests, the first for the approval of American Rescue Plan funding from the appropriated Professional Services line to pay USI for work on an ADA Title VI plan. The board voted 3-0 to approve the $1,500 expense.
The board also voted 3-0 to approve a request to begin contract preparation for a new financial and payroll software to help track time and attendance of county employees. The total package comes at a cost of $227,621, with an annual maintenance agreement of $51,000. The new addition will allow the county to a paperless system, allowing claims and time to be tracked digitally. Stroud proposed funding to come from the county’s portion of COVID Tribal Consistency Funding.
Lastly, Stroud reported the county would save no money in transitioning current wired phone lines to fiber optics, but noted he is seeking a solution to locating a new service provider for the county’s phone system.
The final discussion item came from Commissioner Dixon, reporting interest received from a Washington County business to rent space at the OCJGC building. The aluminum coating company would be required to have all applicable certifications and approval from appropriate state agencies in an approved contract to be considered.
The Orange County Commissioners will meet again at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18 in the commissioners room of the Orange County Courthouse in Paoli.