By Valerie Werkmeister
Posey County has a new Veteran’s Service Officer. County Commissioners met Tuesday, January 21, and approved hiring Dave Scharber. Changes in state and federal guidelines mandate that Veteran’s Service Officers complete a 32-hour training program to receive accreditation and work no less than 1,000 hours on an annual basis, or about 20 hours per week.
Commissioner Jerry Walden explained that the Veteran’s Department is converting more of its paperwork to electronic data. In addition to helping veterans attain benefits, Scharber will emphasize his outreach to assist veterans’ families as well.
The increased duties and hours will necessitate a salary increase for the position. Currently, the annual salary is $10,000. Walden has already addressed the county council to notify them a salary increase will be necessary.
Scharber said he was looking forward to the position.
Attorney Jacob P. Weiss informed commissioners that an appeal to their decision to vacate South Road in New Harmony has been filed. Weiss filled in for attorney William H. Bender who was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting. More information on the South Road appeal will appear in upcoming issues of this newspaper.
Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Robb informed the commissioners that Black Township Fire and Rescue and Marrs Township recently received $5,000 in water rescue equipment from Boonville. The two departments split the equipment since the two agencies are primarily involved with local water rescues.
Commissioners also approved Robb’s request to accept an EMPT grant in the amount of $5,100. The funds will be used to purchase a new identification card printer system. Robb says the current system is 10 years old and obsolete.
Mindy Bourne presented two re-zoning requests for the commissioner’s approval. The first request was on behalf of Dave and Linda Reising to have three acres behind the Red Wagon Restaurant rezoned from agriculture to B3.
The second request was on behalf of Posey Homes, LLC to rezone 4.66 acres on Middle Mount Vernon Road from agriculture to R1. The petitioners are interested in developing the property into a subdivision.
Commissioners approved both requests.
Council and Commissioner Executive Assistant Keely Winiger asked commissioners to approve a $3,227 bid from Midwest to strip and seal the courthouse, Hovey House and coliseum parking lots. Winiger stated the bid from Midwest came in $700 less than any others. They approved her request.
Winiger also requested approval for an HVAC upgrade at the courthouse and coliseum. She stated that the IT crew had identified some problems with the controls on the current system. While an entirely new system isn’t necessary, an upgrade will help ensure that the system functions properly.
The $11,150 cost of the upgrade includes training for the maintenance staff. Winiger advised this will help cut down on the number of repair calls to Industrial Contractors. The commissioners also approved this request.
Highway superintendent Steve Schenk informed commissioners that he had received notice from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) they had granted approval for work on Bridge 64 on Barrett Switch Road in Griffin. He felt that since the USACE had given their nod of approval, other permits required for the job would begin to fall into place.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
•A request from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to utilize the county’s GIS system for flood mapping. All user fees were waived since the DNR is working with the Area Plan Commission to complete the county’s flood maps.
•The appointment of Gary Fox, Chris Thorsen and Keith Semanski to the Common Wage Board. Gary Thiem was removed from the board since he is currently serving on the Redevelopment Board.
•The appointment of Tracy Wilson to the Alexandrian Public Library Board.
•The appointment of Jim Alsop as an alternate to the Wabash River Heritage Commission. Ralph Weinzapfel is currently serving on the board. Alsop will attend meetings in the event that Weinzapfel is unable to attend.
The animal control report for last year included a total of 582 animal complaints filed; 174 animals were picked up, three were euthanized, 25 bites were reported, and a total of $605 was collected.
The next commissioner’s meeting has been scheduled for Monday, February 3, at 9 a.m. in the Hovey House in Mount Vernon. The date was changed from its normal Tuesday meeting time due to a schedule conflict.
By Valerie Werkmeister