RICHMOND, Indiana – Wayne County Council decided to use American Rescue Plan Act funds for two sheriff’s projects.
Sheriff Randy Retter received the green light to purchase radios and vehicles during the council’s Wednesday evening workshop. The county has approximately $2.78 million in ARPA dollars uncommitted for the Hoosier Enduring Legacy program planning process, which is scheduled to begin in early 2023.
The council discussed the purchase of the radio after its July meeting. Motorola gave Savior an $80,000 bundle discount that expires August 31 because he also buys Motorola bodycams.
The 150 radios include 56 car stereos and 94 handheld radios for patrol officers and prison officers at a cost of $436,951.
On Wednesday, Retter told council members that the current 15-year-old radios are failing and are no longer serviced by the company. He originally told the council he preferred Motorola radios because of the bundle discount, compatibility with the current system and encryption options for radio transmissions.
Retter also requested a commitment to finance the purchase of 15 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicles for $646,640. The purchase includes seven vehicles budgeted for 2022, seven budgeted for 2023 and one replacing a vehicle destroyed by fire that was ultimately intended to be covered by insurance.
The sheriff has already reserved Kelley Chevrolet’s 15 vehicles in Fort Wayne. The vehicles have not yet been manufactured.
The council had previously allocated funds for seven Wetzel Dodge Dodge Durangos; However, Wetzel cannot deliver these vehicles. Additional funds approved Wednesday total approximately $366,000.
“If we don’t use them now, we’re going to be in a real quandary next year,” said Councilor Max Smith, who sits on the county’s fleet management committee.
Rescuers said when the vehicles arrive, their deployment will be distributed to prevent the county from having 15 vehicles further down the road that need to be replaced at one time.
Little League honor
Wayne County commissioners on Wednesday morning approved a proclamation declaring August 17 to be Little League All-Stars Day in Hagerstown, County.
The 11- and 12-year-old team went undefeated, winning the state and Great Lakes region championships and qualifying for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Hagerstown team, who will wear blue and orange Great Lakes uniforms, was scheduled to play an Iowa team Thursday at 3 p.m. on ESPN.
The proclamation credits the team with achieving what few teams before them have achieved by becoming one of the top 10 Little League teams in the United States. It also recognizes them for their sportsmanship and fair play.
The county offered their support to the team and wished them good luck in the World Series.
Health Department fees
Wayne County Health Department executive director Christine Stinson presented commissioners with an ordinance detailing the health department’s fees.
The only change from the current regulation is to split the $400 channel permit fee into three parts. Stinson said her employees now often do chores on a canal project, then the citizen will drop the project and pay no fees. The new fee structure requires payments for the various parts that Stinson’s staff complete during the permitting process.
There is a fee of $25 for the initial soil evaluation and analysis, with a $275 charge for the plan review including a site visit and the final $100 charged upon permit issuance.
The commissioners agreed the breakdown makes sense, and they asked Stinson to make some corrections and return on August 24 with the final regulation. The new regulation is scheduled to come into force on October 1st.
Stinson also told commissioners that the Indiana Department of Health and Human Services requested use of the Department of Health’s facility on August 19 from noon to 6 p.m. to provide monkeypox vaccinations to at-risk populations. She had no further information from the state.
bridges and culverts
The council, during its workshop, provided financial commitments needed for Brandon Sanders, the district engineer, to receive grants from the Indiana Department of Transportation Community Crossings.
He is requesting $50,000 to cover 50% of the materials for a culvert replacement project on Smoky Row and Carlos streets. This project would also improve the turning radius for westbound Smoky Row traffic turning north onto Carlos.
The second application is for a $250,000 grant to fund 50% of a bridge replacement project on Fountain City Pike. This project is budgeted for 2023.
During their morning meeting, Commissioners had approved Sanders to receive a grant to receive an 80% reimbursement from INDOT for the right-of-way work related to the Fountain City Pike project.
projects go on
Ahead of the annual Autumn Oaks event, standalone bathroom fixtures at the Wayne County Fairgrounds are being painted by Perseponko Painting.
Steve Higinbotham, the district’s director of facilities and development, said he was surprised at how good the building looks now.
Painting at the First Bank Expo Center also continues, with that project expected to be completed this month. Then the painting of the First Bank Kuhlman Center begins.
Work has also now begun to remodel the coroner’s office in the basement of the courthouse. With this work, the former Medical Examiner’s refrigeration unit at the Centerville site is no longer needed. The commissioners stated that it was of no value for Union County to disassemble and transport the cooler to its facility.
Wayne County will seek an agreement with Union County for the use of this cold storage if Wayne County’s new cooler reaches capacity.