(BEDFORD) – The commissioners kicked off 2019 with electing new officers.
Dustin Gabhart will serve as president.
Gene McCracken was elected vice president.
Janie Craig Chenault asked the commissioners to proclaim January 12th Hoosier Hills Credit Union Recognition Day. The commissioners voted to honor the credit union.
On that day Hoosier Hills Credit Union will be celebrating 50 years of service in Lawrence County.
“They have had a huge economic impact on this and surrounding counties to a tune of more than 180 million dollars, ” Chenault, who serves as a volunteer for the credit union, said.
The credit union serves more than 17,000 members in Lawrence County.
Highway Department Report
Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported that crews are preparing the snow plows for the anticipated snowfall on Saturday. They are also cutting brush and hauling stone.
Holmes has submitted paperwork for federal aid to replace signage in District 2. He also completed an application for Community Grant Funds.
Butler Fairman & Seufert Inc. is completing the design work to do the design work for Bridge 121 on Williams Silverville Road over Indiana Creek.
Holmes says crews poured the deck on Bridge 170 on Stove Road and completed the approaches and installing guardrails, Work on the historic truss bridge at Otis Park is also complete.
“The bridge inspectors will be looking at the repairs, and as soon as they sign on the dotted line the bridges will be open back to traffic,” he added.
The bridges will have a 3-ton weight restriction.
A preliminary review has started for the removal of the bridge on Lincoln Avenue. Crews will remove the bridge, fill in the area and construct a new road. Holmes is meeting with Bedford City officials to finalize plans. Construction is planned to begin this summer.
Sheriff’s Department Report
Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 162 inmates at the jail Tuesday morning. Of those 125 were male, 37 were female, 10 were Level 6 offenders, and two were Department of Correction holds.
Sheriff Branham says the department is working with the county’s new timekeeping system.
“Everyone is clocking in and out,” he added. “but our employees don’t work regular shifts. The system is not compatible with tracking comp time and overtime hours.”
He is working with Human Resources Director Brian Skillman to fix the issue.
Sheriff Branham also presented the commissioners with his biannual commissary report showing both receipts and expenditures.
Morgan Stanley will no longer manage the department’s retirement funds. The Merit Board has held interviews and met with several different firms and have decided to use German American to manage their police retirement and investment funds. The Merit Board will vote on that decision at their meeting tonight.
Emergency Management Department Report
Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer is finalizing a year-end report on the county’s 911 system.
“This report will give us information to compare to calls received in 2016 and 2017,” she added. “It will allow us to see what runs are tieing up resources and what areas we need to work on to better serve the community.”
Luchauer was surprised to learn that more than 900 calls were made requesting lift assist.
“Numbers are decreasing at our local volunteer fire departments and first responders,” she added. “Once a lift assist call is received an officer, an ambulance and a first responder is dispatched to the scene. Sometimes we are paging three volunteer fire departments to find someone to respond or no one at all goes.”
Luchauer says she has compassion for those making the calls.
“They (the elderly) want to stay in their homes and have a right to do that,” she added. “There is no good answer. This is just a fact of life. This could be you or me or one of our loved ones calling.”
Tai Hubbard of Hydrogeology Inc. made a presentation on the new business that specializes in environmental and karst consulting. Hubbard, a Lawrence County resident, says the company is currently working with GM Powertrain and is available to work with residents and business owners.
The unpredictability of the subsurface conditions frequently makes planning and construction in a karst environment very challenging, Hubbard added.
Experienced geologists and hydrogeologists perform groundwater quantitative analyses and assessments and determine aquifer hydrogeologic characteristics through aquifer test data collection, evaluation reduction, and analysis. They also offer geophysical study design and evaluation, as well as subsurface geotechnical investigations.