As the Pulaski County Council tries to clarify the county’s pay structure, department heads continue to express frustration over how it’s been implemented so far. Last month, Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Johnston complained that while two of his part-time employees got a pay raise after working for 630 hours with the apparent blessing of the council, the same increase wasn’t given to a third staff member. Now, he says the Auditor’s Office has not only taken away the raises from the first two employees, but that they’re now being asked to pay that money back. Continue reading
With construction underway on a new elevator at the Pulaski County Courthouse, the county council is working to come up with a way to pay for it. Auditor Laura Wheeler told council members Monday that while they had agreed to cover the cost, they had never actually decided which fund that money would come out of.
The Pulaski County Council is making funding arrangements to keep airport upgrades on track. Aviation Board President Jim McDaniel says Arens Field is in the process of getting more than $200,000 worth of improvements, “A new parking lot out front, more security across the fuel farm, working closer towards, someday, they’re going to request that we fence the whole place, but there’ll be a gate.”
Pulaski County will soon have written guidelines, when it comes to the county’s pay structure. County Attorney Kevin Tankersley presented an 11-page draft document to the county council Monday. It was based on recommendations from the council’s salary matrix committee.
Pulaski County officials hope to put an end to the confusion surrounding the county’s salary matrix, during a joint work session next week. The idea was raised during Monday’s county council and commissioners meetings. Highway Superintendent Terry Ruff and Sheriff Jeff Richwine again asked for guidance on a couple ongoing salary issues, but the council’s matrix committee still hadn’t met yet to discuss them. Council member Scott Hinkle suggested that the discussion take place with the full council and board of commissioners, instead.
Overtime costs continue to add up for Pulaski Circuit Court. The Pulaski County Council voted Monday to transfer $5,000 into the court’s overtime budget from the law books line item, at the request of Judge Michael Shurn. “Last week, a two-day jury trial morphed into a four-day one,” he explained. “And I was working 16-hour days, and my staff was real close to that.”
Pulaski County is a step closer to getting its security committee back up and running. The county council Monday appointed council member Ken Boswell as its representative. The county commissioners appointed Jerry Locke last week.
Pulaski County Emergency Medical Services is once again asking for more room for its ambulances. EMS Director Bryan Corn told the county council and commissioners last week that the department’s trucks are outgrowing the Winamac EMS garage. “Our oldest truck, she’s really, really long,” Corn explained, “and in order to get the garage door to close, you about have to put it into the wall a little bit.”
Discussion continues about moving Pulaski Circuit Court out of the County Courthouse and into the Justice Center. The move is seen as a cheaper alternative to installing and staffing a security checkpoint in the courthouse.
Employees in the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and Community Development Commission may soon be getting raises, as the county council tries to resolve issues with the county’s salary matrix. One problem has to do with Sheriff Jeff Richwine’s salary. He told council members Monday that state statute requires his salary to be at least half that of the county prosecutor, but it’s now below that threshold since the prosecutor got a raise last year.
A Pulaski County commissioner is calling for Circuit Court to be moved out of the County Courthouse. During last week’s meeting, Commissioner Mike McClure said he wants move forward with a proposal to consolidate the county’s court system at the Pulaski County Justice Center. Continue reading
Funding challenges are causing concerns for the Pulaski County Health Department. “In doing our year-end reports for our health board meeting, it’s come to our attention that we only received about $40,000 in settlement this year,” Department Office Manager Terri Hansen told the county council Monday. “We usually get at least double that.”
Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn continues to push for increased security at the courthouse. He told the county council and commissioners last week that violent outbursts in and around the courtroom, as well as other county offices, are becoming more and more frequent. Continue reading
Pulaski County has decided to chip in $30,000 to help the Indian Trails Career Cooperative upgrade its equipment and train teachers. Indian Trails requested $100,000 from each of the five counties it serves to apply for a Skill UP grant from the state. Any money committed locally would be matched three-to-one, if Indian Trails is selected.
The Pulaski County Council has finalized a tax abatement for Metal Fab Engineering. Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer told council members Monday that the request would help the company buy new automation equipment. That’s expected to lead to the creation of about 10 new jobs.
Pulaski County officials continue to discuss potential courthouse security upgrades. A list of recommendations was presented to the county council and commissioners over a year ago, but little progress has been made since then.
Pulaski County may be looking to state lawmakers to help make up a shortfall in local income tax revenues. The issue was brought to the attention of the county council last month, after Winamac officials noticed a sudden drop in the town’s share of Local Levy Freeze Income Tax funds. Pulaski County communities are now facing big holes in their 2018 budgets.