Independence Day Weekend Closures

4thThe Fourth of July falls on a Saturday this weekend but several local government offices and establishments will observe Friday as a part of the national holiday. This means many places around the area will be closed to the public over the weekend. Continue reading

Incredible Causes will Benefit from Spirit of Pulaski County Proceeds

st0pThe annual Spirit of Pulaski County, formerly known as Germanfest, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 8 this year at the Train Depot in downtown Winamac. During the event, the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a spirit ride and spirit walk in memory of Tina Kasten and all other domestic abuse victims. Kasten is a local woman whose husband was arrested for her murder back in May. Continue reading

Pulaski County Sheriff Seeking Quotes for Radio Equipment

The Pulaski County Sheriff plans to upgrade radios for the dispatchers and emergency personnel in the next few years.

Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the commissioners this week that the radios in the dispatch center haven’t been replaced since 1998.. He said he’s beginning to gather quotes to replace that aged equipment.

The Sheriff is also looking to replace 200, 800 MHz Motorola radios for the police, EMS, EMA, and fire departments. The company will cease making parts for the current models used by the county and town emergency services in the next four years. Sheriff Richwine is working with EMA Director Larry Hoover to put together a plan to replace all of the radios in the next four years.

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Pulaski County Emergency Personnel Collaborate in Tabletop Exercise

A tabletop exercise was held yesterday in Pulaski County to gather emergency personnel together to determine how to handle a mass disaster.

Pulaski County Preparedness Coordinator Sherry Fagner said the scenario put together information from entities from the hospital, health department, schools, police, EMS, EMA, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Department of Health, and media.

“We did a lot of collaboration on if it was a true event that a public health emergency was declared,” said Fagner.

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Commissioners Approve Company to Handle Revolving Loan Applications

 Approval has been given to the Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) to contract with Valparaiso-based Regional Development Company (RDC) to handle the financial administration aspect of the revolving loan fund.

Pulaski County CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer told the Pulaski County Commissioners this week that the RDC will receive the application and run a credit report plus gather personal or business tax forms. The county will then receive a credit memo as part of the process in applying for a revolving loan. The RDC will give a ranking to a committee set up by the Pulaski County CDC. Other aspects will be considered in an overall ranking which will be presented to the Commissioners for approval or denial of a loan.

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Auction Date Set for Sale of County Home Contents

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

An auction date has been set for the contents of the Pleasant View Rest Home in Winamac. The county home was recently closed due to the Pulaski County Council’s decision to no longer fund the operations at the facility.

Pulaski County Commissioner Terry Young announced Monday night that the auction is Saturday, June 20 at 10 a.m. ET at the facility located on 60 S. in Winamac. Several items will be featured including chairs, beds, mattresses, kitchen items and antiques.  Jeremiah Kopka from Kopka Auctions is conducting the sale.

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Additional Appropriation for Trial Expenses Approved for Advertisement

  Court hearings and procedures leading up to a potential a murder trial in Pulaski County has forced the judge to ask for more resources to fund the proceedings prior to the trial date.

Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn asked the Pulaski County Council this week for an additional appropriation for $25,000 for examination of prisoners.

Paul Katschke is accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend, 34-year-old Amber Rene Taylor, in their Denham home in August of last year. Katschke has undergone court-ordered mental competency evaluations. Judge Shurn said there were $12,000 to $13,000 in outstanding bills that need to be paid.

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Town of Monterey Requests Additional Loan Money

 More money will be loaned to the Town of Monterey for help in upgrading their wastewater system.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer and Monterey Town Council President Jim Fleury appeared before the Pulaski County Council Monday night.  They requested an additional $15,000 to their original loan request of $20,000. When the town began assembling information for a 2013 grant to help with the cost of wastewater treatment plant improvements, the engineers used numbers relevant to 2013.  Origer says the estimates have gone up since then.

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LOHUT Presentation Given to Pulaski County Council

 The Pulaski County Commissioners received information last night about a Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT) that can be used to construct, reconstruct, repair or maintain streets under a county, city or town jurisdiction.

Pat Conner from the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) out of Purdue University explained that the LOHUT is made up of a surtax of the vehicle excise tax and wheel tax. The surtax and a wheel tax can be a flat rate decided by the council that will be payable at the time vehicle registration is due. If the council decides to pass the LOHUT, an ordinance would be approved, and a public hearing held to gather opinions concerning the increase.

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Pulaski County Council to Discuss Option for Additional Highway Department Revenue

 The Pulaski County Council will receive information about a Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT) when they meet tonight.

The Pulaski County Highway Department is facing a budget strain on current resources as revenue from the state has flatlined while expenses are on the rise. A representative from the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) from Purdue University will present information to the Council on what kind of revenue could be generated with the implementation of a vehicle excise tax and wheel tax.

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Pulaski County Government to Receive LOHUT Information

 The joint governing bodies in Pulaski County will be receiving information from a representative from the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) from Purdue University about a Local Option Highway User Tax or LOHUT. A LOHUT includes a vehicle excise tax and a wheel tax. It is included in the vehicle registration payment at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

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Appraisers to Look at Pleasant View Rest Home for Potential Sale

Pleasant View Rest Home

Pleasant View Rest Home

An appraisal of the Pleasant View Rest Home in Winamac will be conducted for a potential real estate sale.

Two appraisals will be sought from local licensed appraisers to complete the task. Pulaski County Commissioner Terry Young will be contacting the contractors to set up the procedure.

The commissioners also agreed to hold an auction to get rid of the contents inside the county home. It was also suggested that other unwanted items from county departments be included in the auction. An auction date has not been finalized.

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Pulaski County Government Analyzes Courthouse Issues

Pulaski County CourthouseThe courthouse in Pulaski County is in need of extensive repairs.

Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston presented the Pulaski County Commissioners and the Pulaski County Council members with a long list of exterior and interior issues that need to be addressed soon. Johnston covered structural needs including cleaning limestone, realigning dislocated stone, replacing deteriorated stone, repairing defective concrete, and repairing and sealing the north side basement entry. The uneven sidewalks also pose as tripping hazards around the courthouse. The cracks found in the cement stairs and walls around the courthouse can gather water that causes damage during the winter with the action of freezing and thawing.

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Pulaski County Commissioners Hire New Highway Superintendent

A new superintendent has been hired at the Pulaski County Highway Department.

The commissioners last night approved the hire of Terry Ruff as the highway superintendent by a 2-1 vote with Bud Krohn, Jr. and Terry Young voting for the position.  Larry Brady had the dissenting vote.

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Courthouse Repairs to be Detailed in Pulaski County Commissioners Special Meeting

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Commissioners will meet in special session today to discuss repairs needed at the courthouse.

Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston told the commissioners in April that he has an extensive presentation to detail renovations and upgrades at the courthouse. He said issues remain that can no longer be ignored and plans need to be put into place now to make these repairs. Structural concerns and infrastructure needs are part of Johnston’s focus.

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Monterey Officials Discuss Next Steps for Building Cleanup

Sportsmans 1The Pulaski County Building Inspector will hire a contractor to inspect the rubble of the former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill for asbestos before cleanup of the structure in downtown Monterey can continue. The building at the southeast corner of Main and Walnut Streets fell last Thursday evening. No injuries were reported. Building inspector Dave Dare believes water damage weakened the structure. Continue reading

Rubble in Building Collapse to be Removed Monday

Sportsman bar second dayWork continues to secure an area in Monterey where a building collapsed this week.

The structure that once housed Sportsman’s Bar and Grill gave way around 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. The building was vacant at the time of the incident. No injuries were reported.

Pulaski County Building Administrator David Dare told WKVI news that work has been ongoing to move the rubble into a central location for removal next week. Efforts are being coordinated to remove the remaining debris beginning on Monday. Dare said fencing and caution tape surrounds the area to create a safer environment. Dare mentioned that several Monterey residents assisted officials in clean-up and securing the area.

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Lack of Funding Delays Pulaski County Road Maintenance

 Pulaski County officials may receive the same information relayed to the Marshall County government bodies concerning funding for county roads.

Pulaski County Highway Department General Foreman Terry Ruff told the commissioners the county will have to scrap regular maintenance this year in order to fix roads damaged by the frost line. He says doing both would cost the county an additional $200,000. Ruff says 20 miles of roads will be worked on this year in the southern part of the county. Chip and seal work will be done, and severely damaged roads will be ground up and reconstructed.

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Income Surveys Needed for Pulaski County Planning Grant

Pulaski County CourthouseMore income surveys are needed to help Pulaski County obtain a planning grant for a new EMS building.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer told the county commissioners this week that 500 surveys are needed, and only 100 have been returned.

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Pulaski County Commissioners Vote to Vacate County Road

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

Pulaski County Commissioners (L to R) Bud Krohn, Jr., Terry Young and Larry Brady

A county road will be vacated in Pulaski County.

Terry Ruff, who is the acting General Foreman at the Pulaski County Highway Department, said the county is spending a lot of resources on the dirt road at 1150 West between 900 South and 1000 South that basically acts as a path between two feuding property owners. Ruff is leery of accidents on the road and who would be responsible if there’s an issue. He said it’s not even suitable to plow.

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