Today's News

Marshall County Commissioners Approve Tax Sale Paperwork

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners last week approved an action to sign paperwork in order to move forward with a tax certificate sale.

In a previous meeting, Joe Edwards from SRI, Inc. told the commissioners that there were about 30 properties that were not sold in the 2014 property tax sale. These particular properties have been on the tax sale for years without interest by potential buyers.

A tax certificate sale could lower the price of the properties to heighten interest and to get the severely tax delinquent properties back on the tax rolls. The redemption period is a little quicker in a certificate sale. The average time period is 120 days.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Prepayment Limit

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners this week discussed a prepayment limit for department heads.

Commissioner Deb Griewank suggested the change to the purchase ordinance so department heads can make county equipment purchases with a personal credit card that does not exceed $750. She said that it was brought to her attention that sometimes different departments need to purchase something online but don’t have the time to wait for commissioner approval. Buildings and maintenance directors can find items on eBay for cheaper but then they have to wait to purchase the items pending approval. Time could cost them.

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Metronet Project Done, 7th Road Project Awaiting Completion

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

This week, the Marshall County Commissioners approved and signed paperwork to complete the acceptance of the Metronet project along Glen Overmyer Drive. The work ended on Nov. 12 with all punch list items checked off the list. The installation of conduit for the three phases of the Metronet project is now complete.

The conduit will house dark fiber capable of distributing high-speed internet to business and industry in Plymouth. The conduit was installed in the city limits and along old U.S. 31 through LaPaz, LaVille, Lakeville and into South Bend. LaVille School Corporation and Hoosier Racing Tire have already lit dark fiber to begin using the product.

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Marshall County Jail to Update Inmate Communications

The communication system for inmate phone calls and visitation at the Marshall County Jail will get an upgrade after the commissioners approved a contract Tuesday morning with a new vendor.

Sheriff Tom Chamberlin told the commissioners that the company, Telmate, not only offers the telephone option for inmates, but also video visitation at an off-site location. Family members can schedule a video visitation with an inmate by going through officials at Telmate. Chamberlin explained that kiosks will be placed in the cells for video visitation as well as computers. The inmates will use the notebook computers if the kiosks are being used.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Tuesday

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners will not meet today as the county employees will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

When they meet tomorrow, the highway department heads will have updates on the wetland mitigation issue and the mill pond dam. Highway Administrator Laurie Baker and Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters will also have pug mill estimates and bid specifications for a loader.

Bart Trester from USI Consultants will present a fiber-optic conduit certification of completion for Glen Overmyer Drive in connection with the Metronet project. Curt Fey from Legal Shield will have a presentation, and the commissioners will discuss the 2015 covered bridge certification.

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Travel Advisory Implemented in Starke, Marshall Counties

The Starke County and Marshall County Commissioners and EMA directors have implemented an advisory level travel restriction.

The advisory level is the lowest level when talking about travel restrictions. The advisory level means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation. Individuals should use caution or avoid those areas. Continue reading

Marshall County Commissioners Sign Grant, Get Update from Highway Department

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners signed grant paperwork so EMA Director Clyde Avery can order equipment. The commissioners previously approved the 2014 Department of Homeland Security grant worth $20,000 to order newer 800 MHz radios to have on hand.

Highway Administrator Laurie Baker informed the commissioners that bridge inspections are ongoing. The department has gotten a bill for $78,967 for work already completed on the first phase. The inspections are about 60 percent complete. INDOT will reimburse the county for 80 percent of the cost.

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Great Lakes Lab Contract Approved

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners discussed a contract with the Great Lakes Lab through the prosecutor’s office.

The Great Lakes Lab provides forensic services for Marshall County. All of the law enforcement agencies in the county may send drug samples or alcohol tests for analysis with this lab company. The number of tests that have been requested through the lab by Marshall County officers has dropped since 2013. As a result, the contract price has decreased.

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GIS Data Contract Approved for Plymouth Trail Project

The Marshall County Commissioners have approved a measure to help the City of Plymouth move forward with the Greenway Trail.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the commissioners last week that the city is attempting to complete phase two of the grant-funded project. Officials with SEH Engineering need GIS data in order to continue with the design work.

“In order for them to prepare the plans, they would like to have some GIS data for that area,” explained Surrisi. “We’ve made a similar request before and we were able to put together a contract where we signed off and said we were guaranteeing that the contractors were just going to use the information for this project and not for any other commercial purposes.”

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Marshall County Commissioners Discuss Juvenile Detention Center Contract

The Marshall County Commissioners received clarification on a proposed contract for 2015 with the Muskegon River Youth Center in Logoda.

James Pheibush from the probation department explained that he negotiated with the detention center for point to point transport.

“For $149, they will transport a kid from point A to point B which I think is cheap,” stated Pheibush. “If they exceed eight hours in a transport, it’s $238 and I thought that was a bargain compared to having one of our road officers tied up for that many hours and other legal questions involved.”

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Marshall County Commissioners Reappoint Department Heads, Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners reappointed department heads last week.

Doug Masterton was retained as buildings and grounds maintenance supervisor, Jason Peters as supervisor of county highways, Laurie Baker as highway administrator, Chuck DeWitt as building inspector, Gary Masterson as jail maintenance supervisor, Clyde Avery as EMA director, Michael Marshall as IT director Linda Rippe as museum director, Pam Schweitzer-Betz as veteran’s service officer, and Jim Clevenger as county attorney.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will meet for the last time this year today at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The commissioners will review the county’s contract with the Muskegon River Youth Center. The probation department had a previous contract with the juvenile detention facility in Muncie but operations have moved to a new location in Evart, Indiana. The 2014 contract expires today.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Discuss Changes in Juvenile Detention Contract

The Marshall County Commissioners will be taking a closer look at a contract for housing juvenile delinquents.

The county had a prior contract with the juvenile detention center in Muncie which moved operations to Evart, Indiana in the name of Muskegon River Youth Home Inc. The new contract for 2015 does not include transportation in the expense to the county which is $41,650 up front for 350 bed days. The prior contract also included sexual abuse evaluation and substance abuse evaluation where they are included as additional services in the 2015 contract. Personal property damage would also be the county’s responsibility.

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Marshall County Auditor Recognized for Years of Service

Penny Lukenbill and Ben Falkowski

Penny Lukenbill and Ben Falkowski

Marshall County Auditor Penny Lukenbill was recognized for her efforts as a county auditor and as a county employee during the Marshall County Commissioners meeting Monday morning.

David Bottorff, the executive director of the Association of Indiana Counties, said Lukenbill served as president of the association and talked to legislators about county issues. To recognize her efforts, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski mentioned Lukenbill’s accomplishments into the congressional record. Ben Falkowski presented Lukenbill with a plaque. Continue reading

Officers Recognized at Marshall County Commissioners Meeting

Sheriff Tom Chamberlin (L) recognizes officers for their extra effort in the line of duty.

Sheriff Tom Chamberlin (L) recognizes officers for their extra effort in the line of duty.

Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin recognized several officers for going above and beyond the call of duty in their line of work.

Rick Prater, Ryan Hollopeter, Matt Brown, Brandon Cooper, Jonathan Bryant and Travis ONeal were recognized for their life-saving efforts in separate calls.

Officers Matt Brown and Brandon Cooper tended to a victim in June of 2013 who was not breathing and was turning blue. The officers initiated chest compressions and shocks from an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) until paramedics could arrive at the scene. The victim in this case survived due to the efforts of the officers and EMS.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Resolution for Tax Certificate Sale

The Marshall County Commissioners will be moving forward with a tax certificate sale.

Joe Edwards from SRI, Inc. said there were about 30 properties that were not sold in the property tax sale. Those particular properties have not been sold in several years. The redemption period is a little quicker so the properties can be included in the tax rolls in 120 days.

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Marshall County to Join Lawsuit over Theft of Documents

Marshall County Attorney Jim Clevenger and Marshall County Recorder Marlene Mahler discussed with the commissioners this week the theft of 2,700 documents totaling 39,000 pages out of the county’s computer system.

Clevenger noted that several other counties are facing the same issue with the same company and have been asked to join a multi-county action against the company. Representatives of LPS Real Estate Data Solutions reportedly went in and took data out of the recorder’s office without going through the proper channels to pay for the data wanted. A civil action will be filed against LPS to recover damages for the stolen data and punitive damages.

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LEPC Presents Emergency Plan to Marshall County Commissioners

The emergency plan formatted by the Local Emergency Planning Committee, or LEPC, was presented to the Marshall County Commissioners for approval Monday morning.

LEPC President Gene Gray told the commissioners that the plan is in line with the county emergency plan so it will not confuse emergency responders. There are maps and site plans within the emergency plan for 85 county facilities.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will meet this morning with several business items up for discussion.

Joe Edwards with SRI, Inc. will appear to explain the process of a certificate sale. Treasurer Deb Vandemark told the commissioners previously that several properties have not sold in the county’s tax sale that have been up for sale for many years. The certificate sale would be a way to get the properties back on the tax rolls.

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Marshall County Commissioners Discuss Pretty Lake Setback Ordinance

The Marshall County Commissioners approved the second reading of an ordinance regulating setbacks at Pretty Lake.

A public hearing on the ordinance was held on Monday, Nov. 17 where Plan Director Ralph Booker explained to the commissioners that the Pretty Lake Homeowners Association approved a change where new construction would need to be a 45-foot setback from an 789.0 elevation line. The setback shall be determined by a line drawn between the furthest extension of adjacent structures including any decks, balconies or raised patios.

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