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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Pulaski County Council Approves Increase for EMS Staff


Action was taken to approve an increase for Pulaski County EMS workers.

In a previous meeting, EMS Director Nikki Lowry requested a wage increase for her workers to keep staff in her department. Lowry has experienced a severe turnover in staff in the last few months due to better pay by other County EMS departments. In order to be competitive with surrounding agencies, Lowry asked that the Council help in approving an increase in wages for the staff.

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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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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 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 Election Board to Research E-Poll Books


The Pulaski County Election Board now has the full support of the county commissioners and the county council to research the feasibility of implementing e-poll books.

Election board member Laura Bailey requested permission from the county council last week to seek more information about e-poll books for the county’s polling sites. Voters would digitally sign in on an iPad when they arrive at one of the seven polling sites in the county to vote. The e-poll books would replace the printed registration books. A receipt would be issued to the voter and taken to an election official to bring up a ballot.

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Pulaski County Government to Consider Obtaining Additional Road Funding

 The Pulaski County Council and Commissioners will be looking into gathering more funds for county roads.

Commission President Larry Brady said the roads severely deteriorated this past winter. Brady told the county council members this week that he chatted with the employees at the highway department who say they’re dipping into this summer’s funding to repair frost line-damaged roads.

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Pulaski County Officials to Discuss Courthouse Needs, County Home Future

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Council and Commissioners will meet in a special joint session meeting on Monday, May 4 to discuss two items.

Pulaski County Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston has prepared a presentation on structural issues that need to be addressed at the Pulaski County Courthouse. Johnston informed the commissioners last week that the presentation includes several pages of notes.

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Town of Monterey Requests Loan from Pulaski County Council


A loan was approved by the Pulaski County Council to help the Town of Monterey with a wastewater system upgrade.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) Executive Director Nathan Origer and Monterey Town Council President Jim Fleury were before the county council members on Monday night to request a $20,000 loan for matching grant funds for the project.

The money would be advertised as an additional appropriation from the CDC fund to make a loan available to the town. The money will be only be spent if the town’s grant request is approved.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Loan Resolution for Budget Purposes

 The Pulaski County Council took action to create a temporary loan to cover expenses in the General Fund.

Auditor Shelia Garling explained to the county council that the financial report shows that the General Fund is $175,156.66 short. Garling asked that a loan be authorized from the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) County Certified Shares line item to support the General Fund. The CAGIT fund has a balance of $1.8 million.

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Pulaski County Council Makes a Move to Help EMS Staffing Issues

The Pulaski County Council members took a giant step last night to help keep paramedics and EMS staff members in the county.

EMS Director Nikki Lowry previously pleaded with the county council to help retain her staff as they are leaving for higher pay in surrounding counties. The turnover rate is very high. She asked that a committee get together and aid her in restructuring pay in the EMS budget.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Council to Discuss Highway Superintendent Position


The Pulaski County Commissioners approved the action of interviewing candidates for the position of highway superintendent, but the position is not yet open.

The commissioners were notified that Superintendent Mark Fox may submit his letter of resignation last week, but that letter has not been filed with the Pulaski County Auditor’s office, according to Auditor Shelia Garling.

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Pulaski County Department Heads, Employees to Partake in Training


Personnel policy handbook training sessions for department heads and employees in Pulaski County are scheduled for this month.

County Attorney Kevin Tankersley explained to the commissioners last week that a revision is complete which provides more detail and required forms. Workers compensation, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) information, overtime, and more is included in the 98-page document. Tankersley said the new manual is more user-friendly. A policy has been in place in Pulaski County since 2012.

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Pleasant View Rest Home Operations to Cease Tomorrow

Pleasant View Rest Home
Pleasant View Rest Home

The last day of operations at the Pleasant View Rest Home in Winamac is tomorrow.

Operations are coming to an end after the Pulaski County Council made a decision in October of 2014 to not include funding for the assisted living facility in the 2015 budget. The decision was approved by a majority vote. The commissioners voted in December to close the operations at the county home because of the lack of funding.

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Severance Pay for County Home Employees on Hold until State Provides Answers

Pleasant View Rest Home
Pleasant View Rest Home

The Pulaski County Council members will need more information from the state to see if any severance pay can be issued to the employees at Pleasant View Rest Home.

The council members discussed the issue briefly Monday night.

The county home is expected to close on March 31, and the commissioners had discussed the possibility of severance pay last week. County Attorney Kevin Tankersley previously said the county can’t give bonuses. The money isn’t theirs to spend in that kind of fashion. Tankersley also said the county can’t pay for work that isn’t done.

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