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Today's News

Pulaski County Commissioners Approve Purchase of New Ambulance

The Pulaski County Commissioners approved a quote for a new ambulance during their meeting on Monday night.

EMS officials announced last week that the ambulance damaged from a February fire and subsequently repaired did not pass state inspection so it was totaled by the insurance company.

During this week’s meeting, EMS Director Nikki Lowry presented the commissioners with four quotes for a new ambulance. They approved a quote from Arrow in the amount of $130,700. Since the insurance company totaled the truck, an $82,000 settlement will go toward the purchase of a new ambulance.

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Pulaski County Council Discusses Appropriation for Fuel at Airport

 The Pulaski County Council continues to iron out financial details since taking over the financial aspect at the airport.

When the decision was made to make Bud Widner a full-time employee, that meant that Wagner had to cease purchasing items under his own name and the county had to reimburse Widner for those items to ensure that all equipment was county owned. That was done for liability purposes.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Transfer for Zoning Ordinance Update

The director of the Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) requested a transfer of funds to work on zoning ordinances.

Nathan Origer told the Pulaski County Council members that he is an advisor to the plan commission and said the zoning ordinances were not done professionally and they need to be to fit the needs of the county.

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Pulaski County Justice Center Equipment Needs Discussed

Pulaski County Sheriff's Department

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department

Pulaski County Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston presented the county council members Monday night with several issues with the Justice Center.

Johnston explained the issues.

“The air units on the rooftop of the Justice Center are 17 years old and they have 15 year life spans. Four of them have already failed and the fifth one is failing now. We’re replaced four this year. We still have seven that are about to give it up. We’ve got three water heaters in the upstairs room, one of which failed its inspection from the state. We’ve replaced it but another one started leaking out of the bottom. Those machines are also past their life span by about seven years. We have two water softeners in that same room that are also leaking out of the top and they’re getting ready to go as well,” said Johnston.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Council Discuss County Home

The Pulaski County commissioners and the county council met in joint session last night where one of the topics was the future of the county home.

In previous meetings this year, Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston presented the county boards with a preliminary structural condition assessment of the county home conducted by American Structurepoint, Inc. The repairs needed are extensive and are estimated between $500,000 to $1 million. With that, the government entities are wondering what should be done.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Council Discuss Airport Concerns

 The Pulaski County Commissioners and Pulaski County Council members met in joint session to clarify some questions that have arisen concerning the airport.

The issues that the council members discussed during their meeting last week was if Airport Manager Bud Wagner’s position with the county needs to be full time and about the revenue coming into the airport.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Council to Meet in Joint Session Today

 The Pulaski County commissioners and county council will meet in a public joint session tonight to discuss the airport operations a little further.

When the Pulaski County council members met last week, several questions were brought up concerning a part-time or full-time position for the airport manager and other issues such as fuel.

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Pulaski County Election Board Discusses Municipal Election Costs with County Council

The Pulaski County Council heard from Laura Bailey, the vice chairperson of the Pulaski County Election Board, about changes that will be made to put municipal elections more in line with the law.

Bailey explained that paperwork for a financial agreement pertaining to municipal elections has not been signed.

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Pulaski County Council Reviews Additional Appropriations and Transfers for Issues at Justice Center

Pulaski County Sheriff's Department

Pulaski County Justice Center

The Pulaski County Council discussed several additional appropriation and transfer requests on Monday night. A couple of requests from the Pulaski County Justice Center were discussed at length.

Sheriff Michael Gayer spoke at the Eastern Pulaski School Board meeting so Matron Carrie Aaron and Sergeant Fred Rogers represented the sheriff’s department where they explained an $80,000 additional appropriation. Sergeant Rogers said the money is needed to pay past bills that have been due – some for many years. For example, according to Sergeant Rogers, the fuel bill hadn’t been paid since September of 2013 while other vendors for a variety services have been waiting since 2011 for payment.

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Pulaski County Council Discusses Airport Manager Position

 There are still some unanswered questions for the Pulaski County Council members concerning the airport manager’s position.

Questions mentioned were the need for a full time manager or employee at the airport and what amount of fuel is needed to fill the tank on the premises for airplanes.

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Pulaski County Commissioners, Council Discuss Airport Manager

 The Pulaski County Commissioners and the county council members met in a special joint session Monday afternoon to discuss a change in operations at the airport.

County Attorney Kevin Tankersley told the joint board that it was brought to his attention that Airport Manager Bud Wagner has several pieces of equipment in his name at the airport that are being used for work. He pays for the fuel and is paid back as pilots fuel planes. The landline telephone is also in his name as well as the internet service. Wagner is also not employed by the county.

While this is already against normal policy, he’s not being reimbursed for the use of these items.

Tankersley asked the joint board to make sure that he is an employee and that he receives benefits like all other employees. He also suggested that the county or the airport board purchase those items that Bud owns that are in use at the airport or buy items that are county owned. Tankersley also suggested that the airport pay for the fuel and create an account for the fuel in the county’s name.

The commissioners approved a motion to make Bud Wagner an employee. He will work 35 hours a week and receive benefits. The council will decide what to do with the equipment purchases. The council members will discuss what to do to adjust the airport budget to reflect these changes.

Pulaski County Commissioners, Council to Meet in Special Session

 The Pulaski County Commissioners and the Pulaski County Council members will will meet in special session today for the purpose of discussing possible changes at the airport.

Policy updates and how things may need to change in order to move forward in the future will be topics discussed today.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Final Bridge Payment

The Pulaski County Council approved the purchase of a new truck for the highway department to replace a truck that was wrecked during the winter an additional  truck for the department.

Highway Superintendent Mark Fox also presented the council members with a transfer request of $20,724.91 from bridge repairs to Bridge 268, or Haschel Bridge.

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Pulaski County Council Discusses Summer Intern Pay for Prosecutor’s Office

Pulaski County Courthouse

Pulaski County Courthouse

The Pulaski County Council approved an additional appropriation for the prosecutor’s office for a summer intern.

Prosecutor Stacey Mrak stressed that the money is not coming from the general fund even though it is appropriated money. She explained that the money is coming from the pre-trial diversion fund which can be used at the discretion of the prosecutor. The money needed to be transferred to another line item in the budget for payroll purposes.

The additional appropriation was for $2,700.

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Pulaski County Council Discusses Military Vehicles

The Pulaski County Council discussed Monday night, at length, the number of military vehicles in possession in the county and their use.

Sheriff Michael Gayer was asked about the county highway department’s use of dump trucks acquired from the military. Sheriff Gayer said it’s not illegal for the county highway to use those trucks after two years of acquisition.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Money Transfer for K9s

Deputy Travis Clark with K-9 "Gil" (L) and  K-9 Deputy Ryan Austin with K-9 "Terror"

Deputy Travis Clark with K-9 “Gil” (L) and K-9 Deputy Ryan Austin with K-9 “Terror”

The Pulaski County Council approved, by a majority vote of 6 to 1, Sheriff Michael Gayer’s request to transfer funds to pay for the two K9s at a cost of $25,165.38.

The payment of the K9s had to be done a different way than initially proposed but Auditor Shelia Garling, the sheriff and representatives from the State Board of accounts told the council that they could take the money out of the user fee of the law enforcement continuous education fund to the continuing education fund.

The dogs are in service with one officer and K9 working the day shift and the other officer and the K9on the night shift to give 24 hours of continuing coverage.

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Pulaski County Officials Considering Payroll Software

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Council and Commissioners want more information about a proposed electronic payroll system for county employees before committing to the expense. They have several options to consider, including electronic swipe cards and fingerprint recognition keypads for employees to clock in and out. Auditor Shelia Garling says such a system would much more efficient than the manual time cards and reports the county is currently using. The data will first go to the auditor’s office for review before it is sent to Adaptasoft to process payroll, taxes and direct deposits. Garling says this will alleviate the hassle of processing paper payroll reports and would cut down on the time department heads spend compiling that information from time cards. She told the council she would like to have the software in place by Oct. 1 if possible. The council and commissioners plan to discuss options more thoroughly in a joint session before making any decisions.

Pulaski County Council Approves Transfer for Sheriff

Pulaski County Council members reluctantly approved a balance transfer request from Sheriff Mike Gayer to pay overtime for the county’s two new K-9 officers. Both just completed six weeks of training with the dogs . Gayer’s request to move $9,000 from the salary to the overtime line item in his budget prompted a spirited discussion about the military surplus vehicles and other supplies he’s been acquiring for the county for the past few years and the expense involved in going to get them. Under the county’s agreement with federal government, they have to keep the vehicles for at least two years before they can be sold. Gayer says two of the older trucks recently sold for $20,000 at a surplus auction. Half of the proceeds went into the county’s general fund, and the other half were put into an account established by the commissioners to maintain the fleet. Before approving Gayer’s transfer request, the council unanimously voted to require the sheriff to provide a quarterly report of military surplus items owned by the county and a list of what has been sold off. Gayer did note during the discussion that the heavy-duty trucks in particular were a tremendous asset to the county during this winter’s blizzard. He estimates they pulled at least 100 stuck motorists out of snowdrifts when commercial wrecker services couldn’t get there.

Winamac Town Council, Pulaski County Council to Meet Tonight

Two Pulaski County government agencies will meet tonight.

The Winamac Town Council will meet at 7 p.m. ET in the Municipal Utility Complex. Winamac Fire Chief Bill Weaver will have an update and Chris Smith will have a garbage collection update. Eric Galbreath will have information on the TV Cable and John Julian from Umbaugh and Associates will give the council water and waste water ordinances plus information on the pool.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Loan to Town of Monterey

The Pulaski County Council approved a loan to the Town of Monterey for its waste water treatment facility upgrade.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer asked the council if they would approve a $10,000 loan with zero percent interest to help the town complete its quest in obtaining money for 20 percent match for the $205,000 project.

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