County Commissioners ring in new year

By Josh Sigler

The Wabash County Commissioners met for the first time in 2017 Monday, Jan. 7, with new commissioner Jeff Dawes taking in the experience.

Dawes previously served on the County Council.

“I’m sure there’s going to be a learning curve there, but I’m pretty happy with my two cohorts (Barry Eppley and Brian Haupert), that they’re going to bring me along and keep me updated on what I need to do and what’s going on.”

County Highway Superintendent John Martin presented a contract for engineering services for bridge No. 144, the bridge which was washed out last year on County Road 1050 South. The commissioners also accepted a construction bid for the replacement of bridge No. 151 which is on South County Line Road.

Sheriff Ryan Baker delivered his weekly jail report. The jail’s average daily population was 98, with 31 new bookings and seven total transports.

Forty-four prisoners are being housed in Miami County and eight prisoners are being house in Elkhart County. The jail’s peak population was 102 and the jail was over capacity 100 percent of the time during the week.

County Attorney Steve Downs presented several contracts for approval, including an interlocal agreement for funding and operations for Central Emergency Communications with the town of North Manchester.

A similar Central Emergency Communications contract was entered into with the City of Wabash.

An interlocal agreement was entered into between the county and the Town of North Manchester for the use of ambulance services in Pleasant and Chester Townships. The county also entered into an agreement with the City of Wabash for ambulance services outside of the city and remaining townships other than Pleasant and Chester.

A fee for services contract was entered into with Grow Wabash County to reflect the new name of the business, The Wabash County Business Alliance, Inc.

The county also accepted a contract for Downs to serve as the County attorney for another year. His firm has served as the county counsel since 2007.

The county was billed approximately $35,000 for services performed by Downs, and the bill for services will be $175 per hour for 2019, which is 30 percent less than the firm’s standard rate for clients.

Posted on 2019 Jan 08