Library users with overdue materials may soon be taken to small claims court.
Last night, both the Dubois County Contractual and the Jasper Public Library Board heard from library director Rita Douthitt that the first batch of folks with delinquent materials are set to receive letters sometime in the near future. She says those folks will have about 30 to 60 days to respond to the letters.
If there is no response, Douthitt says they would be sued in small claims court for the missing materials. She says the changes are part of being accountable to taxpayers:
In other business, Douthitt announced that a new bookkeeper has been hired by the library. Angie Schuetter has been chosen to fill the role for the library. Schuetter has an accounting degree and is a licensed CPA. Douthitt says she has been doing most of the accounting work in the meantime. She says having someone with accounting experience will make a difference:
Schuetter is set to start her new job on Monday March 17th.
A Rockport electrical provider will soon be retrofitting its plant for more environmentally friendly emissions.
American Electric Power officials say new emission controls (which include a dry sorbent injection technology) at the coal powered generation facility are now being installed at the plant. They say those could be up and running by the end of this year. Plant officials say a second unit of the two-unit upgrade would likely be able to go into service starting next year.
Now the changes are being made in response to an agreement struck between the company and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission back in November. Under the terms of that agreement, the company is moving forward with a retrofit for alternative energy. The upgrades are expected to cost about 258 million dollars, which is a significant cost savings over a dry-scrubber which is a more traditional option. The dry-scrubber could have cost as much as 1.4 billion dollars to install according to AEP officials.
The changes are also part of a larger deal that stems from a settlement back in 2007. That settlement required AEP to stop using coal at 3 of its other facilities. It also stipulated that the sulfur-dioxide emissions at all of the company’s plant locations would be cut down by 80 percent companywide over a 12 year timeframe.
The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department recently received a donation for its K-9 unit.
The department says the Dubois County Community Foundation recently donated 75 hundred dollars towards the new K-9 unit. In a news release, Sheriff Donny Lampert says this donation and others have allowed current K9 dog Judge and deputy Brad Kendall to make progress in solving drug issues in the county.
Lampert says Judge has and will continue to make a difference across Dubois County in making the county safer and drug-free. The department says its next goal is to add a 2nd K9 unit to the force so that one unit could work during the dayshift and the other could cover the nightshift.
Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies are continuing their investigation into an accident involving a milk truck.
Deputies say just after 11:20 yesterday morning 31-year-old Jeremy Christian of Princeton was northbound along County Road 500 West just south of State Road 64 with a milk tanker truck when he ran off of the eastside of the roadway and into a ditch. The truck then listed over and became stuck in a ditch. Christian later told deputies he had blacked out and didn’t remember what actually happened. About 15 hundred dollars in damage was done to the tanker. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Sheriff’s deputies were assisted by Ruxer Ford and Stork’s Sales and Service Commercial Towing.
Yet another area school district has now voiced its opposition to the elimination of state tax revenue.
Last night, the Southeast Dubois School Board signed a joint resolution with the Ferdinand Town Council opposing the proposed elimination of the business personal property tax in Indiana without replacing the lost revenue. The 4 Dubois County school districts would lose more than 3.5 million dollars combined. The Southeast district would stand to lose 371 thousand dollars out of its budget according to superintendent Rick Allen.
Allen says not replacing the lost money would have a strong effect on the district:
As for the town of Ferdinand, they would stand to lose 18 percent of their budget should the revenue from the tax not be replaced.
In other business, the board also approved purchasing a new bus to replace one of its older ones. The board approved a quote from Kerlin Bus Sales at a total cost of 97 thousand 787 dollars. That cost includes 5 thousand dollars for a parts and service agreement.
Allen says replacing buses is something that’s done every so often as the law allows:
In final notes, the board approved a bid for Section 2 of roof work at Forest Park Junior/Senior High School. Hedinger Roofing’s bid for 213 thousand dollars was accepted after a bid from Preferred Construction was turned down due to them not having all of the necessary paperwork submitted.
Heavy rains in November sped up the process for the roofing project, which had originally been slated to be done a couple of years down the road.
As winter begins to move out of the area, officials in Daviess County are now looking ahead to spring road work.
County officials are anticipating a busy spring as far as roadwork is concerned. The main focus point will be ongoing work along County Road 900 East. That project, known as the Odon-Cannelburg Road Project, is set to have the first section of work done by mid-July though county commissioners president Tony Wichman says meeting that deadline will be tough.
The Odon-Cannelburg Road project is set to widen the road to have 12 foot wide concrete lanes and 8 foot wide asphalt shoulders. That work will cover an area between county road 450 North and just to the north of county road 550 North. A box culvert is also set to be installed under 550 North and five cross pipers will be going in under County Road 900 East.
Now that stretch of road is currently open to just local traffic. Truck traffic is currently being rerouted over County Road 650 East as a detour. Officials say keeping traffic off of County Road 900 East will be key to getting the work done on time.
The Odon-Cannelburg Road is not the only project the county has coming up this year. Other projects will include a new connector road between Interstate 69 and Business Route 50. Additionally, maintenance work is set to be a big deal this year as several roads have deteriorated badly and plenty of potholes will also need to be patched.
Indiana has approved legacy projects for the state’s upcoming 200th birthday and a trail for Spencer County is among those that were approved.
Earlier this week, the Indiana Bicentennial Commission announced that the Santa Claus-Lincoln Discovery Trail is 1 of 19 projects that have been approved in the first round. The new trail will be a 12 foot wide multi modal trail. It will support the facilities in and around both the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and Lincoln State Park.
The trail will extend from a facility located along the American Discovery Trail Route through the town of Santa Claus. It will also go through the intersection of State Roads 162 and 245 and will pass Heritage Hills High School and Middle School, hotels and motels, Holiday World, and Christmas Lake Village among other attractions.
Santa Claus town attorney Kevin Patmore says the trail will make things easier for people to get through the town during busy times of the year:
Patmore says the town has already received 340 thousand dollars to do the trail’s initial design. He also says INDOT has pitched in 80 percent of the construction cost for the trail.
Patmore also says the town is working with Spencer County to have 2 county roads running through the memorial vacated to keep motorized traffic out of the park. A new road would be built for those cars nearby.
To be approved, the projects have to meet at least 1 of several different criteria, including being culturally inclusive and creating a legacy for the future among others.
A full list of projects and a downloadable application can be found by visiting indiana2016.org.