County Council chooses officers

The Huntington County Council had their regular session on Monday, Jan. 25., at 7 p.m., at the Huntington County Courthouse.
Members present at the meeting were Ron Kline, Terry Miller, Keith Eller and Kittie Keiffer. Kendall Mickley and Shane Bickel attended via Zoom. Phil Hibbert did not attend.

Auditor Jill Landrum, for Treasurer Brenda Hamilton, requested a transfer of $244 from travel expenses to mileage reimbursement to accommodate account changes in the new LOW Financial Software. Motion passed unanimously.

The salary ordinance was opened to reflect the pay for a new employee in the assessor’s office. The council approved the amount.

Sheriff Chris Newton made staffing position changes creating a lieutenant position, changing two sergeants to lieutenants and changing one captain position to a deputy position. A salary ordinance amendment was passed to reflect these position changes.

Robert Jeffers, Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director, requested appropriation of funds into their appropriate accounts, as follows: A 2020 State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Grant for $11,830, camera equipment, $9,830 and rental equipment, $2,000.  

Tami Hurlburt, environmental health and foods specialist, requested an appropriation of $40,320 for Fund 8906, for vaccines. Previously, it was advertised as Fund 9118. Upon receiving further information, it was determined the funds should be in Fund 8906. This change was to be advertised correctly before the February meeting.  

Amy Richison, prosecutor, requested an appropriation of $4,000 for office supplies, part-time, travel expenses and miscellaneous services and charges. The request was unanimously approved.

Huntington County Commissioner Tom Wall requested an appropriation of $1.35 million for the LIT Correctional Rehab – Jail Expansion Project. The request was approved unanimously.

Assistant Director of Dispatch Tony Ehler requested an appropriation of $192,760. The original budget request was advertised for less than the budget approved. These dollars will help pay for the wages for the director, assistant director and two dispatchers. His request was approved.

Heather Malone, chief probation officer, requested an appropriation for $1,240.49 for the 2020 LACE Probation Grant for drug testing and supplies and also $3,487.84 for the 2021 Local Anti-Drug Coalition Effort (LACE) Probation Grant for drug testing and supplies. Her request was approved.

Erin Wiley, drug court coordinator, requested appropriations for the following: Drug Court User Fees, $15,620.39; Problem Solving Court Grant, $127.56 for travel expenses; Indiana Supreme Court Grant, $6,102.59 for drug testing, travel expense, drug court incentives and SCRAM/ MRT; LACE DC Grant, $3,500 for drug court incentives; 2021 LACE DC Grant, $3,500 for drug court incentives.

County Extension Director Ed Farris gave an update on Purdue Extension (CO-OP) and passed out the 2020 annual report. Farris says he plans on going to the Job Class Committee to request combining two positions.

Jill Landrum requested to add a COVID line in the County Council’s budget to track any COVID-related expenses going forward. Keiffer made a motion to designate $50,000. This was to be advertised ahead of the February meeting.

Landrum also provided information about purchasing timekeeping software. Wall said the Huntington County Commissioners are on board. Council agreed to move forward with the project.  

The council committee members reported, with Kline saying 89 people are currently involved in Community Corrections with 62 in home detention and 12 on probation.

Bickel reported on LACE/Early intervention team, saying at the committee’s last meeting they learned Huntington County is in the top 10 percent of Indiana counties retrieving back child support.

The council also moved that committee appointments will remain the same for 2021.

Additionally, council voted to retain the same officers as 2020, which were Kline as president and Keiffer as vice president.