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Burn ban extended until Aug. 6


LaGrange County Commissioners extended the burn ban for LaGrange County until Aug. 6 at Monday’s meeting. The ban could be lifted should a significant amount of rain be received prior to that time with a special meeting of the commissioners.

    Commissioners asked County Sheriff Terry Martin to have county police start enforcing a state statute that prohibits throwing lighted cigars or cigarettes out of vehicles. This violation is a Class A Infraction that can result in a fine much the same as a moving traffic violation.

Commissioners announced there will be a statewide webinar shown at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the commissioners meeting room. The webinar deals with what can be done at the county level to help with the drought-related crisis. This is open to the public.

Upon the recommendation of Information Technology Director Bob Murphy, commissioners approved the bid of InDigital for the new console units at the communications department. The $81,689 contract is contingent on receiving a Certificate of Insurance from the firm.

Commissioners also approved contracts for:

·        J & K Communications of Columbia City,  $30,854 for a GPS system to track county highway vehicles;

·        Unique Truck Equipment of Grand Rapids, Mich., $14,527 for diagnostic equipment to be used at the county highway department truck garage;

·        Oce’ North America of Ft. Wayne, $34,918 for eight new copy machines (some of old units will be traded in and those on lease turned back to the leasing company);

·        Indus of West Salem, Wisc., $49,110 for document management, scanning of old books in courthouse attic, as well as current documents, microfiche and microfilm.

    These five projects will be funded with Rainy Day money. When the $1.2 million technology bond issue money is received, the Rainy Day fund will be reimbursed.

    Murphy noted that the county will save some $3,000 per month in telephone costs when the full range of tech bond projects is complete. “We will also save some $17,000 to $20,000 a year in annual maintenance fees on the combined assessor, treasurer/auditor software package,” he added.

    Regarding another technology related issue, County Assessor Pat Monroe and Murphy requested permission to set up a remote for Monroe in her home. The remote will be from Monroe’s computer in the county office building to a county owned laptop in her home. This will allow Monroe to work from home, the same as if she were at work. Commissioners approved the request.


    Commissioners approved a new scale for the health department that will be used to weigh both adults and infants. The Durand model 6200 will cost $480 and will be purchased with WIC grant dollars.