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CASA gets boost from county


Superior Court Judge George Brown was successful in getting a boost for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program at Monday’s county commissioners meeting. Brown requested that LaGrange County fund an additional $858.95 for the program in 2013.

Currently, the LaGrange County budget allocates $4,500 a year from both the superior and circuit courts of the county toward funding the project. There is a state match for each dollar funded locally. The additional $858.95 will be enough to maximize the state match.

It was noted that LaGrange County is on the low end monetarily of those counties in our area. Some area counties are funding the program at more than $40,000 a year.

According to one comment at the meeting, there are some 51 children eligible for CASA services in LaGrange County.

Commissioners approved a personnel training contract for the sheriff’s department. The training contract with Howard Williams will help sheriff’s department personnel keep current on state laws and other issues relating to their work.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle will be transferred from the sheriff’s department to the parks and recreation department when the new sheriff’s department vehicles arrive. The current vehicle driven by the park ranger is in need of extensive repairs, perhaps more that the vehicle is worth, according to reports.

County Attorney Kurt Bachman was instructed to make a settlement with attorneys representing a party that was arrested under the county-wide burn ban prior to going to trial. The burn ban was placed into effect during the drought of 2012.

Bachman noted that the LaGrange County Regional Utility District has asked for a projection of the tax dollars to be received from the Lima Township TIF District for the next few years. Bachman will work with County Financial Advisor Jeff Peters to supply the requested projections to the utility district.

The county has asked the utility district to relinquish their first in line position to receive TIF payments to the potential funding of interest on the shell building that will be erected in the Fawn River Industrial Park.

Payments currently being made to the utility district from the TIF district are a subsidy to the operating funds for costs associated with the infrastructure at Fawn River Industrial Park.

A contract with Pitney Bowes for a postage machine in the clerk’s office was approved. The contract calls for payment of $213 per month for 36 months.

Commissioners also signed a contract for $53,000 with the Nexus Group from Noblesville. The contract covers trending and assessment of new construction for the 2013 payable 2014 property taxes in LaGrange County. The contract will benefit the LaGrange County Assessor’s Office and Assessor Pat Monroe.

Rita Lehner from the GIS department asked commissioners to reject all bids received for the contour project. The low bid was for some $67,000 and Lehner said that her department can do the needed work in-house for under $6,000.

A design approval for a bridge over Emma Creek on CR 700W was approved for County Highway Superintendent Jeff Brill.