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Costs for work release going up

Costs for participating in the LaGrange County Work Release program will be going up starting the first of July. County commissioners approved a minimum increase from $100 per week to $125 per week or from 25 percent to 28 percent of income, whichever is higher.

These costs are levied against anyone who is a participant in the local work release project where an eligible person reports to work and then back to the jail. The program is designed to allow people to maintain employment while serving jail time.

The local work release program will be instituting a new GPS tracking system at the same time. This system will allow the sheriff’s department to know exactly where any work release client is at any time while they are away from the jail.

The lease for the monitoring system is for a three-year period with an automatic renewal for year after year following the initial period of time. There is an option for the county to terminate the lease with 30 days notice prior to the annual renewal time.

Robert Murphy reported that there is nearly $90,000 remaining in the proceeds from the $2 million technology bond issue of last year. He asked commissioners for approval of a plan to use some of those funds to purchase additional storage for the county’s computer system.

The system currently has a capacity for six terabytes of information storage with approximately 92 percent of the storage in use. His plan is to increase that storage to 12 terabytes at a cost of $20,505. Commissioners approved the request.

Murphy also asked to upgrade an audio and video recording system for the county jail. The new system will cover two interrogation rooms and one office at the jail and will cost $23,875. This was also unanimously approved by commissioners.

A new three-year contract with Republic Services was approved for trash removal. The contract covers the county parks, health department, county highway, county office building, county courthouse and county jail. Prices were mostly firm for the next two years from what is currently being paid. The third year will be subject to a 5 percent increase.

Council on Aging (COA) Executive Cheri Perkins told commissioners that things are on track for her agency to move June 28 and 29. The COA will be moving from its Fenn Street location to the former Moose Lodge building on US 20. She noted that there is interest in building a garage facility at the new location.