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Council passes scooter surtax ordinance

Members of the LaGrange County Council held a public hearing on an ordinance that will impose an annual surtax on small motor scooters starting January 1, 2015. There was no public comment on the proposal, either for or against.

Council adopted the ordinance unanimously.

Information Technology Director Bob Murphy informed the council that the county is running out of capacity on its information storage system. “Both the network storage and external storage system are the same size and each holds a maximum of six terabytes of data,” he explained. “We are now at about five and one-half terabytes and rapidly closing in on the max.” He further explained there are now over 100 users on the system, which includes all the courts as well as the sheriff’s department and all the offices. “Everyone is now scanning data into the system on a regular basis,” he added.

Murphy’s proposal to double the system capacity from 6 to 12 terabytes will cost $20,500. The system will also be expandable to 24 terabytes at a future date. Council members approved the proposal and will take the money for the appropriation from the Cumulative Capital Fund.

Murphy also asked for a replacement of audio and video equipment for the sheriff’s department that is used for interviewing people. “This equipment is nine years old and is no longer reliable,” he said. “The equipment is in two different interview rooms and one office and will cost $23,000.”

Council members voted to advertise an additional appropriation from the infraction deferral fund for the July meeting.

This action sets up a direct confrontation between the prosecuting attorney and the county council on who has control of infraction deferral funds. To date, any money expended from the fund has been recommended by the county prosecuting attorney much the same as expenditures from the recorder or clerk impressed funds are handled. The council appropriates funds after the recommendation from the various office holders.

Sheriff Terry Martin told council that his office is not able to keep up with the amount of complaints coming in requesting enforcement of the county nuisance ordinance. “This is developing into a full-time job,” he said. Martin indicated that the budget for 2015 will reflect the need for a person to fill this position.

Legal claims in the amount of $8,946 were approved.

Announcement was made that FEMA has allotted some $60,000 for expenses incurred during the snowstorms earlier this year.