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County moves forward with tech issues


Information Technology Director Bob Murphy was instructed by county commissioners to move forward with the concept of upgrading technology in LaGrange County at Monday morning’s meeting. The items to be addressed include:

·        Fiber optic cable to connect the county highway department, county courthouse, county annex building, county health department, and county sheriff’s office.

·        New consoles for the emergency radio operators at the 911 Call Center.

·        Two new 800-megehertz repeater stations for use by county communications.

·        Document scanning and software upgrades for the county GIS department.

    The projects are estimated to cost between $835,000 and $1 million. Murphy was instructed to have a more definitive plan in place by the May 14 LaGrange County Council meeting.

    Murphy was also given permission to form a technology committee for the county. He requested commissioners to appoint a committee consisting of one county commissioner, one county councilperson, and one person each from the county highway department, county sheriff’s office, county parks department, county health department, county courthouse, and county annex building.

    Commissioners agreed to move ahead with plans to have both a Phase I and Phase II environmental study done for a brownfield in LaGrange County. The county is part of a seven-county consortium that has made a grant application through Region III-A for grant money to fund the study.

    Each county is guaranteed funds for the two-phase study for both a petroleum and a hazardous waste site study. The proposed petroleum site study will be done at a location in LaGrange.

    Commissioners ruled for Johnson Township in a poor relief hearing held last week. The plaintiff in the action failed to attend the hearing and as a result lost by default.

    An ordinance to prohibit firearms in the county courthouse was passed. The only exceptions noted are for a judge, prosecuting attorney, or police officer on duty. A fine of $2,500 is provided for violation of the ordinance.

    Marque Ambulance of Elkhart will be remounting an ambulance body on a new chassis for Emergency Medical Services. The company had the low bid of three received at $79,837. Other bids were very close with the highest at $83,938.

    Commissioners approved seven plats for the county planning department that include eight building lots. All were approved by the county plat committee without restrictions.