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By LOU ANN MILLETT
Tipton County Board of Commissioners is seeking to become a Broadband Ready Community by approving Resolution BOC 2022-01 that will establish a procedure for broadband permitting. County Highway Superintendent Bret Morris was appointed the single point of contact for the program. He will be able to review and accept projects. Being a Broadband Ready Community is an incentive for private companies to invest in the county where broadband is needed.
Superintendent Morris, on the topic of excavation near utilities and drainage tiles, suggested changes to the Tipton County Excavation Ordinance. He recommended no removal of any traffic control or informational signs. He stated excavation should be no closer than 24 inches to a sign post or the edge of the road. He will discuss these proposed changes with County Attorney Mark Regnier.
On another subject, a brine maker, Morris has begun looking at the entry level maker as well as the next level. He will discuss brine makers with the Hamilton County Highway Superintendent. Morris is preparing for being able to keep Division Road safe when it becomes a truck route to bypass the City of Tipton. He noted brine would be washed away if it were applied during a rain event.
County Engineer Phil Beer II reported the Community Crossing bids will be received Feb. 14. He also noted, from current talks with INDOT, Ind. 19 transfer of ownership will occur on Sept. 30, 2022.
Beer reported RATIO representatives had talked with the County Coroner and the Tipton County HIstorical Society as to what they would need if their offices were moved to the former jail. The County Health Department also needs to be consulted. Commissioner Nancy Cline stated the County Clerk’s office also needed to be consulted as to what a room for the storage of records would need in the former jail.
Lisa Connors, of Alternatives, Inc. and Tipton County’s Victim Advocate, accepted $1,925 from the commissioners. She reported law enforcement contributed $3,000 along with contributions from the smaller towns within Tipton County. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Connors worked with 120 families in Tipton County, took 700 phone calls and was called out on situations 20 times. She stated, “I’m on 24/7 for Tipton County.”
Plan Department Code Enforcer Judy Coker shared bids for two tasks at 769N 600 East: one for cleaning up the property, filling in the basement, grading the property and securing a garage. The other was for decommissioning the septic system and capping the well. B & B Earthworks bid was $14,000 and $3,500 respectively. Unique Lawn Care bid $8,250 and $1,650. Gasho Earthwork bid $5,700 and $2,700. Jeff Redmon did not submit a bid. The commissioners selected the lowest total bid, $8,400 from Gasho Earthwork.
A representative from S.T.O.P (Save the Old Properties) spoke again to the commissioners about his group saving the former jail.
In other business, the commissioners approved the annual maintenance agreement with MicroVote for $13,000. This maintenance deals with the voting machines.
Mapping Solutions was given permission to access the county’s GIS data as the company prepares a plat book for the County Soil and Water District.
County Auditor Gregg Townsend asked the commissioners to review the Tax Refund Exchange and Compliance System in preparation for a discussion at the next BOC meeting concerning this proposal that helps a county collect taxes.
During public comment, a young mother of four children approached the commissioners with a “concern over the literature in the public library.” She stated she homeschools her school-age children and takes them to the public library for activities which she was pleased with. However, the whole family made one trip to the library where she reported on a different response. In the Children’s area, she saw a book on display entitled A Boy Name Penelope. Upon inspecting the book, she found it to be about a transgender child. She stated, “I am a Christian . . . this book is evil. It’s scary to put this in a child’s mind. We moved here because it was a small town . . .I want to keep my children innocent.” She reportedly complained to one of the library’s employees and said she and her family would not be coming to the library anymore. She then read a story to the two commissioners present, Tracey Powell and Nancy Cline. This story was about God’s mercy, a story that followed the Jonah and the whale story from a Bible storybook. She proclaimed membership in Mothers for Liberty.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners will be at 9 a.m. Feb. 14 in the first floor meeting room of the Tipton County Courthouse.