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Corrections staff may get training

Professional training for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. corrections staff on acceptable Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protocol will cost a maximum $5,000 if the county council approves the funding from riverboat revenue.
Kenneth R. Adams, a Floyd County employee-related consultant with WDT Consulting, told the Harrison County Commissioners on Monday that an estimated 60 to 80 hours would be needed to complete the training in four or five half-day sessions.
The training would be completed within 90 days from the date a contract is awarded, Adams said.
‘I think it’s a good next step,’ said commission chair J.R. Eckart. ‘The costs are reasonable.’
WDT Consulting’s training recommendations follow consultants’ meetings with Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick and his supervisory staff in the wake of eight discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC in recent months. The EEOC has ruled that those complaints warrant civil action.
A two-page report from the consultants detailed the initial meeting with the sheriff and his ‘leadership team.’ County attorney Christopher Byrd also attended the meeting.
Byrd told the commissioners the sheriff has agreed to allow the time necessary for the staff to attend the training sessions.
Commissioner James Goldman’s motion Monday to ask the county council for the funds from the riverboat revenue human services account was seconded by Jim Heitkemper.
In other matters Monday, the commissioners:
— Agreed to seek $24,470 to purchase a 2005 Silverado pickup from John Jones GM City for the animal control officer to use. The quote was $471 higher than the $23,999 quote from Jasper Uebelhor Sales & Service of Jasper for the ‘basic work truck,’ but the truck topper didn’t meet the specifications. ‘Let’s do business with the local folks, folks,’ said Heitkemper. Goldman said, ‘We’ve got to get some money to do it first.’ His motion to go to the council for funding from the riverboat contingency or human services account was seconded by Heitkemper.
Eckart noted that the commissioners had hoped to replace the emergency services truck, now being used by emergency management director Greg Reas, for heavier duty than it is intended, and give that truck to the animal control officer. But Eckart said he was told by a member of the council that funds would not be approved for a new truck for Reas. Eckart did not identify the council member, but said he was sure the majority would go along with that person’s stance.
‘I don’t think what was done today serves the needs of the county,’ Eckart said. But, he added: ‘The council said don’t come in asking for anything else for the emergency management agency.’
— Agreed to the purchase of a firetruck by the Lanesville Volunteer Fire Dept. from Midwest Fire & Safety Systems of Indianapolis for $148,907, the only bidder. Under the agreement with the department, Harrison County will pay $60,000 toward the purchase and the Lanesville department will make up the difference.
— Heard a request from Ramsey Vance, captain and purchasing agent for the Milltown Volunteer Fire Dept., for $115,000 to purchase a tanker truck capable of carrying 5,000 gallons. ‘Crawford County has no funding available,’ Vance said, adding that Crawford has sometimes provided funds for training. The Milltown department is made up of volunteers who live on the Crawford County side and Harrison side of Blue River. Vance was asked to determine the amount the department could pay and attend the county council’s Feb. 14, 7 p.m. meeting.
— Heard a request from Roger Gleitz, president of the Harrison County Historical Society, for space to display artifacts and historic documents, possibly in the renovated downtown jail building, when that work is complete or in other secure locations. No action was taken.
Among the 100 or so items the society has accumulated are court docket and other record books, mostly from the 1800s, plus a powder horn thought to have been used in the Revolutionary War, an 1870 sword assumed to have been used by Morgan’s Raiders, a pen used by the commissioners to sign the contract for the courthouse to be built in 1917, a painting owned by former Harrison County historian Fred Griffin of the West Bridge, and a large ladle from the Alice Dean paddle-wheeler that was commandeered by Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raiders to cross the Ohio River at Mauckport and then sunk.
— Received word that Harrison County’s health insurance premiums with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield will go up 14.42 percent on the April 1 renewal date unless policy changes, such as increases in deductibles and co-pay, are made.
Mark Hamilton said the increase is necessary because 96 percent of the premiums in the last policy year were paid out in claims. Other insurers were invited to provide quotes, but five declined and one submitted an uncompetitive quote, Hamilton said. ‘The only other option we have is to work with these deductibles,’ Hamilton said.
The information was provided to inform the commissioners, and no action is yet required.

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