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Tuesday, March 09, 2021
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Commissioners to not consider Shelburn as a new jail sewage option

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The Sullivan County Commissioners seem committed to the city of Sullivan handling its sewage from their new proposed jail to be located just north of the city during its weather-delayed meeting on Thursday.

The commissioners voted to not use Shelburn's sewage facility as a second option.

"We are not going ahead with an engineering study with Midwestern Engineering to go to Shelburn, because we've gotten the impression that they are not necessarily willing to take our sewage," commissioners' president Bob Davis said.

"Because they advised our attorney that they were not interested," commissioner Ray McCammon added.

However, commissioners' attorney Terry Modesitt noted from his conversation, "(Shelburn) didn't close the door."

Commissioner John Waterman Sr. feels there are farther reaching implications than just sewage from the jail by Shelburn's reticence.

"It's not just our sewage, but it's also not expanding the industrial frontage on U.S. 41 to Shelburn," he noted. "The opportunity is not there, that's what's so sad.

"I thought it was a good possibility to open that area up from Sullivan to Shelburn to develop, but that's OK," McCammon added.

The county has already committed to a $26,000 engineering study with Commonwealth Engineering to examine the ability of the jail's sewage being handled by the city of Sullivan's treatment plant. The city and county appear close to finalizing an interlocal agreement.

Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb commented at a recent city council meeting he felt the city's sewer system will be able to handle the sewage.

The commissioners opened two bids for county employees' health insurance from Springer Insurance and Financial Services, Sullivan, and Epic Insurance Midwest, Terre Haute.

Both bids were taken under advisement so the county's insurance committee could review.

The commissioners' were presented surveyor plans for a planned expansion at
Breckenridge Health and Rehabilitation just north of Sullivan.

"We don't have anything more than that now, just the survey plans," Davis said.

The representative stated land has been purchased last year in anticipation of the development.

McCammon made a motion to table this until it can be reviewed, which was approved.

New county coroner Tracy Tackett also updated the commissioners, saying, "We are embarrassingly under equipped for the job we've volunteered for."

Tackett told the commissioners he would be approaching the Sullivan County Council at its meeting tonight to "discuss possibly some line items, appropriate some more money. We just have the bare minimums to try and do the job."

Tackett noted the Vincennes Coroner's Office has "graciously offered" to provide needed items "if we have a major incident."

"If that happens, we're going to have to have a lot of help," he said, noting he has reached out to the surrounding counties for their help.

Tackett said he currently has three coroner's deputies, adding, "This is a big learning curve and I'm just trying to catch up."

After the meeting adjourned, the meeting was briefly called back into session to review news received on House Bill 1381, concerning regulations for solar farms.

The commissioners agreed they would like to pass a resolution which states land use decisions are best left up to local control, which many counties have done so in opposition to the bill.

A digest of HB 1381 on the Indiana General Assembly website states that the bill “provides that a permit authority for a local unit may not restrict, or impose conditions or limitations on, the construction, installation, siting, modification, operation or decommissioning of wind power devices in the unit unless the unit first adopts a wind power regulation. Provides that a permit authority may not impose standards that: (1) concern wind power devices in the unit; and (2) are more restrictive than the default standards.”

HB 1381 was authored by Rep. Edmond Soliday; co-authored by Reps. Sharon Negele and Justin Moed; and sponsored by Senators Mark Messmer and Eric Koch.

The commissioners' intent was to call a special meeting to pass a resolution in opposition, which was announced on Sunday to be at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

At the outset of the meeting, Davis also publicly thanked the county's farmers and private for citizens for using their own equipment after the recent snow removal created by last week's major storm.

"We appreciate it very much," Davis stated.


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