New public safety equipment was the main order of business in a speedy
Porter County Commissioners meeting Tuesday afternoon.
On the recommendation of Porter County Sheriff David Lain, the commissioners
approved the purchase of a new walk-through metal detector and X-ray machine
for the courthouse in Valparaiso.
The metal detector will cost $3,815, including installation and maintenance,
while the X-ray machine will run the county $17,442 and require an
additional yearly fee in the thousands for upkeep.
Lain said the X-ray machine was more expensive because there is really only
one option for the county, Auto Clear Control Screening which the county
already works with, but a replacement is necessary since the current machine
was donated to the county and is a 1994 model.
“It’s gotten to the point where it really can’t be repaired, parts are hard
to come by,” Lain said.
The commissioners approved the purchase of both machines with CEDIT money,
but will discuss the service agreement payment with the judges when the
exact cost is known.
In other court-related news, commissioner president John Evans made a failed
motion to allow an architect firm to begin renovation plans for a county
The county council had initially approved the county judges’ request to hire
new staff and begin a new IV-D court during the budgeting process using
mostly dedicated IV-D money, but that was one of the changes put on hold by
flat-lining the budget.
The renovated court and new magistrate would have increased the amount of
child support cases heard but run the county about $100,000 out of the
general fund and put it over budget.
Evans said he believed it was appropriate to get the renovation plans
underway regardless, with no necessary funding at this time, because the new
court is a state-mandated change that the county is going to have to figure
out a way to fund.
Commissioner Nancy Adams said she preferred to speak with the council before
moving forward and commissioner Carol Knoblock also declined to second
“The state mandated this IV-D court be created, I just wanted to get the
architects underway,” Evans said. “We are going to have to do it in January
anyway and start from step one.”
Lain also announced two of his three appointments to the re-created animal
control board on Tuesday.
Lain said veterinarian Thomas Covault and realtor Donna Pace, both of
Valparaiso, will be part of the board along with shelter director Kristina
Montgomery and a to-be-determined commissioners’ appointment.
The sheriff said his third appointment, which will be a lawyer, will be
finalized by the next commissioners meeting on Nov. 15.
The five-member board is designed to help coordinate procedures on how to
handle dangerous animals.