Chesterton Tribune

Commissioners approve funding for courthouse metal detector and Xray

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By DOUG ELISH

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.

Additional Court nixed

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 IV-D court.

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 Evans’ motion.

“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.”

Animal Control Board

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.

 

Posted 11/2/2011