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Council Discusses Bridgeton Festival Costs, Reacts to Commissioner’s Health Vote

By Mark Spelbring

Sentinel Reporter

At their August 10 meeting, Parke County Council members handled several routine financial matters as they prepare for budget hearings this coming Thursday, August 17, however their usual close relationship with the County Commissioners showed some strain on a couple issues, including the vote earlier in the week to “opt in” to the state’s “Health First Indiana” funding program.

The council heard a couple departmental reports, including from Assessor Katie Potter, who stated reassessment work is back underway now in Reserve Township.  She noted there are two petitioners with four properties going to appeals after the bridge festival, but concluded things were going well.

Sheriff Jason Frazier reported inmate billing of $165, 879 year-to-date, and he noted the Commissioners had asked him to get funding for road closures in Bridgeton during the festival.  He reported they suggested having four checkpoints that would need to be manned, and noted with school out that week he would have school resources officers (SRO) available, but he stated he had thought two checkpoints and felt that could be covered.  Frazier noted his staff will have to cover security on the Courthouse square this year as well.

Council members expressed concerns, asking what was driving the plan to close the main street?  Frazier noted the Commissioners had formed a committee to develop a plan to help deal with congestion and the potential for conflicts on the street.  Frazier explained the difference between special deputies and reserves, noting that reserves receive a clothing allowance but are not paid.  Council members said they expected one of the Commissioners would be at the meeting, but noted none was present to explain their perspective.  After discussion it was concluded they don’t have enough details yet and suggested a commissioner come to the next meeting.

For the full article, see the August 16 edition of the Parke County Sentinel.