Volunteers needed to help with courthouse landscaping

Staff reporter

The county is looking for residents with green thumbs and ideas to assist with the landscaping of the courthouse square.

New grass, sprinkler system, and plants are in the plans with much discussion in the past weeks about hiring a professional landscaper to provide a plan.

Commission Dan Holub asked county clerk Carol Maggard during Monday's meeting about fund-raising opportunities to pay for the improvements and maybe a committee should be formed. Maggard said she wasn't sure how well that work on a county level.

Holub continued that he would rather use donations than tax dollars on the project.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said if a landscape project is started, it could be a long-term project and will require money to do it.

Anyone interested in assisting, should contact the county clerk's office.

In other business:

— A C&D landfill could be located at the former Marion County Landfill. Consultant Jack Chappelle had commented that there wasn't any reason that the other side of the former landfill site couldn't be used as a construction and demolition depository.

— Communications director Michele Abbott-Becker asked for permission to accept a grant for a third work station for dispatchers. Currently there are two dispatchers on duty during peak times to answer calls and to assist the jail in becoming compliant to the state fire marshal's requirement of having someone available to escort prisoners from the jail in case of disaster.

A grant had been received for $27,413 with the county's share being $16,501 for the work station. Abbott-Becker said funds were available in the county's 911 fund.

The commission then discussed a possible location for the station. Dallke said he would like to see a dispatch employee at the front desk of the sheriff's office. Sheriff Lee Becker asked what the cost would be to move the dispatch center to the sheriff's front office.

Abbot-Becker said it would require re-wiring and she would prefer keeping the department together in case of a major incident.

— Bob Maxwell, county representative to the Corrections Advisory Board of the Eighth Judicial District, told the commission that he was frustrated because the public doesn't know much about the board.

Maxwell said he would like to report on a regular basis to the commission regarding the board's activities.

The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse.