By the end of February, the Whitley County Fiscal Court hopes to have a new security system installed at the courthouse.
"We have a security system. We are in the process of updating that since the break-in," Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. told the fiscal court during its monthly meeting Tuesday.
On Dec. 21, someone broke into the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department inside the courthouse, and apparently took guns and other items.
Treasurer Jeff Gray said that he has spoken with six vendors, who he has walked through the courthouse to show them where cameras will need to be installed.
So far, he has received one proposal and is waiting on the other five, and hopes to have the system installed next month.
During its meeting Tuesday night, the fiscal court also discussed two measures related to litter and illegal dumps.
One is a continuation of the Litter Lieutenants program that began last year, and enables non-profit groups to make $100 per mile or up to $500 cleaning up county roads.
Projects Director Tracy West said she is taking up to 30 applicants again this year on a first come, first served basis so interested groups need to apply early.
Last year’s money was used to purchase everything from athletic shoes to presents for senior citizens. Groups that applied last year can apply again this year, West said.
The fiscal court also approved the first reading of a budget ordinance accepting a $327,387 grant to clean-up 24 illegal dumps in Whitley County. Last year the county received about $180,000 in grant money for dump clean-up.
West said work has already begun on next year’s grant application.
In addition, the fiscal court discussed the formation of a new volunteer fire department in the Western Central area.
Woodbine Volunteer Fire Department had proposed opening another station in the area, and Woodbine Firefighter Paul Sergent inquired about the status of the department’s request.
Gray said that the county has been advised that several Western Central residents are in the process of forming a new fire department and that a local volunteer fire department has agreed to donate a truck for the new department’s use.
Sergent noted that his department would like to assist with the effort.
In other business, the fiscal court:
¥ Recognized Whitley County EMS, which recently received the Patriotic Employer Award for accommodations the group makes for military personnel. Director Kelli Harrison said that Whitley EMS worker Darrell Gardner nominated the department for the award before he was called up for active military duty.
¥ Received and update from the U.S. census representatives, who noted that about 340 temporary census worker jobs in Whitley County still need to be filled. The jobs pay $10.75 an hour plus mileage from your drive-way. Both full and part-time positions are available. Althea Francis, a census spokeswoman, told the fiscal court that working as a census working won’t adversely affect someone drawing unemployment. She said that unemployment benefits would simply be put on hold until after the census job is complete.
"We want a good, accurate count. We need everybody’s help," she added.