After welcoming a new member and electing a new president, budget items were on the agenda at Thursday’s Kosciusko County Council meeting.

Council President Sue Ann Mitchell welcomed Mike Long, from District 2, to the council. Long replaced Tom Anglin, who retired for a second time from the council at year’s end.





Mitchell was rechosen to serve as council president for 2019, and Jon Garber will remain as vice president for the coming year as well.

As she did at Tuesday’s county commissioners meeting, County Corrections Director Anna Bailey asked the council for permission to apply for $541,000 in state grant money for the department’s 2020 budget. She’s asking the state for quite a bit more money, but there’s a need for more personnel and the expansion of rehabilitation programs. The request to apply for the grant was approved.

Superior Court I Judge David Cates asked the council for money to pay a second secretary in his court. One is retiring, and another has been hired sooner than anticipated, and Cates said the plan is to take advantage of the overlap for additional training. The approved additional appropriation will come from money budgeted for part-time secretarial help.

County Clerk Ann Torpy asked for $27,000 for a computer maintenance program. The clerk’s office is changing from one file maintenance provider to another this year, and the outgoing vendor declined to offer a discount since its contract wasn’t renewed. The council approved the appropriation.

Health Department Administrator Bob Weaver asked the council to move money for emergency preparedness from the 2018 budget into this year’s funds. The grant from which the money comes from operates from July 1 to June 30 of each year, so for the department to be able to spend the money it needed this accounting procedure done. The council approved the move.

Newly installed sheriff Kyle Dukes made his debut in front of the council. He asked the board to approve a Department of Natural Resources grant for $15,000 to fund boat patrols on Lake Wawasee and Syracuse and Tippecanoe lakes. Dukes said he had talked with DNR officials and learned how to apply for more funds in the future, which in turn would pay for additional patrols on more of the county’s waterways.

The council also moved funds for the Jail Chemical Addiction Program from the 2018 budget to this year’s account.

County Administrator Marsha McSherry asked the council to approved budgeted funds totaling $24,520 for a county employee wellness incentive program. The council approved the measure.

Also moving funds from the 2018 budget into 2019 were Ed Rock, with emergency management, and Jamie Ladd, representing the auditor’s office.

The county council will next meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at the courthouse.

NOTE: This story corrects the election of officers at the beginning of the meeting.