Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes continues to make changes in the county jail.

He got permission from the county commission during its meeting Tuesday to spend $28,130 for weekend nurses in an effort to improve medical care in the facility and take away the liability of administering medications.

Dukes said that at the beginning of the month they brought in a new medical team, and things are going “phenomenal.” But he became concerned when he realized jail staff are being asked to diagnose illness and hand out medication on the weekends.

“It’s asking a lot,” said Dukes. “(Monday) I went back on one of my trips to the jail and I went into the nursing station and I really sat and looked at it and examined what they do.

“I have a whole new appreciation for nurses. They earn every dollar they make.”

Dukes said the jailers have enough to do without adding medical duties to the job description.

“The amount of medication, the bookings, the complaints; it just keeps going,” he said. “And we have a huge liability for handing out medicines.

“I want to make sure inmates in my jail receives the quality health care he or she deserves while in my facility. I have the money budgeted already, and I believe this is the right thing to do for Kosciusko County.”

Under the plan, a nurse will be on duty for 14 hours a day on weekends. Commissioners unanimously approved the plan.

County Attorney Chad Miner told the board he’s heard from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management regarding the proposed Tippecanoe/Chapman regional sewer district. Miner said an IDEM official told him that two issues needed to be handled for the petition to move forward.

IDEM requested data on the median income for residents in the district, and Miner said that information has already been sent.

The other item is that if the district enters into a contract with the Lakeland RSD, IDEM will require a county commissioner be a member of Lakeland’s board. The commissioners agreed to that provision.

Miner was asked about a possible public hearing date with IDEM for the Tippecanoe/Chapman RSD. Miner said a date should be finalized soon.

In other business the board:

• Finalized paperwork for the purchase of two medium-capacity buses for Kosciusko Area Bus Service. Delivery is expected in August.

• Approved the purchase of four new vehicles for the sheriff’s department.

• Authorized Miner to send a 90-day termination of service notice to CSI, a contractor for county data services. The switch to a new data system is nearly complete.

• Permitted Anna Bailey, community corrections director, to apply for a pair of grants from the Indiana Department of Corrections. The money would be used for drug court, administrative tools and staffing.

• Moved to spend $15,949 for new flooring in the area planning office.

The county commissioners will next meet at 9 a.m. March 19.