County appoints EDA member, gives update on 911 renovations

The Morgan County Commissioners appointed a new Paw Paw representative to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to serve for a three-year term during their June 3 meeting, which was live streamed through social media.

EDA Executive Director Daryl Cowles said Paw Paw town officials offered him three recommendations to fill a town space on the board. He asked that the county appoint Brandy Steele to the board.

Cowles said Steele is from Paw Paw and is a graduate of the high school there. She has organized community events and is “a local volunteer that has earned the respect of people there,” Cowles said. “She’s a young energetic person from Paw Paw with great ties.”

Commissioners approved the appointment. Steele will serve through December 31, 2022.

In other business, commissioners approved the hire of a full-time Court Security Officer for the courthouse at the request of Sheriff K.C. Bohrer.

Sheriff Bohrer said due to COVID-19, the duties of court security officers are “more taxing” and courts require more personnel to operate.

County officials approved the hiring of Anthony Randazzo for the full-time position, effective immediately.

Commissioners also hired a full-time member of the 911 dispatching staff. Michael Deloof will start the job as full-time Emergency Telecommunicator on June 15.

Commissioners accepted a bid from Ganoe Communications for $14,616 for the purchase of a Netclock to synchronize all electronic equipment in the new 911 center. The county received a higher bid of $16,383 and a lower bid of $4,363 for a different clock system not listed in the bid solicitation.

In discussing the ongoing renovation and setup of the county’s new 911 center in the former Sheriff’s Office, County Administrator Stefanie Allemong said the only large purchase left is going to be for a chemical sprinkler system. Allemong said a water sprinkler can’t be used where the data server and electronic equipment is housed. She expects that equipment to cost roughly $15,000.

So far, the county has spent $35,000 for renovations to date, said Allemong.

The county has spent under $250,000 for the combined work on the new Sheriff’s Office and the new 911 center, she said.

Commissioner Joel Tuttle said that’s far below the $500-800,000 they expected to spend on building a new 911 center.

“We’ve done it for a fraction of the cost using our own workers. They’ve done a great job,” said Tuttle.

Commissioners voted to cancel their June 17 scheduled meeting in order to accommodate vote canvassing in the state primary election. They will start canvassing the vote on Monday, June 15 and have set aside three days to complete the process, which involves checking electronic vote totals against paper receipts from touchscreen machines or absentee ballots.

“What we expect is that canvassing is going to take longer,” said Tuttle.