GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Commissioners passed a series of additional appropriations Monday, including courthouse repairs and security upgrades as well as jail inmate medications.
The board approved a $200,000 appropriation from the General Fund for upkeep at the Elkhart County Courthouse in Goshen, including paint, carpet and furniture restoration. It also includes the restrooms, which County Administrator Jeff Taylor said has been drawing complaints from staff and visitors.
Commissioner Suzie Weirick said she would be in favor of drawing up an asset management plan for the building, so repairs don’t have to come all at once.
Commissioners approved another $200,000 from the General Fund for security upgrades at the courthouses and other buildings. Though details weren’t given, Weirick remarked that the work is overdue and much-needed.
And they voted to appropriate $200,000 to cover additional costs for medication for jail inmates from the Public Safety Local Option Income Tax fund. Sheriff Jeff Siegel said a few of the people being held at the Elkhart County Correctional Facility have medication needs that are more expensive than others, but overall, he said the county’s responsible for the health of nearly 900 people at the jail.
“Think of how expensive it is for a family. So we’ve got a really big family,” he remarked.
He said major costs include things like medicine and transportation for inmates who need medical care outside of the facility. He said it’s hard to anticipate all the costs ahead of time, since someone who has a costly medical condition before going into the jail must continue receiving treatment.
The commissioners also approved:
n A $250,000 appropriation from the Major Moves fund to replace computers at the sheriff’s office and in its squad cars. The department will repay the fund, which is typically used for major infrastructure projects, at an interest rate of up to 2 percent.
n An additional $200,000 from the General Fund to cover the cost of electricity at county buildings for the rest of the year.
n An agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation over the $1 million Community Crossings matching grant that the county received. Transportation Manager Charlie McKenzie said they identified four mill and overlay projects to use the full $2 million on.
Those include C.R. 17, between C.R. 18 and C.R. 20 and between C.R. 30 and C.R. 32, as well as C.R. 20 between West County Line Road and Best Avenue, and C.R. 33 between U.S. 33 and U.S. 6.
McKenzie said the highway department will bid out the four projects in spring.