FC Commissioners join law suit regarding property PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 09:21

By Josh Suiter
Special Correspondent

The Floyd County Commissioners voted to join the county health department in a lawsuit regarding the property at 519 Haufeldt Lane during their September 19 meeting.

The property owned by Jarrett Hamilton is littered with cars and debris and neighbors say is attracting rats and snakes.

During the meeting, County attorney Rick Fox asked for a hearing with Superior Court 1 Judge Susan Orth as soon as possible and it is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 2.

Fox said he asked the court for an order to force Hamilton to clean up the outside of the property along with the inside of the house and garage, or “for the house to be torn down.”

The property, which sits in a two-mike fringe zone between the City of New Albany and the county, has cleaned up by the city twice.

Irv Stumler, president of Keep New Albany Clean and Green, said “Everyone in the city and county should be embarrassed that it has gone on so long.”

He said his group would pay Jeff Eastridge of C.C.E. Inc. $5,000 to clean up the debris in the yard if a lien was placed on the property. “We urge you immediately to ask the court to authorize this clean up.”

Commissioner John Schellenberger said he also talked to a representative with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management about the property, and they have taken pictures. He said they are supposed to give a summary of their findings.


Jail renovations

The commissioners voted on Option B for the Floyd County Jail renovations, which will include adding 96 more beds and turning the outside recreation area into a new cell block. The plan is expected to add years to the jail’s life.

Director of County Operations Don Lopp and Sheriff Loop endorsed the plan at the meeting, after reviewing the jail study document.

Lopp said the plans will now move forward and funding options will be reviewed. The price tag is estimated to be $11.5 million. However, $6.7 million of that was already set aside for jail improvements and approved following the sale of the hospital.

Lopp also said the cost to build a new jail would be around $50 million and would increase to $60 million if a judicial center were added.


Health care costs

Rick Zoeller with Assured Partners also spoke about the county’s healthcare plan. He said Floyd County employees will see a 3-percent decrease in 2018.

Zoeller attributed this decrease to the county’s involvement in the the Go 365 wellness and rewards program through Humana that employees participate in. He specifically acknowledged Suzanna Worrall, the commissioners administrative assistant and wellness coordinator, for promoting the program. “We have had the Go 365 program here for years but this is the first time we have had this much participation,” he said.

He added that in the last 11 years, Floyd County employees have seen a 2.5-percent health insurance increase on average.

Zoeller also said that in 2018 Dental insurance will increase by 91 cents per employee but that vision, accidental life and whole life will remain the same.