EATON — During their meeting on Monday, Feb. 3, Preble County Commissioners discussed a request for repairs to a School Resource Officer’s car and two additional cars for the Preble County Sheriff Office.
Commission Clerk Kim Keller said she received an email from Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson informing the office of a blown engine in one of the SRO’s cars which needs to be replaced. It will cost approximately $3,700.
Simpson also told her he is ready to start the process to order two new cars. He plans to use some of the funds budgeted for additional safety equipment for the new cars to replace the engine in the old car.
Commissioners also discussed the cost estimate for the two new vehicles, which came in higher than expected due to the Sheriff requesting four wheel drives.
Commissioner Rodney Creech commented, he believes it is necessary for the Sheriff’s Office to have four wheel drive vehicles, as he has driven with them in inclement weather and personally seen the difference four wheel drive would make. Commissioner Clerk Keller argued, they operated for years without four wheel drive “just fine.”
“I wouldn’t have one without four wheel drive in Preble County,” Creech said.
Commission President Denise Robertson asked if the board needed to do anything, but Keller responded, she was just informing them of the situation and warning them they might still get a request.
Keller explained, she has not gotten his official letter stating final cost for the two vehicles. Commissioner Chris Day discussed purchasing cars instead of SUVs in the future, as SUVs are more expensive and they could almost purchase two cars for the price of one SUV.
Day also asked if the Sheriff needs to purchase both cars right now, or if he could wait to purchase the second one. Keller agreed to send an email back to Sheriff Simpson asking if he could delay the purchase of one car.
Mary Bullen spoke during public comments, asking for any updates on the Preble County Art Association’s (PCAA) old building located on Hillcrest Drive.
Commissioner Creech said they discussed the situation on Wednesday, Jan. 29, but came to no conclusion. Commissioner Day said he needs to talk to the Preble County Prosecutor still. Commissioner Robertson said she did talk to the prosecutor, but discussion could wait until Day had the same opportunity.
Bullen asked the board to set a goal to have a decision by the end of February.
“This is a really complex issue, I’m not going to set a goal,” Robertson said.
Bullen asked them to make their decision based on “what would serve the community the best.”
“[PCAA] has made a huge impact, all over. Even if you don’t decide on their request, let them go a different route. They need a decision. I believe out of respect for them, you guys should move on this,” Bullen said.
In other business, commissioners:
•Approved the adjustment of a solid waste improved parcel assessment.
•Noted receipt of and signed a letter to the auditor referencing waste assessment, scrivener error.
•Noted receipt of the appointment of Thomas McQuiston to the Preble County Park District.
•Noted receipt of the appointment of J. Stephen Simmons to the Preble County Park District.
•Noted receipt of and signed an agreement referencing MOU for Mental Health Services with Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board ($5,000) for the Preble County Sheriff’s Office.
•Noted receipt of and signed the amendment to the PRC Transportation Services Agreement with Preble County Council on Aging to extend an additional year ($10,000).
•Noted receipt of and signed an agreement and amendment referencing Pest Control Agreement and Contract Terms Amendment with Terminix ($640.20) for Building Maintenance.
•Noted receipt of and signed amendment three to the Janitorial Services Agreement with Carter Cleaning Enterprises, LLC to extend an additional year ($7,800).
•Noted receipt of and signed an autopsy services agreement with the Montgomery County Coroner ($80,000).
The Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse, unless noted otherwise.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH