By Courtney Hughett
Washington Times Herald
SHOALS — The Martin County Commissioners voted Tuesday night, to sell 2 of their 4 acres remaining in the WestGate Tech Park to Chris Baugh of Loogootee for $15,000. Baugh will be building a not-yet-announced business on the acreage.
It was discussed at the last redevelopment commission meeting that Baugh may be requesting tax abatement in the future.
Economic Development Director Tim Kinder noted that the 2 acres have not been on the tax rolls in the county for 70-plus years.
Commissioner Dan Gregory said there are covenants and restrictions on buildings built in WestGate that Baugh has agreed to abide by. Gregory wished Baugh good luck with his endeavor.
Rhonda Rumble with SIDC and Lost River Township Trustee Millie Brown spoke to the commissioners about the Lost River Fire Station grant project. Rumble presented the commissioners with a subrecipient agreement to sign that is an agreement between the county and the fire station to work together.
She also reported that the fire department is working with the engineer to get the final design for the building together and bids will be let next spring. The completion date set by the grant is March of 2014 but Rumble said they are on track to be ahead of schedule.
Julia Albright gave the commissioners a new ordinance regarding fee increases for the health department. The fee for annual food permits was increased from $25 to $50 for permanent establishments. The fees for exempt food establishments and temporary permits per site/event remained the same.
Septic permits were increased from $30 to $50, dye testing stayed at $30, and well water testing went from being free to $10. Birth and death certificates went up from $7 to $8 to $10 depending on the type and to register or amend a birth certificate went up from $24 to $25. The cost for a genealogy search with up to five pages of information went from being no charge to $5. Each additional page is $1.
She said Martin County was charging significantly lower fees than surrounding counties and noted that on death certificates they were actually losing money.
“The new fees reflect a little better on the time it is taking us,” said Albright.
The commissioners also signed the health department’s contract with Hoosier Uplands. The contract is for Hoosier Uplands providing office space and staffing for the health department. There was no change in the contract amount which has been in place since the late 1990s.
The total contract is for $65,619 and of that the department receives local health maintenance funding of $33,139 from the state health department.
Highway Superintendent Jim Williams reported that the bridge being replaced on Deep Cut Lake Road is coming along with abutments done on both sides. He said beams are scheduled to be put in this week.
Pat King, with community corrections, told the commissioners that normally she would be presenting the department’s 2013-14 budget at this time, but due to changes she will be submitting that at the first of the year.
Judge Lynne Ellis reported that the key fobs will be installed on the doors at the courthouse tomorrow. She said the goal is to have it done before the end of the year.
County attorney Dave Lett said any group and/or board needing to appoint members for next year should let the commissioners know as soon as possible.
On a final note, the commissioners wished the county residents a Merry Christmas and reported that the courthouse will be closed today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the employees’ annual Christmas party.