The Decatur Daily Democrat
Livestock setback distance to be decided
Tuesday, May 31, will be when the Adams County commissioners will decide what the setback distance should be between intensive livestock operations and public buildings, education locations, and religious structures in rural areas of the county. The commissioners meet at 10 a.m. In the first floor meeting room of the Adams County Service Complex at Decatur. That date was set at Tuesday’s session of the commissioners, with president Stan Stoppenhagen saying extra time is required because the matter will come up at the May 19 meeting of the county plan commission and also because some differences in interpretation must be worked out by the two legal counsels involved: county attorney Mark Burry, who advises the commissioners, and Fort Wayne lawyer Pat Hess, who advises the plan commission. The plan commission’s May 19 meeting will also be in the service complex’s meeting room, but at 7 p.m. and will be open to the public. Commissioner Steve Kuhn is a member of the plan commission. At present, the setback distance is 3,000 feet, but plan commission approved on March 22 a 1,320-foot distance, after rejecting a proposal for 800 feet. Indiana law allows such setbacks of 800 feet from homes; 1,000 feet from all public buildings, schools, or churches; and 1,000 feet from any “built-up area.” Other items • The weekly Allied Benefit Systems total of medical and pharmacy bills covering county personnel was approved, 3-0, for $74,150.60. • The latest county payroll total of $340,278.13 was okayed, 3-0. • Accounts payable bills were paid, amounting to $310,021.36. • There was a unanimous vote to endorse guidelines set by the county council for pay hikes to county employees in 2023: $1 per hour or 75 cents per hour with an evaluation. The vote also ordered that each department head must add a line on his or her budget for “overtime/ compensatory time” by employees and then must estimate what that might be for the 2023 budget. • The contract for the operators of the new Adams County Animal Shelter, Mike and Cindy Heiser of rural Monroe, was approved, 3-0, at $3,750 per month for a time span ending on Dec. 31, 2026. The shelter is on US 27, about a mile north of Monroe. Rick Burkhalter, the superintendent of buildings and grounds, gave several short reports: 1. On May 6, fire extinguisher tests were conducted at the courthouse and the building housing Adams Superior Court and the county probation department. 2. The elevators in the courthouse and the service complex were tested and worked well. 3. New door locks will be installed in coming weeks at the service complex, which has 10 doors, and the courthouse, which has two main doors. 4. He will get specifications for using diesel fuel or natural gas to operate the backup generator in the service complex, although Burkhalter said the use of gas is “not too promising” due to a small service line to the building. • The $303,238 contract with Building Temperature Solutions of Fort Wayne was signed for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning work at the service complex. • There was a 3-0 vote to hire SC Construction of rural Berne to install two doors in what will be the power room at the service complex for $36,714. • John August, the county’s emergency management director, received approval, 3-0. to seek almost $30,000 in state grants about three hours after the county council did likewise on a 6-0 vote.