The Department of Public Works requested to purchase radio equipment for their communications division. The Department of Public Works also requested to renew their "piggyback" on Clark County's contract for chip-seal oil, as it is the cheapest method for Pacific County to acquire the oil, they were both approved.
The shoreline planning committee gained a couple members, Phil Martin and Ken Wiegardt, and lost four members, at their request to be removed: Leslie Brophy, Cheri Diehl, Scott Turnbull and Larry Warnberg.
"The shoreline planning committee is committed to every two weeks until the job is done, which is a lot of time and some people didn't have that time and we also said that if you miss more than two of these meetings, that you're obviously not meeting that commitment. So rather than waiting for this to happen, some of the members just decided to leave now, which is fine. It looks like the Shoreline Planning Committee is working quite well and getting the job done," said Commissioner Frank Wolfe.
The Pacific County Sheriff's Office requested to include their 2002 Ford F-150 into the ER&R, but the commissioners were not in favor of the request. Lisa Ayers commented: "We are tying to do anything at this point to minimize long-term expenses without any kind of revenue at this rate. At this point these expenditures do not have any revenue behind them, so it would require supplement."
The Sheriff's Office then made a request for a new phone line in their office, and also requested to remodel the evidence storage building at the south county administration facility.
After the two requests were approved, Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson made a request to speak: "There's lots of factors to consider; for example, our calls for service. I just got the numbers for 2014, and each of our eight deputies handled over 1,000 cases per year, three to four hundred would be an acceptable number. We're certainly not able to do what's necessary when people call for service from us. It's difficult to tell people that we cannot spend the time that they need, because the problems that people come to us are usually very personal to them.
"We are down right now to barely being able to cover until 8 pm on some nights for the Long Beach peninsula. I think I've done everything I can behind the scenes. I've been trying to use overtime money to cover that. Lately, we haven't been able to find a deputy to cover calls at the beach; a couple of calls of which were domestic violence calls, one including a man with a knife. We were able to roust a deputy out of bed here and have him respond to the Long Beach peninsula, but obviously when you're traveling that much of a distance whatever that is bad that is going to happen will have already happened. So we want to make sure that we are here for each of you if that call comes from you," said Sheriff Johnson on the importance of the Sheriff's Office to our county.
After Johnson spoke, the meeting was back to its regular pace, and all that was left was items regarding general business, under which the commissioners approved an "Interlocal Agreement" with the City of South Bend for a short term loan for dispatch radio equipment.
The next Pacific County Commissioner's meeting takes place on Tuesday, February 24 at the Pacific County Courthouse Annex at 9 am.