MAKEOVER COMING: Council approves courthouse maintenance; more

COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Council addressed several fiscal concerns at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, including those involving county employees.The Assessor’s Office requested budgeting to hire a new employee to join the office staff. The move comes on the heels of County Assessor Angie Heath’s news that she would be taking a leave of absence from May through October of this year.The new hire is not a replacement for Heath, as the Assessor is an elected office; the employee is merely an addition to the office. Heath is expected to resign sometime following her return but as of now, she and the county are still in talks on the matter.Council approved the hiring, as well as a change in salary status for a current court employee. The position originally called for the employee to serve as an administrator and reporter for juvenile court. For the past three years, the duties have predominantly included those of the reporter. The administrative duties are now being combined and the salary was adjusted accordingly.Paula Worden received approval for $25,000 to be moved into an account for T.R.O.Y. Center funding. The funds will be used primarily to pay wages for teachers and transportation officers for the center, both part-time positions.Mark Sturtevant and Denny Senker appeared to discuss maintenance on the courthouse. Originally, a project was in the works to replace the boiling and cooling systems in the courthouse, however the two said that a more pressing matter may be the exterior condition of the courthouse.A bid from Atlas was received and council approved a $160,000 project to reseal the limestone, re-paint metals, power wash and prime the building, as well as remove algae buildup and perform other maintenance on the entire courthouse. The project should be completed by the summer, in time for the boiler and cooling systems to be addressed.Council meets again April 3 at 8 a.m. in the Whitley County Government Center.___For a more in depth look at this story, see the March 7 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.