Commission to take public input on gas tax, notice system

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The public will have the opportunity to give thoughts on a proposed 3 cent gas tax as  at town hall session prior to next month’s Pike County Commission meeting.

Commissioner Chad Copeland brought forward the motion to hold the public town hall meeting on the proposed 3-cent gas tax that is being discussed by the state Legislature this session.

“This gives people the chance to come and air out their thoughts about it,” said Chairman Robin Sulllivan.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The commissioners were asked to pass a resolution at their last meeting in support of the tax proposal, but Copeland and Commissioner Russell Johnson spoke out against giving the proposal support before giving their constituents the chance to give their thoughts on it.

The town hall will begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, February 27, prior to the commission’s regularly scheduled work session and business meeting.

The public will also get the chance next week to come and hear more information about the proposed Rave Mobile Alerts mass notification system, as the commission has set a 1 p.m. webinar to give more information to the public and the entities within the county about how the system would work.

EMA Director Jeanna Barnes proposed the notificaiton system to the commission after a siren in Goshen went down earlier this year. Barnes said the cost of repairing or replacing the siren would be greater than implementing the notice system.

The commission decided to get more information about the system and have it explained to department heads before taking action on the proposal.

Kelley Barron, administrator of the Pike County Jail, told commissioners at the meeting of a new issue with the jail, which just officially completed a stabilization project on Monday.

Barron told the commission that water has begun seeping back into the jail despite the repairs.

The water has gotten to some wires already, Barron said, causing issues with the breaker for the booking room.

Barron said that the issue has even caused the lights in the room to pop at one point.

“We were standing there while the breaker was being worked on and the lights popped loudly and fire shot out,” Barron said.

The commission members said that they’ll look into what action they need to take to fix the problem.

The commission also further discussed the possibility of breking into committees, specifically to handle the potential construction of a new jail.

County attorney Allen Jones said the practice is definitely legal.

“The committee structure is well supported and recognized,” Jones said.

Johnson said the committee approach is needed to do “due diligence” on the project.

The commission, absent Commissioner Homer Wright, approved to send out requests for jail feasabilty study proposals.

The commission meets upstairs at the Pike County Department of Public Helath.