Login NowClose 
Sign In to shelbynews.com           
Forgot Password

County probation, work release plan awaits funding

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

A vacant lot across from the Shelby County Court House, 407 S. Harrison St., will get a fresh layer of topsoil in lieu of building a new office for the county’s probation department and a work release facility.

The Shelby County Commissioners have voted to hire Beaty Construction Inc. of Boggstown to do the site work.

On Monday morning at their weekly meeting, the commissioners agreed to hire Beaty for $3,600 to bring in 160 tons of topsoil, plant grass seed and put down straw at 24, 26 and 28 W. Polk St., and a small parcel at 25 W. Hendricks St. that adjoins one of the other lots.

The commissioners are responsible for maintaining all county-owned properties.

Buildings on the sites were cleared after the county acquired the lots, two in 2015 and two others in 2017, with the goal of relocating the county probation offices which have outgrown the top floor of the Court House.

File cabinets and office equipment line the hallway in the overcrowded space, and probation officers have to share rooms which creates challenges when conducting confidential interviews.

The commissioners said they’re waiting on action by the Shelby County Council on funding to build the new offices on the Polk Street properties.

Officials have discussed also creating a county work release program and housing it in the new building when its finished.

In other actions, the commissioners approved a new inspection and maintenance agreement with Federal Signal Corp. for 20 early-warning sirens operated by the county’s emergency management department.

Approved a utility request by NineStar to bore at County Road 5437 E 850 N to install a communications line.

Reconvened as the Shelby County Drainage Board, the commissioners authorized property owner Mary Clouse to install an inlet to drain part of her property at County Road 10304 N 400 W into the Snodgrass Ditch.

“Whenever there’s a heavy rain, there’s standing water in the back yard. It’s a health hazard and unsightly,” she told the board.

Also, the commissioners approved a proposal by surveyor Jeff Powell to reduce part of the county’s easement along the DePrez-Bassett Ditch so a portion of the underground tile at Guardian Self Storage, 2120 N. Michigan Road, could be rerouted.

The approval came pending a review of the plan by County Attorney John C. DePrez IV.

Finally, the board heard from County Surveyor Taylor Sumerford that the state’s project to repave South State Road 9 may be an opportunity to resolve a drainage problem at the county-owned Tindall Farm. 

County officials will contact Milestone Contractors, the firm doing the road project, about getting a road cut where County Road 350 South intersects State Road 9 to install a drainage tile for the farm.