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Commissioners OK hiring new planning director

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

A new director of the Shelby County Plan Commission is due to arrive later this month.

The Shelby County Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a recommendation to hire Desiree Calderella, AICP, for the position.

Donna Cook, human resources director for county government, said Calderella is well qualified, holding the designation from the American Institute of Certified Planners.

She was formerly the planning director for Johnson County for five years, and most recently worked for a group in Indianapolis’ Fountain Square, said Cook.

Commissioner Don Parker (R-South District) asked when Calderella would start.

“We have not worked that out yet,” Cook replied. Calderella was not at the commissioners meeting.

Sam Booth, currently director of the Shelby County Plan Commission, is leaving later this month, on Nov. 20. He and his wife are moving to Douglas County, Nevada, in the Lake Tahoe area.

Booth also said his replacement is well qualified. He hopes to have her come to the Plan Commission’s public hearing at 7 p.m. on Nov. 13 regarding a proposed 1,200-acre solar energy farm in northeastern Shelby County.

That hearing has been relocated to the Strand Theatre, 215 S. Harrison St., in anticipation of a large crowd.

In other matters, the County Commissioners:

n Approved allowing Robert Lewis, sanitarian and manager of the Shelby County Health Department, to take bids to be opened at 8 a.m. on Nov. 26 for the demolition of a house at County Road 7988 W 250 S the county condemned last July. Efforts to work out a solution with the owner have failed, Lewis said;

n OK’d a road cut at 2143 Fairview Drive in Sunny Acres for Vectren to install a utility line;

n Heard from Kem Anderson, superintendent of the County Highway Department, that road crews have paved 60 miles so far this year and are on track for a record year, despite rain delays;

n Ryan Hansome, emergency management director for the county, said the Big Blue River crested at 15 feet, 6 inches last week;

n Voted to authorize the 2019 holiday schedule for county offices, the same as the current schedule. County government employees get 14 paid holidays per year, plus they get primary and general election days off in the years elections occur, at the commissioners’ discretion.