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Feature Stories for December 21, 2000

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
The Crown Point Network offers a sneak preview of weekly cover stories.

County adds security job for Hammond

By Andrew Steele 
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - The County Council created a new security job Tuesday for the county's new building in Hammond. 
    The county has begun moving into the old NIPSCO office building in Hammond, and County Commissioners have recommended hiring a security guard. 
    The commissioners financial consultant, Jim Bennett, said the security guard is needed because of the prosecutor's office is in the building, as well as several offices that handle money. 
    "The nature of (the prosecutor's office) in Hammond and Gary, you need security," said Councilman Troy Montgomery (D-Gary). 
    "They really need someone on the premises there," Councilman Will Smith (D-Gary) agreed. 
    But Councilman Larry Blanchard (R-Crown Point) and Tom O'Donnell (D-Schererville) dissented. 
    "There are enough employees in the commissioners (existing) budget they could provide a person," Blanchard argued. 
    He also suggested hiring a private firm to provide security, so the county could avoid paying benefits. 
    Neither suggestion was accepted by the other five council members. 
    In other business, the council deferred approval of contracts with correctional officers and sheriff's police officers until Dec. 28. 
    At an earlier executive session, the council made some revisions to the contract, and the unions have to review those. 
    Also, the council approved an ordinance requiring county seals to be put on all county owned vehicles that are not involved in undercover law enforcement activities. 
    The ordinance was sponsored by Councilwoman Bernadette Costa (D-Hammond), who said she hopes identifying county vehicles will help officials keep track of how they're used.




    In other business, the council deferred approval of contracts with correctional officers and sheriff's police officers until Dec. 28. 
    At an earlier executive session, the council made some revisions to the contract, and the unions have to review those. 
    Also, the council approved an ordinance requiring county seals to be put on all county owned vehicles that are not involved in undercover law enforcement activities. 
    The ordinance was sponsored by Councilwoman Bernadette Costa (D-Hammond), who said she hopes identifying county vehicles will help officials keep track of how they're used.

END
Ambulance pact passes in Center Township  

Liability clause leaves concern among township members

By Andrew Steele 
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT -  The Center Township Board approved its annual fire and ambulance agreement with the city Monday. 
    The township will pay the city $151,000 to provide firefighting and emergency medical service in the unincorporated areas. 
    The city's Board of Public Works approved the contract Nov. 29; the City Council must also approve it. 
    The only item of concern among Township Board members was a clause absolving the city of liability if it is unable to respond to a call. 
    Board member Eldon Strong said he was uncomfortable with accepting that. 
    "I would just feel a little better if our attorney would take a look at it," he said. 
    But Township Trustee Colleen Rees said the city had put a Wednesday deadline on receipt of the signed contract. 
    So the three-member board approved the contract, but asked Rees to have township attorney David Wilson review the liability clause. 
    The $151,000 will be paid in quarterly installments. 
    Township board members will meet for the reorganization meeting Jan. 9, and again Jan. 16 to accept the township's annual report. 
    The board has been chaired by John Ensweiler in 2000. The third member is Roland Wise.

END

 

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