Assessor moving forward with new plan after termination of past outside firm

A view of the Kosciusko County Courthouse.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Kosciusko County has a new plan to train an in-house person to eventually oversee Commercial industrial assessment after officials moved to terminate a contract with an outside firm over poor performance.

County Assessor Gail Chapman sought the termination after months of struggling with Lexur Appraisal Services (part of Vision Government Solutions) — an outside vendor who fell behind on much of the work after admitting that at least one staffer did not know how to use necessary software.

The commissioners formally approved terminating the contract and then got an update on Chapman’s new plan, which involves a different person who will temporarily step in to help catch up on assessment work while also training a new person, Jennifer Spyres.

The new agreement is with Frank Kelly, president of Nexis Ltd., who will train Spyres.

The training agreement will continue for up to one year and then officials will reevaluate the situation, Chapman said.

“I’m asking for you guys to trust me on this that I’ve chosen the right person. I talked with (former county assessor and current county council member) Sue Ann Mitchell about it. I think she’s happy with who we chose. And I think we’re going to get a lot more service that what we were paying out and this allows us to bring it back (into the office),” Chapman said.

“Honestly, guys, I think this is a win-win for my office and for the county taxpayers as well,” she said.

While Chapman and the commissioners expressed satisfaction with moving past the previous problems, Chapman said they’re still working through some problems.

“For whatever the reason, the building permits for June and July — I don’t know what they did with them because they never got looked at. I can’t answer that, so we’re physically going to go out and look at every single one of them by the end of the year … and we will know exactly what is done, what percentage is done, and we’ll be able to assess that amount for Jan. 1, 2024.”