At the March 8 Kosciusko County Council meeting, Sheriff Rocky Goshert spoke about Safe Schools, a company with a product that allows teachers to call for help in a variety of situations.
During Thursday’s council meeting. Goshert and Kosciusko County Emergency Management Director Ed Rock asked for permission to apply for a $100,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to implement the program in the county’s schools.
The product is a cell phone app that a teacher can use to call for help from within the school or, in the case of an intruder, immediately notify all law enforcement officers within a set distance to respond and notify a 9-1-1 dispatcher of the situation.
Goshert said the amount will cover installation of the service in every public school in the county plus three years of service. After the three-year period, it would be up to the school corporations to pay for the service. The sheriff emphasized the schools aren’t obligated to participate; he and Rock just want to make the tool available.
Rock also is applying for four other grants; one for $30,000 for HAZMAT emergency preparedness, another for $50,000 to reimburse the county for 50 percent of the wages in the emergency preparedness office. The third grant would be for $30,000 in training materials and the last one would be for $30,000 toward the purchase of drones with infrared cameras that can aid in search-and-rescue in remote areas.
The council gave its approval to apply for all five grants.
Goshert asked for and received additional appropriations that will reimburse officers for expenses incurred while extraditing prisoners back to Kosciusko County, pay back money to repair a vehicle after an accident and transfer funds from an account for overtime to one for part-time employees.
County Highway Superintendent Scott Tilden asked for and received an appropriation for $2,944.50 to pay for highway signs damaged primarily in traffic accidents.
Seven real property and nine personal property tax abatements were approved by the council. Two went to Custom Engineered Wheels, which recently moved its operation from Warsaw to Mississippi.
Council member Joni Truex, a member of the committee that studied the abatements, said as of Jan. 1 the company was still operating the equipment that was eligible for the abatements, and it wasn’t worth the cost of figuring out when the equipment was moved. Giving the abatement for the entire year will cost the county less than $20, Truex said.
Two appointments were approved by the council. Frank Kurth was appointed to the Lakeland Regional Sewer District board, and Jennifer Hicks was chosen to serve on the Warsaw Community Public Library board.
The council will meet again at 7 p.m. July 12 in the old county courthouse.