Emergency two-way radio equipment to be installed at hospital

Monday, February 1, 2016
St. Vincent Clay Hospital will two-way radio equipment for use by RACES ham radio operators during emergencies.

Emergency two-way radio equipment will be installed in St. Vincent Clay Hospital in Brazil thanks to a nearly $2,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband received permission to apply for the grant during Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners.

The equipment will be installed and, should it be necessary, operated by Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) amateur radio operators.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, cited by the Amateur Radio Relay League, "RACES members may transmit only messages related to: 1) Impending danger to the public or affecting national defense during emergencies; 2) The immediate safety of individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human suffering and need, and combating armed attack and sabotage; 3) The dissemination of information to the public from a local civil defense organization or other government or relief organization and; 4) Communications during RACES drills."

Husband said that during an emergency, the RACES radio station would be on the air, communicating with those outside Clay County, on behalf of Clay County Emergency Management.

The grant was approved 3-0 by County Commissioners Paul Sinders, Bryan Allender and Jim Bowman.

In other business, Commissioners:

* Approved 3-0 an annual maintenance contract for the county's voting system.

Jason Jacobs, Clay County Election Clerk, said the price has dropped from $13,800 to $12,000 for 2016.

When Sinders asked if a further savings would be possible through a multi-year maintenance agreement, Jacobs said he didn't think so because the price has consistently been about $13,800 until this year.

* Reappointed Bill Sisson to the West Central Indiana Economic Development District Board, Albert Waters to the Clay County Community Corrections Board, and Andrea Williams and Ken Pell to the Van Buren Fire District Board.

* Approved a three-year maintenance contract for the Superior Court recording system for $4,176.

* Approved specifications for a new bridge on County Road 300W, south of Airport Road. Allender said the need for the new bridge is critical.

* Approved a request from Sheriff Paul Harden to trade in a prisoner transport van. The purchase is in the jail budget for this year, he said.

There are three transport vans, all with about 100,000 miles on them. They are driven 2,500 to 3,500 miles a month.

* Approved the annual contract with the Clay County Humane Society for $26,000 per year, payable in monthly installments.

A change in the contract this year is the agreement to meet quarterly with one of the county commissioners.

President Janice Clark said the Humane Society plans to place a kennel at the shelter that officers can then lock animals in during hours when the shelter is closed.

* Heard Greg Mogan, a resident who lives across from the solar farm near Northview High School.

Mogan asked the Commissioners to consider initiative zoning in the county.

Mogan is unhappy with the solar farm across from his house and possible plans to expand it.

* Called a special meeting of the County Commissioners at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 17 to hear a presentation from a grant writer for the Van Buren Fire District.

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