NCE Website photo

KENTLAND — For the second time in less than a year, Newton County Assessor Kristen Hoskins came to the Newton County Commissioners meeting Jan. 6 with concerns about alleged “threats” made to her office.

Hoskins told the three commissioners that her office had an issue with this resident, who was not named during the meeting, last year and these threats are continuing and escalating. Hoskins, however, did not disclose what the “threats” were.

The assessor also stated that her office is wasting a lot of time and money on this resident and they are not getting anywhere after dealing with “him” for five years.

Commissioner Kyle Conrad asked County Attorney Pat Ryan what recourse do they have because these messages/emails “are kind of threatening.”

Attorney Ryan answered by saying that if they think there is a physical threat being made that they need to contact law enforcement.

“This is not the best forum to have this discussion,” Ryan said referring to the public meeting. “If you want to take legal action, I can do something about it.”

Conrad followed up by saying that he doesn’t know if these messages/emails rise to the level of threats but he wouldn’t be against the “person” spending a couple of hours in court.”

The county will keep a close eye on the situation.

In other news, more discussion was held regarding possibly moving the location of 911 Dispatch, which currently shares a facility with the Newton County Jail in Kentland.

EMA Director Ray Chambers wanted to get an update of the planned renovation of the Government Center in Morocco. The plans being discussed include moving the Building Commissioner’s Office to where the VSA office is currently located and moving the 911 Dispatch to where the Building Commissioner’s Office is. The renovation also calls for the added infrastructure to go along with the new next-gen 911 Dispatch console and equipment.

“There are other phases that have to be done first,” Conrad said to Chambers. “I understand the urgency but we can’t rush it. I think we need an architect to look everything over.”

After a request from State Senator Doug Gutwein, the commissioners voted to allow trucks from Fratco, a manufacturer of drainage products out of Francesville, to use CR 100N even though the county has a weight limit ordinance for that road.

With it being the first meeting of 2020, Kyle Conrad was voted in as President of the Commissioners, and Mickey Read was approved as Vice President.