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Montgomery County employees would be allowed to carry firearms on the job under changes to the personnel handbook proposed Monday.
The board of commissioners approved the policy update on first reading, with a final vote scheduled later. The change brings the rules in line with state law allowing open and concealed possession of guns with a license to carry.
Under current policy, on-duty employees except for police officers cannot carry firearms on county property without approval from the sheriff.
“The sheriff really didn’t like that since that puts him in a difficult position and those aren’t his employees,” county attorney Dan Taylor told the commissioners.
If the policy change is approved, employees will be able to possess and carry a licensed firearm in their vehicle or on their person unless prohibited from having a gun by law. Employees would not be allowed to carry guns into the courthouse or jail.
Another handbook update would expand the smoking policy to prohibit smoking or e-cigarette use in vehicles and equipment owned or leased by the county. The commissioners also approved that policy change on first reading.
Smoking is already prohibited on county property except for designated areas.
In other business, the commissioners voted 2-1 to allow the Crawfordsville Tree Committee to plant two trees at the courthouse. The committee was approached by a local service organization interested in funding and planting trees downtown.
The plans have not been finalized. If the trees get planted at the courthouse, the Indiana Department of Transportation would have to approve the sites, which are in the state’s right-of-way.
Commissioner Dan Guard voted against the request over line-of-sight concerns and issues with another species of tree, Bradford Pear, that was planted downtown years ago and has since been determined unsuitable for street plantings.
The committee has been working to properly replace trees and educate the public on best growing practices.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved an emergency ordinance to ban trucks and impose a 5-ton vehicle limit on C.R. 400S (Airport Road) between State Road 47 and U.S. 231. The road has become a shortcut for heavy trucks headed to a nearby processing business.
• Approved a bid from Reith Reilly for Community Crossings Matching Grant projects and bids from Milestone Contractors for bridge pavement and scouring.
• Renewed a $53,112 contract for emergency management director Shari Harrington.
The next meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Feb. 24 at the courthouse.