GIRARD — The Crawford County Commission voted to hire Jason VanBecelaere as county emergency manager at its regular meeting Friday.

Before being hired for his new position, VanBecelaere had worked as a sergeant in the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department since 2006. He also started working for the fire service in Arma when he was 18 years old, and worked there for 12 years.

Commissioner Tom Moody said it was a tough decision.

“We had a lot of great applicants,” Moody said. “It really came down to the fact that Jason had the skills we thought we could best utilize.”

VanBecelaere’s duties will also extend beyond those of a typical emergency manager. He will be in charge of keeping county radios and communications up to par.

“One thing that interested me was that you aren’t just an emergency manager here,” VanBecelaere said. “I’ll be dealing with communications and doing some grant writing for agencies such as county fire departments.”

He said he is excited to step into the new role.

The commissioners looked at a few other business items at their meeting.

Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Benson presented an economic development policy to the commissioners. He worked on the plan with Commissioner Jeff Murphy. The policy outlines tax incentives for businesses moving into the county. The commissioners will look it over and possibly take action at their next meeting.

The commissioners approved a purchasing card for the county appraiser's office with a limit of $2,500.

Commissioner Carl Wood reported that striping on county roads was done. All three of the commissioners stated that the roads they had seen looked very good.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.