Clay County Commissioners approved a request to advertise an ordinance for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program during their regular session Monday morning.
Gerri Husband, Clay County Emergency Management director, requested commissioners review participation in NFIP after several banks in the area suggested they had problems obtaining federal loans for customers living in flood plains.
"The county had to opportunity to participate in National Flood Insurance Program in 1993 when the city (Brazil) opted to participate, but didn't. The last flood plains map for Clay County was drawn in 1977. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) would re-evaluate the map if the county participates at no charge to the county. Local lenders think it's important to participate in NFIP because of lending restrictions on federally-backed loans," Husband said.
Tim and Michelle Persinger, of Clay City, said they're not able to refinance, sell or make any substantial improvements without NFIP.
"FEMA supplements the cost in order to get a lesser rate than property owners could obtain on their own. I think it would be a real service to our community if we did participate. I can't see anything negative about it," Husband said.
County commissioners voted unanimously to advertise the ordinance, with the first public reading set for 9:30 a.m. April 7 during the commissioners meeting. If it is approved, the second reading will take place in May.
Commissioner David Parr requested a jail advisory board be put into place.
"Judge Blaine Akers, Judge Ernest Yelton, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Bob Pell, Sheriff Rob Carter, Auditor Joe Dierdorf, County Councilman Les Harding and myself are all willing to serve on that board. I asked Prosecutor David Thomas as well. He declined because his current workload is too much right now to participate, but he is definitely in favor of the advisory board," Parr said.
The commissioners voted in favor of the board.
Beth Stickles, of Get Results Inc., a project design coordination and implementation service, asked for commissioners' authorization to contact the firm that did a study three years ago regarding a new jail as well as to contact about four other design consulting firms for requests for proposals.
"There is an enormous need to move forward on this, pending release of this year's inspection and the fact that the county is already under a federal court order to make improvements to the jail. It's always a longer process than what you might think. It would require a lot of public input, so we're probably looking at June before we could even hire an architect. Then it would take about another six to nine months of community consultation for the architects to design the facility. I'm willing to do this for free," Stickles said.
Commissioners authorized her request pending approval from the County Council.
Harding said he had received a verbal commitment from the Council and expects approval at the meeting later that night.
Clay County Superior Court judge's chambers and jury room may move into the area recently vacated by the health department in order to make more room to expand Phoenix Corrections in Clay County Court House.
Meenely Construction submitted a proposal for $23,694 for the renovation. Phoenix Corrections has $4,500 and Superior Court Judge Akers has appropriated $4,000 to contribute toward the project. An additional $14,994 would come from the county's general fund to complete renovations.
No action was taken on the bid by county commissioners at Monday's meeting. They forwarded it on to the county council.
Other business to come before the commissioners:
- Approval for preventative maintenance of the Court House chiller by McQuay Service of Indianapolis. An upgrade on the chiller will be installed in the next two or three weeks which will improve efficiency and longevity.
- Approval for a $120 rider on Bituminous Insurance for terrorism risk coverage.
- Appointment of Parr to WIETS (Western Indiana Employment and Training Services) advisory board.
- Notification of sell of land restricted to adjoining and abutting property owners of two parcels in Asherville.
- Approval for continuation of consulting contract for tax reassessment.