Clay County Council unanimously approved an $8,000 appropriation at their regular meeting last night toward new jail construction.
Get Results, Inc. of Carmel, Ind. will be the project coordinator and will be paid from excess CAGIT (County Adjusted Gross Income Tax) funds. The council agreed to appoint a jail advisory board consisting of Judge Blaine Akers, Judge Ernest Yelton, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Bob Pell, Sheriff Rob Carter, Auditor Joe Dierdorf, County Councilman Les Harding and County Commissioner David Parr along with Beth Stickles, of Get Results Inc.
Stickles will 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.
Carter said an inspector was at the jail recently and said the federal government will provide an additional consultant, at no charge, to study and ultimately determine needs of the community correctional program.
"It's just an extra thing we can do to say we've done everything we can to prepare for the new jail. He'll be here for three days. The first two days will be spent gathering information from everyone involved in the correctional system. On the third day, he'll present his findings to the County Council and Commissioners as well as the general public. Two jail inspectors have also said they would be there (for the meeting)," Carter said.
A public meeting with the inspectors and federal government representative is scheduled for April 7. A time and place have yet to be set.
Another appropriation of $1,750 was unanimously approved to get the Clay County Airport on the National Integrated Plan for Airport Systems. It is the first step toward becoming eligible for federal funding and creating a master plan for the airport. The state will match the $1,750 and the Federal Aviation Administration will match and additional $31,500 to make the airport eligible and give it a place holder on the system.
Don Manely, airport division manager for Butler, Fairman and Seufert Consulting Engineers, said the airport could receive a maximum of $150,000 annually for up to 5 years for airport development. It is a matching grant, with the state matching an additional $8,500 and another $8,500 county match. He explained the money doesn't have to spent each year and could be saved from one year to the next for the duration of the five-year program for a large cost project.
In other business, Jim Coffenberry, economic development specialist for West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc., explained alternative financing available to county government through tax increment financing and tax abatement. He said the county has brought in $10 million and 100 jobs in the last two years through these options.