Highlights of the business discussed at the Monday meeting of the Clay County Council included:
-A discussion of possible uses for the old Clay County Jail
Councilman Mike McCullough departed from the agenda to discuss the fate of the old Clay County Jail building.
"If there's any intended use for that building that would require county maintenance (without generating) revenue, I'm against it," he said.
Board of Commissioners President Charlie Brown told the council he had received an informal offer from a private citizen interested in purchasing the building, an idea several council members denounced.
"I don't even think (selling it) should be discussed," said Councilman Les Harding.
Harding said the county should retain ownership of the site in the event that expansions to the new jail become necessary. Council President Larry Moss suggested the building be demolished and the land developed into a parking lot, an idea that garnered the approval of several other council members. Citing the high current prices of scrap metal, Moss proposed selling the jail piece by piece.
McCullough said the demolition of the building could be paid for through the Cumulative Capital Development Fund.
-The renewal of a County Corrections Fund
With Ordinance 3-2006, the council re-established the County Corrections Fund, a repository for sheriff's department revenue generated by county courts.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said the fund requires an annual renewal.
"We do this every year," Moss said.
Heaton said the fund could potentially be used to modify the old jail for use as a work-release facility.
-The county's receding cash balance
Moss told council members of his intention to draft a letter to county office-holders asking them to avoid requesting appropriations from the council for the remainder of 2006.
"We do have money in the operating balance, but it's well below what we're comfortable with," he said.
The county's current cash balance stands at $404,000. Deputy Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh noted the county's $1 million cash balance of a few years ago has evaporated, forcing county officials to tighten their belts.
"We're not going to have a cash reserve like we've had in years past. (Now) we're operating the way other counties have been for decades," she said.
-The death of the Jail Construction Fund
The council voted to amend Ordinance 2-2003, which designated spending requirements for the Jail Construction Fund.
Now that construction of the new Clay County Justice Center is complete, the money will be remitted to the General Fund as "miscellaneous income."
Councilman Mike McCullough said the funds are becoming available at an opportune moment.
"It's going to cover the budget for 2006, because we're going to be short," He said.
The County Council meets at 6 p.m., the first Monday each month on the main floor of the courthouse.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.