By ANDY MCCAMMON
Highlights of business conducted at the Monday meeting of the Clay County Council included:
-Appropriations for utilities
County Council members approved additional appropriations to cover utilities at the courthouse and justice center.
The council appropriated $50,163.13 for courthouse utilities in 2006; as of July 31, only $15,356.77 remained. Utility money is even tighter at the new jail, where all but $4,275.78 of the original $80,000 appropriation has already been spent.
The council approved requests for additional funds for utilities in both buildings, allocating $12,000 to the courthouse and another $75,000 to the justice center.
-An admonition to would-be fund-seekers
Council members voted to award an additional appropriation of $10,000 to the sheriff's department, which had requested the funds to cover over-time pay.
But Councilman Mike McCullough again cautioned county departments against asking for additional funds for the rest of the year. McCullough said he voted for the appropriation because the funds were derived from drug-bust seizures.
"My job as county councilman is to take care of the county's coffers, and we really need to tighten our belt -- that's all there is to it," he said.
Councilwoman Rita Rothrock again requested that department heads seeking additional funds be present at council meetings to explain their requests.
Sheriff Mike Heaton had been called to an investigation Monday evening and was unable to attend the meeting. The council voted to table a request for funds from the county health department, who failed to send a representative Monday.
"The only reason I'll vote for (the sheriff's department appropriation) is because it has been clarified and there was an emergency," Rothrock said.
-Preparations for budget hearings
Council members scheduled a session to pass the final budget for 2007 for Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. Budget hearings will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 5, 6 and 7