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Council rescinds tax abatements

Monday, December 3, 2007

A local company, which closed its doors earlier in the year, had its tax abatements rescinded during Monday night's meeting of the Clay County Council.

MI Windows and Doors officially closed in February and had two tax abatements open, which the council closed out effective as of March 1, 2007.

The abatements, which were approved through Resolution 11-2004, included a 10-year real estate abatement and five-year personal property abatement for improvements, machinery and equipment.

A clawback agreement, which has been included in recent abatement approvals, was not a part of either abatement, meaning the county cannot recover tax money which had been abated.

As part of the abatements being rescinded, the council also designates the area where the building sits as an Economic Revitalization area in hopes for future redevelopment.

The council also approved two items of interest which affect county employees in the upcoming year.

The first is a salary ordinance setting all the maximum wages and salaries for all county employees in 2008. These were initially set during the September budget hearings.

The other was the approval of the Personnel Policies Handbook for county employees, which will go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2008.

A subcommittee consisting of Commissioner Paul Sinders, Council President Mike McCullough and Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh met with Kent Irwin, attorney for Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele and Associates, Muncie, to put together the handbook. The council and commissioners met in a joint meeting with Irwin in late October to make corrections deemed necessary. The Clay County Commissioners suspended the rules during their Monday morning meeting and the council's approval puts the handbook into effect, along with overriding any previous handbooks.

Also taking place during Monday's council meeting included:

* The approval of two transfers within the County General Fund. The first was a $30,000 transfer from the Workman's Comp to Insurance portion of the Commissioners Fund to cover insurance spent on the Clay County Jail in April. The second is within the Information Services Fund where a total of $7,925 was transferred to the Computer Server portion for the expansion of the jail phone system and future extension to the courthouse,

* Approval of the 2008 meeting schedule for the council. The council will continue to meet on the first Monday of each month, with the exception of September in which the council will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008, at 6 p.m., in the Commissioners' Court of the Clay County Courthouse. As part of this, the council will hold the Annual County Budget Hearings on Sept. 2, starting at 1 p.m., and on Sept. 3-4, starting at 9 a.m. each day,

* Approval of four additional appropriations totaling $35,250, for necessary items needed for the Clerk's Office, Prosecutor's Office, Commissioners and Posey Township Assessors, and

* State Representative Amos Thomas was in attendance to clarify a statement made in a brochure mailed out a couple of weeks ago insinuating local officials should be held accountable for increases in property taxes driven by out-of-control spending. Thomas said "local officials" not only included elected county officers, but also school board members, new fire districts, etc. He also fielded questions about other county concerns he could approach at the next legislative session.

The next meeting of the Clay County Council will be Monday, Jan. 4, 2008, at 6 p.m., in the Commissioners' Court of the Clay County Courthouse.

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