When it comes to applying for economic stimulus funds, restrictions do apply.
During Monday's meeting, the Clay County Council approved an additional appropriation of $10,000 for the Highway Fund for engineering services.
Clay County Commissioner Paul Sinders informed the council the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) must have a county road classified as a major connector or minor arterial in order to be considered for potential stimulus money.
"I think we deserve to get something out of the stimulus," Sinders said. "There is a lot of busy work as part of this."
Sinders explained one of the stipulations is the proposal for each road must be completed and submitted by a professional engineer.
"We don't have any other choice and the services must be paid for through local funding," he said.
Sinders added it will cost $5,000 per proposal and the county will be submitting one for a seven-mile stretch of Poland-Bowling Green Road to get a better feel for what may qualify.
"There are a lot of roads that are in worse shape, but INDOT has this one listed as a minor arterial," he said. "We requested $10,000 so if this one goes well, we can be set and ready to go with a second proposal for Harmony Road, which the engineers feel does not have a good chance for approval."
Should the proposal for Poland-Bowling Green Road be approved, Sinders said it would be a great investment for the county.
"It costs $70,000-$80,000 a mile to blacktop a road, so if we can get $560,000 in stimulus money off a $5,000 investment, it will be a pretty good return," Sinders said. "However, it doesn't guarantee approval, so we are at the mercy of INDOT."
Meanwhile, the council also discussed a couple of items with Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton.
Heaton informed the council he would like to purchase a box trailer to be used to collect evidence seized as part of an arrest.
"We have had to gather some larger items like four-wheelers and large containers that won't fit into a deputy vehicle and we have had to have a company come out and pick it up for us," Heaton said. "It's not a major problem, but when we have to run numbers to see who some stolen items belong to, it definitely slows down the investigation process."
He added he has received preliminary estimates on what the additional cost of insurance would be and said it should be no more than $300 a year on a 14-16-foot long enclosed box trailer.
"We have the funds available within the department to purchase the trailer, so the only added cost affecting tax dollars would be the insurance," Heaton said.
While the trailer has not been purchased at this time, Council President Mike McCullough said Heaton would have to approach the commissioners for permission to add it onto the existing insurance, then return to the council to request an additional appropriation for the exact amount of the insurance.
Heaton also provided information for the restatement of the Police Retirement Fund.
Due to the length of the paperwork, the council decided to table the issue until the July meeting in order for Elaine Beatty, from McCready and Keene, Inc., Indianapolis, to have an opportunity to attend and explain the details surrounding changes made by the IRS, which need to be included in the documentation.
In other business, the council also approved an additional appropriation of $20,000 for the Public Defender Fund for services and fees.
"In cases where more than one person is arrested, we cannot assign the same public defender to all the co-defendants," Clay Circuit Court Judge Joe Trout said. "In times where we have to appoint special public defenders, we have to pay the state rate, which I believe is $60 an hour."
The next meeting of the Clay County Council will be 6 p.m., Monday, June 1, 2009, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.