The Clay County Commissioners discussed during Monday's meeting about potentially drafting an ordinance setting fines for individuals caught littering.
Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said the Clay-Owen-Vigo Solid Waste Management District has offered funding to place billboards up about littering, but feels roads signs may be a better option.
"Having signs along the roads telling people there is a fine for littering would probably be more effective," he said. "However, we have to get an ordinance that outlines the fines in place before the signs can be put up."
Commissioner Jack Withers agreed it was a good idea to set fines, but wasn't sure on how well it could be enforced.
"I'm all for not trashing the county, but how would you enforce it?" Withers asked. "It's difficult as it is to catch all the traffic violators."
Brown said there have been instances where large household items have been dumped randomly along the side of the road and wants to see something done to curtail littering in the county.
"I'm not saying it's trashy, but Clay County is a good area to live in," Brown said. "People are starting to take more pride in cleaning up the area and this would be another avenue to continue making things better."
Commissioners' Attorney Eric Somheil plans to draw up a draft of an ordinance, but wants to check the state statutes to determine what the maximum fine allowable is.
"We don't want to be in a position where the administration costs would exceed the cost of the fine," Somheil said. "Plus, we should put some bite into the fine because if it is as much as $500, it would do a lot to put a stop to littering."
Withers agreed the fine needs to a stiff one.
"It has to be worthwhile or don't do it at all," Withers said. "It has to be tougher than just a slap on the wrist."
In other business during Monday's meeting, the commissioners:
* Gave permission for Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh to work with Somheil on drafting a resolution setting a step-by-step process for writing and applying for grants to ensure all information is well documented,
* Tentatively set a date and location for a County Surplus Inventory Auction at the Clay County Highway Garage, 409 North State Road 59, Center Point, on July 25. No time has been set for the auction to begin, and
* Approved an endorsement resolution for the Clay County Thoroughfare Plan for the Year 2030. West Central Indiana Economic Development District (WCIEDD) Transportation Planner Jackie Mitchell said she included reasonable and appropriate suggestions taken during the public comment period into the final version of the plan, which outlines transportation data from Clay County.
The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, Aug. 3, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.