During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Council, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton and Information Services Director Scott Hill outlined the current status of the upgrades.
"We have received some estimates for the security cameras, monitors and other equipment," Hill said. "However, we still need to seek estimates or quotes for labor costs of the electrical work."
Heaton told the council there are currently 13 security cameras in the courthouse, and the upgrades would bring that number up to 36, along with enhancing the emergency alert system between the courthouse and the Clay County Justice Center.
"Right now, if the panic button is hit, we only know where it is coming from and don't know what exactly is going on," Heaton said. "After the cameras are installed, we will be able to check them to see what level of response is needed for the situation."
Heaton added silent alerts will be able to go out through the phone system should a situation arise which warrants additional caution.
"The phone system will be upgraded to one similar to the one at the jail," he said. "There is a screen on the phones in which we can alert all justice center and courthouse employees if something is going on and with instructions. It will basically work the same way as a text message."
Depending on the amount of time it takes to garner labor estimates or quotes, the matter may be brought up again at the August meeting for the council to consider an additional appropriation for the equipment and work.
In other business during Monday's meeting, the Clay County Council:
* Accepted a proposal to move the annual budget hearings up a week to Sept. 1-3 (Tuesday-Thursday) because the DLGF has set a deadline of Sept. 20 to have all budgets reviewed and passed,
* Approved a new version of the Sheriff's Pension handbook, which is mandated to be reviewed and have its language modified every five years,
* Accepted the final reading of a 10-year personal property tax abatement, along with a abatement calculation (clawback) agreement for PDF, Inc. The council also approved the statement of benefits from all companies, which currently are utilizing an abatement, for the next year as all were found in compliance with the employment and investment terms,
* Approved the salaries for members of the Clay Community Corrections Department for the 2010 fiscal year. All salaries for this department are funded by grants, not tax dollars, and
* Approved and additional appropriation of $6,980 into the LEPC fund for state-required planning and training (80 percent of which will be reimbursed to the county), a transfer of $3,000 within the courthouse budget from the HVAC portion to the purchase of supplies for the remainder of the year, and an appropriation reduction of $21,000 in the Health Fund. The reduction was requested because the Public Health Coordinator was not retained by the Clay County Health Department at the end of the probation period. However, the department plans to hire for the position after the start of the new year and request funding only for the benefits package as they are hoping to pay for the salary through a grant.
The next meeting of the Clay County Council will be 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 3, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.