With the holidays over, everything is back to business for the Clay County Commissioners.
During Monday's meeting, the Commissioners reviewed the highway bids, which were received and taken under advisement during the December meeting.
Only one bid apiece had been submitted for asphalt and fuel/oil/diesel, but there were numerous competitive bids for stone, gravel and bituminous.
"Typically, we approve all the submitted bids for the highway specifications so the department may purchase what they need at the lowest price on any given day," Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said.
Clay County Highway Department Superintendent Pete Foster added, "Accepting all the bids also gives us the opportunity to call around in case one place doesn't have what we need on a particular day."
As anticipated, the Commissioners unanimously approved all highway bids for 2010.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Jack Withers also brought up a concern regarding the Clay County Airport.
"I have received several comments about the airport in reference to a possible mismanagement of funds," he said. "What I would like to know is if we need to contact the State Board of Accounts to come in and check things out."
Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh informed Withers the State Board of Accounts does conduct an audit each year, but admitted there have been issues which are being resolved.
"There have been questions raised about the timeliness of deposits being made, which was due, in part, to the guys not being down there everyday," Alumbaugh said. "However, those issues are being worked out."
The Commissioners also conducted a brief discussion on the possibility of having a Commissioners Tax Certificate Sale.
"Personally, I think we need to have one again this year," Commissioners' Vice President Paul Sinders said. "It worked well last year, and by getting as many of the properties back on the tax roll, it will only benefit the county."
Sinders added he wanted to take some time to review each available parcel individually to determine the best plan of action regarding selling prices.
"There are some properties that are unlivable homes that no one is going to pay thousands just to turn around and put out more money to demolish," he said. "I think we were successful last year in reducing the cost on those properties and it is something we should explore again."
Brown informed Sinders that he and Clay County Information Services Director Scott Hill would go out to take pictures of the available properties to allow for a better analysis.
The matter will be up for further discussion during February's meeting.
In the meeting, the Commissioners also:
* Approved appointments to the Clay County Redevelopment Commission, Alcohol Beverage Commission, Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, Brazil City Planning Commission, Region 7 Regional Workforce Board, Western Indiana Private Industry Council and West Central Indiana Economic Development District, along with re-appointing John Turner as the county's E-911 Coordinator for 2010,
* Received an update from Staunton resident Matt Reed about potential upcoming grant opportunities. Reed has been assisting the Commissioners in attempting to locate additional funding and outlined potential grants for dams and levees, waterway debris, demolition/clearance and small stormwater/wastewater/drinking water projects, and
* Brown announced there will be a special meeting of a committee interested in drafting a countywide fireworks ordinance which would prohibit using them near farm animals, among other terms. The committee was created after area resident Vicki Rainbolt suggested an ordinance needed to be drawn up to protect animals from wayward fireworks. The meeting will be at 1 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, Feb. 1, at the same location.