During Monday's meeting, a resolution was unanimously approved designating the entire county as an Economic Recovery Zone.
The designation allows the county to use more than $3 million in Economic Recovery Zone Bonds allocated as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus).
"There really is no downside to designating the entire county as an Economic Recovery Zone," Attorney Lou Britton said. "It allows the county to be as flexible as it wants to be because there is no limitation in locating a business and the bonds may be awarded for any site within the county."
Of the total bond amount allocated, $1,209,000 is for public projects, such as infrastructure, and $1,813,000 is in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, which may be used by private businesses within the recovery zone.
Britton added there are no local funds included in the bonds, which must be used by the end of 2010.
Meanwhile, the commissioners addressed an issue about an "unimproved" county road.
Brazil resident Jerry Stearley, along with his attorney, James Deal, requested for a road to be put in along County Road 100 East, south of CR 600 N.
"There appears to be a dead end where it meets CR 600 N, but according to the plat books, it shows CR 100 E running down to CR 500 N," Deal said. "In looking back at the records, there was an attempt to close that portion of the road in 1899, but it was not accepted."
Stearley added the "road" is the only access to 40 acres of land he inherited following his father's death in 2003, but a portion of it passes through a corner of another property, owned by Troy Stanton.
"My property is about 2,000 feet south of CR 600 N, along CR 100 E," he said. "However, before it gets to my property, it crosses over a corner of property owned by Stanton, and I have been unable to purchase an easement. Plus, I have been trying for the last six years to get a road put in."
Citing the county's financial issues, Commissioners' President Charlie Brown attempted to work out another solution.
"I would love to put a road in for you, but tell me how we're going to pay for it," Brown said. "We only have a limited amount of money available, and we have to fix potholes. How do I explain to someone whose car is damaged or child is injured on a school bus hitting a pothole that we couldn't fix the hole because we put in a road."
Brown added current roads are the priority with the available funds, but suggested cutting back brush and trees to allow a better path for Stearley to access his property.
Stearley said he is OK with that suggestion for the time being, and will meet with Clay County Highway Superintendent Pete Foster Thursday to mark off the correct area.
"Right now, I don't care," Stearley said. "I will drive on a dirt road for a while."
In other business during Monday's meeting, the Clay County Commissioners:
* Received an update from Matt Reed regarding grants and the status of a stimulus application for a new Posey Volunteer Fire Department firehouse. Reed said it is approaching six months of waiting for approval, and although there are extension options available, construction must be completed by September 2012.
* Accepted grant applications for the STOP and VOCA grants, as well as a subgrant agreement for a $31,285 Homeland Security Grant, which will pay for exercises and training for District 7. The Commissioners also renewed a contract with Malinowski Consulting, Inc., for cost allocation plans for through 2011. Through an indirect cost audit, between $28,000-$30,000 per year can be reimbursed back to the county's General Fund,
* Heard a request from Clay County Chamber of Commerce representatives Toni Carter and Phil Redenbarger for the county to consider instituting planning and zoning. Carter and Redenbarger also presented a portfolio of information for consideration, and
* Delayed making a decision after a presentation from Lola Materna, Indiana representative for Patient Assistance, regarding the distribution of prescription discount cards. Materna said the cards are good at all large pharmacies, but Brown wanted to wait on a decision in order to find out how it would affect the smaller, non-chain pharmacies in the county.
The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, April 5, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.