In a special meeting of the Clay County Commissioners Friday, the responsibilities of the E-911 Coordinator and Chief Dispatcher were merged into a single position.
Following the retirement of John Turner as E-911 Coordinator in early May, the commissioners began reviewing the job description in order to decide whether to hire a new person for the job or have another position absorb the responsibilities.
In addition to combining the positions into one, the commissioners approved Clay County Justice Center Chief Dispatcher Melissa Gambill for the position. Gambill was also serving as interim E-911 Coordinator during the decision-making process.
As part of the change, the employee in this position will report directly to the Clay County Sheriff, instead of the commissioners, who were in charge of the E-911 Coordinator to this point.
"Personally, I think it is a good idea for the person in this position to report to the sheriff rather than us," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "Especially with all the things that go on at the Justice Center, it is best to have the direct line of contact."
Sheriff Mike Heaton told the commissioners the position of Chief Dispatcher/E-911 Coordinator remains under the terms of the county's employee handbook, and has not been switched to one under the scrutiny of the merit board.
The creation of the position was made retroactive to May 14, 2010, which was soon after Turner retired. In addition, the commissioners approved to make positive recommendations to the Clay County Council regarding the position's salary and job description. The recommendation for the annual salary is $30,000 retroactive to May 14.
Heaton added there may be the creation of an Assistant Chief Dispatcher in the future, but nothing has been assured at this time.
In other business during Friday's special meeting, the Clay County Commissioners:
* Agreed to void previous quotes opened during Monday's regular session regarding the retrofitting of light fixtures in county buildings from the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant. Commissioners' Attorney Eric Somheil said the best thing to do is "start over on this" due in part to the "ambiguity" of the quote specifications. At least three companies -- including Midwest Lighting Solutions, Indianapolis, which submitted the lone quote Monday -- for new quotes, which will be opened during the July regular session,
* Approved a motion to participate in the WorkOne Summer Employment Program. Through the program, up to eight individuals, between the ages of 16 and 21 will be working alongside county employees. The workers will be paid $8 an hour, will all be from Clay County and while there is no cost or liability to the county, the Child Labor laws must be followed,
* Approved Griffin's Auto Salvage, Brazil, and Quality Salvage, Center Point, to divide the work of removing scrap metal from the old jail. Both companies will split their commissions from selling the scrap with the county 50-50, with the county's portion to be paid through a certified check, and
* Agreed to continue looking into the possibility of creating a controlled environment for some old records books and ledgers, which have issues with mold, as well as attempting to find outside funding to either restore or record the information in another manner. Currently, the books are housed at the old jail, but may be moved, and the lowest estimated cost of restoration is about $2 per page.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 6, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.