After retaining Charlie Brown as president and Paul Sinders as vice president, the commissioners took a few minutes to recognize Dr. S. Rahim Farid as he retires after 37 years as the Clay County Public Health Officer.
Brown presented Farid with a ceremonial plaque as those in attendance, including employees of the Clay County Health Department and Clay County Health Board, provided a standing ovation in appreciation.
In county business, the commissioners approved a one-year, $26,000 renewal of a contract with the Clay County Humane Society.
Brown admitted he had received numerous calls with concerns about the Humane Society, but together they are in the process of correcting the issues.
"I met with members of the Humane Society this past weekend to discuss the concerns, especially those about responding to calls," Brown said. "We are working things out and I believe we are on top of things. Hopefully, things will be productive."
In addition to the contract, the commissioners approved to allow Brown to work as a liaison between the county and Humane Society.
Meanwhile, quotes for the future purchase of a new backhoe for the Clay County Highway Department were opened.
Providing quotes were Diamond Equipment, Inc., Terre Haute ($71,682), Holt Equipment, Co., Bloomington ($79,800), and MacAllister Machinery, Terre Haute ($69,500). In addition, Diamond has set a $15,000 trade-in value on the department's current backhoe, while MacAllister set the trade-in amount at $12,000 and Holt did not provide a figure. With trade-in values taken into account Diamond had the lowest quote at a cost of $56,682 to the county, compared to $57,500 for MacAllister.
With a difference in cost of $818, and each company offering a different brand of backhoe, the commissioners decided to table the issue in order to meet individually with Diamond and MacAllister to review the equipment and determine which would be most suitable for the county's needs. They set a special meeting for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse to officially announce the purchase.
In other business during Monday's meeting, the Clay County Commissioners:
* Made the recommendation to approach the Clay County Council for a $2,500 additional appropriation for the removal of asbestos in the old Clay County Jail, along with a separate $10,000 appropriation for a future contract to paint areas in the courthouse where it is chipping and peeling,
* Approved all of the 2011 Highway bids for fuel, stone and other materials, which were opened during the December meeting and taken under advisement. As in recent years, all the bids were accepted to allow the Highway Department to seek out the lowest price from the vendors on any given day,
* Gave Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband permission to proceed with the application process for a Voyager Fleet Card, which allows fuel purchases at stations other than those within the county. Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said his department utilizes the card and it is useful when attending training outside the county, along with completing transports,
* Heard a presentation from Cintas representative Shandi Parr regarding document management and proper purging/shredding of records. Cintas has a program where they can pick up the records on a set schedule and shred them to help reduce the risk of potential identity theft. The commissioners agreed to look into the possibility of utilizing the program after seeing a breakdown of the costs,
* Agreed to participate in the Homestead Verification Assistance with SRI, Inc., Indianapolis. Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said residents have until 2012 to submit a form verifying they receive the Homestead Standard Deduction on their property taxes, or they will lose the deduction. SRI is assisting numerous counties as they verify residents are receiving the credit on only one residence, and those found to have more than one will be charged the savings they had received on a second property, along with a penalty fee. Alumbaugh said there is no cost to the county as SRI will only collect a fee on those properties which receive the penalty, and
* Approved appointments to the Clay County Drainage Board, Redevelopment Commission and Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, along with retaining Husband, Pete Foster and Wayne Knox in their respective positions as Emergency Management Director, Highway Superintendent and Courthouse/Justice Center Head Custodian.
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.