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No commissioner's tax sale for 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

During the Clay County Commissioners meeting Monday, the commissioners decided not to have a commissioner's tax sale for 2011.

The commissioners normally have a tax sale and commissioner's sale, which is a sale for the properties that don't sell during the tax sale, every year. They discussed the sale doesn't generate much money, but to advertise for the sale costs $2,000.

The commissioners approved not to have the commissioner's sale, but to pursue the suggestion to look into titles, deeds and quick claims regarding the unwanted properties.

Meanwhile, Purdue Extension Office Ag Coordinator Jenna Smith, who is now the interim county extension director, presented an extension contract between Clay County and Purdue to be effective Jan. 1.

The commissioners put the item on the agenda for the Dec. 27, special meeting so County Attorney Eric Somheil may have time to look over the contact. The same was done for the copier/printer proposal Smith presented.

During the meeting, Juvenile Probation Officer Cathy Judd requested to purchase 350 additional beds (or days) from Cedar Ridge Treatment Center with additional funds they have saved. Judd explained the juvenile center entered into a contractual agreement in April with the treatment center, where they had the opportunity to purchase beds at $89/day instead of the $165/day rate they were previously paying.

"The best part about this from the juvenile court's perspective is we don't have to base every detention decision on whether or not we are going to expend all the money in the account," Judd said. "We are in a very good position now where when a juvenile commits a serious offense we can obtain them for the length of time we feel is appropriate."

The commissioners approved the request.

Meanwhile, Clay County Community Corrections Executive Director Mary Brown presented a copy agreement to the commissioners. She suggested a better copier that would lower payments. To purchase the copier would cost $6,200 with $28 per month for maintenance. However, the commissioners didn't want to purchase the copier. Currently, the office is paying $198 per month on the lease of their copier. The new lease would drop the payment to $162 per month. The commissioners approved the new copier lease.

Brown also requested to resubmit a grant application.

"Usually we don't have to resubmit our grant on the off-year, but because DOC (Department of Corrections) has decided to grade us on this past grant review meeting, we have decided to resubmit it," she said.

The commissioners approved the grant application.

In addition, two community members with road concerns addressed the county commissioners.

Community member Greg Snyder owns property near County Road 100 E., south of CR 600 N. The concern he presented to the commissioners was about CR 100 E, which had been blocked on the southwest corner of his property.

"I'm interested in purchasing property back behind there," he said. "The only way to access that property is CR 100 E."

Snyder asked that the county enforce the easement of the road. However, Somheil explained the road is not a recorded easement, but a platted road.

"We've never exercised any jurisdiction over it," Somheil said. "I don't know what we're going to do at this point."

He explained the county could close the road, which Snyder was not in favor of.

"The county has the right to build a road," Snyder said. "I'm not telling you to build a road, but how can that property be landlocked?"

"If you actually want access back to that property," Somheil said, "there are bridges to build and the county is not going to build a road and bridges just to get back to that one piece of property."

Somheil explained the county has been in contact with the other property owners involved in the issue.

"Hopefully we can reach a resolution," Somheil said. "We have been in discussion, but at this point there is a platted road, but the county has taken no action. At this point, this is a civil matter between property owners, and if we start enforcing something that we've never touched then that puts obligations on us."

Meanwhile, community member Scott Tieken presented a concern to the commissioners regarding County Road 100 S., near Six Points Convenience Store in Bowling Green. He explained a 300-foot stretch on the road is full of potholes, which have been filled with gravel.

He assumed County Highway Garage would come back at a later date to repave the road, but nothing has been done. After calling County Highway Garage, he was told the road would not be finished due to a lack of funding within the county.

Tieken presented the issue to the commissioners, asking that the road be finished with chip and seal.

"We're planning on coming back," Commissioner President Charlie Brown said. "The funding is the big question. That's in my district, and it will be looked at, I can guarantee you. But I can't guarantee you a date. It will probably be in the spring."

The commissioners discussed the following during the meeting:

* Approval of the 2011 competitive grant for the Emergency Management Agency,

* Approval of the county highway bid specs,

* Approval of the renewal of a lease presented by Sheriff Mike Heaton,

* Approval of pay roll dates, the commissioner meeting schedule and the claims schedule for 2012. Regarding the closing days schedule, the issue was moved to the special meeting agenda due to an issue with Veteran's Day, and

* The commissioners appointed and reappointed the following for 2012: Robert Longo to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Somheil as the county attorney, Annette Walden as head custodian, Bryan Husband as Clay County Emergency Management Director, Brown to serve on the West Central Indiana Economic District, David Schroer and Jack Knust for three-year terms on the Clay County Drainage Board and Dr. Everett Conrad and James Stearley, R.N., to the Clay County Health Board for four years.

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Sounds like Somheil is about as effective in the county attorney position as he is in his private practice.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 12:23 PM

My personal experience with Somheil is that he is very effective. He has to be prudent not to get the commissioner's involved in a legal dispute between two property owners. A platted road does not mean there is a road just like a platted city does not mean there is a town. Platted only means that a road was drawn on paper by our forefathers for planning purposes.

-- Posted by Lafin on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 7:17 PM

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