Sheriff Mike Heaton presented Ordinance No. 1-2012 to the council, which creates the salary for a new jailer position.
"When we set up the jail, it was set up to house additional state inmates to offset some of the county's costs," he said. "The number of inmates has dwindled recently. To maintain our inmates, the state requires the county provide additional programs. To maintain these programs, I need an additional staff member who's going to be dedicated to do this."
The Justice Center currently has two employees going through training for the programs, which take 2,000 hours of training. Jail Officer Tracey Burton is currently a part-time officer who is in training for the new programs. She will be moving into a full-time position, focusing mainly on the programs.
"Right now, the state is reimbursing us because we house state inmates, but if we don't offer these programs, the state inmates will be pulled out, and we won't be receiving that money," Heaton said.
Heaton said this situation affects every county in the state.
"So compared to some counties, we will be or maybe already are ahead of the game, which increases our ability to bring people in, which will offset the cost of the new employee," McCullough said.
Jail Administrator Kenny Rollings explained to the council how effective the programs will be for the inmates.
"This is learned behavior for the offenders," he said. "These programs are an incentive to the inmates, just like a reward program for a small child. If you behave yourself in my facility and have all the requirements, you can go through the program. I've asked an inmate before if when he goes back to his housing facility if he talks with the other offenders about what takes place during the program. He said they do, so the information he's gathering from the program, he's sharing with our local offenders. It has a trickling, positive effect."
The new employee's salary would come out of the General Fund. The council passed the ordinance with a salary of $26,528 annually. In February, the council will approve an additional appropriation of $26,528.
Also during the meeting, the council planned to set the surveyor's salary for 2013.
"We're just saying what we plan to set the salary for 2013, but we're not setting it," McCullough said. "It's only so anyone running for the position will know."
The council decided on a salary of $8,000 annually for a non-licensed surveyor and $12,000 annually for a licensed surveyor.
"This is not official though," McCullough said. The council also decided not to have any certain office hours for the surveyor position.
Meanwhile, the council discussed several additional appropriations including the following:
* From the County General Fund, the council appropriated $26,528 for a new jail officer position. The funding for this position was fixed for 2011 during the special meeting in December. The council approved the appropriation for 2012,
* To the Clay County Commissioners fund, $2,210 was appropriated for part-time records restoration. Clay County Recorder Joseph Dierdorf explained the situation. The county's records had been stored in the basement and attic of the Clay County Courthouse. But as the basement was updated, the books moved multiple times to an old grocery store and the old jail. Each move was dictated by construction and demolition projects.
The State of Indiana, through the public records retention schedules, identifies these records as permanent records, not to be destroyed, but instead preserved forever.
The records include miscellaneous recorder's records, some auditor's transfer books, several clerk's records and the majority are treasurer's tax duplicates. To destroy permanent records, they must first be microfilmed and indexed. The Indiana State archives can perform this work.
The books were tested for mold before they were removed from the old jail and placed in a storage shed located by the Justice Center. There was no toxic mold found, however, various other types of mold were present. The state will not process the books until the mold is removed.
The appropriation includes funds to move the books, purchase the equipment to remediate the mold such as air purifications systems and pay for part-time labor to process the auditor and recorder's records.
The council approved the appropriation, including a pay rate of $10 per hour,
* The council approved an appropriation of $1,000 for the health office to do an assessment with Purdue University,
* To the Highway Administration to match grant funds, the council approved $5,000 to be appropriated. The government mandated all signs to be replaced with signs that have greater reflectivity. However, the cities and counties in the state complained enough that the government changed the mandate so that the signs don't have to be replaced all at once, Commissioner Paul Sinders said.
Clay County applied for a $50,000 grant, but they must pay $5,000 to receive it. The money from the grant will go toward studying all of the county's signs to find out what needs changed, which is mandated. The second step will be to apply for another grant to purchase the new signs.
"This is an unfunded mandate to a degree," Sinders said,
* Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh explained an appropriation for reassessment use to fund the GIS system.
"They are obviously short on funds," she said. "They are just barely scraping by."
The auditor's office increased the transfer fee to take the money out of their Plat Book Fund, redirecting the GIS cost to the Plat Book Fund,
* The council appropriated $80,000 from the county river boat revenue share. Previously, they had put the money in the General Fund as miscellaneous income. However, they found out the revenue is only allowed to be in its own separate fund, which can be used for anything. The money was taken out of the General Fund and put in a separate fund. Workmen's compensation cost for the General Fund was around $80,000. The council is taking that out to make the budget balance.
"This is not new money," McCullough noted, and
* From the probation user fees, the council appropriated more than $14,000 for the deputy probation officer and $28,351 for the chief probation officer.
In addition, the council made the following appointments:
* Gerald Hardesty and Mindy Litz to the Property Tax Board of Appeals,
* James Mayrose to the Alcoholic Beverage Board,
* Glenn Morrow and Bill Sisson to the Redevelopment Commission,
* Alumbaugh, McCullough and Sinders to the Personnel Committee, and
* Larry Moss and Rothrock to the West Central Indiana Economic Development Board.