During the meeting, Sheriff Mike Heaton had multiple issues to discuss with the commissioners, including:
* Heaton presented Ordinance No. 4-2012, which reimburses county employees for the use of their personal cell phones in county business, effective March 1. The commissioners approved the ordinance. The Clay County Council must approve the ordinance before it is officially passed,
* Heaton requested a date for an auction of seized vehicles from drug deals and theft cases. The Sheriff's Department now has the titles of approximately seven vehicles. The department also has bicycles and other items that need to be sold. The commissioners decided the auction would be Saturday, March 3, in the Clay County Justice Center parking lot. The proceeds from the auction will go into different funds depending on the types of cases each item comes from,
* Heaton discussed repainting cells in the Justice Center due to a discoloration and chipping problem. A company will strip the paint down to the metal, re-prep the metal and repaint the cell. Heaton said he'd like to repaint a test cell to see how the process works.
"We'll have to shut down the cell for approximately seven to eight days," Heaton said. "If it gets to the point of painting all the cells, the population will have to be low or we won't have enough room to shuffle people around," and
* The commissioners decided to have a meeting with Heaton and Clay County Council President Mike McCullough to discuss a new building to house mowers, evidence, a workshop for county maintenance and seized vehicles.
"We need to get together and discuss what we actually need in a building this size," Commissioner President Charlie Brown said.
"I don't want anything fancy," Heaton said.
After Heaton finished, Emergency Management Agency Director Bryan Husband updated the commissioners on his work. He is working on getting an ordinance together involving ADA (American Disability Act) compliance.
The commissioners approved the proposal for additional funding for the continuation of county participation in the GIS (Geographic Information System) data sharing initiative.
"We developed, quite a while ago, a GIS link for Clay County," Bryan said.
A grant gives the county $2,000 every year for three years to keep the GIS updated.
"As I recall, we were one of the first ones in the state to be a part of this a couple years ago," Commissioner Paul Sinders said.
Next, Bryan spoke with the commissioners as the Lewis Township Fire Department Chief. He introduced the Assistant Chief Sean Husband. Sean approached the commissioners with information regarding the fire department becoming a district fire department. The fire department must get 500 signatures or 51 percent of the freeholders in Lewis Township to become a fire protection district. The Lewis Township Fire Department believes it has 500 signatures at this time. The county commissioners must approve an ordinance after the signatures are approved by the auditor's office. The ordinance must be accepted prior to March 1, for collection of the funding to begin in 2013, which will allow the fire department to receive the funding in 2014.
"There used to be a way that we could get a small increase every year for the township fund," Bryan said. "But that's gone. Right now, the township government doesn't have much control. They can't get any more funding for us. We can't afford much now -- $17,000 a year doesn't go very far."
Once the ordinance goes through, the county commissioners will appoint a district board.
"Just like school districts, we will have a board and they will oversee our budget," Bryan said.
The following was also discussed during the February meeting:
* The commissioners looked over the county annual report from the auditor's office,
* The commissioners approved the bid specs for the appraisal support service contract, which requests bids for 2012-2014 appraisal support services for Clay County residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and utility properties.
Brown said he would like time to review the bids before voting. Because of this, the commissioners decided to plan a special meeting in March to vote on the bids,
* Ed Meyers from Energy Systems Group, Indianapolis, spoke with the commissioners about his company's services.
"We work with counties, looking for ways to reduce energy and operating costs," he said. "We're interested in working with you down the road."
Energy Systems Group will do a feasibility study without any financial commitment. After the study, the commissioners could decide if they wanted to move forward with the company, and
* The auditor's office proposed to trade out its existing copier for a new one, which will better suit their needs. The contract with the existing copier is up in June, however, they have an opportunity for a new machine now. Indiana Business Equipment has agreed to pay the next five payments in the lease agreement. The cost for the new copier is relatively the same as the current one. The commissioners approved the contract. The new lease is good for five years.
The Clay County Commissioners meet the first Monday of every month at 9 a.m., in the Commissioner's Courtroom in the Clay County Courthouse.