"We represent the taxpayers of this county and any opportunity we have to save money for the taxpayers is a great deal," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "I think this is what this will do ... I think it's a good and positive move to approve this."
Originally, the jail bonds were to be paid off by 2034. With the refinancing, however, the bonds could be paid off by 2028, eliminating six years. Through the refinancing, the county is estimated to have a gross savings of $3.7 million.
The commissioners also signed and approved a refinancing agreement.
Meanwhile, officials with the Lewis Township Fire Department including Fire Chief Bryan Husband and Attorney Terry Modesitt presented Ordinance No. 7-2012 to the commissioners.
"They're at the point now where they just don't have enough money to function as a volunteer fire department any longer," Modesitt said.
Becoming a district reestablishes the tax rate so the fire department may receive more funding to operate.
To become a fire protection district, the fire department needed to collect 500 signatures of real property owners or 51 percent of the freeholders in the township on a petition to establish the district.
The Auditors Office certified 554 signatures, which is more than 51 percent of the freeholders in Lewis Township.
The commissioners approved the ordinance and appointed five board members, including Marsha Riggins for a one-year term, Tony Rash for a two-year term, Pat French for a three-year term and Jeff Eccles and Greg Griffith for four-year terms each.
The next step will be to establish a budget and Husband said he would have to make a five-year plan.
At the end of the meeting, Husband approached the commissioners as the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director. He described his recent trip to Henryville, Ind., and told the commissioners there are certain things the county needs to have in place in case the type of disaster that struck Henryville would ever happen in Clay County.
He explained within the first 72 hours, the county could declare emergency and do whatever needs to be done, however, after 72 hours, the county would have to use bids and contracts to take any action.
"Putting these things in place will make it a lot simpler for you guys and the county and everybody when or if it happens," Husband said.
Husband said he would make a list of things that need to be done for the commissioners to review. He also said he would like to have an EMA advising committee set up by this summer with members including: county commissioner president, county council president, mayor, a member from each town board, a fire chief representative and a law enforcement representative.
In other news:
* The commissioners approved one change made to voting places. The one change was in regard to Posey 3,
* The commissioners approved Ordinance No. 8-2012 to reimburse employees in the Prosecutor's Office for the use of personal cell phones for work. The reimbursement includes $40 per month for the deputy prosecutor. The money will come from the 4D Child Support Enforcement budget, as a transfer rather than an additional,
* The commissioners approved a copier lease contract for the Prosecutor's Office, which decreases the cost per copy,
* The commissioners passed Ordinance No. 5-2012 for the reimbursement of personal cell phones for county work. The reimbursement will include $100 per month for both the public health nurse and the sanitarian.
The commissioners received an e-mail from the public health department explaining why they need the reimbursement and how the money is coming from a grant rather than county funds, and
* The commissioners approved a Bridge No. 1 construction engineering contract subject to legal review.