Salt shortage causing a stir

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A request by the highway department made county council members lean back in their chairs for a moment Tuesday during their regular meeting.

The year has barely begun and already a substantial amount of the $250,000 in the Rainy Day Fund is needed.

It seems the highway department is out of road salt and money to purchase any more of it. This has led the department to request $50,000 from the Rainy Day Fund, which council has full control over.

Council members were not hesitant in agreeing to the amount or the need, but the question was could the money be taken from another fund.

Taking the $50,000 out of the highway department's equipment fund was one consideration. It was quickly rejected due to the department needing to replace a truck soon.

At a cost of $165 per ton, the highway department has reportedly spent $100,000 on salt since December. This does not include a recent order totaling $21,000.

"People want the roads taken care of," said Commissioner Gene Beck on behalf of the highway department.

Council members agreed with Beck.

After further deliberation, the $50,000 request was given tentative approval and will most likely receive full approval at the council's meeting in February.

In other business:

* The sheriff's office advised the council its health care would continue with the same company. The current licensed practical nurse at the Putnam County Jail will be removed from payroll and added by contract. It will give the nurse a chance to have malpractice insurance.

* Council gave final approval on an $8,000 transfer from the public defender fund to cover the cost of moving employee positions from one court to the other, as requested by Judges Bridges and Headley in December.

* Council President Mitch Proctor began the first meeting of 2009 with a welcome extended to new members, Opal Sutherland and Nancy Fogel.

Proctor told all council members, "When we come here, it is to do what is best for the citizens of Putnam County."

He reminded everyone of the goal to spend tax money properly and frugally, where it is needed. He asked as the council progresses, to keep in mind taxpayers pay their salaries.

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  • Because the sheriffs apartment cares more about thier paychecks then saving lives! It's all about the money in this sad sad world.

    -- Posted by 1stamendrights on Wed, Jan 21, 2009, at 12:12 PM
  • Better yet, why don't the people who drive like idiots when the weather is bad, be fined for having to take the time of the police to take accident reports, because they don't take responsibility for themselves. Quit blaming the police for everything that happens.As taxpayers, we should be asking the county what they are doing with all our tax dollars since they don't fix all the bad roads that have been deteriorating for the last few years. Also, they don't salt the most icy and and treacherous roads that make travel dangerous.

    -- Posted by magoo55 on Wed, Jan 21, 2009, at 4:19 PM
  • magoo 55

    As a tax payer you can attend the budget hearings or council meetings and see where the money goes.

    Get involved.


    The city streets are not the county's responsibility. Greencastle takes care of those.


    The main road through town is a State Highway so the state takes care of it.

    -- Posted by teach4ever on Wed, Jan 21, 2009, at 8:19 PM
  • teach4ever,

    You don't know if i go to meetings or not. I travel all over the county and see the deteriorating roads and i know the county gets so much money to repair and replace roads. Go teach someone new, who will care what you have to say, i don't need your advice.

    -- Posted by magoo55 on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 3:15 PM
  • Gotta tighten up,Soapy! No money!

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 2:15 PM
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