Putnam County Commissioners kept their Monday morning meeting short and sweet. The commissioners' annual tour of the jail was postponed due to injuries suffered by Commissioner Gene Beck in a wagon and mule accident Sunday and county attorney Scott Hoff, who was limping on both ankles from a pair of falls he took recently.
Despite receiving 15 "donkey stitches," Beck, along with Commissioner Jim Baird, approved advertising for bids for a new phone system for the Putnam County Courthouse.
The current system in the courthouse was struck by lightning several months ago and because of the age of the system, repairs have not been made.
The new phone system must be fully compatible with the current county agency phone systems, use wireless network for interoffice communications and offer a response time of a minimum of one hour for any outages or issues.
Other requirements including battery backup, growth needs, voicemail and installation will be included in the bid advertisement.
Persons with questions about the bid process or phone system can contact County Planner Kim Hyten at 653-5727.
Commissioners would like to see the new system work with the sheriff's office and EOC.
"Having the same phone system would make communications between the sheriff's office, courthouse, EOC and possibly the annex work more effectively," said Hyten.
Putnam County Judge Denny Bridges informed the commissioners of the probation departments plan to hire James Hardwick part-time to teach several classes once taught by Community Corrections to juveniles and adult offenders in the Putnam County system.
"These will be paid for out of probation user funds. No tax monies are spent on these classes," explained Bridges. "We've already been to the County Council and they approved this. We just wanted to tell you about it as well."
One of the classes taught to both juveniles and adults is "Prime for Life." This class focuses on alcohol and drug education.
Another class, "Thinking for a Change," will be taught to juveniles as well as classes for persons who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes.
"Hardwick taught these classes at Putnamville and many of the offenders who went through his class were not return offenders," explained Bridges.
In other business, Beck reported, "The highway is filling as many pot holes as they can with the material they have."
He also thanked the Putnam County Sheriff's office for mowing around guardrails on roads in the county.
Hyten added that workers from the jail had also helped carrying files on the fourth floor of the courthouse. He inquired how to get more help from the workers for projects in the courthouse.
"Call Carmen Sims. Everybody going through the system now is ordered to do community service. We have lots of talented people who can do construction, plumbing, electric and other things," said a probation representative.
The next meeting of the Putnam County Commissioners is at 6 p.m. June 15 at the county annex.