GREENCASTLE -- Two county departments will be seeing upgrades to technology used in their offices very soon.
Among the additional appropriations and transfers approved by the Putnam County Council Tuesday were requests from the surveyor's office and microfilm department that will aid them in updating their equipment.
The surveyor's office will be purchasing a two-person GPS system for the Section Corner Perpetuation Program. The current system requires three people to complete, so the purchase will bring a reduction in manpower required.
In order to purchase the $18,000 system, the council approved a $9,000 transfer from the contractors and laborers fund to equipment. With the $10,000 already in the budget for equipment, this will leave about $1,000 in the equipment fund after the purchase.
Council also approved an $8,000 additional appropriation for the microfilm department for the purchase of a new camera. One of the two cameras currently in use was a gift to the county three years ago and has stopped working.
"The last time they purchased a camera, it was $5,700, and they have gone up," said microfilm director Kathleen Van Arsdale.
Council President Darrel Thomas asked if the camera would keep the county up to date, expressing his concern with having to purchase something else in the near future. Van Arsdale assured him the technology is not changing.
"Microfilm is microfilm," she said.
Treasurer Sharon Owens brought an issue before the council the county is having with Clear Creek Conservancy on an unpaid bill. Owens sent Clear Creek a bill for $806.10 sewer assessment in the district. However, when the bill was presented to the district's board, it was denied.
The problem goes back to an issue last year in which the county refused to pay a claim for work on a county road in the district. County commissioner Gene Beck explained to the council that the work was done without the county's prior approval. For this reason, the commissioners refused to pay Clear Creek.
While councilors were clearly unhappy with the conservancy district's decision, they decided to pursue a diplomatic approach to the problem.
"I would suggest that our attorney and their attorney have a discussion and see if this can be solved," councilor Roger Deck said.
Other councilors agreed, as did council attorney Elizabeth South, who will be making the appointment. She will make a report at the July council meeting.
"Something's got to happen, and I want to know what our options are," councilor Larry Parker said.
Beck was also in attendance with Eric Ratts from DLZ, the firm the commissioners approved in their pursuit of a new courthouse annex. On June 29, members of the commissioners and council will be visiting the Hancock County Courthouse Annex in Greenfield for a tour.
At evening, the two bodies will host a joint meeting, at which time a decision will be made on whether or not to move forward with the new annex. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the courthouse annex.
Council also approved its 2011 budget to stay the same at $47,328.
They will be hosting budget hearings beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 16 and 17.