Commissioners apply for grant
GREENCASTLE -- With the first significant snow of the season coming over the weekend, the county commissioners were complimentary of County Highway co-supervisor Jim Smith and the rest of the department at Monday's meeting.
"They did do a good job this weekend," Commissioners President Gene Beck said.
"I was on Manhattan Road first thing Saturday morning, and it was good," Commissioner Kristina Warren added.
Smith brought before the commissioners the matter of a grant for County Road 725 W, south of U.S. 36. At November's meeting, Laura Slusher of Indiana's Technical Assistance Program told the commissioners of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) that if Putnam County is chosen for the (HSIP) grant, $419,000 could come the county's way to make improvements to the road.
The county's only commitment would be to contribute $41,900, or 10 percent of the grant amount.
"I think you should pursue it; no more money than it will cost the county," Smith said.
According to a projected project schedule, the county would not likely owe the money until 2013.
The commissioners approved the move 3-0.
County highway bids for 2011 were opened at the meeting, but the commissioners took no action. Instead, they took the matter under advisement. They turned the bids over to the highway department to review and present for approval at the Dec. 20 meeting.
Smith and County Clerk Marty Watts also received permission from the commissioners to fill vacant positions. Smith had a driver retire last week, while Watts' office is seeking a new traffic clerk.
"We're just replacing, not creating. That money is already earmarked," Watts said.
The commissioners approved all claims except for one for assessor-elect Nancy Dennis. Dennis sought reimbursement for an assessors conference she attended in August. However, she did not notify any county officials before attending.
The commissioners did not like the precedent allowing the claim would set.
Beck and Warren considered putting off annual employee appointments until the next meeting, giving new commissioner Nancy Fogle the chance to review the matter. However, Fogle said to move ahead.
"If everyone's doing their job, I don't have a problem reappointing them," she said.
All appointed employees were retained.