GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Council gave its blessing at Tuesday night's meeting for three full-time positions to be filled in three different departments.
Due to a hiring freeze enacted in 2009, all new hires must be signed off on by both the board of commissioners and the county council. This applies to the filling of existing positions, even if the money is already allotted.
The council approved the hiring of a new highway department driver, a new traffic deputy in the clerk's office and a new deputy in the recorder's office. All three hires had already been signed off on by the commissioners.
The new highway driver is Brandon Bennett, the new deputy clerk is Kristin Seahorn and the new deputy recorder is Mavis Bray.
Bennett is actually a rehire for the highway department, which co-supervisor Jim Smith said is good during the busy winter season.
"It would be a bad time of year to bring in somebody new," Smith said. "We were fortunate to have someone who worked here before."
In a topic that was much discussed last summer, the council gave final approval to the creation of the Airport Capital Improvement Fund. The fund is essential as the Putnam County Airport moves toward required federal upgrades in the coming years.
Most of the money for the upgrades will come from state and federal grant money, but the money will be administered by the county, so the fund is essential to the process.
Putnam County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Doug Nally presented the department's commissary fund to the council for review.
The commissary fund comes from money the department makes from the sale of personal items such as clothes, toiletry and snacks to inmates. An outside company handles the items, but the department also gets a percentage of the money.
While the commissary money is not under the council's control, the department brought the fund information to the meeting for review. Additionally, the council can approve the use of commissary money for a use other than those prescribed by statute.
At the meeting, the council approved the use of commissary money to help pay the department's fuel bill, on which it is currently $35,000 behind.
Council also approved an additional appropriation of $25,000 to the circuit court for detention fees for youth offenders. In the past, the fund had been budgeted at $100,000, but it was cut to $33,000 in 2010.
The budgeted amount has simply not been enough, as this is the second time money has been added in 2010.
Finally, the council also approved further reductions of $66,484 to the county's reassessment budget. The move was made according to state guidelines.