GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County Commissioners Gene Beck and Nancy Fogle voted Tuesday to offset the rising cost of health insurance for county employees in 2011.
According to auditor Stephanie Campbell, rates are increasing by 14 percent in 2011. Beck and Fogle chose to offset the rising costs with money from the county's health insurance trust.
Fogle expressed her feeling that it was the least the county could do in challenging economic times.
"They haven't gotten a raise in two years," she said.
Commissioner Kristina Warren was not in attendance at Tuesday's meeting.
The move only applies to employees on the county's regular health insurance plan.
The commissioners also voted to enter into a brownfield agreement with West Central Indiana Economic Development. The program, which currently includes Clay, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties, assists landowners of contaminated properties.
Jim Coffinberry of West Central gave the example of property from an old brick plant in Clay County which cannot be developed because of asbestos and other contamination. West Central is working with the current owners on solutions.
Don Gedert of the Cloverdale Redevelopment Commission initially contacted Coffinberry about possibly getting Putnam County involved. The town is interested in pursuing brownfield funds for the old Cloverdale Inn as well as the downtown building at 9 and 11 N. Main St.
"No money of yours will go into it," Coffinberry assured the commissioners. "You're just part of the coalition."
The commissioners also heard a presentation from Dan Sulkoske of Kramer Companies about a services agreement. Sulkoske has previously spoken to both the commissioners and council about serving as an owner representative should the county move forward on plans to build a new courthouse annex or renovate the current site.
The commissioners expressed no interest at this time, though, as there are no plans slated for the annex.
"If we had a project, that would be something, but we don't have a project right now," Fogle said.
Beck went further, questioning the need for an owner representative.
"If you don't trust the contractor you hired, then why did you hire them?" he asked. "We don't have a project that needs this now."