"If we can figure out somewhere to put the Extension Office, I think we ought to close the (Courthouse) Annex," Beck said.
The annex, in the old Jones School building at 209 W. Liberty St., has housed county offices since 2002.
However, the aging property has become something of an albatross to the county in an age of rising fuel prices and shrinking budgets.
"Last year we spent almost $50,000 on that annex with heating, air conditioning and general maintenance," Beck said.
Jones was built in 1954 and has problems with heating, cooling, roofing, electricity, communications, water and insulation.
The building's extensive problems have led to discussions of building a new annex in recent years. Unfortunately, the same budget problems that could cause the building's closure do not allow for a viable replacement option.
While Beck mentioned the Purdue Cooperative Extension Office by name, abandoning the site would be more than that -- the building also houses the Veterans Affairs Office, Planning and Zoning, Emergency Management, the Health Department, Rural Transit, West Central Solid Waste, Red Cross and the commissioners' courtroom.
Beck proposed after moving the offices out, the building could continue to be used as storage, which would require only minimal utility costs.
Many other counties put their extension offices on the fairgrounds. Beck said he had discussed solutions with Extension Educator Mark Evans, but both men were at a loss for an immediate answer.
"I don't think they have any room at the fairgrounds, as far as a full time office," Beck said.
Another office that could be on the move is Title IV D Child Support. The office currently has space on the fourth floor of the courthouse, but it has become a safety concern. The plan to raise the courthouse's railings is currently on hold, so the number of children in and around the child support office is a worry to county officials.
The fourth floor's rails are even lower than those on the second and third floors.
The commissioners and Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter discussed the possibility of looking into open space on the first floor until a permanent solution to the railing heights can be found.
A request by Bookwalter to sign a service contract with 12 Point Telecom was put on hold until the commissioners can look into a contract for all county offices.
The consensus of all courthouse offices, as well as the sheriff's and highway departments, seems to be to go with 12 Point for phone and computer service contracts.
County highway co-superintendent had little to report to the commissioners, but thanked them for recently going to the county council for an additional $400,000 in road funds.
"We're starting to get more thank yous now than complaints," Smith said. "It all goes back to the commissioners stepping up to the plate and going to the council to ask for the money."
The next commissioners meeting will be at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Putnam County Highway Department, a change from the normal time and place of the meeting.