To offset the cost of registering sex and violent offenders, Putnam County will begin charging such offenders a registration fee.
For those required to register annually with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, there will be a $50 fee each year. A fee of $5 will also be charged each time an offender files a change of address.
The Putnam County Commissioners signed the new fee and associated fund into law at their Monday meeting. The ordinance established the Putnam County Sex or Violent Offender Administration Fund, which will help the sheriff's department defray costs associated with offender registration.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, Zachary's Law required sheriff's departments to jointly establish the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry to provide detailed information about individuals who register as sex or violent offenders in Indiana. The purpose is to inform the public about the identity, location and appearance of offenders who live, work or study in Indiana.
The cost of administering and ensuring compliance with the laws concerning the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry has previously come from the sheriff's department budget.
The money collected under the new law will be turned over to the Putnam County Auditor, who will deposit 90 percent of the fees into the new administration fund. The remaining 10 percent will go to the state sex and violent offender registration fund.
In other business:
* The county will need temporary right-of-way to access the underside of Baker's Camp Covered Bridge as part of the bridge rehabilitation project.
The highway department will also be applying for additional state funds for paving the approaches to Bridge 104, the small concrete bridge northwest of Dunbar Covered Bridge.
* A resident inquired about minutes of commissioners and council meetings not being uploaded to the county website. The auditor's office will check on the matter with Jon Tesmer, who maintains the site.
* The commissioners approved filling a part-time position in the treasurer's office and a full-time truck driver position at the county highway. Both moves will also have to be approved by the Putnam County Council before the hires can be made.