County commissioners examine employee bonding mandate issue

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A mandate from the state requiring that all employees who handle money be bonded could have a simpler, cheaper solution than previously believed.

The Putnam County Commissioners are, of course, doubtful of the solution that sounds too good to be true.

Previously, only officeholders and employees who handled large amounts of money had to be bonded.

Bonding is the process by which an insurance company does deep background checks on employees who handle money, determining their trustworthiness. Employees are individually assessed to determine if they can be bonded and what the cost will be to insure them.

This became much more problematic when the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that all county employees who handle money, even in relatively small amounts, must be


Such a process for dozens of county employees, including nearly every employee at the courthouse, would be both time consuming and expensive for the county.

However, at the commissioners' Monday morning meeting, Commissioner Rick Woodall reported that he and County Attorney Jim Ensley had met with Rick Bittles of HBG Insurance regarding the issue. As Woodall understood it, Bittles said he could issue a blanket bond to the county for $1,500.

"I don't see any way that can be right," Woodall said.

With ongoing discussions of county health insurance, Woodall and Ensley will be meeting with Bittles again, and Woodall plans to follow up regarding the bonding issue.

In other business:

* The county renewed its contract with Operation Life for emergency medical service. The only change is the new contract is

for two years, from January 2015 through December 2017.

* The commissioners granted a request by Greencastle Police Chief Tom Sutherlin for several unused office items in the old Courthouse Annex.

Crowding in the GPD office has the department preparing to turn some old storage space into new office space for its supervisors and detectives.

In the interest of saving money, Sutherlin requested a desk, two filing cabinets and perhaps a chair.

The equipment has been unused since the annex closed four years ago.

Commissioner David Berry proposed the equipment be given to GPD at no charge, and motion that passed unanimously.

* County Highway Superintendent Mike Ricketts reported that a total of $52,119 is being spent on repairing gravel roads this fall, with work ongoing in two locations in the county.

Other crews are currently out trimming brush.

Ricketts also requested permission to sell some old highway department equipment on an auction site geared toward states and counties selling such items.

Berry asked Ricketts to wait until Ensley can review the issue.

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  • Of all the bad roads in the county, they're only repairing 2 of them? "Brush trimming" should be stopped until all the roads are fixed!

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Wed, Dec 9, 2015, at 8:22 AM
    Response by Jared Jernagan:
    By "locations" I actually meant two general areas in which they were working, not specific roads. With projects like that, I don't often put specific roads because by the time it hits the paper a day or two later, the crews are probably somewhere else.
  • On a good note,at least 2 of the Commissioners are asking questions and thinking about decisions to be made! This is long overdue.....

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Dec 9, 2015, at 5:17 PM
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