County Council approves several transfers

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Putnam County Courthouse

A recent COVID quarantine in the Putnam County Courthouse delayed the Putnam County Council meeting by one week, but did little to add to the agenda.

In a breezy 20-minute meeting, the Council approved a series of transfer requests.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the county, several county offices are investing in laptop computers to allow for work from away from the office, thus minimizing the risk of the staff of an entire courthouse office being exposed at the same time.

As such, transfers were approved for both the Auditorís Office and the Assessorís Office for the purchase of laptops.

For the Auditorís Office, of the $6,000 transfer into the equipment fund, $3,500 was from per diem, while the other $2,500 was from repair and maintenance.

For the Assessorís Office, the $5,780.26 sum was divided between two per diem/conference funds.

Auditor Lorie Hallett told the council members the Plat Office and Recorderís Office both also plan to purchase such computers, but no transfers were on the agenda from these departments.

The council also approved three transfers for 911 Dispatch: $3,500 into maintenance, $800 into office supplies and $4,650 from salaries to overtime.

For the Emergency Management Agency, $2,400 was transferred from training to miscellaneous to cover expenses related to the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The council approved a $3,000 transfer for the Planning and Zoning Department from the office managerís salary to the directorís salary.

When former County Planner Bill Hatfield retired earlier this year, the county had to pay him for vacation and compensatory time, leaving the budgeted amount short when Planner Lisa Zeiner was hired.

However, the department also operated without an office manager for a time, thus freeing up the necessary money.

A high number of autopsies also caused Coroner Dave Brown to request a transfer within his budget.

The council approved moving $2,300 from dues and vehicle repair and maintenance into the equipment rental fund.

Near the end of the meeting, Councilman Larry Parker warned his fellow council members of how overworked the Putnam County Health Department has become during the pandemic, an issue that was addressed the day before by the Putnam County Commissioners.

As such, the Commissioners had approved the hiring of temporary, part-time help for the Health Department.

While the extra help may be funded through CARES Act money, the Council briefly discussed what other sources might be of assistance.

ďThis has to be a classic example of a Rainy Day Fund issue,Ē Council President Dave Fuhrman said. ďIf this isnít a rainy day, I donít know what is.Ē

Fuhrman and Parker were joined at the meeting by fellow members Keith Berry, Phil Gick and Danny Wallace. Vice President Jill Bridgewater and Gene Beck were not in attendance.

The Council will next meet in a special session on Monday, Dec. 7 at 11:15 a.m., following the Putnam County Commissionersí meeting. The purpose of the meeting is only to consider additional appropriations, as Tuesday, Dec. 17, the date of the regular County Council meeting, is too close to the end of the year to process additional appropriations.

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