As the Board of Supervisors came together for their regular meeting on July 27, the meeting was moved to the conference room with the number of public guests in attendance wishing to address their concerns as well as have questions answered regarding the courthouse remodel.
The office remodeling topic for the treasurer’s, auditor’s and recorder’s offices is one that has been a main focal point of discussion for several months as the treasurer’s office stated the need for more privacy as well as more room was the largest factor in this request.
Previously, the board authorized an advertisement to be placed asking for quotes from contractors to be received for the work needing to be completed. The deadline for these bids to be received was July 24 at 4 p.m. in which only one sealed bid was received from Nic Emerson, which was opened during this meeting.
The bids were broken down by each office in the courthouse looking to remodel with several options given for the treasurer and auditor’s offices.
Remodel options including countertops, cabinets, removing walls, placing new doors, add wall partitions were discussed with bid amounts ranging from $3,400 up to $7,175 for the auditor’s office.
The bid for the recorder’s office remodel was $3,250 and the total bid for the treasurer’s office was $12,000.
Each department head took a moment to speak to the board and the public in attendance to explain how the remodel would benefit each office.
Recorder Angie Horton noted there is an inconvenience to the customers with the current setup while also stating, “The remodel will also help protect our staff in the recorder’s office and our customers now and in the future.”
“Looking over this, we are looking about $25,000 and to the average person’s bank account that’s a lot of money, but the county is sitting really good,” said Auditor Michelle Dooley. “Not to say we should just be reckless with the funds, but I think you need to consider why it’s a good move for the departments. Why it’s a good move for the residents. Why we should be preparing to move for the future even though we are in a moment of crisis.”
“I work for the public and the taxpayer and I feel it is my duty to do this as economical as possible for the taxpayer,” said Supervisor Don Seams.
“Don said he is working for the taxpayer, so am I, I am working for the taxpayer,” said Treasurer Kim Swearingin. “From day one what I have heard is it’s about money. I put into my budget $15,000, all I need is an approval to actually do something with the office because you guys are in charge of the courthouse. I feel, my budget if you were not for any of this at the time, you should not have approved my budget when you did back in March.”
“I don’t think it can be considered a money issue because do any of you know how much claims you have actually approved to go through this courthouse building in the last two months?” asked K. Swearingin.
“We’re looking at probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 to $600,000,” said Dooley.
“No actually you are looking at so far they’ve spent $978,000 in June and July,” stated K. Swearingin.
A motion was made to table the remodel to allow more time for bid review and it would be revisited in the next board meeting on August 10.
In other business the board approved the resolution to authorize the redemption of outstanding general obligation of the local option sales and services tax refunding bonds, Series 2012A. The bond proposal contract with Northland Securities in the amount of $1,945,000 was accepted which will save the county approximately $92,000.
In a previous meeting the board made a motion they would set a schedule for their availability in the courthouse. Dooley noted if a set schedule would not be made, a motion to rescind the previous motion would be needed.
Discussion took place on this issue as guest Sue Ruble stated why she preferred a schedule be made.
“The taxpayers expect to see you here,” said Ruble. “Tom [Swearingin] has set up a schedule and I understand you all have other meetings. If Don [Seams] has a meeting one day and David [Dotts] doesn’t, it can be subject to change but there will be somebody in this building on these hours, on these days.”
“I think the taxpayers want face-to-face time, I want face-to-face time with anybody I am dealing with,” Ruble continued. “I don’t want to do it by phone and I don’t want to do it on the internet. The taxpayers are paying for that and I think you need to have a schedule.”
Supervisor Swearingin stated he would continue to be present in the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 to 11 a.m. Supervisors Seams and Dotts stated they did not wish to pinpoint an exact schedule of when they would be available in the event a meeting would prevent them from being present in the courthouse.
They wished to have their phone numbers continue to be published in the event a member in the county would like to contact them. Seams can be reached at (641) 895-8585 and Dotts can be reached at (641) 344-5076.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Monday, August 10 at 9 a.m. The Times-Republican will now be live-streaming each public meeting of the Board of Supervisors on our Facebook page Corydon Times-Republican.