The Greene County Council had a real clear message Monday afternoon for county clerk Jackie Winstead: Shop local.
The council directed Winstead to "shop around" inside Greene County and provide them with some additional quotes at the next regular meeting for office furniture she wants to buy for her courthouse office.
Winstead presented the council with a $8,166.40 quote and catalog photos of the furniture she wants to purchase from Bedford Office Supply.
The quote is for eight desks and one table, and she would be reimbursed 66 percent of the cost from the state, if the purchase is made by Sept. 30.
Bedford Office Supply is a regular vendor to many county offices and provides delivery service several times a week.
Winstead said she wants to purchase cherry furniture to match the office's woodwork.
She explained that Bedford Office had given her a significant price break on the quoted items.
However, council president John Wilkes quickly said, "Let me ask you a question, did you get any other prices?"
Winstead, "No, I ran out of time."
Wilkes said, "I'd like to have some local prices on this."
Councilman William "Butch" Brown agreed.
Winstead said she plans to make the purchases out of her office's Perpetuation Fund, which has a balance of about $70,000.
The clerk was directed to re-submit new quotes at the council's next meeting Sept. 27.
The council also learned that an outside collection agency is bringing in a satisfactory return on billings done for the county ambulance service.
Ambulance Service Director David Doane reported collections were running about $5,300 ahead of this time a year ago.
The collection agency has billed out $1,365,502 in invoices since contracting with the county in April. Collections have amounted to $577,093.
In April, the county entered into a contract with Medical Accounts Services of Spencer to assist with billing and collection services for the ambulance service.
The commissioners agreed to a six-month contract with compensation based on a percentage of revenue brought in. The fee charged is 7 percent of the amount collected.
Doane told the council that he is satisfied with the job being done with the collections, but said he would like to re-negotiate the fee to a lower rate.
He said wants to spend money locally, but said there is no qualified billing company locally that is experienced in medical bills.
Doane, at the suggestion of councilman Ed Cullison, did inquire with the Greene County General Hospital's billing department if they might be able to handle the ambulance service billing, but he said they were not interested in taking on the job.
Doane said when the collection agency was hired there was at least a month backlog of billing that he "thought" was being done and it was not completed by an employee who no longer works in his office.
The council approved a motion to advertise for a $300,000 additional appropriation to cover the county's self-funded health insurance plan through the end of the year.
Deputy Auditor Sue McDonald said, "We're out of money."
Councilman Wilkes explained that the $300,000 was cut from the Health Insurance budget during last year's budget hearings with the understanding that an additional appropriation was probably going to be needed.
Final action on the additional appropriation is expected at the September meeting.
In other matters, the council:
* Approved a $33,129 additional appropriation for the County Recorder's office to hire Fidler Consulting, a software company, to back scan records from 1960 to 1992. The money will come from the Recorder's office County Identification Fund.
* Approved a $50,000 additional appropriation for the sheriff's department to purchase two vehicles from the County Corrections Fund. The Ford Escape vehicles will replace two high mileage department Ford Explorer SUVs, according to Sheriff Terry Pierce.
* Approved two inter-budget transfer requests from surveyor Ira "Butch" Wright which moved $2,500 into extra hire. Wright requested $1,500 from the perpetuation fund and $1,000 from legal services.
* Approved a $200 transfer from longevity pay to mileage for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) office.
* Approved a $250 transfer for the health department from birth certificates to extra hire to cover the cost of hiring a nurse to help with a recent immunization clinic.
* Appointed Don Johnson, from Center Township, to fill a vacancy on the County Alcoholic Beverage Board. He fills the vacancy that was created in June with the death of former board member R. Julian Huffman of Bloomfield.
The council meets the last Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in the third floor meeting room at the county courthouse in Bloomfield.