WINFIELD -- Putnam County commissioners voted to have a public hearing to make a portion of the Putnam Business Park a special tax district.
With state government approval, local officials can define certain areas as tax increment financing districts and steer the revenue resulting from increased property assessments within the boundaries to development projects.
"This TIF district is to extend utilities where we don't have any now," Commission President Joe Haynes said after Tuesday's commission meeting.
The commission will decide at its March 26 meeting whether to send the application to the state Development Office.
The commission also received budget requests from county offices for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
"Most of the requests were pretty reasonable," Haynes said. "We've always worked cooperatively between departments. When times are tough, we tighten our belt."
All departments seek increases for costs such as health and pension benefits and cost-of-living pay increases for their employees.
Commissioner Steve Andes said officials would like to give raises to county employees if the budget permits.
"We've had low turnover recently, and we would like to keep it that way," he said.
Sheriff Steve Deweese requested an increase of about $263,000 for his four divisions - law enforcement, tax collection, home confinement and process serving. Among other requests, he is seeking wireless access for his employees who must travel to rural areas so