The Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday moved forward with the next phase of the Courthouse security project, agreeing to add cameras throughout the building.

The plan calls for 13 cameras spread throughout the facility linked to a common server, county IT director Susan Carter reported. The cameras would be motion-activated and will be installed inside the courtrooms.

Standard Security Services of Jeffersonville will provide and install the equipment for about $17,000. The County Council approved the funds at a meeting earlier this month.

Commissioner Mark Cash said he has heard from commissioners in the surrounding areas who have increased security measures by adding cameras.

"I think it's prudent that we probably increase our security in such a way," he said.

The Commissioners approved the contract 3-0, though Commissioner Bob Little added an amendment requiring the company to specify the locations of each camera in its final plans.

 Also at the meeting, the county insurance committee presented new options for the county's employee health coverage renewal with Humana.

The insurance committee has asked the county to increase its employee cap to $7,000 from the current $6,200.

The County Council and Commissioners will hold a joint meeting Monday to discuss the plan.

Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Tammy Monroe, who serves on the insurance committee, said if the county increases the cap to $7,000, the current $2,000 employee deductible will stay the same.

The committee has looked at two different insurance options through Humana. Keeping the current plan would come at about a 20 percent increase to the county, while the second option - which would require a certain percentage of the county employees to enroll in health screening and wellness programs - would come at about a 21 percent increase.

 Monroe said the county would need to approve a coverage plan soon because of the upcoming enrollment period.

In other business:

•The commissioners opened bids for three new fire repeaters that will be added as part of the upcoming switch to central dispatch, which is scheduled for Dec. 17. The repeaters will be placed at Canaan, Dupont and Kent township fire departments.

RCS Communications of Louisville entered a bid of $44,000, while Indianapolis company J&K Communications entered a bid of $45,000. 

The commissioners took the bids under advisement, as 911 Director John Hendrix said the 911 advisory will discuss the bids at its next meeting on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m.

• Susan Craig, executive director of the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, asked the commissioners to participate in a coalition that will seek an Environmental Protection Agency grant this year.

The grant, worth up to $600,000, would be spread throughout a nine-county region, including Jefferson County. The money would go toward identifying contaminated or possibly contaminated areas and then providing cleanup solutions.

Craig said properties that once had fill-up stations or any business or location that used chemicals are typical problem areas.

The grant would be due in December and awarded sometime next year. The counties would have three years to spend the funds.

The coalition members would be involved in the funding breakdown, if the grant is awarded.