Jefferson County will receive a federal grant of more than $500,000 to fix a long-standing drainage issue in the Audubon Park subdivision off Hutchinson Lane.

The Board of Commissioners approved the deal - which requires just a $5,000 match from the county - during its first meeting of the year Friday. The total funding will be $538,513.

Susan Craig, executive director of the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, said the county applied for the funding over a year ago, and initially the grants were not awarded. Over time, residents and county officials pitched in to earn the grant, she said.

"I just want to publicly compliment the folks in that neighborhood, because there were a number of them that worked really hard on this," she said. "And if it wasn't for that effort, we wouldn't be sitting here today."

Normally, the county would have to offer a 10 percent match for the project, but it qualifies as disaster relief funding, so the county will pay less than 1 percent of the total project cost.

"I don't think people are aware, but we're getting a free ride out of this," said newly elected Commissioner Bob Little.

County Engineer Jim Olson said the project could begin in the summer and be finished in the fall.

The renovations will run throughout the subdivision and focus on repairing buried piping and open draining wells. The biggest task will be installing an underground drainage system, Olson said.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners approved a bid from Terry's Heating & Cooling for renovations to the HVAC system at the health department.

There have been several issues with the system regulating temperatures, and recently one of the two boilers stop working, administrator Tammy Monroe told the commissioners. The building was built more than 20 years ago, and it still has the original HVAC unit.

"None of our air-conditioning units are working, and we're down to one boiler," Monroe said.

Terry's Heating & Cooling, the only bidder for the project, submitted three bids that covered three different options.

The commissioners went with the second-lowest option. The contract is for $46,200 and will include removing the old boiler system and installing gas furnaces and 16 air-conditioning units.

The workers also will zone the building into four different sections, which will allow for multiple thermostat control locations. The zoning will cost an additional $10,000.

In other business:

• The board selected Commissioner Tom Pietrykowski as president for 2013.

• The commissioners renewed a contract with Lex Dalton for roadside vegetation services. The contract, which is for 8.6 cents per gallon of spray, has not increased since 2007.

• The commissioners reviewed a contract between the surveyor's office and former surveyor Bill Pettitt for section corner maintenance. Pettitt is the only certified surveyor in the county, and he was defeated in the November election by Jeff Daghir, who is not a certified surveyor. As required by state law, the county must use a certified surveyor.

Daghir said he has no problem contracting with Pettitt, but he wanted to tighten the language of the contract to make sure the county has control of the maintenance requests. The commissioners will consider the contract at the next meeting this month on Jan. 24.

• The commissioners re-established designated parking spots for the two judges. Before the Courthouse fire in 2009, each judge had an assigned spot close to the building. Attorney Wil Goering said the close spots are a security measure for the judges.

• Pietrykowski asked residents to deliver used motor oil, drain oil or cooking oil to the highway garage on Clifty Drive. The county uses the oil for the building's utilities. If residents have oil stored in a 55-gallon barrel, Pietrykowski said highway crews will pick-up the barrels.

• The commissioners will keep their traditional meeting times of twice of month for the rest of the year.

The first meeting of each month will be Friday at 9 a.m., while the second will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The meeting dates are: Jan. 24, Feb. 8, Feb. 21, March 8, March 21, April 5, April 18, May 3, May 16, May 31, June 14, June 27, July 12, July 25, Aug. 9, Aug. 22, Sept. 6, Sept. 19, Oct. 4, Oct. 17, Nov. 1, Nov. 14, Nov. 26, Dec. 13 and Dec. 23.