The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners is closer to pursuing bids for a drainage project at the Audubon Park housing division.

Colby King, of the North Vernon engineering firm FPBH, reported to the commissioners Thursday night that the project is over budget and advised the county to pursue some alternate bidding. The estimated cost for the project had been set at about $500,000.

Earlier this year, the county received a federal grant that will cover all but 1 percent of the project costs, including consulting fees.

The official bid date is set as July 21. King said the final design plans should be available by June 7 with the bid opening date on June 28.

Also at the meeting, County Council president Bill Hensler addressed the commissioners about implementing a new salary and wage structure for county employees.

One of the goals is to match pay grades with employee qualifications and to encourage current employees to seek out future certifications. The switch would eliminate pay discrepancies and show areas in which employees are overpaid or underpaid, Hensler said.

Hensler added that the new model would give employees "motivation to grow with their jobs."

The county plans to send out a questionnaire to county employees about the proposed changes.

In other business: Jill Deputy, school safety specialists and assistant principal at Madison Consolidated High School, said the school district is looking to add two school resource officers - one at the high school and another at the other schools.

The goal is to have the resource officers in place by next school year. To implement the plan, the schools plan to form a partnership with county and city government and law enforcement.

Gov. Mike Pence recently signed legislation that will make matching grants available for schools that pursue resource officers.

Sheriff John Wallace, who has been attending meetings to prepare for a resource officer, said he believes the resource officers should be deputized and have full arrest powers.

Commissioner Bob Little said Jefferson County schools have been "way behind the eight ball" on the safety issue. The commissioners said they supported the concept but would need to further investigate the structure of the agreement between the entities, including financial obligations and liability issues.

Several area schools already have resource officers. Deputy said Madison will draw from those existing models.

Deputy said in nearby schools, resource officers sometimes are employees by the school system or employees of the city and county law enforcement departments.