The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners on Thursday continued discussions on the size and location of a proposed extension office at the 4-H Fairgrounds.

RQAW, an Indianapolis architectural and design company picked to develop the designs, has reduced the square footage of the building, which started at about 4,900 square feet. But RQAW will wait until next month to unveil the updated plans.

The commissioners asked RQAW to study the costs associated with moving the building closer to State Road 256. Bret Dodd, director of architecture, said a sewer line runs between the now proposed site and the road. Moving the building closer to the road would mean moving the sewer line. 

Dodd said the company is putting together a list of questions and concerns and will meet with extension office workers sometime next week.

After that meeting, RQAW will present designs at the commissioner's first meeting in March. The final designs would come during the second meeting in March.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners approved a contract with WTH Technology for county mapping services. The program used by the county logs road, bridge and parcel changes.

Auditor Celeste Reed reported to the County Council last week that the employee who handled the mapping services has left and that the office needs mapping assistance.  

The contract will be for $500 a month and has a 30-day cancellation notice. The company also will offer training for county employees.

Commissioner Mark Cash asked what the long-term plan will be for the auditor's office and WTH's mapping service. Reed said if the service isn't needed, she would not pursue WTH's assistance, adding that she sees the contract as wise short-term solution.

"Right now, I believe it's the smart way to keep things moving in the right direction," she said.

In other business:

• Health Department Administrator Tammy Monroe reported a number of changes made to the Jefferson County food ordinances, which have already been approved by the board of health.

The highlights included changing the timeframe for food permit periods, an increase in fees for retail food permits and an increase in late fees for food permits.

In addition, the state is recommending that local health departments change the method for inspecting food establishments with only pre-processed foods, such as several gas stations and many Dollar General locations.

Currently, the health department inspects all food establishments quarterly but the locations without a full kitchen or prep station will now only be inspected twice a year.

Monroe said the state calls the switch a "risk-based assessment." She expects the change to allow inspectors to focus on establishments with full-service kitchens.

• Monroe also reported the health department will release an annual report in The Madison Courier on March 2 that includes services and personnel information. It will be the first of what will become a yearly published report by the health department.

• The commissioners appointed Nick Schultz to the Jefferson County Cemetery Commission.