Coroner seeking more funds

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s office is seeking additional money from the county to finish out the year to cover the cost of an increasing number of death investigations.

Coroner Clayton Nolting told Bartholomew County Council members Monday that his office is seeking an additional $14,016 for its 2017 budget.

Nolting and Deputy Coroner Jay Frederick told Bartholomew County Council members that the previous coroner had budgeted to cover 115 investigative coroner’s cases in 2017, but the office is already over that for this year. They estimate the total case numbers could be at 145 or more by the end of the year.

The additional appropriation would cover the additional cases this year and also cover a backlog in paying for some earlier cases in the year, Frederick said.

As of last weekend, the coroner’s office had 132 cases for this year, with 26 of them involving fatal overdoses, Frederick said. That compares to 12 fatal overdoses in 2016 and six in 2015, he said.

The investigative cases involve costs for autopsies, toxicology, labs, X-rays and other tests that the coroner’s budget covers, Nolting said.

The coroner’s office also is handling a considerable number of what is termed courtesy cases, in which someone dies in a hospital and a physician requests that a coroner sign the death certificate, Frederick said. Courtesy cases are handled with no fees charged for the service, he said. There have been 40 of those so far this year, he said.

The coroner’s office request will be considered at a 6 p.m. Tuesday county council meeting at the Bartholomew County Governmental Office Building, 440 Third St.

At a glance

What: Bartholomew County Council

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Bartholomew County Governmental Office Building, 440 Third St., fourth floor meeting room

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.