Chesterton Tribune



Auditor items, Raise the Barn request back on County Council agenda

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The Porter County Council will reconsider the $1.5 million funding request for the Raise the Barn visitor center at Sunset Hill Farm County Park tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The request was supported by the Board of County Commissioners in April and needs a majority vote from the Council in order to move forward.

The Council will also hear requests from County Auditor Robert Wichlinski that were tabled during the Councilís April meeting.

Wichlinski is requesting an additional appropriation of $225,250 to contractual services to replace what had been deducted in his non-reverting fund used for the TQM program which pursued homestead credit violators and helped streamline the countyís billing process for property taxes.

The funds would be used for J.M. Bennett and Associates for accounting support, Government Fixed Asset for fixed asset valuation, Malcon for IV-D indirect cost plan, Hannon and Hannon for homestead credit fraud services, SRI-HSC for verification mailings, and BCC-HSC for homestead credit fraud litigation support.

Also from last meeting, the Council made a straw vote approving a $19,000 transfer in the Jailís budget to be used for a Nurse Finders agency to provide part-time medical assistance at the jail. The Council will make a vote retroactive from their approval of the emergency request during its April 23 meeting.

In another issue from the previous Council meeting, the board will discuss the tabled request from the ITS department to hire a new server administrator with an additional appropriation of $39,000 to salaries.

In other business, the Council will consider the first $171,000 portion of longevity pay for County employees for the year out of the Riverboat fund from the stateís casino revenues. Longevity pay is given to employees with at least three years of service or more. The second payout in the fall is often advertised at the November/December County Council meeting.

Also, the Council will vote on whether to use $500,000 from the Major Moves fund to purchase asphalt for chip seal road construction.

The Commissioners request $75,000 be transferred from salaries to contractual services in their budget to pay Betty Knight for her services as County Attorney.

There is also a request for an additional $100,000 of CCD money to be used to cover the purchase of animal control vehicles.

The Dunes Kankakee Grant fund requests a $123,256 additional to consultants for construction inspection.

The convention center operating budget for the Porter County Expo Center requests $17,820 that is to be given to it from the county tourism bureau for advertising, development and promotion this year.

The Memorial Opera House will ask the Council to approve pay for a part-time worker be raised from $20 to $21 per hour.

The Election Board requests to transfer roughly $6,000 to cover wages and food allowances for this monthís special elections for poll workers.

And lastly, the Council will vote on an additional appropriation of $29,000 to its own budget to cover the remainder of the 2013 salary of its new budget specialist.

The Council will meet inside Room 205 of the County Administration Building at 155 Indiana Ave. in Valparaiso.


Posted 5/28/2013