The Porter County
Council decided to have department heads use a different method for budget
submissions at its meeting Tuesday night.
Vicki Urbanik proposed that budget submissions from department heads be
recorded in her office’s software, the LOW system. Urbanik said using this
system will cut down on paper use, help eliminate errors, and help enforce
that in previous years, it has been common for multiple versions of the same
budget to be turned in and circulate. Using the LOW software enables the
Auditor’s office to lock the budget forms once they’ve been submitted so
they can’t be changed by anyone outside of the office. The system also
stores information from previous years, which will prevent employees from
entering incorrect numbers about their budgets from last year. Department
heads will only be able to see their own budgets.
Andy Bozak, R-1st, asked if Urbanik will unroll a training program to teach
department heads how to use the system. She said that she will be available
to field any questions, but it is simple enough that it won’t require
training. She demonstrated that using the system is as easy as like adding
numbers to a spreadsheet by making a sample budget for her office within
unanimously approved Urbanik to accept budget submissions only through the
LOW system. The deadline for budgets to be submitted is July 16. The Council
will begin holding budget meetings to discuss and approve submissions in
Bob Thompson sought
approval to dissolve two vacant positions within the Highway Department to
fund one new position. Thompson reported that the Highway Department and
Plan Commission would like to hire one senior level engineer rather than
hiring for the positions of Engineer I and Project Manager II.
Sylvia Graham, D-at-large, asked how many engineers are currently on staff.
Thompson reported there are two: County Engineer Mike Novotney and Engineer
I Chelsea Bradford. Thompson said that an Engineer I typically has one to
two years of experience and would require a lot of training. He said that as
of right now, there is not enough work for the Project Manager II position.
The Council approved his request.
The Porter County
Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission was approved to increase its
hourly salary cap to $15 per hour. Commission President Mitch Peters
reported that the change is in response to one employee who has surpassed
the previous hourly cap of $10 per hour because he was recently raised to
$10 an hour and makes an extra 50 cents per hour on weekends. The Council
approved the spike in the salary cap and approved the Commission to pay the
employee back pay in the amount of $53.47 for weekends worked since his