Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Council to wrap up 2016 with long agenda

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The Porter County Council will meet Tuesday for what is expected to be its last meeting of the year, combining both November and December meetings.

The regular meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. where the Council will consider a list of mainly budget transfer requests.

Requests include a $150,000 transfer in the Commissioners budget from Gas and Fuel to Longevity and $15,000 from Postage to Longevity for the second half of County employees’ longevity pay.

The Commissioners also wish to transfer a total of $53,000 to pay for telephone and internet services. Other transfer requests include $9,000 from hourly pay to contractual services to pay for the Museum United Way program, $80,000 from postage to contractual services to pay the rest of the Jail Security Program upgrades this year and $5,000 from salaries to contractual services for legal fees.

In county economic development income tax (CEDIT) funds requests for items previously depleted, the Commissioners request a transfer of $135,000 for jail medical services, $60,000 for water lines and $40,000 to power lines.

The Commissioners will also request $40,000 in CCD fund transfers for sewage and electric. A request to transfer $2,000 in the maintenance budget will be made for employee uniforms.

The Memorial Opera House requests $2,500 from other services to groceries to reimburse food purchases.

The Voters Registration Office wishes to transfer $24,984 from overtime to hourly to pay part-time workers in the most recent election.

In the Election Board general fund, the board requests to appropriate $50,000 to pay Electronic Software and Systems invoices. It also would like to transfer $12,554 to pay part-workers who helped in the election.

The County Veteran Services requests a transfer of $700 of a donation given to help homeless veterans at New Creation.

The Highway Department requests a transfer of $4,500 from bituminous to vehicle repairs.

The Health Department requests a transfer of $12,000 from medical and dental to salaries to cover an appropriation made in October 2015 and a transfer of $1,000 to cover staff expenses for educational seminars.

The Sheriff’s Department requests $46,172 in additionals to the General Fund to reimburse overtime pay through September from Specialty services. The department also requests $3,500 be transferred in the Sheriff’s user fee to cover hourly pay until the end of the year.

The Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission requests a few additional appropriations in its collected Innkeeper’s Tax funds. The requests are $20,000 for asphalt seal coating and crack sealing done at the Visitor Center parking lot, $10,000 to new bike signs and posts for bike route maintenance, $2,500 for QuickBook software and $1,000 for under billing by American Water.

The County Clerk’s Office requests an additional of $1,304 in its ARRA Incentive Funds to purchase new scanning equipment.

The IT Office requests a transfer of $1,250 from salaries to hourly to cover payroll for part-time workers.

There are a few requests on the agenda for appropriations in grant funds. The Porter County Substance Abuse wishes to appropriate $190,000 in grant funding from a Drug Free Community Grant. The County Parks and Recreation wishes to use $16,500 in grant money from the National Association of Realtors for the development and delivery of a new master plan and the Kankakee Valley Historical Society would like to appropriate $15,000 from a Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs grant for a preservation plan of the historic Collier Lodge.

In other requests, the County Auditor would like to make a change in salaries for two deputies. The Auditor proposes to reduce her property tax deputy’s salary from $39,000 to $38,000 and increase her budget and finance director’s salary from $38,000 to $39,000.

At the end of the regular meeting, the Council will vote on the 2017 employee salary ordnance which includes six new positions in the General Fund, special raises and across the board raises of $1,500.

Foundation meeting

The Council will meet at 5 p.m. prior to its regular meeting for a Porter County Government Nonprofit Charitable Foundation Board of Trustees meeting with the three County Commissioners.

The Foundation board meets quarterly to examine the $140 million investment of the County Hospital sale principal. A presentation will be made by investment advisor Capital Cities who in September reported that the investments were doing better than expected, with an interest rate reaching nearly four percent interest after six months.

Both meetings will be held in Room 205 of the County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave. in Valparaiso.



Posted 12/5/2016




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