Chesterton Tribune


CEDIT fund spending and budget specialist on County Council agenda again Tuesday

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The Porter County Board of Commissioners have been without access to their county economic development income tax money (CEDIT) for nearly four months now but it can expect to have it back after Tuesday.

A majority of County Council members passed the 2013 budget last October that purposely left out money for CEDIT projects in the Commissioners budget. The group said then they would like to take a closer look at how the Commissioners plan to use CEDIT.

The income tax is expected to play a bigger part in funding the county’s operational costs as property tax revenues stagnate under state tax caps.

County Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, has said that without having access to CEDIT for their use, the Commissioners have not been able to pay some bills that have come across their desks this year.

State legislation which has passed both the House and the Senate spells out the checks and balances on how CEDIT funds can be used.

Under the proposed legislation the County Commissioners are responsible for proposing projects using CEDIT, while the County Council, in its capacity as the County’s fiscal body, appropriates the money for the projects before it can be spent.

According to its agenda for Tuesday, the County Council will vote on appropriating approximately $8.2 million in transfers.

Line items include capital improvements, improvement projects, drainage watershed projects, building maintenance, Commis-sioner projects, mandates, and improvements of right-of-ways.

Regular Agenda

The Council will also review other requests for transfers and additionals from other County departments as this will serve as its regular monthly meeting.

On the agenda, the Parks and Recreation Department requests will ask the Council to appropriate money for two grants received for the design and engineering of a natural playground and children’s garden at Sunset Hill Farm.

There will also be a request made for a $178,080 additional for matching the Calumet Trail Grant funds for the first phase of design and rehabilitation of the trail.

More requests for grant fund include a roughly $830,000 additional from a Homeland Security Grant for equipment and another of $100,000 for local health departments’ emergency preparedness.

Also, the Animal Shelter is seeking approval for a $916 additional, from monies collected that can be used for pay out of the hourly account.

In other business, the Council will name its appointee to the Westchester Public Library Board of Trustees.

It will also discuss the tax abatement for Aldi Indiana L.P. located in Washington Township.

Tabled from the canceled March 5 budget workshop, the Council will name the person hired to be its budget and finance specialist. The Council last month set the salary for the full-time position, with a $40,000 annual salary to be paid out of the Council’s own budget, and held interviews with several candidates.

The specialist will examine all line items in the county department budgets and advise the Council.

Council Attorney Scott McClure will also give a report.

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



Posted 3/25/2013