The Chesterton Town
Council has approved an advertised 2019 budget which includes what
Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela is calling a “projected structural
deficit” in the General Fund.
The size of that
deficit, Kuziela told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night:
Kuziela said that,
by her calculations, projected expenses in the 2019 General Fund--used to
pay the town’s daily operations, including many department’s wages--will
exceed projected revenues by that amount.
however, that she expects at year’s end a large enough balance to remain in
the town’s books to make good on the deficit projected in the 2019 General
Fund. “There will be sufficient cash at the end of the year,” Kuziela said.
forward, Kuziela advised the council against continued deficit spending.
Member Jim Ton,
R-1st, agreed with Kuziela in principle but made a case for the necessity of
doing so this time. “Every item in this budget needs to be done,” he said.
“What we have in there we need to do. The issues we’re spending money on are
vital to the town.”
Members then voted
unanimously to adopt the advertised 2019 budget, which will now go the
Indiana Department of Local Government Finance for review.
property tax rate for 2019 is $0.9963 per $100 of assessed valuation.
The total 2019
budget: $10,928,490, with $5,517,968 in the General Fund.
Engine Bid Awarded
In other business,
members voted unanimously, at Fire Chief John Jarka’s recommendation, to
award the bid for a new engine to the lowest responsive and responsible
bidder: Smeal Fire Apparatus of Valparaiso, whose bid of $508,746 was about
$11,000 better than the next lowest bid of $519,915, submitted by Sutphen of
Payments on the new
engine will be made with moneys from Cumulative Capital Development, a fund
with a dedicated property-tax rate used exclusively for the purchase of
The new engine is
slated to replace Engine 512, a 200 Pierce which--until it lost its rear
axle and threw a differential in July during routine driver training--had
been the CFD’s main backup, in support of the primary engine, No. 510, a
that the cost of repairing the 18-year-old Pierce Saber was likely higher
than the vehicle was worth. He also investigating the feasibility of
replacing it with a demo model but learned that those available are too
small for the amount of equipment which the CFD regularly carries to scenes.
The CFD has one
other backup engine but it’s 26 years old: No. 511, a Pierce International.
voted unanimously, at Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg’s
recommendation, to go out for bids on the 2019 paving season’s asphalt
The council will
open those bids at its Nov. 26 meeting.
said that it’s probably a smart move to lock in a price earlier rather than
later, given the possibility of sharply rising fuel prices.
Permit Fee Waiver
Members also voted
unanimously to waive the building permit fee for a project to be undertaken
by the Duneland School Corporation at Chesterton Middle School.
will be investing $25,000 in the construction of a breeze way at Door No.
2--normal fee for a project of that scope: $100--to make the entrance foyer
a little warmer in the winter.