Warsaw’s Rainy Day Fund will receive a significant deposit due to a lump sum recently issued to the city from the Indiana Department of Revenue.
Because of an accounting error at the state level, the city of Warsaw is receiving nearly $830,000 from local income tax revenues that had initially been withheld. The state, which initially failed to pay out the monies due to the city, paid out two lump sums in the amount of $419,607.23 from undistributed funds for 2001, and a sum of $136,758.28 for January through April of this year. Those monies were deposited into the city’s General Fund.
But that isn’t all the money Warsaw will receive. The state still owes the city “catch up” funds that will be paid into the General Fund in the amount of $34,168.02 per month for the next eight months.
The discovery of $206 million in unaccounted funds by the state department, which is being paid out to cities and counties throughout Indiana, has many local governments planning how to use the funding, but city officials are being more cautious.
At Monday night’s regular meeting, the Warsaw Common Council voted unanimously to transfer the nearly half-million dollars to the Rainy Day Fund. Councilman Jerry Frush asked what the RDF would be used for to which Mayor Joe Thallemer said that would be determined by the council during budget hearings, which are slated to begin Sept. 17.
Thallemer did note that money in the RDF could be used for emergencies, such as paying for clean-up in the event of a natural disaster. He explained, however, that money needed to be transferred. “The main point is to get it out of the General Fund so it won’t affect the budget … it’s smart to park it where it needs to be and consider it for appropriating later. The problem with COIT funds is that [the state] figures it ahead but don’t always collect it.”
The council agreed to transfer the money to the RDF where it would be left alone until it is determined the state’s accounting is correct and no money will need to be paid back.
In a follow-up order of business, the council approved the confirmatory resolution for Wildman Business Group’s tax abatement.
On June 4, council members received the initial request from the local business, which is planning to build a 12,000-square-foot warehouse and add $300,000 in permanent equipment at the current location on South Buffalo Street, Warsaw. Wildman Business Group also plans to add 8 employees.
Tonight’s vote declared the Wildman Business Group location an economic development area. The company will next submit Statement of Benefit forms, the next step in receiving the tax abatement.
With very little discussion, the council also approved an anti-nepotism ordinance. Jennifer Whitaker, the city’s human resources director, said the ordinance was written by city attorney Mike Valentine and was drafted in accordance with state law.
Local governments across the state are required to pass the policy or run the risk of the state not approving their budgets. Councilman Charlie Smith asked if Warsaw had any current cases to which Whitaker noted there is one certain case and one potential case.
The council unanimously voted to adopt the ordinance.
In a final order of business, Mayor Thallemer noted the city completed the first mile of the new bike-walk trail. Striping along Smith Street was completed today.
The next council meeting will be Monday, July 2, at 7 p.m.