Employees of the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be held to a 2 percent salary increase in 2013, despite a recommendation for a 3.35 percent increase.
Kosciusko County Councilman Jim Moyer raised the issue during the council’s regular meeting when Jo Paczkowski, treasurer of the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission presented the 2013 budget. The KCCRVC funds the CVB through the state’s Innkeepers Tax.
Per Indiana Code, all county motels and hotels collect an Innkeepers Tax which is then returned to the individual counties. In Kosciusko, the tax rate is 5 percent. That means those tax dollars are returned to the KCCRVC, which uses the bulk of the funds to pay for the CVB, but also uses monies to assist with other agencies that help promote tourism.
For the 2013 budget, the KCCRVC has budgeted $433,000, which are all monies it hopes to collect from the Innkeepers Tax. So far this year, $414,000 has been collected.
The KCCRVC has budgeted $46,000 for the City-Council Athletic Complex, $30,000 for the new Warsaw+Winona bike trails – specifically putting in funding for bathroom facilities at what will soon be the Krebs Trailhead Park on McKinley Street in Warsaw – $10,000 for festival promotions, and $10,000 for development grants. The remainder of the budget will fund the CVB operations.
“I suggest holding the CVB pay increases to what the county rate is (2 percent) because it’s based on tax collections,” Moyer said of the salary increases accounted for the 2013 KCCRVC budget. “It’s taxpayer money and our name is on it. I think it needs to be limited to the county rate.”
Councilmen Bob Sanders and Larry Teghtmeyer agreed. “If we limit the county employees because that’s tax money, then the CVB should also be held to that limit,” said Sanders.
While Paczkowski said the KCCRVC had already voted to approve their budget, the full county council voted to hold the CVB employee salaries to a 2 percent salary increase.
In other county business, coroner John Sadler got the nod of approval to transfer $1,000 from the mileage/fuel/travel fund to the deputy coroner salary fund due to an increase in recent cases.
Health department administrator Bob Weaver also successfully transferred monies from retirement contributions and Social Security contributions funds to accounts for meetings and travel expenses, postage and telephone expenses. He also noted his department has been busier this year than last. Part of the increase has been due to workings of the Lakeland Regional Sewer District.
The next meeting of the county council will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. The council meets the second Thursday of each month in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.