Nine non-profit agencies gave budget presentations at this morning’s Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting. Representatives from each agency noted their requested funding for 2014 from the county in the first step of the annual appeal process.
In all, the agencies are seeking $525,532, a projected increase of $70,915 from 2013.
Only one agency, Kosciusko Economic Development Corp., did not seek an increase in funding from the county. George Robertson of KEDCo requested $152,000 and said economic development in the county is strong and all the empty buildings have been filled by various businesses. “I think we’ve positioned the county well, and we have the lowest unemployment rate in the state,” he said.
Cardinal Services is seeking $108,001, a 5 percent increase of $14,667. President and CEO Jane Wear said various costs have gone up, including medical expenses, while state funding cuts have taken place, a sentiment echoed by many of the non-profit agencies.
The Kosciusko County 4-H Council is requesting $51,574, an increase of $10,963. Last year, 727 students took part in 4-H. The money is used for ribbons, judges, trips and use of the fairgrounds.
Home Health Care’s Rick Paczkowski told the commissioners the agency is requesting $45,000, a 5 percent increase of $2,250.
The Historical Society requested $21,600, an increase of $1,345. Director Sally Hogan said the building needs some repairs and the society has not sought an increase in funding from the county in several years.
Beaman Home Director Tracie Hodson is seeking $30,000, an increase of $1,427. Hodson said the increase is necessary to provide more victims advocates.
Jo Faulkner of The Kosciusko County Council on Aging will seek $35,000, an increase of $6,427. She said the increase is necessary due to other funding cuts.
Animal Welfare League’s Director Darla McCammon said the shelter is seeking $81,857, an increase of $18,996. She said its budget is $360,000 a year, of which 18 percent comes from the county.
Bowen Center Senior Vice-President Jay Baumgartner requested $542,870, an amount mandated by the state. The request is a $14,790 increase.
President Ron Truex said the commissioners appreciate all of the non-profits and the work that each agency does, but expressed frustration that state and federal government continues to cut funding, putting the burden on the county.
The county council will hear the formal requests at its next meeting in July and make its recommendation to the commissioners after that meeting.
In other county news, county assessor Laurie Renier said assessments for 2014 will be mailed out soon. She also requested a trip to the International Association of Assessing Officers 79th annual conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., Aug. 24-28. Her request was approved.
Superintendant Scott Tilden of the highway department requested an additional appropriation of $200,00 to purchase materials. He said he has Major Moves money that can be used. The request will come before the county council in July. He also noted a bridge on CR 225 East over Deeds Creek is in need of repairs.
County administrator Ron Robinson said damage was done to the new roundabout at Zimmer Road and Old U.S. 30, Warsaw, and that repairs will be needed. No dollar amount was yet provided.
Robinson also requested the go-ahead to obtain quotes for a new oven in the jail’s kitchen.
Commissioners are president Ron Truex, Bob Conley and Brad Jackson. The next regular meeting will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 18.