Budgetary concerns were the main issues raised at the Kosciusko County Council meeting last night.
After approving a handful of transfer items, county highway superintendent Scott Tilden came before the council to address the immense costs of dealing with the harsh winter. Tilden projects that by the end of the year his department could be facing a deficit of $275,000.
“I’ve used all my salt budget, plus my calcium chloride that I use for gravel road dust suppresant,” said Tilden. “I think we’ll be about $75,000 short [on fuel] by the end of the year, $15,000 short on overtime by end of the year.”
Tilden mentioned several other expenses, like maintenance on equipment. “That’s going to make us short on some of our road money this summer,” he added.
Tilden expects to bring some transfers before the board next month to help with these expense. He also said that FEMA probably would not offer much help.
Speaking on the highway departments behalf, county commissioner Ron Truex asked that the council consider finding other ways to supplement the budget so Tilden and his crew could operate optimally for the rest of the year.
Following Tilden was Kosciusko County Treasurer Sue Ann Mitchell. “I just wanted to share with you about the investments,” she said. “We have garnered $75,000 worth of interest this year. There were years we took in millions. I just wanted to make you aware that interest is not a pretty picture.”
Mitchell stated she has invested in several bonds which are accruing between .38 percent and 1 percent in interest.
She did offer some good news, however, saying that mobile home collections were sitting at 78 percent. “Most every year we collect right at 80 percent,” she said. “And the actual assessed value has gone up about $25,000.”
In other business, several board members were appointed during the meeting. Among them was Perry Miller who was reappointed to the Nappanee Library Board. “He’s one of the best board members I’ve had in 20 years,” said Lissa Krull, director of the library.
Also, Leo Boyer was reappointed to the Winona Lake Economic Development Board.