At the Winona Lake Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19, Winona Lake Clerk-Treasurer Kent Adams requested permission to advertise Winona Lake’s 2015 proposed budget.
“Once again we’re reducing our town budget,” said Adams. “This is the third year in a row.”
Adams stated that revenues were dropping, not just in Winona Lake, but all over the state. “We are not in dire straits, as some are, we simply are going to move forward,” Adams said.
The budget is split into two parts. There is the tax-supported side, which includes funds like Cumulative Capital Development and Parks and Recreation. The other side is fee-supported funds like waste water and the EDIT fund.
The tax-supported budget is projected to decrease 2.2 percent in 2015. The fee-supported budget is to decrease 6.2 percent, resulting in an overall decrease of 4.3 percent. A copy of the budget documents have been provided here.
“As of today, I can only say to you that we’re going to maintain and manage a strong fiscal position,” Adams said. “We’ll take whatever funds are provided to us and make it work.”
In other news, Winona Lake Town Engineer Larry Long presented a proposal for renovating the roads and drainage in the Muirfield neighborhood on the east side of town. “I proceeded with a design that mirrors what we did at Prestwick,” said Long, indicating the neighborhood would be revamped with asphalt roads and concrete gutters and curbs.
Longs proposal broke the project into three different phases. Phase one costing approximately $200,000 and phases two and three at roughly $100,000 each, totalling just over $400,000 for the entire project.
Councilman Bruce Shaffner inquired if any savings might be possible if the project were completed in one phase. Long estimated, based on cost of mobilization by contractors and the price of asphalt, the town could save 10 percent by doing the entire project all at once.
“Those numbers are a little bit encouraging,” remarked Town Coordinator Craig Allebach, noting the last time the council crunched the numbers on this project it was expected to cost $450,000. “We’re still trying to figure out how to best pay for it,” he said.
Councilman Terry Howie reported several complaints of construction trailers being parked in town streets. Winona Lake has an ordinance against this. Howie stated if the ordinance was not going to be enforced, it should be done away with.
Finally, the council addressed the issue of cutting versus boring under town roads for, per example, running cables underground. The council sited both the recent cut on King’s Highway and an older cut on Wooster Road. Both resulted in depressions making the roads quite rough.
In some cases, boring could prevent hazardous road work. “We’ll do some checking on that,” said Allebach.