With 2015 looming ahead, the Kosciusko County Council addressed several 2015 budget topics, in addition to 2015 ordinances, during its regular meeting Sept. 11.
The major adoption of the night was the 2015 budget with a 2 percent cap, which went unopposed. Council member Jon Fussle did ask whether the council had an idea what the projected tax rates would be. Council President Bob Sanders stated they would not know for sure until the state sends back the tax rate.
“All we can do is go through the budget,” Sanders said, noting they then adopt and send it to the state who informs the county what rates will be and whether changes are needed.
The taxing units and non-binding recommendations resolution was brought to vote, too, with it being noted that the nonbinding recommendations largely followed instructions not to exceed the state’s guidelines. Several did, however, increase their budgets. Jim Moyer made the motion to approve the resolution; only Fussle voted against it.
The 2015 solid waste budget was reviewed and approved with the change that the educator’s raise would be kept at 2 percent to match the 2015 salary ordinance also passed at meeting.
James Turnwald with MACOG addressed the council to share what the intergovernmental agency has done for the county since it joined in 2007. The agency has mostly aided the county with transportation projects and has helped bring $9 million to the county for such projects.
Several of the projects have been in Warsaw, such as the Market Street project, but the agency has also helped with the town of Syracuse’s industrial complex, plus projects in Winona Lake. Turnwald noted they are available to local agencies and the county to help with grant and writing assistance.
Several transfers were also approved, including two for the highway department to purchase items desperately needed before winter and to payout an employee’s salary; two for the sheriff’s department to cover repairs to a squad car; and three for the drug and alcohol user fees to pay out a worker’s salary as they move from part time to full time.
The drug and alcohol user fees also requested three additional appropriations totaling $4,713 to added to its case manager, retirement contributions and group insurance accounts.
In other news:
• The council tabled an abatement requested by IDNA Brands LLC until representatives could attend a meeting to answer additional questions.
• Council members approved the Kosciusko County Police Retirement Plan.
• An interlocal agreement between the highway departments of Elkhart and Kosciusko counties was approved. Through the agreement $18,000 will be available for sign replacement on county roads.
• The County Income Tax Declaration was made with rates remaining at 1.007 percent and 1.003 percent.
• Council will be looking to place one of its members on the Bowen Centers board due to the large amount of money being given to the center. Moyer and Sanders both stressed the inclusion was nothing against the three Bowen Center board members from Kosciusko County.
Next meeting is at 7 p.m. Oct. 9.