Thursday night’s Kosciusko County Council meeting saw the approval of two transfers of funds by the sheriff’s department from insurance payments to the repairs and maintenance fund. Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine explained that two of the department’s vehicles had been in accidents and he wanted to transfer the money in order to pay to repair the damage that had occurred to the cars.
Stephen Boggs, the new director of the Bell Memorial Library in Mentone, addressed the council in the hopes of gaining approval for the appropriation of $25,000 towards three new rooms in the library. Boggs explained that the money is currently in the library’s rainy day fund, and he was seeking approval to use the money for the new project. Included in the project are a new media room, with added computers, Internet connection, as well as DVD and CD collections. In regards to the new project Council Vice President Jim Moyer remakes, “This would be a very good addition.”
The conversation then moved to the possibility of altering the county-wide wheel tax. Though last month’s meeting saw the council come to an agreement to have an ordinance ready to propose by this month’s meeting (Related: Kosciusko County Council Examines Possibility Of Altering Wheel Tax), this was not the case. Kosciusko County Auditor Michelle Puckett informed the council that the county had collected $435,982.72 so far in 2015 from the tax. It was originally estimated that the wheel tax would generate between $1.3 million and $1.4 million annually to be used on road repair.
Moyer noted, “I know last year they spent $500,000 on patching alone. I think that this years winter was more severe because it was colder longer.” It was ultimately decided to wait on taking any action in regards to the tax itself in order to give everyone enough time to gauge the effect of the tax over the course of a full calendar year.
The meeting was then adjourned, however talks among the council members continued, prompting Sanders to re-open the meeting. Though no action was taken on the actual tax, the council members voted to make their May meeting the deadline for their final decision on how they plan to move forward with the tax, whether it be making alterations or leaving it as is. The deadline had previously been the beginning of June.
Council President Robert Sanders urged the other members of the council to come to April’s meeting prepared for deliberate discussion on the tax.