WARSAW — Warsaw Common Council members took its first step in budget cuts Monday evening, Nov. 2, during its regular meeting. Line one reductions from the 2015 budget, totaling $389,300 were approved. Council members were given proposed line one cuts to review and take action once the Department of Local Government Finance issues its budget order.
The line two reductions are certain 2015 budgeted appropriations various departments have found will not be needed for future purposes and carried over into the 2016 budget. The line one cuts are new funds included in the 2016 budget.
Mayor Joe Thallemer stated the line one cuts reflect over budgeting in health insurance and savings with the new recycling program. He noted the street department, with the purchase of a pay loader this year, gave up the purchase of a large dump truck next year, and the police department gave back a police car purchase and purchase of security cameras. “This helps get it down, for a balanced budget.”
The line one cuts total $739,540 at this time. While not a lot of money, additional line one cuts will be reflected with earlier action in the meeting on salary ordinances. (See: Salary Ordinances Hot Topic For Common Council)
New Ordinances Regarding Snow Removal
Enforcement and public safety were reasons for two new ordinances relating to snow removal. Both ordinances were accepted on first readings. The final adoption will take place at the December meeting.
Jeff Beeler, public works superintendent, presented ordinances making it unlawful for people to drive any vehicle through snow piled in the street placed for removal i.e. windrows made downtown prior to pickup; and placing snow in the street when removing it from sidewalks, driveway or parking lots, making it unlawful to shovel, plow, discharge or place snow in the street. Both ordinances carry financial penalties. The fines range from $50 to $500.
Beeler stated there were numerous times last year when snow was piled in the center of the street, drivers tended to joy ride through those piles, spreading it back on the streets. He stated there were also several occasions during removal of those piles where a police officer and/or city workers were almost hit by those driving through those piles.
Regarding the placing of snow in the street, Beeler stated this is geared more towards contractors removing snow from sidewalks, parking lots and driveways. He noted frequently after the city has cleared an area, contractors will come in and place snow back out into the streets, also causing a safety hazard.
During other business:
- Approved a grant reimbursement resolution for $1,275.75 from Kosciusko Community Foundation for Friday Night Concerts Series advertising.
- Approved receipt and transfer of $486,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Airport Improvement Program Grant for reimbursement to the original accounts for land purchases in the airport runway protection zone project.
- Approved transfer of funds, totaling $7,500 for the Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory Equipment Replacement Fund, capital outlays to other services and charges. These funds will be used to pay the wastewater treatment plant for overtime reimbursement and supplies sued, Clay Fire Territory for labor reimbursement and Winona Lake Fire Department for reimbursement of apparatus usages at the Warsaw Chemical Fire.
- Approved the investment of $7.3 million in city funds for more than two years.
The next scheduled meeting of the common council will be 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7.