05/10/11 Marshall County Council members started the 2012 budget process during their meeting on Monday. Many department heads came before the council to preview the larger purchases and budget increases they anticipate next year.
Sheriff Tom Chamberlin said his department has been on a 5 vehicle rotation for several years but last year they were only able to purchase four. Chamberlin said he plans on purchasing 5 patrol vehicles next year and will be looking at a variety of different makes and models. He plans on budgeting $125,000 and noted that he will be able to rotate equipment from the current patrol cars to the new vehicles.
The Marshall County Commissioners gave a heads up on larger projects and said they are applying for federal funds for the replacement of the Hickory Road Bridge over the Yellow River and the new 7th Road from US 31 to Michigan Road. Commissioners Kevin Overmyer said they are talking with their Health Insurance Agent hoping the premiums at nearly the same rate as this year. As for raises they noted that they hadn’t discussed it.
Annette Osborn from the WIC office said they anticipate moving to the Community Resource Center next year. The rent will increase from $1,300 monthly to $2,292 although they will have much more square footage, daily cleaning, and utilities will be included in the rent rate.
Marshall Circuit Court Judge Curt Palmer will be replacing a 12 year old copier. He has only begun looking and estimates something in the range of $6,000 to $17,000. He noted that those estimates were from a refurbished unit to a brand new one.
Karen Richey from the Purdue Extension office said she would like to see the County’s mileage rate increase. Currently it is $.40 per mile and the state recently increased theirs to $.44 per mile. She asked for consideration to increase the rate as soon as possible, if not now then next year.
Neal Haeck from the County Highway Department said the cost of fuel will cause a problem for his department. He said, “Currently we have spent $230,051 to date which is up significantly from last year at this same time.”
County Council members also discussed pay raises for County employees. County Auditor Penny Lukenbill said she is not anticipating any increase in revenues next year. She also noted that the Rainy Day Fund will not grow, thus she said, “We can’t lean on it for every day expenditures, only for emergencies.” In figuring for the possibility of raises Lukenbill presented information on varying amounts of pay-raises. A 1% raise would affect the general fund by $51,850, 2% equals $104,400, 2 ½ % would be $130,700; 3% is $157,000 and 4% at $210,000. Again she noted that this was the effect to the General Fund accounts only and not totally to all funds.
Following a discussion with Council members it was determined that department heads could look at a salary increase of up to 2% but that budgets are to be flat lined so the increase in salaries will need to be reduces somewhere else in the budget.