County Budget Hearings Update

Tonight, the Monroe County Council heard budget submissions from the County Commissioners (a number of  budgets), the Recorder, and the Technical Services department, and also conducted binding reviews of Perry Clear Creek Fire Protection District and Monroe County Solid Waste Management District. Statute gives the County Council binding review over these two units because they are not governed by elected boards (although the board of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District is made up entirely of elected officials, none of them were elected specifically to serve on the MCSWMD board).

Despite over 4 hours of discussion, the only changes made were to reduce the Commissioners budget by $20,000 (eliminating a request for Middle Way House — the Council preferred to see this request submitted to the Sophia Travis Community Service Grants Program) and to reject the proposal from the Recorder to move one position from the Recorder’s Perpetuation Fund to County General (a change that the Recorder himself came to budget hearings proposing, in the interest of helping us balance the budget).

We began budget hearings with $972,670 in budget requests over projected revenues. After two days of budget hearings we are still substantially short of needed cuts. The following changes have been made so far:

Reductions in Clerk’s Office  $(122,901.00)
Reductions in Commissioners  $(20,000.00)
Reduction in Recorder  $(40,967.05)

This leaves a projected deficit of $788,801. Despite a grueling 2 days, we are far away from our goal.

Monroe County 2014 Budget Hearings – Update for Thursday, 2013-09-12

This past Tuesday saw the beginnings of 2014 Budget Hearings for Monroe County Government. The Monroe County Council heard and passed budgets for the Clerk, the Extension Office, Parks and Recreation, the Auditor, and Weights and Measures.

This evening’s meeting, which begins at 5:30PM at the Nat U Hill Room in the Monroe County Courthouse, will include budget requests for the following departments:

  • County Commissioners (which includes the Commissioners budget, County Buildings, Cable Franchise Fees, Showers Building Operations, Showers Building Debt, Fleet, Cumulative Capital Development, and Monroe County 911). In addition, we will be considering a budget for a proposed General Obligation (GO) bond. See more about this below.
  • Human Resources (in the County General fund)
  • Recorder (in the County General fund)
  • Technical Services (IT)  (in the County General fund)
  • County Council (in the County General fund)

Budget submission documents can be found here: http://docs.co.monroe.in.us/budget/COUNCIL/Budgets/2014%20Budget/

In addition, at 6PM, the Council will conduct Binding Review hearings on the budgets of the following two units of government: Perry-Clear Creek Fire Protection District and Monroe County Solid Waste Management District. The County Council by statute has binding review authority over these two budgets.  Public comment will be taken on these two budgets.

Budget submissions from Perry-Clear Creek and MCSWMD can be found here:  http://docs.co.monroe.in.us/budget/COUNCIL/Budgets/2014%20Budget/2014%20Binding%20Reviews/

The Council will also be considering a request by the County Commissioners for a $2M General Obligation bond for 2014. This bond would include funding for:

  • Repairs to the Showers and Courthouse buildings (mostly related to water leaks)
  • IT infrastructure upgrades to replace the County’s failing IT infrastructure
  • HVAC repairs and upgrades
  • An ambulance vehicle

This bond would be a one-year bond (meaning that it would be paid off in 2014), and would have a separate tax rate associated with it. This means that, if passed, property taxes would go up slightly for 2014 in order to pay off this debt (and would then go back down in 2015). I’ll post additional details once we know them about what the effects of this bond would be on property taxes.