Preview of Tomorrow’s Monroe County Council Meeting (2014-05-13)

Monroe County Courthouse at Night
Monroe County Courthouse at Night

The agenda and packet for tomorrow’s regular meeting of the Monroe County Council is available here:

Following are the highlights of the agenda:

  • The Council will be considering an increase in the Juvenile COIT tax rate from 0.05% to 0.095%. This issue has been discussed for several Council meetings and work sessions, and this meeting is a reconvening of the April 8, 2014 public hearing. The Juvenile COIT tax supports juvenile services in Monroe County, including juvenile probation and the Youth Services Bureau.
    • The Council will be considering, and will likely vote on, ORDINANCE 2014-14, which would increase the Juvenile COIT (income tax) rate from 0.05% to 0.095%
    • This tax increase would take effect on October 1, 2014
    • Troy Hatfield, the Chief Deputy Probation Officer, has provided an analysis of the costs of juvenile services that currently are and will be supported by this tax rate: JCOIT and Per Diem 5 Year Projections for Council 5-12-14. Note that the Council will NOT be deciding at this time exactly which services will be paid for by the Juvenile COIT tax. These decisions are made during budget hearings in the fall (and cannot be made at the same time as the decisions on the tax rate). However, these projections provide the Council the information necessary to make the decision on the proposed tax increase.
  • The Monroe County Public Library will be requesting an additional appropriation of $500,000 from their Rainy Day Fund in order to complete library building renovations.
    • This money was originally transferred from the Library Capital Projects Fund (LCPF) to the Rainy Day Fund as the LCPF was closed out. This money was initially raised for building renovation in 2012; however, the construction project wasn’t ready. Now that renovation is expected in 2014, these funds need to be appropriated out of the Rainy Day fund. This does not involve any increase in taxes or expenditures over what was already planned and raised for this purpose.
  • The Community Corrections program will present the results of an Indiana Department of Corrections audit, that gave the program a score of 98.8% out of 100%. Community Corrections is a program that includes home detention and drug testing, and has been tremendously effective in keeping people out of jail and prison while at the same time maintaining public safety.
  • The County Commissioners are requesting approval to fill the Office Manager position, which has just been vacated. Jessica McClellan, we will miss you!
  • The County Commissioners will also be requesting an appropriation of around $2700 from the Energy Conservation Fund, in order to install motion-sensing light switches in the Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Building, as well as to install a switch for the building’s generator, in order to participate in Duke Energy’s Energy PowerShare program.
  • The Parks and Recreation Department is requesting a full-time Office Assistant position. Currently, 2-3 part-time employees fill this role; however, the department is having huge problems with quality control and turnover at this position, and is petitioning the Council to create a new full-time position to replace the part-time positions. The full-time position will still result in a net cost increase, even when eliminating the part time hours.
  • The Emergency Management Department is requesting both an appropriation of a Indiana Department of Homeland Security grant, as well as a reclassification of the Emergency Management Office Assistant to Deputy Director.
  • The Prosecutor is requesting an additional appropriation of $25,o00 for additional postage, printing, trial preparation, and extradition.  These expenses are unpredictable and depend on the specific nature of the cases filed; typically they are funded out of Pretrial Diversion; however, a long-term decrease in pretrial diversion revenues is prompting the Prosecutor’s Office to request these funds be paid out of County General.
  • The Auditor has several requests:
    • Appropriation request for $5000 from the County Elected Officials Training Fund. This fund is a newly created (by the State) fund to pay for mandatory training for elected officials, and was initially funded by leftover money in the fund that was used to redact county documents to protect the personally identifiable information of taxpayers. This fund has over $26K of cash in it, and should be used for mandatory training, rather than the general fund.
    • Last month, the Auditor requested a position upgrade for the Payroll Deputy position. The Council approved the upgrade; however, it specified that it would not take effect until the end of the year. Several councilors have since requested that that decision be reconsidered, as requiring the reclassification to wait until the end of the year is inconsistent with other personnel decisions made by the Council.

Lots of important issues to consider at this meeting! As with all County Council meetings, this meeting is open to the public. Public comment will be taken at the beginning of the meeting, as well as in conjunction with all items on the agenda. The meeting will also be broadcast live on CATS. Hope to see you there!



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