Preview of Monroe County Council Meeting 2015-03-10

Karst Farm GreenwayThe packet and agenda for this Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Monroe County Council is now available: 2015-03-10 Council Meeting Packet

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Parks and Recreation department is requesting funding so that they can maintain the County’s active transportation/greenway system. This year has seen the completion of the Karst Farm Greenway Phase 1 and the beginnings of Phase 2A. More will be done by the end of the year. The Parks request is for an additional park maintenance technician position along with some maintenance supplies, in order to maintain the trail network (mowing, snow and ice removal for the paved trails, trash removal, cleanup, etc.).  These maintenance costs are expected to be an ongoing expense.
  • The Commissioners are requesting the appropriation of the remaining balance on the 2013 General Obligation bond (initially approved in 2013, and paid off in 2014). I have written about this bond before here. This appropriation will be to complete several of the projects that the bond was originally approved for, including a jail remodel and new control panel, county archives, solar panels for the justice building, and survey work/land acquisition for the Karst Farm Greenway.
  • The Prosecutor is asking for the appropriation of a grant provided by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute for victim assistance staff.
  • The Airport is asking for the appropriation of $70K for a local match for a project to install wildlife skirting to our airport’s perimeter fence. The entire project is estimated to cost $1,209,000, and would be reimbursed 90% by the Federal Government and 5% by the state. The airport is also requesting an additional appropriation of $10K for the air traffic control tower operation contract, due to a calculation error during the 2015 budget process.
  • The county legal department is requesting funding to pay the county’s portion of the software maintenance costs for the new Spillman software used in the Unified 911 Dispatch Center.
    • The appropriation has been advertised at $484,000, which would essentially prepay the County’s half of the annual software maintenance fees for 10 years.
    • The vendor (Spillman) is offering a significant discount if the city and county pre-pay for the maintenance.
    • However, at the last work session, many council members, including myself, expressed concern with locking ourselves into a 10-year software agreement with the vendor. It is likely, therefore, that the council will reduce the appropriation before approving it on Tuesday.
    • In addition, because of the magnitude of the request ($484K), the council advertised the appropriation out of both the Rainy Day and the General Fund, in order to give the council maximum flexibility. However, with a potentially reduced appropriation (say, for only one year, rather than the full 10 years), it is unlikely that the council will support appropriating out of the Rainy Day fund.

This meeting will begin at 5:30PM on Tuesday in the Nat U Hill Room of the Monroe County Courthouse, and public comment will be taken. The meeting will also be broadcast live on CATSTV (County Channel).

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