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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

County council establishes rainy day fund

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GREENCASTLE --Putnam County Council members passed an ordinance to establish a rainy day fund, which will hold more than $1 million.

The money came from a child protective services fund, which was taken over by the state, a $130,000 check from a settled lawsuit through Circuit Court and money in a fund referred to as the rainy day fund.

Since the fund has been established, the Putnam County Sheriff's Department will receive some of the dollars for medical bills incurred by inmates.

The department currently owes $90,000 in medical bills, but submitted a total estimated need of $131,000 for the rest of the year. Council members approved the request.

Dave Costin, emergency operations center director, went before the council with a $100,000 deficit for the year.

"I am in the red," he said. "It is not an expenditure problem, but a revenue problem."

Part of the problem, he said, is fees from Tracfones have not been received and the second and third quarters have been "killing us."

One solution is to raise the 911 subscriber fees by $.45, which is the maximum allowed by law for the county. It is not something Costin or the council members want to do, but may have no choice.

Although payroll makes up 70 percent of his budget, he explained he could not cut any personnel without "jeopardizing public safety."

After much discussion, the council told Costin to draft an ordinance to raise the subscriber fee with council attorney Elizabeth South for the December meeting. In Tuesday's meeting, no action was taken on the situation.

Council members approved to move $2,000 from Superior Court's fund for Family Support Services, which has been supported primarily by the clerk's office. Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges requested Family Support Services receive the additional money for their part in helping residents fill out protective orders.

In addition, Bridges and Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley requested approval to allow the new public defenders begin work early. To have a smooth transition, the judges wanted the public defenders to start as soon as possible.

"No new money is needed for this," said Headley. "The money is already in the public defenders fund."

The council agreed and gave tentative approval based on the commissioners' decision at their December meeting.

However, when county assessor Wanda O'Neal went before the council for approval of transfers including back filling a full-time position, council took no action and said she must report to county commissioners.

Later, council member Keith Berry said he felt the council was not consistent in its actions for the evening.

"We were not consistent with (O'Neal) and (Headley and Bridges)," he said.

Initially council president Mitch Proctor said it was two different situations. But after some discussion, he agreed to entertain a motion for O'Neal's request.

Berry made the motion to give tentative approval based on the commissioner's decision on O'Neal's request, council vice-president Darrel Thomas seconded the motion and the majority approved it. Council member Nancy Fogle opposed the motion, while council member Larry Parker abstained.

In other business:

* Council gave tentative approval on a $100 dog claim based on South's review of all proper documentation.

* Council approved an ordinance to set up a fund for the Putnam County Health Department. PCHD will use the fund for its H1N1 grant money received from the state.

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