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County Council seeks ordinance to balance budget for next year

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Assistant Editor

GREENCASTLE -- With funding issues coming to light after the Putnam County Council's approval of the 2011 budget, Council President Darrel Thomas appeared before the County Commissioners and Monday's meeting requesting an ordinance.

To balance next year's budget, the council approved taking $250,000 from the county health insurance trust fund to help in other budget areas. However, Commissioner Gene Beck notified them this was beyond their jurisdiction, as the commissioners control the health insurance fund.

Thomas was in front of the commissioners this week to request an ordinance authorizing the use of the money. He did, however, say the county has other avenues of balancing the budget.

"If it's true that we cannot borrow $250,000 from the health insurance trust fund, we have the money from other accounts," Thomas said.

Commissioner Kristina Warren said she had checked with the State Board of Accounts, and the money cannot be transferred directly as the council proposed, but that there are ways for the money to be used elsewhere.

She said an ordinance could be drafted that a minimum amount must be kept in the fund for its intended purpose.

"I think we have to be careful about those funds, but I think more than the minimum is in there," Commissioner Jim Baird said.

At this point, it appears nothing has to be done until the first of the year. In the meantime, commissioners' attorney Scott Hoff will draft an ordinance regarding the issue.

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