As state officials continue to struggle with questions of how the Indiana Department of Revenue shortchanged Indiana Counties by $206 million in a year and a half, county officials have the more palatable task of figuring out what to do with the money.
In Putnam County, the excitement of county officials had calmed some since the announcement that $1.18 million in County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) and County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) money was on its way.
However, finding a use for a million dollars is always a better task than finding a place to cut it out.
Putnam County Auditor Stephanie Campbell and her staff are continuing to sort through information regarding the funds from the state. While the exact shares of various entities are not clear, she told the commissioners and council last week that some of the money had to go to towns and townships.
She will present the exact figures to county leaders when they are available.
While the news came as somewhat of a disappointment to the officials, Commissioner Nancy Fogle pointed out that the municipalities paid funds in, so they should get something in return.
"When people contribute to it, you have to let them have some of it," Fogle said.
Shortly before the conclusion of their meeting, Putnam County Councilmen had a brief discussion of ideas for the money. Saving was on the mind of that fiscally conservative body.
Larry Parker suggested setting aside the remainder of the county's share for resurfacing the Edgelea subdivision. The county owes $20,000 each year for the next 20 years.
Phil Gick had the rainy day fund on his mind, knowing the county has dipped into its emergency money to help with the budget in recent years.
"When you get money you weren't counting on and you don't take care of your contingency plan, you're being short-sighted," Gick said.
Parker also threw out the possibility of a one-time $500 bonus for each Putnam County employee. Budget cuts have not allowed for raises for some time, so the incentive payment could serve as a small thank you.
"Their departments have been cut the last several years, and I would like to reward them for it," Parker said.
Discussions will continue as the exact figures of the disbursement become clear.