County balks at $4,405 increase from West Central
An unexpectedly high invoice from West Central Economic Development District caught the Putnam County Commissioners off guard recently.
However, administrators at West Central may be in for the next surprise, as the commissioners voted Monday morning not to pay the $4,405 increase, sticking to $10,700 budgeted for 2018.
The county pays into the agency’s economic development program each year with funds from the County Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT).
When the county EDIT plan is approved early each year, the amount paid to West Central is based upon a previously-established figure.
With the 2018 total amount set at $10,700, it was with some surprise that Auditor Lorie Hallett opened an invoice that said the county still owed more than $13,000 after making two payments earlier in the year.
County officials were initially confused at discovering West Central was expecting $15,105 for 2018.
It turns out, the extra $4,405 is for traffic counts and railroad crossing counts.
Regardless of the cause, there was initially some disagreement over whether they bill should be paid in full.
“I think we owe it to them,” Commissioner Don Walton said. Walton is the county liaison to West Central.
“Don’t we need some type of explanation first?” Commissioner Rick Woodall asked.
The biggest sticking point is the timing of it all. The year is nearly half over and this is the first the increase has come onto the commissioners’ radar.
“Since we didn’t receive this until after we approved the plan, I think we should stick with what we did last year,” Commissioner David Berry said. “If they want more next year, they can come and request it in a timely fashion.”
Berry made the motion and Walton seconded it, reversing his earlier position.
Woodall made it unanimous.
Regardless of the commissioners’ decision, County Attorney Jim Ensley plans to call West Central to inquire further about the 45-percent increase.