County balks at $4,405 increase from West Central

Monday, June 4, 2018

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.

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  • If I was running West Central District I would start charging interest on the unpaid amount. It suggests that Mr. Walton may not be doing his job as liaison or is missing meetings. Stories like this are not favorable to attracting new business to the county. It shows commissioner may not be willing to work with new business or follow through on agreements.

    -- Posted by johnn on Tue, Jun 5, 2018, at 8:07 AM
  • The money difference is chump change compared to what the county is wasting on the highway department. A little more scrutiny there would save the taxpayers thousands.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Tue, Jun 5, 2018, at 9:08 AM
  • Pay your bill, Putnam County. If you want to be a part of the club, you have to pay your dues.

    For those that don't know - WCEDD is a "non-profit" quasi-governmental agency that helps counties/communities get tax money in the form of unconstitutional grants for such things as infrastructure, various do-goodery, and the above mentioned economic development.

    Interestingly enough, the article didn't mention (or bother to explore) the fact that County Councilman Darrell Thomas is on the executive board of this agency and might have some insight.

    And for those in Greencastle proper - you are not being represented at all. Per their website, the "City of Greencastle Private Sector" membership seat is vacant.

    -- Posted by AverageWhiteGuy on Tue, Jun 5, 2018, at 9:50 AM
  • Maybe WCEED seen how easy OL gets more money so they thought they would try....

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Tue, Jun 5, 2018, at 6:00 PM
  • Glad to see some response with questions and desire to find out the "Reasons Why" before rubber-stamping every dime they can give away, like the insane Greencastle School Board did from just a few years ago. Anyone else remember the "Leaving for a job in Saint Louis" Dr. Green asking for him and his Wife to receive a $40,000 "Retirement???" bonus that cost this county over $250,000 over the next few months? And the monster problems to re-hire or replace those people that grabbed this new, fantastic cash prize? And since there were only 5 on the school board to convince to say OKAY, it was easy. Taxpayers money and our small local government wasting every dime it could. Yet the teacher's retirement had been increased just the year before, too. Now we see a Bankrupt California and 4 Bankrupt major cities there that promised the moon to their workers like the money was theirs to shovel out the window, forever.

    -- Posted by alfr1 on Wed, Jun 6, 2018, at 7:39 PM
  • Thank you kubotafan !!!!! Open checkbook draws attention

    -- Posted by becker on Thu, Jun 7, 2018, at 9:05 AM
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