Cloverdale council continues to struggle with its finances

Thursday, April 11, 2013

CLOVERDALE -- Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Galloway went before the Cloverdale Town Council during Tuesday evening's meeting to again make her case that the town is spending far more money than it is bringing in.

Galloway presented the board and the audience with estimated income and expenses for 2013, which included taxes, utilities, insurance and more.

For the 2013 year it is estimated that the town will receive $1,843,758 from just taxes and utilities. However, with estimated expenses Cloverdale is likely to be in the red $15,601.90.

With every town council meeting, expenses seem to keep adding up. Galloway presented the board with a list of wants, which included a town marshal at a cost of $41,818, two police cars at $88,000 and water meters at $30,000.

These possible expenses would be on top of the money that the town is already in the red.

"We're not moving forward very quickly," Galloway said. "We're going to have to start thinking of new ways to bring money into the town."

Galloway also brought suggestions for ways to make money, which included an empty house base utility charge and a weed and trash ordinance, among other things.

She also announced that in the year 2019 the town hall would be paid for Galloway said although there will be an extra income of nearly $60,000 coming in, the town cannot hold on until then while operating under the status quo.

Former Town Council President Cathy Tipton was also in attendance during the monthly meeting. Tipton came before the board to defend her name along with the actions of the former council, which included three of the current town council members.

Previously, Galloway came before the council and gained approval for a loan of $100,000 to cover the mistake made by the pervious clerk treasurer, which took $100,000 from the general fund to pay for the wastewater fund. The loan is to be paid back over a period five years with no interest.

"I have kept all my minutes and transaction records and I have nothing where the transaction happened," Tipton explained. "There was no mismanagement, and I don't think this community should have to pay that money back."

However, the council responded by stating that it was not a financial problem directly, it was allegedly a mismanagement of paperwork by the previous clerk-treasurer.

Tipton also addressed some previous concerns from residents, stating that it was not the previous council's fault for not raising rates at the proper times and addressing the issue of poor management.

"When I was on the council, the town was on a wastewater rate increase from 2008-09. Therefore, the rates could not be increased again," explained Tipton. "If you've ever sat on the other side of that table, you don't know what it's like to run the town when you don't have the proper information or paperwork."

Tipton left one final word of advice for the present council members, to look at the financial statements and the books from Khron and Associates more closely and for everyone on the board to gain a better understanding of where the money is going.

The council also dealt with some routine issues during the meeting as it tries to keep the town on its feet.

Utility Manager Rich Saucerman came before the council with a list of items that need to be addressed.

After Saucerman expressed concern about the jetter hose, which was in danger of busting, the council granted approval to purchase a new 600-foot hose for the jetter truck.

Saucerman had three quotes and the council chose to go with Wilson Roar Service at a price of $1,584.

The issue of the well pump was also addressed once again as the original quote presented to the board included just the installation of the new pump. However, the original quote did not include cleaning and couplings, therefore Saucerman came before the council with a new quote of $4,720, which was approved.

The issue of selling bulk water was once again brought up as the weather is beginning to turn warm. Saucerman was advised to get a new quote as well as scout out possible locations.

"I think we need to get something where we can regulate this," council member Dennis Padgett said. "It (the theft) needs to stop, like everything else we need to clean it up."

Saucerman is likely to look at a site on Sewer Pipe Road for a possible location.

Don Gedert of the Redevelopment Commission also came before the council to report that the Food and Beverage Tax had been passed back from the State Senate committee to the Indiana House due to an amendment to the bill.

Gedert had already been in talks with State Sen. Rodric Bray, who said the bill is not dead and will likely be passed by the end of this session.

Previously, Galloway had declared the week of April 1 as spring-cleaning week for the town. Galloway along with several volunteers including the Cloverdale Lions Club, spent the weekend landscaping the town hall, which included new bushes, grass seed, mulch and more. Galloway herself donated most of the supplies.

However, the cost to the town was $226. Several council members also donated money to the cause, which Galloway has chosen to put to future clean-up efforts.

"I was totally impressed by the volunteers," she said. "I think everyone needs to pitch in and clean up the town. We need to all work together."

The next town council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14.

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  • Is there really a "Sewer Pipe Road" in Cloverdale?

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 8:09 AM
  • Ms. Tipton has selected memory. It was in Dec '12 after she was defeated (she had never been elected in the first place as she was appointed to serve out the remainder of her father's term), that she voted to "postpone" the bond payment which was due. The problem of mismanagement and overspending truly goes back to her watch. She's eager to serve again but with that track record, I hope the town is wiser!

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 5:29 PM
  • Im new to the town of Cloverdale, but it seems to me, that the people of Cloverdale need to start paying attention to this matter as it seems to be on it's way to becoming a real disaster for the town. How can we be only four months into the year and the budget already $15,000 in the red?

    -- Posted by eldorado on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 9:50 PM
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