Starke County Officials Slash Proposed Expenditures

starke-county-courthouseBudget constraints have forced the Starke County Council and Commissioners to cut back on proposed big ticket expenditures in the coming year. They met jointly Monday to look at items that can be purchased with money in the cumulative capital development fund. That list included a new ambulance for Starke County EMS, two new patrol cars for the sheriff’s office and three new server computers for the IT department.Instead of spending nearly $100,000 on a new ambulance, the council and commissioners opted to put a new engine in the 2009 Ford truck that was slated for replacement. Councilman Dave Pearman acknowledges it’s not an ideal solution.

“If we buy a new engine it will have a five-year warranty on it. I mean right now we just need a band-aid because we’re out of money – I’m just saying if we can limp through for a couple more years on that one, or one year maybe,” Pearman said.

Council members asked EMS Director Keith Emigh to bring prices for a new six-cylinder Ford engine to their Monday meeting.

Sheriff Bill Dulin told the council he needs to buy at least one patrol vehicle in 2016. He plans to purchase a new all-wheel drive Ford Taurus to replace the department’s pickup truck. A proposed $525,000 auger to keep small items flushed down the toilets at the jail out of the city’s sanitary sewer system is on indefinite hold due to budget constraints.

IT Director Brian Pinson’s request to purchase servers was approved, as he has most of the money in his budget. The commissioners agreed to move the additional $2,000 to complete the purchase out of the cumulative capital development fund so he can get them ordered this week.