Winamac Council Gets Update on 2017 Budget

 The Town of Winamac’s 2017 budget was discussed during a public hearing Monday. Eric Walsh with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates told members of the town council that the town’s in a good position financially and next year’s proposed budget would keep it that way. “What you’ll notice is the General Fund, which is by far your largest, a positive cash flow of about $25,000,” he said. “That’s if you spend every dollar in your budget, which you never do. So it’ll probably be a lot better than that to be honest with you. This is just worst-case scenario. MVH is a little bit in the negative but not too bad, especially considering you have decently healthy cash balances, and you never spend your whole MVH budget, either. There’s about $85,000 in that budget for paving and sidewalk work.”

Also in the negative for 2017 is the Recreation budget. That’s because money has been budgeted for maintenance of the town pool, if it’s rebuilt next year. However, the pool’s maintenance costs and potential income from admissions haven’t been determined yet.

Walsh pointed out that if it turns out that the entire budgeted amount is needed, the town may consider moving additional tax revenue from one of the other funds. “You’re never going to have on paper that you’re going to make money on a pool,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the intent of the town. It’s a quality of life [issue]. Some towns have them; some towns don’t. They’re not going to self-support themselves. You’re going to support it with some taxes. So this is just kind of showing you where that shortfall is.”

The County Economic Development Income Tax Fund will also take a big hit next year because of the swimming pool rebuilding project. The town’s planning to contribute $150,000 to the effort out of that fund. That payment was previously planned to be made over two years to lessen the impact. But it was changed to a one-time payment at the recommendation of the Department of Local Government Finance and the State Board of Accounts.

Additionally, Winamac Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger is suggesting a few reductions in the 2017 budget. These include the elimination of salaries for park board members and a reduction in the local roads and streets budget to bring it in line with actual revenues.

Budget adoption is scheduled for October 10.