Several Concerns Remain to Be Addressed, As Pulaski County’s Budget Discussions Continue

The Pulaski County Council is hoping to cut budgets, adjust the salary matrix, and start reconfiguring the county’s tax structure, all within the next month or so. Council members will continue discussing potential budget cuts with department heads tonight and next Monday at 7:00 p.m. EDT in the Pulaski County Highway Garage. During last week’s special session, Council Member Kathi Thompson said there are still several departments they need to see.

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Pulaski County Council Votes to Release Fiscal Plan to Public

Pulaski County Council: back row: Mike Tiede, Kathi Thompson, Brian Young; front row: Scott Hinkle, Rudy DeSabatine, Jay Sullivan (not pictured: Ken Boswell)

Pulaski County’s preliminary fiscal plan is now officially public record. The county council voted unanimously last week to authorize Auditor Laura Wheeler to release the plan to members of the public, if requested.

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Pulaski Council Approves Budget Transfers for Deputy and Dispatcher Overtime, Fiscal Planning

Pulaski County Council: back row: Mike Tiede, Kathi Thompson, Brian Young; front row: Scott Hinkle, Rudy DeSabatine, Jay Sullivan (not pictured: Ken Boswell)

Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies have been busy recently, and that’s led to a significant shortfall in the department’s overtime budget. The county council voted Monday to transfer a total of $27,000 out of the deputy salary and part-time dispatcher salary line items, to fill the gap.

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Pulaski County Council to Consider Library Bond, EMS On-Call Pay, Budget Transfers Tonight

Pulaski County Council: back row: Mike Tiede, Kathi Thompson, Brian Young; front row: Scott Hinkle, Rudy DeSabatine, Jay Sullivan (not pictured: Ken Boswell)

The Pulaski County Public Library may be moving ahead with a bond issuance. Library Attorney Justin Schramm is expected to discuss it with the county council tonight. Officials have been working on plans for lead dust and asbestos remediation in nonpublic areas of the Winamac library.

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Pulaski County Officials to Research Tax Adjustments, Spending Cuts, As Fiscal Planning Continues

Pulaski County officials may soon be asking state lawmakers to help balance out the county’s tax structure. The county currently has one of the highest income tax rates in the state but relatively low property taxes. But fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters told the county council and commissioners Monday that simply replacing income taxes with property taxes isn’t always possible.

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First Part of Fiscal Plan Presented to Pulaski County Council, Commissioners

Fiscal Planning Consultant Jeffrey Peters (standing) discusses Pulaski County’s finances with the county council and commissioners

Pulaski County could see annual funding shortfalls of $2.7 million within the next few years, if it remains on its current financial path. Consultant Jeffrey Peters presented the first part of a fiscal plan to the county council and commissioners Monday.

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Pulaski County Council Decides to Hold Off on Staffing Increases while Awaiting Fiscal Plan

Pulaski County Council: back row: Mike Tiede, Kathi Thompson, Brian Young; front row: Scott Hinkle, Rudy DeSabatine, Jay Sullivan (not pictured: Ken Boswell)

Pulaski County’s long-awaited fiscal plan is set to be unveiled next month, but in the meantime, several departments’ requests for additional help will remain on hold. Three department heads were scheduled to ask the county council for staffing increases Monday, but at the start of the meeting, Council Member Kathi Thompson said that fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters has asked council members to hold off.

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Fiscal Planning Consultant to Pulaski County Council: ‘You’re on a Track That You Can’t Continue On’

Pulaski County’s tax structure is not sustainable. That’s what fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters told the county council during a public hearing Monday. “You’re on a track that you can’t continue on,” he said, “and those income taxes are going to have to be shifted around in some fashion, in order to get you back to an equilibrium to provide services under a revenue model that does not eat up all your cash over time.”

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Pulaski County Council Considers Budget Transfer, Additional Appropriation Requests

Funding for Pulaski County’s fiscal plan, the courthouse elevator replacement project, and reassessment expenses was among the transfer and additional appropriation requests brought to the county council last week.¬†Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer explained that he has $50,000 budgeted annually for potential land acquisition. But since the CDC won’t be needing it for that purpose, the county council agreed to let him make $36,000 of that available for the fiscal plan. The county commissioners have since decided to hire Peters Municipal Consultants for a cost not to exceed $24,000.

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Pulaski County Commissioners Hire Fiscal Planning Consultant

Pulaski County Commissioners: Mike McClure, Jerry Locke, Kenny Becker

The Pulaski County Commissioners are moving ahead with a fiscal plan. They voted two-to-one Monday to hire Peters Municipal Consultants to put the plan together, with Jerry Locke voting in opposition. Of the two proposals the county received, Peters’ was apparently cheaper, with a maximum cost of $24,000, compared to Umbaugh and Associates’ cap of $35,000.

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Pulaski County Council, Commissioners Hear Fiscal Planning Proposals

Pulaski County officials continue to consider hiring an outside consultant to help put together a fiscal plan for the county. The county council and commissioners heard presentations from two firms Monday, but no final action was taken by the commissioners.¬†County officials have been looking at adjusting the county’s tax structure for over a year. It currently relies heavily on income taxes, which is expected to become an increasing problem as the county’s population continues to decline.

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