Judges Discuss Potential Cost-Saving Opportunities with Pulaski County Council

As the Pulaski County Council continues exploring potential budget cuts, the county’s judges and chief probation officer had the chance to share their cost-saving ideas Monday. Circuit Court Judge Mary Welker told council members that there’s $50,000 in the commissioners’ budget for detention of children that she doesn’t think will be needed.

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Pulaski County Council to Explore Potential Budget Cuts with Courts, Probation Office 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 Council will continue looking for ways to cut expenses tonight. For the past month, the council has been meeting with department heads for preliminary discussions on their 2020 budgets. The goal is to avoid a $2.7 million deficit that’s projected to develop over the coming years. Meeting with the council tonight will be the two courts and Probation Office, according to the Auditor’s Office.

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Pulaski County Government Offices to Be Responsible for IT Costs, County Council Raises Questions

Pulaski County government offices with technology needs will now have to find money to pay for them out of their own budgets. For the past few years, those expenses had come under the IT Department’s budget, but it was recently disbanded, after it apparently used up all its money for the year. Last week, the commissioners officially voted to have individual departments cover their own IT costs, until they can reach a long-term solution.

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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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Judges Spar with County Attorney over Pulaski County Court Program Grants

Pulaski County’s judges are worried that resistance from the auditor and county attorney is putting court programs in jeopardy.

In a lengthy and heated discussion during Monday’s county commissioners meeting, Circuit Court Judge Mary Welker said the county’s seen great success with its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, but when coordinator Dr. Natalie Daily Federer tried to renew its funding, Auditor Laura Wheeler prevented it.

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Pulaski County Council Finalizes Additional Appropriations, Reappoints Library Board Member

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 Council finalized more than $70,000 in additional appropriations this week. A large chunk of that was pension and vehicle funding for the Sheriff’s Department, according to Auditor Laura Wheeler.

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Pulaski Superior Court Requests More Money for Witness Fees, Examination of Prisoners, Pauper Counsel

Just a few weeks into 2019, Pulaski Superior Court has already used up its annual budget for examination of prisoners and witness fees. Judge Crystal Brucker Kocher told the county council and commissioners Monday that the two line items had a combined $3,000 budgeted for this year. That money is used to hire doctors for the process of determining whether defendants are competent to stand trial.

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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 Council, Commissioners Approve Vehicle Purchase for Prosecutor’s Office

The Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office is getting a new investigator vehicle. Prosecutor Dan Murphy plans to get a 2019 Dodge Charger from Braun. “We’ll have about a $12,000 discount buying it through that program that the State Police use for vehicles,” Murphy told the county council Monday. Once the discount, trade-in, and the addition of a police package are taken into account, the final cost is around $26,400.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Budget Transfers for Sheriff’s Department Overtime

Making up shortfalls in the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department’s overtime budget was the goal of a couple budget transfers approved by the county council Monday.

More than $18,000 was moved from various line items, at the request of Sheriff Jeff Richwine. “These are all to cover overtime. Well, the part-time clerical’s not, but the other is overtime for deputies,” he explained. “And then one’s overtime for dispatchers.”

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