From the Northwest Indiana Times:
County officials are going to have to rely more on local income tax revenue and
the interest money generated from the sale of the county hospital to keep
operations going in 2014 and beyond.
the conclusion of a two-hour discussion Thursday night during a joint session
of the County Council and county commissioners that served to kick off this
year's budget sessions.
not a whole lot of taters in the sack," County Councilman Dan Whitten,
D-at large, said during a jovial portion of the often-heated meeting.
shined light on the many financial challenges facing the county, including a 5
percent projected increase in employee health insurance costs next year, a
shortage in E-911 funding, the need to open the third pod at the jail to
relieve overcrowding and the costly drainage projects identified in a
council and commissioners seemed in agreement on the need to tap into the
hospital interest money while protecting the principal, the suggestion of
dipping more deeply into income tax revenue for operational needs triggered a
defensive reaction by the commissioners. They traditionally have maintained
greater control over those funds.
County Commissioner John Evans, R-North, has offered $2 million of the income
tax revenue to cover the increased medical care costs for inmates at the jail
and the bill for E-911.
least some council members voiced interest in gaining control over more of
County Councilman Jim Biggs, R-1st, said if the council takes control over more
income tax revenue, the commissioners need to be given the funding necessary to
do their jobs.
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