This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Budget hearings, Aug 2017 and a sale update

The County Council had a long meeting on Tuesday evening as they began their budget hearings for the 2018 budget. Before they began that, however, they heard essentially the same presentation from Umbaugh that the Commissioners heard earlier this month.

At its September meeting the Council will consider two recommendations of Umbaugh, to declare the Riverboat fund and the Jail fund dormant and transfer the balances to the general fund.

The Highway Department asked for an additional appropriation that I did not understand.

The President of the Council then read a long list of numbers that you can find at Search for Jasper County and click the budget notice date to see the document.

The Sheriff presented his budget. He noted that the State Police is understaffed and cannot fill its vacancies, and as a result, his department ends up responding to incidents on I-65 (Little fact that I did not know--Jasper County has more miles of I-65 than any other Indiana County.) He noted that the jail had averaged about 80 inmates during 2016 but as of Tuesday had 98 and a week earlier had 103. There are 8 or 9 level 6 felons (the lowest level of felony and these are no longer sent to state prisons but held in county jails) and that the state pays $35 per day to the county to house them, but the actual cost is about $55 or $56.

Most of his presentation was going through the budget line by line and explaining the numbers, and without a printed copy, it was hard to follow from the audience. There were a few items that were interesting. At present when a deputy reaches 20 years of service, his pension is maxed out. As a result, there is an incentive for employees to leave for anther job and build up a second pension. This causes a loss of experience and expertise and also generates trainings cost. He suggested that the Council and Commissions might want to take a look at what other law enforcement agencies are doing with pensions. He noted that Honeywell, which had pitched the Commissioners about doing energy savings for the County, decided that they did not want to include the jail in their proposal. Although the jail is only about ten years old, the building is in use twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and as result. some equipment needs to be replaced. Some locks are failing and there are problems with some of the plumbing.

Sheriff Risner cannot run for re-election in 2018--he is term limited. There are several people who want to become the next sheriff and the Rensselaer Republican has been running articles this week featuring these candidates.

The other program presenting on Tuesday was Extension, and its budget was simple compared to the Sheriff's Department.

Budget hearings will continue on Thursday starting at 8:30 am and continue most of the day.

On Wednesday I went back to the big sale to see what had changed.  There was noticeably less stuff in the Rec Center. Below you can see that there are plenty of computers left, but note the empty table behind. That table also had electronics when the sale opened.

There were still many musical instruments, but again, noticeably fewer than on Monday. Some of these large brass instruments (maybe all) were priced over $1000 each.
There are still lots of desks. I do not recall these desks being used before I retired in 2010. I wonder what happened to all the old wooden desks. I do not think any were still being used when the school closed.

I will be very surprised if anyone is willing to pay $100 for an overhead projector on an beat-up cart. The high school auctioned some of these overhead projectors and I do not recall if they sold or not.


Anonymous said...

They got rid of the wooden desks and replaced with these in all the classrooms of the science building

Anonymous said...

LOL the old desks were placed into a dumpster, and then crushed by a backhoe to make more room. It was excruciating to watch, but a GREAT totem for the abject lack of responsibility of the administration.