By Valerie Werkmeister
Members of the Posey County Council wonder if they may be able to stop paying rent for its ambulances to be housed within the New Harmony Fire Department. The topic is not something new that the council has debated. When the issue of adding a fourth ambulance to assist coverage throughout the entire county came up, the communities of Poseyville and Marrs Township agreed to waive ambulance housing rental fees.
The situation differs in New Harmony since both the council and Posey County Commissioners signed approval for a grant to help fund the construction of a new fire department in New Harmony. Council president Bob Gentil advised that the grant was signed in 2010. The grant was funded based on the fact that the council pays a monthly rental fee of $360 to the department. In order for New Harmony to stay within compliance of their grant funding requirements, the monthly payments must continue.
Councilman Tom Schneider questioned whether there was a review or evaluation time for the grant in which the council might be able to withdraw their agreement to pay the monthly rental fees.
Attorney Beth McFadin-Higgins stated the date has already passed to do something for the upcoming year, however they may be able to begin the process for the following year. Higgins will do some research to determine what course of action the council should take.
The council then approved the Emergency Medical Services’ request for an additional appropriations of $2,880 to pay six months’ worth of rent to New Harmony.
The Emergency Management Agency’s (EMA) request for an additional appropriation line be added to their budget to purchase office furniture sparked a bit of a debate among council members. The EMA was not requesting additional funds, they were only asking for the creation of the additional line item known as the “4000 line”, in order to comply with Indianan State Board of Accounts requirements.
Several council members noted that the commissioners had requested furniture purchases be approved by them as a means of keeping track of the county’s assets. However, they did approve the request to add a 4000 line to the budget.
The council also approved:
•The auditor’s request for an additional appropriation of $187,442 to G.E/Sabic for the annual repayment of taxes. They noted this is the second year of seven total years that the county must repay the sum.
•Prosecutor Travis Clowers’ request to reimburse the department $150 and $29 for law books and supplies.
•Rodney Fetcher’s transfer request of $359 from the Circuit Court general grand jury budget line to law books.
•Sheriff Greg Oeth’s transfer request of $15,549 from repairs and maintenance budget line to equipment. Oeth stated it was merely an accounting “housekeeping” transaction in order to remain in compliance with the state board of accounts requirements.
•Sabrina Harmes’ transfer request of $5,000 in Dispatch for overtime pay.
•Auditor Nick Wildeman’s transfer request of $3,000 from supplies budget line to part-time help.
The next Posey County Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 11, at 9 a.m. in the Hovey House.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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