Notes from Jan 17, 2023. County Council Meeting. — See context and areas of interest in 2023.
On the 2023 approved budget, in order to balance the budget, revenue and expenses are “always” understated and there are always surprise expenses – generally in infrastructure and leases. Things get “worked-out” during the year. What’s new this year is that the county is already short by over 700K (maybe more or less) in order to build the needed courthouse renovations.
Commissioner meeting notes – Jan 4 and Jan 19. Audio of the meeting
First Commissioner Meeting Jan 4, 2023. The meeting was not advertised or posted per state law due to miscommunication and turnover. Votes taken at the meeting had to be redone. This took less than 9 minutes:
- Election of officers: Jerry Pittman President, Chuck Braden, VP.
- Board Appointments: Derrik Clifford to CVC, Sandy Higgins to Helmsburge RSD. (No master list posted on the county website listing all positions and appointments).
- No Money. Courthouse additions are being re-bid – and are due Feb 15, 2023. The bid amount exceeded available funds by around 700K. Commissioners asked the Council to borrow the money. Council required a re-bid. Given the potential for a funding shortfall, NO SPENDING FREEZE pending a budget analysis was been proposed by the commissioners. Results from a review of the status of available funds were not discussed.
- Note: Councilman Dave Redding has started a review on the status of the funds obtained from the 3 million dollar recurring loan and funds received from the Feds via ARPA.
New Spending – Capital Improvements. There is no published capital improvement plan or budget.
- Courthouse Additions. The one bid identified the following: Sally Port: $803, 996; Public Entrance with security: $404,913.00.). “Available county funds of 500K were identified.
- $20K for a plan for a bicycle/pedestrian trail for Nashville; 20K to be provided by the state. No contribution from Nashville. The cost to execute a plan will likely be over a million dollars.
- Health Department Building. Renovations of under $50K were approved. 50K the limit for not being required to advertise for additional bids.
- Note this “building” was purchased for 400K for community corrections. No plan as to what additional costs could be expected.
- Coroners Building. Plans are being reviewed by Nashville. A contract to construct a new metal building was identified at $135K – the need to advertise for bids not mentioned. The county attorney had no comments.
Jan 18, 2023. Meeting Notes
- Highway Department Superintendent. Bids received for projects supported by the $1 million Community Crossing Grant. Bids to be reviewed and contracts to be awarded at the next commissioner meeting.
- The Road Paving Plan going out to 2026 was briefed at the Oct 5, 2022 commissioner’s meeting. It has yet to be posted to the Highway Departments Website. https://www.browncounty-in.gov/262/Road-Improvement-Plan
- Proposed State Legislation – County reimbursement for Medical and Law Enforcement Services provided to the State. The county provides support to the State Park without reimbursement. This has been a long-standing issue. The state has refused to provide compensation. The State’s position is that the Park brings in visitors and revenue to the county – we should be grateful. If they provide reimbursement for us, they will have to do it for other counties as well.