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Council approves salary request for prosecutor’s office


The LaGrange County Council approved a request to use funds from the Infraction Deferral Program for the salaries of two employees in the county’s prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutor Jeff Wible made the request Monday morning to the council. Wible told the council that the federal grant that paid part of Victims’ Assistant Director Cindy Llera’s salary had been cut by 40 percent. The federal government told the office that they felt Llera spent 40 percent of her time with bad check collection, which they did not consider to be part of victims’ assistance. Wible said he felt that anyone that gets a bad check, whether personal or business, qualifies as a victim in his eyes.

The request was for $11,537.20 per year to come from the Infraction Deferral Program. There was $290,742 in the deferral fund as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Wible also asked for around $40,000 to come from the same fund for office investigator John Parrish, which was also approved.

A request for funding the salary of another employee, Kim Hicks, was tabled.

In other business:

The council approved a total of $50,100 for the county’s ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transition plan. The contract, which was approved earlier by the county commissioners, is with First Group of Indianapolis. Bob Murphy told the council that First Group was the only one to respond to his request for bids of the four he sent out.

The transition plan is the next step for the county as it works to be ADA compliant. Murphy told the council that if the county is not on schedule and not meeting federal regulations, the federal government can take away federal funding from the county.

Half of the requested amount will come from the county’s rainy day fund, while the other half will be out of the riverboat fund. The rainy day fund had a balance of $966,435 and the riverboat fund a balance of $225,574 as of Dec. 31, 2012.

The council approved additional appropriations for the parks department to complete the land purchase at Dallas Lake. Of the total $328,704 price, $181,500 was to be covered by DNR grants, $100,000 from a Heritage grant, $10,000 from the LaGrange County Community Foundation, and $4,000 from the Friends of LaGrange County Parks. That left $35,000 remaining in the price.

Park Director Mike Metz told the council that the parks department is waiting on word from the Cole Foundation on a grant. The department planned to take $13,000 from their non-reverting fund, as well.

With the full amount funded, the department will be able to close on the property, Metz said. They look at replacing the non-reverting fund money with money from the foundation grant or other revenue, such as the land sale from Stone Lake.