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County expects to receive $971,548


LaGrange County Auditor Kay Myers is expecting to receive $971,548 from the State of Indiana on Thursday, April 12. The money is undistributed County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) from 2011 and 2012.

    CAGIT funds of $520,081.82 from 2011 distributions and CEDIT funds of $208,579.18 from 2011 are expected to be distributed. A somewhat lesser amount due from January through April of this year will be distributed at the same time for both CAGIT ($173,360.61) and CEDIT ($69,526.39). The state has said that interest will be added to all past due distributions.

    CAGIT and CEDIT money is distributed to different units of government in differing percentages, so it is very difficult to project the amount of funds that will be distributed to each unit of government.

    County council members, in their regular monthly meeting Monday, approved the purchase of two new compressor units for the jail cooling system. The low quote for the project is from WS Mechanical of Ft. Wayne at $59,600.

    Sam Perkins, head of maintenance at the jail, noted that over the 12 years the compressor has been active at the jail, it has run 29,876 hours and started many more times. The compressors are used to “compress” the refrigerant in the system to cool water down to 39 degrees. This cool water in turn cools the air in the jail to a “livable” level.

    Council asked Auditor Myers to advertise the additional appropriation necessary to pay for the units from three different funds: CEDIT, Rainy Day and Riverboat Gambling. “By doing this we will keep our options open until we see for sure how the balances in the different funds are standing,” said Councilman Michael Strawser.

    Current unappropriated balances of $1,130,000 in the Rainy Day Fund and $242,000 in the Riverboat Gambling Fund were reported.

    Sheriff Terry Martin asked council members to appropriate $19,000 to fund a third detective position at the jail. This position will replace the School Resource Officer (SRO) that has been assigned to Lakeland School Corporation. The Lakeland School Board has agreed to totally fund the SRO position for the next three years and Sheriff Martin said that he needs to fill that position with a detective. Council agreed to fund the position from the general fund starting Sept. 1 of this year.

    Martin also noted that all three of the current jail employees in food service have declined employment with Canteen, the firm that will provide food service to the jail starting May 1.

  Council President Jac Price reported on an Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) meeting that addressed telephone charges that are used to fund 911. LaGrange County currently receives about $290,000 in telephone user fees which are charged at the rate of $2.20 per month on land lines, 50¢ a month on cellphones and 25¢ a month on Tracphones. Cellphone and Tracphones are currently taxed and returned to the county where the phones are purchased.

    Under the newly enacted legislation, all phones will be taxed at 90¢ per line per month. County credit will go to the address of billing. It would appear that LaGrange County will be somewhat “shortchanged” under the new legislation as the northwest corner of the county has a Middlebury address; the southwest corner both Millersburg and Ligonier addresses; and a large part of the southeast corner a Hudson address. One Wolcottville route extends into the edge of both Steuben and DeKalb counties.

    LaGrange County has been assured of an average funding of the last three years for a short period of time. No estimates have been made on the county’s projected revenue following the grace period. Whatever is not covered from fees will become a general fund liability.