Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 9, 2013

Nappanee council OK's $8.3M spending plan

NAPPANEE —  Deputy Mayor Jeff Kitson presided over a public hearing Monday on the proposed $8.3 million 2014 budget ordinance. There were no questions or comments from members of the public present and council members passed the proposed budget ordinance on second reading.

The total proposed budget of $8,325,113 is an approximate 2.02 percent increase over the 2013 budget. The majority of the increases are due to the across the board 2 percent salary increase and the corresponding raise in retirement and workman’s compensation benefits.

The departments with the most significant increases are the police department, the emergency medical services department and the clerk-treasurers department.

In the police department budget, in addition to the salary increase, CAD support in the police cars due to merging with the Elkhart County Dispatch Center created an $18,827 increase. The EMS department budget’s increase is $16,325 over the 2013 budget in large part due to the fees for outside ambulance billing. The clerk treasurer’s department budget has a $14,291 boost over the 2013 budget due to the impending retirement of Clerk-Treasurer Kim Ingle. The increase allows for a consultant for her replacement and also includes retirement benefits that the city hasn’t paid for the clerk for the past six years.

Significant decreases to the proposed budget include a $20,000 decrease in the unemployment fund, which was increased last year for the expected unemployment of the full-time dispatchers, who fortunately found employment quickly. There’s also a decrease of $19,903 in the street department budget because part of the superintendent’s salary will be paid from the wastewater department’s budget.

Total anticipated assessed values for Nappanee are $195,509,014 for Elkhart County and $8,485,511 for Kosciusko County. The estimated tax rate for both counties is $1.9674. The actual tax rate is expected to be lower.

The third and final reading is slated for Oct. 21.

TIF report

The council accepted a Tax Incremental Finance District report prepared by the redevelopment commission.

Kitson, who is also executive director of the redevelopment commission, explained the report is a new state law requirement. The report shows revenue received and expenses for 2012 for each TIF district. In Nappanee, tthree TIF districts were combined into one.

Revenues received in 2012 were $508,608.13 and the expenses paid during 2012 totaled $417,330.54. The fund balance as of Dec. 31, 2012, was $2,021,516.06.

Police News

The Nappanee Police Department is participating in the International Walk to School Day on Wednesday to encourage the safety of the young pedestrians.

Police Chief Julie Dijkstra also announced the upcoming 25th anniversary of the death of Sgt. Brant “Butch” Nine. She said at the request of the family this will be the last public commemoration. They are planning a large “celebration of life” on Nov. 3 processing from the Nappanee Police Department to the Bremen Cemetery where a service will take place at 5 p.m.

At 6:15 p.m., the celebration continues at Grace Point Church in Nappanee. The family is inviting anyone to share written memories or videos for preservation for his children and grandchildren.

Leaf pickup

Street Department wants residents to know that leaf pick-up began this week. Residents are asked to rake leaves out to the street, except for those living on the highways. Brush pick up will be limited as leaf pick up demands increase.

Fire Chief Don Lehman announced that this is Fire Prevention Week and he and other fire safety personnel will be visiting elementary schools and nursery schools this week.

Kudos

Kitson thanked all the emergency medical personnel who attended fallen Indianapolis police officer Rod Bradway’s funeral last week. Bradway is from Nappanee.

Council member Sam Beachy praised the street department and water and sewer department for their quick action in repairing a water main break on Locke Street on Sept. 27 and also for everyone’s help in clean up and trash removal during and after the Apple Festival.

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