The Starke County Council members had a chance to go over the 2014 budget during their special meeting Friday night.
Council President Dave Pearman noted that it’s a very tough time of the year and the budget process has been very lengthy. The council examined the budget further on Friday night.
“We really just needed to tighten some things up,” explained Pearman. “We’ve really had a lot of difficulty every year – dealing with a frozen levy, dealing with a very small budget for such a large amount of inhabitants with 23,000 people in our county. We have a smaller budget than many counties that have half that many residents.”
Pearman indicated that the council had to do a lot of budgeting with increases in liability and healthcare. He’s confident that the council has come up with a budget that is going to pass.
One aspect that Pearman is looking forward to is some extra funding coming to the county to help with roads and highways.
“There was some really great lobbying that went on in 2013 for fiscal year 2014 that has increased the Motor Vehicle Highway funds. It’s not raising any taxes. The state said that we’re going to provide more funds.”
These funds are to be used for specific projects.
“They don’t want it to go toward projects that are already on the board or existing projects. What they want us to do, for example, if we had five miles of road to pave on the slate for a specific year, they want us to do ten miles or something like that. Everything that they are providing they want it specifically to improving our infrastructure.”
The council feels encouraged with what this incoming money can provide. The council members ask that you keep giving them feedback on the state of the county’s roads.