Culver Schools Find Enrollment Estimates Inaccurate, Affecting Funding

Culver Community School CorporationEstimates under Indiana’s proposed school funding formula have Culver schools taking a hit on revenue.

Representatives of the school corporation were invited to the statehouse for the third reading of House Bill 1001 in February. That bill deals with the state’s biennial budget, but includes allocations for education.
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State Revenue Sources Fall Short, Wagering Beats Estimates

The state of Indiana has gained a bit of revenue for January compared to the previous year, but fell short of revised estimates.

According to the monthly revenue report from the State Budget Agency, General Fund revenues were $1.3-billion in January. That’s 2.4-percentage points above revenue collected for the same period last year. Those figures are still below estimates for the 2015 fiscal year published in December.
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Indiana Dem Leader Criticizes State Budget Process

Democratic Party DonkeyIndiana Democrats are speaking out against the current state budget process.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath out of Michigan City held a news availability to answer questions about what he says are over exuberant elected representatives and the continued murkiness of Indiana’s budget process.
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Budget Approved for City of Knox

 Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the city council this week that the budget order came back, and the city is $45 shy of the maximum levy. The maximum levy is the maximum amount of money the city can collect from taxes. Houston said they couldn’t have gotten any closer, which is good.

Houston noted that he spoke to Matt Parkinson from the Department of Local Government Finance who said that the city will know in April about how much the tax caps will affect the city’s budget. When Houston gets that information, he will let the department heads know how much they will need to cut from their department. Last year, the city was cut over $200,000.

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Knox City Council Discusses Budget Pilot Program Analysis

 The Knox City Council members received information about the budget this week from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston.

The city, along with all other taxing entities in Starke County, is part of a pilot program with the state this year. A meeting was held on Oct. 6 where a state analysis was reviewed. Houston said the county then provided the city with a non-binding recommendation. The city could face a huge cut in 2015.

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Pulaski County Council Holds Budget Public Hearing

 The Pulaski County council members held a public hearing for comments on the 2015 budget.

The council members worked in budget sessions in July to cut over $2 million in the budget for next year. The county is asking for a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

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Knox City Council to Review Budget

 The Knox City Council members were presented with the 2015 budget and the budget calendar during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the budget process has been pushed back a bit due to a pilot program with which the county is involved.

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Starke County Council Talks Budget in Special Meeting

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.”

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Marshall County Council Makes Reductions to 2014 Budget

The Marshall County Council went through line items in the county’s budget on Monday morning and cut expenses where they thought necessary. Most of the cuts were discussed with department heads on Aug. 20 during an all-day budget hearing.

Approximately $37,000 was cut from the Marshall County Commissioners’ budget while $58,000 was transferred out of several line items in the sheriff’s budget to the certified shares budget. $20,000 was cut from county corrections’ budget as a jail nurse is no longer needed with the contract the county has signed with Quality Correctional Care. The prosecutor’s office was cut just over $40,000.

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North Judson Town Board Discusses 2012 Budget, Trash Removal Services

North Judson Town Board: Dan Anderson, Wendy Hoppe, Jane Ellen Felchuk, Attorney Cassie Hine and Clerk-Treasurer Connie Miller

The North Judson Town Board members approved the 2012 budget this week. All funds, including the general fund, local roads and streets, motor vehicle highway, parks, cumulative capital improvements, and cumulative capital development funds total $785,360.

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West Central Wind Turbine Project Underway

West Central School Superintendent, Charles Mellon, said the wind turbine project is moving along. The cement has been poured and needs to cure for 30 days before above ground construction can begin. The School Board hopes the project is complete by the end of November.

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Culver School Corporation Approves 2012 Budget

Culver Community School Board

Culver Community School Board Members (from left, clockwise): Jack Jones, Ryan Seiber, Marilyn Swanson, Brad Schuldt, Eugene Baker, Jim Wentzel, Ed Behnke, Ken VanDePutte

The budget for the year of 2012 was approved by the Culver Community School Board this week, with one disappointing detail: a loss of $558,000 in funding compared to last year. According to Superintendent Brad Schuldt, this decrease in funding is due to a number of reasons.

The restoration grant from the state has been reduced to $0, as well as the small schools grant. In addition, the change in the formula used to calculate funding for schools was changed at the state level, and declining enrollment due to a variety of reasons also played a part in the decline of funding.

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Starke County Council Works on Budget

The Starke County Council worked on the 2012 budget all day Wednesday.

“This year, what we felt was a prudent thing to do, is to freeze the budget at the 2011 level,” said Starke County Council President, Mark Smith.

Smith said no raises were given county employees for 2012.

“I always hate it when it comes down to this because folks will say, ‘Don’t you know that those people deserve a raise?’ I absolutely believe that they deserve a raise. However, if we ‘froze’ the budget but allowed a raise, what I’m telling the taxpayers is ‘You’re going to get just a little less services but we’ve decided to give a raise anyway’. At some point, there’s got to be a little bit of a leveling out there, a little bit of fiscal responsibility, to look at the big picture.”

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Knox City Council Passes 2012 Budget

Knox City Council #2

Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

The Knox City Council members, on the recommendation of Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, passed the budget during their meeting this week. The budget is for $3.1 million and includes a 2% across-the-board raise for employees and officials.

Houston gave the Council some advice before the vote.

“At this point, once it’s been advertised, you guys can vote. Either accept it the way it is or you can cut, but you can not add anything to the budget at this point. You can’t go above what’s been advertised,” said Houston.

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Knox City Council Discusses Budget

Knox City Council #2

Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

In a special session with Knox City Clerk-Treasurer, Jeff Houston on Tuesday evening, the Council walked through the completed budget that will soon be submitted to the Department of Local Government Finance. Presented was a budget that totals $3,112,071.

“At our next meeting, on the 23rd of August, we’re going to have our Public Hearing at 7:00 when we have our Council meeting,” said Houston when explaining the next step in the budget process. “The budget is also advertised and we’ll have our third reading of the salary ordinance.”

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News from the Knox Community School Board

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board approved administrator contract rollovers and a one percent pay increase for all classified and administrative staff for 2011. The pay increase is the same the teachers received for 2011.

The Board also approved the advertisement of the budget for 2012. The budget will be printed for all funds including the General Fund, Debt Service Fund, Retirement/Severance Bond Debt Service, Capital Projects Fund, School Transportation and the Bus Replacement Fund. Total of all funds to be advertised equals $24,197,043.