Town Deals With Revenue Shortfall

Facing a revenue shortfall next year, the Crothersville Town Council took action at its budget hearing last Tuesday to ease the financial pain of expected fewer dollars.

The Department of Local Government Finance has predicted that the town’s non-property tax revenue will be about $41,000 less in 2013 than this year.

“The DLGF recommends we make cuts now rather than waiting until next year,” said clerk-treasurer Michele Teipen.

She recommended reducing remaining appropriations in three funds: $7,200 from Local Roads & Streets, $12,920 from the Rainy Day Fund, and $55,000 from the town General Fund.

She explained that while the town had been approved to spend money from those funds, the town is reducing the amount it intends to spend this year to use the money to make up for the anticipated lower revenue projection in 2013.

The council unanimously approved the reductions.

In other business to come before the council, Brad Bender of FPBH Engineering of North Vernon reported that the Wastewater System Improvement Project is about 82% complete.

“Work continues to progress ahead of schedule and a lot of the plant operations are now on the new systems,” said Bender. “We seem to be on the downhill run and everything is all coming together.”

The project was prompted by the State of Indiana Combined Sewer Overflow initiative. During period of heavy rain, untreated or improperly treated wastewater was discharged downstream.

A part of the WISP project removed a considerable portion of surface water inflow-primarily along US 31 caused by INDOT.

“Throughout this entire project we have kept IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) informed and in the loop,” said town council president Ardell Mitchell. “They have weighed in on matters as well and in the end, I believe, Crothersville will be on a solid footing with IDEM in the future.”

Non-violent offenders with the Indiana Department of Corrections at Henryvlle may soon be assisting town workers in Crothersville.

Councilman Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson said he had conferred with DOC officials at Henryville and that some work-release inmates may be made available to Crothersville.

“They could do things like removing grass and weeds from curbs, clearing debris from drains and ditches, and paint curbs,” said Robinson. “And they cost the town nothing.”

He emphasized that the inmates are all non-violent offenders and would not be a threat to local citizens as they are supervised while they are working.

The council unanimously approved allowing Robinson to make arrangements for a DOC crew to work in Crothersville.

In other business the council:

•Hired Chris Mains as the town Street Superintendent. He will share responsibilities as street and water superintendent.

•Approved a list of improvements the Crothersville Youth League wants to do at the Countryside Park west of town.

•Approved two final homes for repairs under the town’s Housing Grant.

•Approved town street, water and sewer employees to attend a state safety seminar in Greenwood on Oct. 16.

•Tabled approving town salaries until the council’s October meeting.