By BRADEN LAMMERS
The Sellersburg Town Council was forced to cut $160,504 out of this year’s budget after the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance certified the town’s total budget at $2.45 million.
Among the areas offered for cuts were $44,000 out of the town council’s budget, $21,000 out of the police department dispatcher salaries and $95,504 in money designated for paving the town’s roads.
“We think we can get by without using this money,” said Sellersburg Clerk-Treasurer David Kinder.
Town Council President Paul Rhodes offered his concerns about the $95,504 cut out of the town’s paving budget for the year.
Sellersburg Municipal Works Director Ken Alexander added that the town had already designated the money in its paving budget to go toward a storm drainage project for the Forest Estates subdivision.
“It’s a $300,000 storm drain project with $95,000 worth of paving,” he said.
But Kinder said that money would still be available in the town’s Local Roads and Streets and County Economic Development Income Tax distributions to cover the town’s paving projects.
According to the DLGF the CEDIT distribution Sellersburg is set to receive totals $138,620 this year and the Local Roads and Streets fund distribution is set to total $88,232.
“This is the time to do it ... or else they’ll cut it for you,” Kinder said, referring to the DLGF.
Councilman Michael Lockhart asked Alexander if the money he is accounting for in the storm drain project would require CEDIT funds should there be a need to tap into it. Along with the paving projects planned and the drainage project, Alexander said it will be close, but the town should be able to cover the expenses.
“I would rather we make the cuts than the state do it,” Lockhart said.
The budget cuts were unanimously approved with Councilman Brian Meyer absent from Monday’s meeting.
Tabling the rest
Alexander also asked the council to consider a proposal from HeatLo to purchase an ozone machine to help eliminate odor at a wastewater lift station near Silver Creek High School.
He explained the town is currently using chemicals to treat the odor and the annual costs are about $25,000.
“In order to eliminate it completely we would have to triple our dosage,” Alexander said.
To help manage the smell at a lower cost, he suggested the town purchase the ozone machine for $10,000.
However, Alexander said he had just been offered the proposal and suggested the council table any action to look into it further. The offer was tabled until the next meeting.
Another proposal brought to the town council was tabled until the council’s July 23 meeting.
Thomas Harris, committee chairman for the WHAS Crusade for Children with the Sellersburg Volunteer Fire Department, proposed having the town host a street fair for the fund drive next year.
He said donations for this year’s drive were down about $4,000 compared to 2011 and he would like to try something new to help raise money for the charity drive.
Harris offered a preliminary plan that the festival would be the Friday and Saturday before Memorial Day 2013 and would be held on Utica Street between Hangar and Broadway Streets.
He said all of the money raised at the event would go to the Crusade for Children and would like to see it become an annual event.
The council approved a video production contract totaling $2,000 with Mary Beth Coffman, owner of Thriving Iris Productions. She will produce a two and-a-half to three minute promotional video highlighting the town of Sellersburg.
Rhodes said they would use the video online or possibly as a commercial and as a tool for prospective development.
“We are definitely in need of something like this to get the word out about the town of Sellersburg,” he said.