Franklin County Council Members Consider Budget Cuts

March 4, 2014
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Council members are prepared to make cuts to the budget. (Photo: Franklin County Government)

Council members are prepared to make cuts to the budget. (Photo: Franklin County Government)

Officials in Franklin County are considering different methods to cut the county budget by $1.5 million.

Franklin County Council was instructed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance in January that the deficit in the budget could be made up by spending the county’s investment money, however that has been retracted, according to the Franklin County Observer.

The money that officials thought could have been used is not part of the general fund, which now forces the county to search for cuts.

The Observer reported that council weighed several options including rescinding the promised 50 cent an hour raise  to county employees, potentially cut part time county employees or slash the budget for each department funded by the general fund by 19%.

Councilwoman Becky Ogelsby suggested a less aggressive approach by making $500,000 in cuts now, and review the budget again in May. She also mentioned the prospect of increased revenue from taxes with the potential of new businesses coming to the county, such as the rumored Walmart in Batesville.

Another option is to raise taxes, but Councilman Joe Sizemore said he would not vote for a tax hike, according to the online newspaper.

The consideration of budget cuts could only effect county departments that receive money from the general fund, so the highway department will not be impacted.

No decision was made and a reduction meeting will be held Tuesday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Franklin County Government Center.

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