Rushville Republican

News

February 18, 2013

Tax cap hit Rush Co. hard

Second largest impact in the state

RUSHVILLE — Falling only behind Lake County in northern Indiana, Rush County was the second most negatively impacted county in the state when looking at funding cuts resulting from the tax cap implemented by the state. That’s according to a report shared by Mayor Mike Pavey during Tuesday’s meeting of the Rushville City Council.

Rushville itself suffered a loss of 38 percent of its tax funding in 2012.

Reedy Financial performed a 2012 end-of-year projections reports showing that Rush County was the second highest impacted county by the so called circuit breaker.

“[The] circuit breaker dropped our funding by 38 percent,” Mayor Pavey reported to the Rushville City Council at its most recent meeting. “38 percent of your budget we used to have is no longer there.”

How the city and county deal with those revenue shortfalls in the near and long-term remain to be seen.

Mayor Pavey thanked Council president Bob Bridges and members Brian Conner, Craig Smith, Brad Berkemeier and Brian Sheehan, and specifically thanked those who attended the hospital board meeting as discussions continue on how ambulance services will be delivered in the future for city residents. Discussions center on the city’s interest in having the Rushville Fire Department operate a local ambulance service with Rush Memorial Hospital as the supervising hospital. RMH currently operates the ambulance service for the city and acts as its own sponsoring hospital.

Pavey also announced that the system that will allow citizens to view Council meetings online in the near future has been installed. Tests are currently being run before the system goes live.

A link to the stream from the meetings will be available through the city’s website and an announcement will be made when the city begins making those videos of meetings available.

Other items noted by Pavey include John McCane being named the new director of the ECDC, the VFW building being removed by the Rushville Street Department, and continuing to focus on the Comprehensive Plan survey being readied for long-term planning in the city.

Pavey spent several minutes reviewing looming Combined Sewer Overflow mandated improvements the city faces that will total in the millions in costs.

The Utility Board has been meeting with the firms of Crowe & Donahue to discuss the CSO project and has received rate study information.

The Utility Board and the mayor would like to meet with a couple of Board of Works members, two Council members and two Utility Board members to develop a plan as to what we will need to do about the CSO problem.

Pavey said the biggest piece they need to consider is likely that the city has a water rate and a sewer rate. With this CSO project, the city has been informed that there is a water situation, a sewer situation, and a storm water situation. Presently, fees include the storm water with the water and sewer.

The question, according to Pavey, is do we want to go with a water rate, sewer rate and a storm sewer rate?

“It’s probably the most complicated water and sewer issue we’ve had in my lifetime, I would guess,” Pavey said while asking two Council members to serve on the proposed study group.

Fire chief Chuck Jenkins also announced that Chuck Kemker has given his notice of resignation effective March 6.

Kemker has been hired as the new full-time EMA director for the county.

Kemker thanked the city and said that he hoped he was able to make a difference in the lives and safety of the citizens of Rushville while on the fire department.

Interviews are underway to fill the RFD vacancy.

Contact: Melissa Conrad @ 765.932.2222 x107

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