Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

September 3, 2013

City budget may fund three open positions

(Continued)

Michele Balser, who has been deputy clerk-treasurer, building commissioner’s secretary and performed IT work, will be brought into Weigel’s office full time next year plus keep some tech duties for a $37,000 salary. The clerk-treasurer explained, “I need her concentrating more on payroll benefits ... There may be some additional duties and responsibilities.”

Member Kevin Chaffee asked the most questions about salaries and benefits, working a calculator to announce percent increases. Referring to the mayor adding economic development and utilities tasks and pay over the years and now Macyauski overseeing two areas with the prospect of hiring more persons to support them, Chaffee said, “We really haven’t saved any money by combining jobs.” Fledderman stressed, “We have saved money and we’re operating more efficiently,” then admitted, “Overall, it’s pretty much of a wash.”

The long-talked-about city engineer position is dead. “We’re not moving forward with that,” Fledderman announced.

Not a lot of dollars are budgeted for equipment or facilities improvements. In the 2013 budget, $75,000 was earmarked for an EMS ambulance to replace an old one, but it was never purchased, so the same amount appears in next year’s plan. Fire Chief Todd Schutte said that would not cover the entire needed $130,000 amount, which would pay for a new vehicle and labor to move rescue accessories from the existing one. The money would come out of the Emergency Medical Services Fund. Of its $466,700 total, salaries account for $220,000, almost half.

The Fire and Rescue Department Fund rose 32 percent to $378,650, up $92,600. Improvements are estimated at $75,000. In June Schutte told the council water streams into the fire station’s sleeping area and radio room when it rains and black mold has developed. He said Aug. 28 engineers are still studying the problem.

Chaffee questioned the $15,000 allotted for phones. According to Weigel, that annual amount pays for all city lines, not including the park and pool. Fledderman said, “Our phone system is extremely outdated, 20 years old. We’re in desperate need of a new phone system .... It’s not cheap.” The clerk-treasurer estimated it would cost at least $30,000. The mayor said that expense could come out of the $1.56 million EDIT fund, $587,000 Rainy Day Fund or $170,000 Cumulative Capital Development Fund.

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