Highway Department Budget Sees Slight Increase From 2013 Figures
Several advertised increases in the Owen County Highway Department budget for Fiscal Year 2014 were reduced to much lower figures after superintendent Joe Pettijohn and the county’s three commissioners came before the Owen County Council during annual budget hearings conducted late last week.
The council eventually reduced the total advertised Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) budget from the $2,500,519 advertised to reflect a $60,000 increase of $1,769,240 for 2014.
With increases to personal services from a cost of living increase of 1.5 percent for all county employees, the appointed pay increased to $46,825, regular wages to $760,756, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax to $61,780, Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF) to $80,759, while overtime was reduced from an advertised amount of $25,000 to $15,000.
In supplies, the council reduced a radio line item from the $1,000 advertised to $0 and allowed just a $10,000 increase in gas, oil and lube from 2013 for a total of $190,000, as opposed to the $225,000 advertised.
Repair of equipment was increased from $89,000 in 2013 to $100,000, but reduced from the advertised amount of $125,000. Stone, gravel and other aggregate will remain the same at $90,000. De-icer salt was increased from the current year’s budgeted amount of $20,000 to $30,000, but reduced from $40,000 advertised. Other services and charges was also reduced back to the 2013 amount of $16,000 from the advertised amount of $32,000.
The council opted to remove $100,000 advertised for the purchase of a new tandem axle truck with a snow plow attachment, as well as $240,000 advertised for the purchase of new equipment, saying Pettijohn and the commissioners could approach the board for a onetime appropriation.
The council agreed a one-time money purchase would be grant- ed for a new paver at a cost of $150,000 and a loader at $90,000, with Pettijohn noting he has priced used models for those amounts.
The Highway Cumulative Bridge fund will remain the same at $600,000 for 2014, while the Local Road & Street fund will also remain the same at $641,956, with $320,978 for stone, gravel and other aggregate and $320,978 for bituminous and hot mix. The council noted an additional $485,000 in funds for those expenses from the State of Indiana would be placed in a separate account to ensure accountability for its expenditure.
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