Delaware County

Money ~ It doesn’t grow on trees, or does it?

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Money – It doesn’t grow on trees.

As a teenager, my Mother would often say “Money.  It doesn’t grow on trees.”  I would roll my eyes and let her know in no uncertain terms that I knew money didn’t grow on trees.  I didn’t sleep through Biology, ya know.  At least not every class…

I would marvel at her refusal to get me the new Stingray bike with the banana seat.  “You have a perfectly good bike and money doesn’t grow on trees.”    There she goes again.  It was a great bike at 10, but now I’m 13 and EVERYBODY has a Stingray bike with a banana seat.  Their parents didn’t say “money doesn’t grow on trees.”  Of course, not everyone had a Stingray and I’m sure my Mom and Dad knew it.  So, I did what any thinking teenager would do, I got a job.  First it was babysitting, then on to the doughnut shop and then pay-dirt!  I got a job as a cashier/stocker at the local dime store.  No, I never bought the Stingray, though.  It was to expensive.

Money.  It doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Read the rest of this entry »

Somewhere over the rainbow…

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Coming up Wednesday May 30, 2012, there will be a special meeting of Delaware County Council.  Some of the topics and decisions to be had will be, returning the pay and hours back for the county workers,  bond issues and amending the salary ordinance.

Some of you may remember last fall when Delaware County  voted to close the County Building on Friday and decrease the pay by three hours as a cost saving measure.  I haven’t heard the savings and one wonders if the county has suddenly found itself solvent since last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Muncie Indiana – What’s happening in our city?

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O.K. I’ll make this brief. Just how much has the spending or wish list amounted to so far?

April the estimated spending (based upon newspaper articles) according to the figures was $1,490,450.00. Included in that figure was the cost of Mock Station, Downtown Development, Community organizations, Roberts Hotel, etc. Well, I was off a few bucks.

Mayor Dennis Tyler released his EDIT spending and the figure came in at $1,536,507.00 a difference of $46,057. 00. The spending plan differed slightly from the earlier newspaper articles, but really, who cares?

Next on the agenda is the purchase of a fire truck at $879,647 pending approval of City Council. We purchased new trucks less than three years ago and acquired Center Township’s well-oiled and maintained fleet.

Read the rest of this entry »

MSD Storm Water and Sewage Rate Hikes or “Just give up one McDonald’s meal a week”

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A Public Hearing on the $168 million dollar MSD project was held March 6th at 5:00 PM Muncie City Hall auditorium.

Monthly sewer bills are expected to increase 29%  –  $24.45 to $31.53.  Stormwater from .95 cents per month to $6.00 per month.  The storm water can be found on your tax bill.

Quite honestly I’m sure something will need to be done.  The  Stormwater increase is substantial.  Raising the rates from .95 per month to $6.00 per month will generate:

Operation & Maintenance $233,000/yr
Outstanding Debt (2007) $450,000/year
Capital improvements $1 million/year
Long Term projects $2.3 million/year

Some other things to consider, and this was brought up at the hearing.  Spending.  Will the money collected go entirely to the Storm Water project or will is be used in other areas?    The Federal mandate for separating storm water from sewers originated from the Clean Water Act of 1972.  The Muncie Sanitary Department knew this projet was in the works,  knew for years, possibly even decades.

Yet,  stormwater tax revenue was spent on Canan Commons and the Delaware County Plaza.  We are talking $248,000.00 or one full year of Operation and Maintenance cost.

But then the city sanitary district earmarked $140,000 in storm water revenue funds to cover the cost of the park’s rain gardens, native plantings and porous pavement Star Press 5-15-11

The Delaware County Stormwater Management board voted to earmark $128,000 in stormwater funds for the plaza rebuilding, which is being overseen by the county commissioners. Star Press 7-18-11

The Delaware County Plaza purchased a bench for $12,000.00 from the Stormwater funds it received.    Another way to look at it, based on the old rate, would be  to consider 1,000 property owners purchased the bench.   Under the guise of protecting our sewers, and believing the money was spent wisely for just these two projects, we are now faced with the “bill coming due”.   In fact, it appeared on our tax bills the very next month.  Unfortunately, the MSD has been actively spending money from its conception.  One only needs to read the State Board of Account to find how our money has been spent. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s only money…Delaware County, Indiana

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For those of us which have been following Delaware County finances and government for the past few years,  it has been one financial disaster after another.

At the end of 2009,  Delaware County Treasurer, John Dorer, stood before County Council unable to borrow $10.5 million dollars to stay out of the red.  Eventually, the county found three separate institutions to loan us the money.  This  same year Delaware County  received a windfall of $8 million dollars from the Welfare levy.    The bond rating for our county dropped resulting in a higher interest rate on borrowing.

In 2009, Larry Bledsoe , County Commissioner, contacted Jake Dunnuck, Drainage Board attorney, requesting Dunnuck obtain a ruling from the State of Indiana on then current surveyor’s practice of awarding contracts without bids, formal quotes or plans. Contracts were awarded to the surveyor’s stepson who was the deputy chief in the surveyor’s office.

No response from Jake Dunnuck.

Bledsoe brought to the attention of commissioner Todd Donati the county watershed funds were depleted and running in the red.  Bledsoe wanted a resolution and said he would not sign off on any future spending.  Commissioner Todd Donati turning his back on Bledsoe  promised he would sign off if Bledsoe didn’t.    A complaint was filed with the Attorney General by  Bledsoe.  Greg Zoeller responded the matter needed to go before the county attorney, Mike Quirk.  Read the rest of this entry »

Delaware County: A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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As a child we were entertained with reading fairy tales by the Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Anderson and a wide variety of fantastic authors.   Fairy Tales held some high moral ground like integrity, honesty, compassion and character which was a reoccurring theme and easily defined.   Of course, we are now adults, and for the most part, know we can’t ride a magic carpet or sleep for 100 years…still we can take the lessons taught and apply it today.

One of my favorite tales was about an Emperor who loved to style.  Hans Christian Anderson wove an intricate tale of a man who loved his clothes.    One day two rogue designers came to the city, selling their ability to weave magnificent garments with the most unbelievable colors.  Of course, the Emperor was intrigued and imagined himself arrayed in splendor. This was a “must” buy and commissioning of the suit began.   He sent an officer of the court to examine the progress of his robes but, the looms were empty. Read the rest of this entry »