The budget is also reflecting what the council says is a good financial climate. "The county's economy, overall, has been better than the state," said Myers. "That's been reflected in incomes and tax revenues that have grown. That keeps the county budget healthy."
The growth does have a double edge. "We had grown to the point where the state said our population required the addition of a Weights and Measures Office," said Myers. "That is just part of growth, but we'd rather deal with those types of problems, than seeing our economy shrink and businesses leaving."
The county's finances also appear to be pretty good looking forward. "Hopefully, with I-69 completed and the development out there we'll continue to grow," said Myers.
Even though the council has signed off on the spending plan the budget is not done yet. The Auditor's office will now submit it to the state Department of Local Government and Finance. That office will review it, compare it to the assessed valuation, and set the tax rates. "We don't usually have any problems with the state," said Doades. "We just have to pay close attention to the details, dot our I's and cross our T's. The final budget should be back by February."
Besides approving the overall county budget, the council by law has to review the budgets of schools, townships, cities and towns. "I think that since we started doing this those budgets have started coming in within the state recomendations," said Councilman Kenneth Solliday.
One of the township budgets with a welcome change was Washington Township. It included an $11,000 line item for library services. "We worked very hard to get the library back into our budget," said Trustee Michelle Guy. "We now have a signed contract."
That contract will allow Washington Township residents free access to the Washington Public Library. "I think that's great," said Councilman Jo Arthur. "That is a great service that needed to be restored."