Lebanon Reporter

Local News

March 14, 2014

Assessor lectures council on contract oversight

County Assessor Lisa Garoffolo had a message for the Boone County Council Tuesday, when she asked them to replace $346,500 for a contract that the council had eliminated from her 2014 budget.“If you ever do anything like that again, call me,” Garoffolo said. “We could have avoided something like this.”The money is needed to pay Government Utilities Technology Service, a Thorntown-based firm that helps maintain the county’s geographic information system.“You assumed the contract was up in April 2014,” Garoffolo said. “You were wrong.”She asked the council to transfer the money from its rainy day fund.

There was no other option, Councilwoman Marcia Wilhoite said. A balance sheet the council received just that morning showed an operating balance of $458,000 in the county’s general fund, leaving only the rainy day fund as an option. Another restriction was that a legal advertisement requesting the transfer specified the rainy day fund as the source of the money.“I would rather not take it out of rainy day,” Councilwoman Debby Shubert said, although, “we have to.”Council President Steve Jacob suggested approving enough to cover the contract for three months, so another funding source could be used; he suggested the county option income tax fund.“We had said last fall we were going to do an additional (appropriation) for it at the beginning of the year,” Councilman David Rodgers said. “We might as well take it out and get it over with, as we had originally planned to,” he said.“I’m inclined right now to just fund three months,” Wilhoite said, because of upcoming spending plans, including the county’s annual summer road program.

The council voted 7-0 to accept Wilhoite’s motion to use $115,500 from the rainy day fund; Garoffolo will ask for the rest of the money in May.“What I hate is, it looks like I didn’t do my job, having to come back,” Garoffolo said.

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