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FULTON COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING

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FULTON COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING Powered By Docstoc
					                      FULTON COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING

August 21, 2007, 6:30 P.M., E.D.T., in the Assembly Room of the Fulton County Office
Building.

Meeting Called To Order:
Council Members present at this meeting were Earl Gaerte, Judy DeVries, James
Widman, Gary Sriver, Mike Gearhart, Dave Helt, Christopher Sailors and Auditor Denise
J. Chandler.

Council Minutes:
Council President James Widman referenced the minutes of the Council meeting on July
17, 2007, for additions or corrections. Judy DeVries moved to approve the minutes as
corrected. Earl Gaerte seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.

Innkeepers Tax:
Shirley Willard reported that the Tourism Committee is creating a Visitors Guide. It is
being done in-house to save expenses. She asked that the Council increase the
Innkeepers Tax to 5% from 3%. Ernie Hiatt with the Fulton County Parks & Recreation
Board asked that it be changed from an Innkeepers Tax to a Hotel/Motel Tax, which can
be up to 6%. The Council previously approved it, but the State denied the increase. He
hopes that the Legislature will be more favorable the next time it is proposed. He noted
that with this new proposed law, the County would have repercussions for those
innkeepers who are not collecting the tax as they are supposed to. Under the Hotel/Motel
Tax, it would be a Class D felony to not collect the tax. The Council also discussed
tracking the advertising dollar to determine the good it may or may not be doing. The
Council discussed the pros and cons of the Innkeepers versus the Hotel/Motel taxes.
Shirley and Dave recommended passing the increase because it is not known if and when
the Hotel/Motel Tax will pass. Chris Sailors moved to table the topic for now, form a
committee to review it in depth and bring a recommendation to the Council. Gary Sriver
seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.

Line of Credit:
Denise recalled sending proposal requests for borrowing for the County. Two replies
were received: Lake City Bank with a rate of 4.7196 and First Financial with a rate of
3.896. Denise spoke with Mike Terrone of First Financial, who indicated that his
superiors have decided that it would be considered tax anticipation warrants instead of a
line of credit, which is far more expensive. Denise believes that the County may need to
borrow money in October. She thinks that if First Financial needs to go with the tax
anticipation warrants, the County should go with Lake City Bank because there would be
less expense. Gary Sriver moved that if the Auditor has not heard from First Financial by
the end of the week, that the County pursues the Line of Credit with Lake City Bank.
Earl Gaerte seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.

2007 Budget Ordinance Amendment:
Denise presented Ordinance #082107 to Amend Ordinance #090806-B, which was the
2007 salary and budget ordinance, and Ordinance #082107-A to Amend Ordinance
#090806-A, which is the salary ordinance. The difference from the original ordinance is
$750,000 out of the health insurance and $51,254 from the EMS original appropriations.
The submitted 2007 budget was cut by the State by roughly $800,000, so the Council
took it from the health insurance and the EMS. Dave Helt moved to approve Ordinance
#082107. Judy DeVries seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0. Gary Sriver moved to
approve Ordinance #082107-A. Earl Gaerte seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.

Old Business:
Denise noted a letter from the Northern Indiana Community Foundation reporting the
growth and funds granted in the twelve months ending June 30, 2007.

She also noted an article regarding the Local Option Income Tax submitted by Tom
LaFollette of the Advisory Plan Commission.

She also provided a supplemental report of counties that will not be subject to
reassessment and five that may need reassessment.

Denise then presented a letter from the DLGF that Susan Carr had reported at the
previous Commissioner meeting that she is in compliance now, and nothing needs to be
done in response to the letter. The Auditor disagrees.

A letter was also received from Robert Minarik, who threatens to sue Denise and Greg
Heller. Denise also provided a W-9 showing exactly what she, due to IRS regulations,
expected Mr. Minarik to complete.

Jim Widman reported that the County will need to cut a check in the amount of
$31,610.87 to the IRS following the audit for taxable fringe benefits for which the
County was not in compliance. Widman feels the employees should be required to
provide verification that they have filed amended tax returns, so that the County can be
refunded for the prepayment paid to the IRS. Widman suggested providing with the W-
2C that is provided to the affected employees a notice that they provide the County proof
that an amended tax return has been filed. He said that, if the employee doesn’t file an
amended return, the County can’t get a refund of that prepaid tax. He suggested a payroll
deduction or a billing if verification of the filing of the amended return.

New Business:
The Council decided to make the September Council meeting at 6 p.m. instead of 6:30
p.m. due to the anticipated longer agenda.

Denise pointed out a notice about a workshop on how to implement House Bill 1478.
Umbaugh is going to make a presentation on this subject in the near future. The 2008
budget adoption meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 7, 2007. Todd Umbaugh
will be asked to attend that meeting to explain the Local Option Income Tax. Widman
said the levy reduction would be based upon the levy increase of a Local Option Income
Tax. This includes all entities that have levies except schools and welfare. As
understood at this point, the only gain might be is the possibility of funding the EMS
outside of County General.

This concluded the business transacted. Judy DeVries moved to adjourn at 7:50 p.m.
Gary Sriver seconded this motion. Motion carried 7-0.

                                 FULTON COUNTY COUNCIL

                                    ______________________________
                                    James Widman, President

                                    _____________________________
                                    Gary Sriver, Member

                                    _____________________________
                                    Dave Helt, Member

                                    _____________________________
                                    Christopher Sailors, Member

                                    _____________________________
                                    Judy DeVries, Member

                                    _____________________________
                                    Earl Gaerte, Member

                                    _____________________________
                                    Mike Gearhart, Member


Attest: ___________________________________
        Denise J. Chandler, Fulton County Auditor

				
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