|Wed, Sep 17, 2014 01:36 PM
|Issue of September 10, 2014
November 20, 2013 | 08:59 AM
The Indiana Dept. of Local Government Finance will have a public hearing tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 a.m. in the Commissioner/Council Room at the Harrison County Government Center in south Corydon.
According to Jenny Banks, director of communications for the DLGF, the hearing was set at the request of a Spencer Township resident.
"Up until this year, the Dept. of Local Government Finance held a public hearing in each county," Banks said. "These hearings covered all units within a county, including townships."
Changes were implemented after Gov. Mike Pence, on May 9, signed into law House Enrolled Act 1116-2013.
Section 2 of HEA 1116 says that "the (DLGF) is not required to hold a public hearing before it reviews, revises, reduces, or increases a political subdivision's budget by fund, tax rate, or tax levy." However, it does require a public hearing on a taxing entity's budget, tax rate of tax levy if requested by a taxpayer.
Banks said the hearing will be an opportunity for any Spencer Township taxpayer to offer testimony about the proposed 2014 budget, rates and levies.
Spencer Township Trustee Donald Satterfield and his advisory board, Ed Sieg and Bob Smith, came under scrutiny in late September after Satterfield, who has been the trustee for 39 years, sent LifeSpan Resources a letter terminating a contract between the two that allowed LifeSpan to serve hot meals to senior citizens Monday through Friday at the Frenchtown Community Center.
In his letter, Satterfield said the township could "no longer continue to provide utilities including gas, electricity, water and telephone at no cost to LifeSpan as these expenses far exceed the donation of $100 per month paid by LifeSpan."
LifeSpan, a nonprofit organization, had been using the Frenchtown facility, which Satterfield was instrumental in having built in 2005, as a meal site for a number of years. The Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. uses the other half of the building as a fire station.
At a township board meeting, when the 2014 budget was approved, the men said they didn't want to end the agreement between LifeSpan and the township. However, no other agreement has been reached.
A third advisory board position remains vacant following the death of Kenneth Flock last December. After Flock's children declined an invitation to fulfill Flock's term, James Goldman was asked to fill the vacancy. It was later determined that proper requirements had not been followed to fill Flock's position.
Banks said the DLGF will not take any action at tomorrow's hearing.
"Any testimony provided will be reviewed and considered by the Department during the budget review process," she said.