County Council approves funds for EMS and library | News

Cass County Council has ensured the county is in good financial health by adjusting the health care budget, approving funding for the county’s new ambulance, funding the Walton and Tipton Township Public Library, and approving an easement Friday morning.

Council’s first action was to approve the addition of $351,393 to the county’s health budget. Tracy Williamson, vice president of the board, said the state had “significantly cut” the budget, so the money was transferred from the non-reversible capital budget.

The council then appropriated the extra money from the health budget to make it available. This money will be used for Cass County’s new EMS program.

During the health budget review, the council also voted to approve approximately $140,000 for the purchase of an ambulance. Cass County commissioners voted Tuesday to purchase the 2019 ambulance from Global Emergency Vehicles to supplement the county’s EMS fleet.

Another $5,000 was allocated to the Planning Department to pay a part-time employee, and $383 was allocated to pay Social Security.

Council was then asked to allocate funds to the Walton and Tipton Township Public Library. Karen Troutman, director of the Walton and Tipton Township Public Library, said the library’s budget was cut unexpectedly by the Indiana local government Department of Finance.

She asked for additional funds to fund “basic library programs” like assistant salaries, benefits, office supplies, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, books and e-books.

Troutman said the library is very active and offers programs such as exercise groups, book clubs and coffee groups. The board approved the assignment to the library.

The board also approved the transfer of a small amount of money from an inactive account to the general fund. The account became useless after the state changed procedures and it was reported as an error in the annual financial report. The board voted to move the money and close the account so the financial report would be accepted by the state.

A motion to make changes to the 2022 EMS salary was also approved. The changes were necessary because salaries were originally approved before the EMS program was operational. Now that the service is operational, the new salaries must be added to the budget.

The council’s latest business was to create a temporary easement at 3rd St. and 17 High St. The sidewalk in this area does not meet the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and construction of a small section of the sidewalk will necessary to solve the problem. The construction should not disrupt traffic.

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