Once Thought Solved, Franklin Co. Gov’t Facing $1.5M Shortfall Again

Posted On March 03, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

(Franklin County, Ind.) – Franklin County government must take on a major budget crunch that officials had hoped was behind them.

Franklin County Council president Jeff Koch informed fellow council members on Tuesday, February 25 that the county will have to make up for a $1.5 million gap in the county’s 2014 budget, The Franklin County Observer reports.

This news comes after the county’s fiscal body thought it had found a way to close the deficit. In January, the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance informed the council that it could use $1.5 million in the county’s investment fund to meet the budget. More recently, the DLGF retracted that device and determined the county cannot use the investment dollars, according to The Observer.

With the real possibility that the county will run out of money before the fiscal year ends, Franklin County has two options to balance its budget. First, council could order $1.5 million in cuts or vote to raise taxes.

Among the possible cuts being discussed are rescinding a 50-cent per hour raise already given to county employees this year, reducing employees or cutting some employees from full-time to part-time, or cutting every county department’s budget by 19 percent, across the board.

Council has requested department heads to submit their cost-savings plans to the Franklin County Auditor’s office by Monday, March 3. Council will review those suggestions, then could vote on cuts at a special budget reduction meeting on Tuesday, March 11 in Brookville.