By Lacey Watt
VERNON TOWNSHIP — Budgets for both Fortville and McCordsville have been announced over the past few weeks, both with adjustments due to the growth of the towns.
Tim Gropp, town manager of McCordsville, gave a presentation for their proposed 2024 budget at their last town council meeting and public hearing on Sept. 13.
While Gropp said they would not go line by line through the budget, they did highlight and give an overview of where they are spending their money.
For the proposed 2024 budget, the general fund is budgeted at $4,104,368 and the Motor Vehicle and Highway (MVH) fund is at $3,578,050. At the meeting Gropp said that those two funds were budgeted about 50/50.
Gropp said that the number in the MVH fund is partly because of the project at Broadway Street and Mt. Comfort Road and that the amount is displayed for next year but will technically be used over the next few years.
Estimated total levy increase that was granted was $286,544. Gropp said that the amount is because of the state legislature passing a law to cap the growth at 4%.
“That does not reflect the growth of this community and that state law significantly affected communities like us,” said Gropp at the meeting.
Gropp said that last year they completed an excess levy growth appeal and plan to do so again this year. The estimated appeal this year is about $306,000.
Specific line items of increase include utilities by adding water features, parks, different electric uses and more. Other line items that increase as the town grows are cleaning, salaries and benefits and landscaping.
Gropp said that for this year instead of a straight across the board increase for salaries, they categorize the different kinds of jobs and plan to help the lower end get a better market rate level. They did also include a cost adjustment for inflation for everyone. More details will be determined after it goes through the finance committee.
Overall, the estimated proposed 2024 budget is $9,735,693.
Gropp also said that they do have money in their reserve that they can put toward future costs and have no concerns for their budget for 2024.
Fortville Town Council was introduced to the estimated budget for 2024 at its last meeting on Sept. 18. Beth Marsh from Bookkeeping Plus presented the budget to the council, and the overall requested budget for 2024 was $5,096,317.
Changes to salaries across the board were at 3% and Marsh said that there would be an increase in the clerk-treasurer salary at approximately $45,000, which she said is still considered fairly low compared to other clerk treasurers.
They also added a part-time person for the planning department and two full-time officers for the police department, but one position will not start until July. Specialty pay for the police department has also increased from $100 to $250.
The general fund will have a request of $3,362,174, with $15,000 toward a new Fortville sign, $20,000 for furnishing of the building, two new police vehicles and a police computer server.
Fortville’s park fund would have $25,000 toward trails, $75,000 toward playground equipment and $80,000 for additional equipment.
Marsh said at the meeting that the levy increased to $1,627,553. They also plan to go for an excess levy appeal of $200,000 but expected to receive about $160,000.
Fortville will hold its public hearing for the budget at its next meeting, Oct. 2 at Fortville Town Hall.
Adoption for the McCordsville budget is scheduled for Oct. 10. while adoption of the Fortville budget is scheduled for Oct. 16.