By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
Floyd County officials continue to wrestle with how to fund David Camm’s third murder trial, but a partial solution was hashed out Tuesday.
The Floyd County Council officially approved a $475,000 “inter-fund” loan to be placed in the Economic Development Income Tax fund from the county’s cumulative bridge fund for “additional expenses,” according to the ordinance.
The Floyd County Commissioners control the bridge fund and approved the transfer last month. The money will help make up the budget deficit caused by the ongoing third murder trial of David Camm.
See related story: "Costly DNA expert testifies in Camm case."
“We didn’t have any choice,” said Council Vice president Dana Fendley at Tuesday’s meeting. “This way we don’t have to pay interest on a loan [from a bank].”
Under terms of the ordinance, the council has until June 30, 2014, to repay the loan. Council President John Schellenberger said the reimbursement funds from the state for the murder trials of Camm and William Clyde Gibson will go toward the repayment of the loan.
The measure passed 5-1 with Democrat Brad Striegel voting against. Striegel asked Auditor Scott Clark if he had checked into the possibility of the county borrowing up to 10 percent of what is available in all taxing funds including the general fund, local road and street and cumulative bridge. That money would not have to be paid back, he said, and it would just be transferred into the rainy day fund.
Clark said some discussion had taken place on that idea, but the council decided to go forward with the inter-fund loan.
“I have some concerns that the loan has to be paid back in nine months,” Striegel said.
After the $475,000 is taken out, there will still be $1.5 million in the cumulative bridge fund.
The council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, to discuss the 2014 budget.
ANIMAL SHELTER FUNDING
The council approved by a 5-1 vote to approve $110,391 to be placed in the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter budget for 2013. The money was part of the budget approved by the council last year that had not yet been paid to the shelter. It will be taken out of the riverboat fund.
Councilman Steve Burks voted against the measure.
The council unanimously approved an ordinance which will allow council meetings to be video and audio recorded and placed on the county website. Striegel introduced the ordinance. The new software will also record the minutes.
“The citizens should be aware of what goes on in council meetings,” he said.
The cost of the equipment and software for the meeting room at the Pine View Government Center is $17,000 which will come out of the auditor’s illegal homestead settlement fund. There will also be an annual $4,000 maintenance fee.
Clark said the county will still be saving money since his office has gone from 10 to nine employees and he has no plans to fill the vacancy.
“I used to have a person in our office take two or three days to do the minutes. This will allow me to do the functions and do it better and allow the county to save money,” Clark said.
Striegel said all boards which use the meeting room, like the Floyd County Parks Department, will also have the opportunity to record meetings for their websites.
“Now people will be able to access these meetings from their homes via the Internet,” he said.