News and Tribune

September 10, 2013

Floyd County Council tables money transfer vote

Funds would help pay Camm trial costs


NEW ALBANY — The Floyd County Council tabled a vote Tuesday that would have transferred $475,000 from the cumulative bridge fund to help pay for David Camm’s third murder trial.

Council President John Schellenberger said the council “is looking at all options” before making a decision on whether to accept the interlocal loan or use another method to make up the financial shortfall. The commissioners voted 2-1 last week to transfer the funds to the council. The money would be combined with two road reimbursement checks totaling $148,000, a $100,000 loan from the Floyd County Recorder’s perpetuation fund, and $100,000 from the auditor’s illegal settlement fund.

The $823,000 would be added to the $152,000 the county will receive next month from the state for its share in funding murder trials.

Councilman Brad Striegel asked Council Attorney Chris Lane to look into a state statute that would allow the county to borrow 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; it would just be transferred into the rainy day fund, according to Striegel. He said that would be one advantage if the council is allowed to go that route.

“That way we wouldn’t have to take funds out of cumulative bridge,” Striegel said.

The council will likely have to make a decision at the latest at next month’s meeting.

Budget hearings were held all day Tuesday and will wind up today with all county officeholders. The council has to submit its final budget to the state by the end of the month. Schellenberger said the council may hold a special meeting Sept. 24 to make adjustments to the final budget.

Commissioner Chuck Freiberger said last week he was against loaning the money to the council out of the bridge. He said it would hamper scheduled infrastructure projects.

“It is robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Freiberger said. “We could also suffer an emergency in that nine-month period which would cause even more severe problems financially. Infrastructure is very important and once you get behind you can’t get caught up.”

Commissioners Steve Bush and Mark Seabrook voted in favor of the interlocal loan.