Terry Rodino and Mike Yoder,
Elkhart County Commissioners,
Discuss Issues Concerning Elkhart County
President Grodnik opened the meeting. He noted his term ends at the end of the month. Sherm Hansen was Sergeant.
Two of the three Elkhart County Commissioners: Terry Rodino & Mike Yoder were the co-speakers discussing anything for Rotarians on the state of the county. The key comments included:
Circuit Breakers have accounted for over $40 million in government operational losses countywide in 2014. Elkhart County Government alone lost over $5 million last year. We cannot keep up with total needs of the county, but we will continue to try. Some future scenarios include local tax increases.
There will be no further roads built, including CR 17, because the county cannot keep up with existing road and bridge repair. We even budgeted $4 million just to fix potholes in 2015. This would cover just winter damage, not proper road upkeep. Some counties have begun regressing back to cheaper gravel roads, but our roads are in better shape than most.
From other budget cuts, we must increase starting county sheriff salaries just to keep new recruits. For example, the City of Mishawaka pays its starting hires $10,000 more than we can currently offer.
Interest income used to provide some operational dollars—not anymore. While the county received $24-28 million in the Toll Road ‘buyout,’ that money will not be used in annual operations, but for emergency projects to be restored in the future. The county could not have simultaneously built two major bridges without those funds.
For more information, visit http://www.elkhartcountyindiana.com/