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Crawfordsville Wraps Up 2018 Budget Workshops
J. Stephen Conn

The city of Crawfordsville completed its final budget workshop Monday night, and despite a 10-percent health insurance premium increase, the mayor says it could have been much worse.

During the meeting, Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton said at the county level, premiums are going up 20-percent. The city’s employees are also receiving a two-percent salary increase.

The majority of the city’s departments have little to no significant change in their budget for next year, which Barton says is due to planning.

“We know, pretty well, what we’re going to be doing based on past experience and we don’t just deal with arbitrary numbers that way,” Barton says. “And if we have something coming up next year, we are planning for it this year. We’ll build that in and we’ll explain that, so we know what we’re dealing with.”

The Street Department proposed a big change that involves looking to capitalize on state-granted money as part of an effort to pave a million dollars’ worth of road next year.

Street Commissioner Scott Hesler said he moved money around within his department to create a $235,000 paving fund. That’s up more than $100,000 from last year.

Barton says it’s a smart move, given that the department of transportation will match it as part of the city’s Community Crossings Grant.

“If somebody’s going to offer you dollar-for-dollar, you need to capitalize on that and while we know it’s supposedly there for a while, we don’t want to take that chance,” he says. “We want to get as much done as we can while it’s funded and while it’s there – it just makes good sense to leverage what we’re spending here locally.”

But, Barton says the same strategy won’t work on something like the Stellar Communities grants, which come with a more extensive set of rules.

City Clerk-Treasurer Terri Gadd said she expects to have revenue reports ready within the next two weeks for comparison to the 2018 budget.