Tippecanoe County Council

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The Tippecanoe County Council will consider adding positions to the Public Defender’s office to counter rising costs in the county’s juvenile court.

To deal with an influx of cases over the past few years, the juvenile court has hired local lawyers to represent clients. When all local attorneys had been tapped, Judge Faith Graham says the court went to surrounding counties.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Property owners will have an opportunity next month to comment on the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners' plan to create a new property tax to fund major bridge projects.

Board President Dave Byers says county leaders will likely set a maximum tax rate at about 1 cent per $100 assessed valuation.

County Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase would trigger state-mandated tax caps, which would in turn, reduce Lafayette’s tax revenue by about $54,000 a year and West Lafayette’s by about $34,000 annually.

Tippecanoe County Courthouse Dome In Need Of Repair

Jun 9, 2015
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Tippecanoe County could have a fairly sizable unexpected expense in its 2016 budget.

Commissioner Dave Byers told the county council Tuesday the courthouse dome is in need of repair.

He says the maintenance director alerted him to pieces of metal falling off the outside of the dome onto the roof of the courthouse.

Tippecanoe County Commissioners Debate 2016 Pay Raises

May 4, 2015
Tippecanoe County website / http://www.tippecanoe.in.gov/

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners are recommending a two-percent raise for county employees in 2016.

The pay hike will cost the county roughly $350,000.

Commissioner Dave Byers voted against the two-percent increase, because he believes county employees deserve more.

Pablo Malavenda

The head of Tippecanoe Court Services says progress is being made toward erasing a $100,000 deficit.

Cindy Houseman says March revenue for the agency is nearly $18,000 more than the previous month.

She expects revenue to rise even more, as the county’s three new judges elected in November refer more clients to Court Services than their predecessors did.

Houseman says Court Services is also hoping to settle more past-due accounts by using a new credit collections agency.

Pablo Malavenda

A Tippecanoe County agency that has been in the black for decades is suddenly more than 100-thousand dollars in the hole.

Tippecanoe Court Services is a drug and alcohol program that evaluates clients referred by the courts, determines the best plan of action, and monitors that plan to make sure the client is compliant with the court and is staying sober.

The agency was self-sustaining until this year, and is now a little more than 100-thousand dollars in the red.

2015 Budget For Tippecanoe County Slightly Higher Than 2014

Oct 14, 2014
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The 2015 budget for Tippecanoe County is roughly four-percent higher than in 2014.

The $41.3-million spending plan was unanimously approved by Council members this morning.

Auditor Jennifer Weston says a three-percent raise for county employees accounts for much of the increase.

She notes there is a gap of a little more than $800-thousand between anticipated revenue and estimated expenses.

But Weston says in the past several years the county has not spent all of the budgeted dollars.

Hearings Underway For The 2015 Tippecanoe County Budget

Sep 9, 2014
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Tippecanoe County officials have begun the process of finalizing the 2015 spending plan.

Budget hearings began this morning, with a roughly $1.5-million shortfall between anticipated revenue and expenses for next year.

Auditor Jennifer Weston says a big reason for the gap is a proposed pay hike for county employees.

"Revenue is not increasing at all," says Weston. "But we did budget a 3% increase for salaries for next year, and so that was about $1-million of it."

She says the three-percent raise is not set in stone yet.

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The Tippecanoe County Council has appropriated an additional $80,000 for the Coroner’s Office.

Coroner Donna Avolt says they have already spent more than $78,000 on autopsies this year, compared to roughly $64,000 for all of last year.

She says she doesn’t expect the caseload to ease up at all.

Avolt says this has been a rough year, with numerous drug-related deaths, fatal fires, and a homicide.

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A three-percent raise is possible for Tippecanoe County employees next year.

That’s the recommendation of Commissioners.

Council members will have the final say at budget hearings later this summer.

A three-percent across-the-board raise will cost the county roughly $975,000.

In 2014, most employees received a one-time bonus of $1,000, but no flat percentage raise.