County Auditor Michelle Puckett gave the County Council some “very, very exciting news” Thursday evening, as she called it.

At 4:10 p.m. Thursday, she received an email from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance on the supplemental income distribution for this year.

“So, in total, we’re going to receive a supplemental distribution from our COIT (County Option Income Tax) funds of $601,122. Of that, the portion that belongs to Kosciusko County is going to be $219,669. And since those aren’t COIT dollars, those COIT funds are stored within county general so that will help support our cash balance in our county general fund,” Puckett said.

In the EDIT (Economic Development Income Tax) fund, the total amount of the supplemental distribution is $257,624. The county’s portion of that is $160,208.

Puckett said they are expecting to get the deposit in the next week or so “and we have to have it turned around and distributed to the other (taxing) units before June 1.”

Councilman Jon Garber asked how the supplemental income this year compared to years past.

“This is a little bit lower than previous years, which means their estimates are getting a little bit more refined at the Department of Revenue. And, of course, this is always a guessing game as far as when they collect versus when they distribute and calculating the returns and everything on our income, but it’s always a good thing when we do see a supplemental distribution because it’s way better than when they over distribute and we have to return it,” Puckett said.

She said this was a “happy” thing especially right before budget time.

After the Council meeting, Puckett explained what a supplemental income.

“Each year, we pay our income taxes to the state and then we file our returns. Sometimes you get money back, sometimes you don’t, but the money that they collect for us through our paychecks they hold at the state, they then have a calculation - and it’s based off population and assessed value - to distribute those dollars to the cities and towns,” she said. “A lot of that is done on estimates because once we receive the distribution they’re really still collecting so it’s based off of estimates.”

Puckett said the state typically likes to collect and retain 15% above what the estimate is.

“And then if that bucket that they keep that has that 15% in excess increases, to like 18%, they’ll release the 3%. So that 3% is what we will this week to distribute to the (other taxing) units,” she said.  

In other business, the Council approved:

• For the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office to apply for a COPS Hiring grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for $250,000.  

Chief Deputy Shane Bucher said it’s a federal reimbursement grant and will allow the KCSO to help mitigate the cost of hiring new deputies. The grant, if awarded, will cover up to 75% of the entry-level salary and benefits for each approved position for the three-year period of the funding. The county would have to cover 25%. The maximum amount per officer allowed is $125,000 over the three-year period and then the county would have to cover the full amount for the fourth year for that officer.

Council President Sue Ann Mitchell said currently an entry-level deputy is making $52,853 annually.

The County Commissioners approved the grant application at their meeting Tuesday.

• For the KCSO to apply for a Kosciusko REMC Operation Round-Up grant for $4,986 to purchase two dry suits for the dive team, as requested by Bucher.

• Three additional appropriations for three grants the KCSO was awarded. They include $12,500 for the Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) Comprehensive Hoosier Highway’s Injury Reduction Program (CHHIRP); $16,000 for the Indiana Local Body Camera grant; and $4,900 for the Small, Rural and Tribal (SRT) Body Worn Camera grant.

• A transfer of $41,500 from repairs maintenance to motor vehicles, as requested by Bucher, to offset the costs of KCSO’s new car builds.

“As everybody knows, the price of car builds increased on us since we did our budget last year. Car prices went up. The cars have been purchased. These are for the builds - the lights. We have stop sticks, gun racks, different costs we have incurred so we’re asking for this money to offset that,” Bucher said.

The Council approved the request by a vote of 4-1, with Councilman Mike Long opposed.

• Two salary ordinance amendments for the Kosciusko County Highway Department to increase the hourly pay for a part-time truck driver to $17.44 and for part-time mowers to $15.63, as requested by Kosciusko County Highway Department Superintendent Steve Moriarty.

• An additional appropriation for $150,000 to the Motor Vehicle Highway general and undistributed fund for supplies for the garage for the KCHD. Moriarty said it was needed for supplies and parts because of increased costs due to inflation and the economy.

“We’re running into some hard time,” Moriarty said. “We have enough to get through the summer,” but come fall there will be some concern.

• An additional appropriation of $264,738 to the MVH maintenance and repair fund in the bituminous account, as requested by Moriarty. He said $250,000 of the amount comes from the closure of a railroad crossing so he wants to use that money to put it on the roads. The remaining $14,738 comes from Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) from years past.

• Emergency Management Agency Director Ed Rock’s request to apply for a grant for a maximum amount of $150,000 from the 2022 State Homeland Security Program, which will probably go toward cybersecurity.

• An Indiana Cancer Consortium grant application for $5,000 as requested by County Administrator Marsha McSherry. The County Commissioners approved it Tuesday.

• A salary ordinance amendment for the Veteran Affairs service officer - Darryl McDowell - which will add eight hours a week to his position at $20.08 hourly, as requested by McSherry. She said McDowell is “really getting out there in the community” so it would be more beneficial to the veterans if he had more hours.

Mitchell said she’s hearing a lot of good things about him. McSherry said it was a blessing the county has someone in that position who does what he does to serve the veterans. “He has a passion for it,” McSherry said.

• A salary ordinance for systems administration, as requested by McSherry. The ordinance allows for the hiring of an assistant systems administrator for $66,066 annually if the person hired meets the guidelines for that salary.

• The 2021 encumbered funds that the auditor’s office has processed in the last month totaling $5,384.37, as requested by Puckett.

• The reappointment of Jennifer Hicks to the Warsaw Community Public Library Board of Trustees to another four-year term, which will expire June 30, 2026.