When you make a mistake, the right thing to do is own up to it and fix it.

That’s what County Auditor Michelle Puckett did Tuesday morning at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting regarding the 2022 nonprofit budget requests.

“So, we need to go back in time about two, three times – July. I presented to you the nonprofits to review so you could give a recommendation to the County Council at budget time,” Puckett said.

That recommendation was made to the Council at their Sept. 9 meeting, but Councilwoman Joni Truex questioned the figures presented, saying they were not right. The Council tabled the matter until its next meeting so the budgets could be reviewed.

Tuesday morning, Puckett said, “So the information that I provided to you in July was incorrect. My spreadsheet had incorrect figures on it. So when you gave me the motion on incorrect figures, this all came to light last Thursday night. This is completely my error. I apologize. But we do have time for you to review them again and make a recommendation to the Council so they then can adopt the budget in October.”

Commissioner Brad Jackson thanked Puckett for her honesty and transparency.

“Well, what we realized we did is, instead of having the adopted column in for 2021, I had the requested column for 2021 and that did skew the amounts that were presented to you,” Puckett said.

In the Commissioners’ original recommendation, they approved only an increase to the two nonprofits that they thought were the only two nonprofit agencies that requested an increase – Home Health Care & Hospice and Cardinal Services. “As you can see in front of you, with the correct approved budget for 2021, multiple units asked for increases,” she said, asking for the Commissioners to discuss and approved another recommendation to be taken to the Council.

Commissioner Bob Conley thanked Puckett for stepping up and correcting that.

“The only way not to make mistakes is if you don’t do anything,” he said. “We understand you’re busy and those type of errors happen.”

Jackson made a motion to leave the Kosciusko County 4-H Council the same as requested at $44,347, which is the same amount it received in 2020 and 2021; give a 3% increase to Cardinal Services, Home Health Care & Hospice, Kosciusko County Historical Society, Beaman Home and Kosciusko County Senior Services a 3% increase; and an increase of $213 to St. Joe River Basin for a total of $3,705 for 2022.

In 2021, Cardinal Services received $101,922 from the county; Home Health Care, $46,686; Historical Society, $21,686; Beaman Home, $31,203; and Senior Services, $31,203. If the County Council approves the Commissioners’ recommendation, those numbers will increase 3% for 2022.

Commissioner Cary Groninger then reported that the engineering services for the Justice Building parking lot were put out to bid as the county is looking at reconfiguring it. Five contractors were solicited, but only two quotes came back. The Commissioners approved the lower of the two bids at $32,600 from Engineering Resources, Fort Wayne. The other bid was for $47,000 from an Indianapolis contractor.

Groninger then reported an emergency repair had to be done on the boiler system in the Justice Building. County Administrator Marsha McSherry presented two quotes – one for $147,204 to put heat exchangers on both boilers and the other for $14,721 for a chemical mixture.

“So the reason that this is an emergency is because the containment center in that water is causing our heat exchange to burn out on a very, very regular basis, so this repair will save us about $80,000 so we don’t have to do another set of heat exchangers,” he said.

The Commissioners approved the contracts.

Groninger’s next report was that the ARP committee met last Thursday.

“I just want to make an announcement to the public that we did formalize our process to apply for those funds if there are some of those that you feel as though your firm qualifies for,” he said. “It is something that is pretty strict on what those uses can be used for. We have a formal application process now that if you have any questions or would like to see if you qualify or file, reach out to Michelle Puckett in her office, she has those forms.”

The applications will be reviewed by the Committee for a recommendation to move on to the full Council.

“That is in place now,” he said.

McSherry presented a user’s agreement with the county fair board to use the Shrine Building for COVID-19 testing. The lease agreement will be paid out of American Rescue Plan dollars and goes through March 2022, at which time the agreement will be reviewed. The lease is $4,000 per month, with the county paying two-thirds of that and the city of Warsaw paying one-third.

Groninger said he sits on the COVID committee and the testing site is something that is needed as the county’s numbers go up. He made a motion to approve the agreement, and the motion passed 3-0.

Conley mentioned that the last day for Veterans Service Officer Rich Maron is Sept. 23. The county is accepting applications for the VSO, and the application is available online or in the human resources office.

Finally, the Commissioners approved the reappointment of Randy Cripe to the Nappanee Public Library Board of Trustees for a second term, as requested by Library Director Jason Fields.

The Commissioners’ next meeting is at 9 a.m. Sept. 28 in the old courtroom of the old courthouse.