Peru, IN – Miami County employees are set to get a 2% raise in 2019 now that a new budget has been approved by the Miami County Council. The Council met in regular session on Wednesday evening, October 10, 2018, in the G.A.R. room of the Miami County Courthouse. In this meeting, the Council also approved a $250,000.00 forgivable loan for Progress Rail from CREDIT economic development funds.
County Budget of $21,061,848.00 passed:
The total budget amount for 2018 is $21,061,848.00. County Councilman John Donaldson asked for the vote for the County Council budget to be approved separately. Upon voting for the County Council Budget, Mr. Donaldson voted no on the budget stating that he did not agree with the Council members receiving the 2% raise based on the "poor job" that the members did with the County Garage.
A question by an audience member was brought up regarding a discrepancy in Administrative costs. The question was regarding an amount that was at $99,163, and that went to $70,032. The audience member asked if that was a specific job being eliminated. Council President Ethan Manning advised that it was indeed a job salary being eliminated, the salary was for the position of "Zoning Administration". Manning stated that the salary could always be added back in next year, but that there were “a list of like 10 things that they needed to see changes on”. Mr. Manning said he couldn't elaborate any further, but that there were meetings with both the County Council and the Planning & Zoning Commission and that they were discussing these things, but with it being a "Personnel Matter", he didn't want to give out any more information at this time.
County Approves CREDIT Loan to Progress Rail:
During the meeting, the Council agreed to fund Progress Rail (owned by Caterpillar) $250,000.00. The City also approved $250,000.00. If there is a default, the default will be split 50/50 by county and city by an inter-local agreement.
Progress Rail is considering creating a new production line in Peru to complement its existing operation in the city. The company currently operates a facility in Peru that employs more than 100 workers with a payroll in excess of $4,000,000. Progress Rail is also considering Muncie, Indiana for the new production line. If Muncie is selected, the company could also move all of the existing Peru operations to the city as well.
The next meeting of the Miami County Council will be held in the G.A.R. Room of the Miami County Court House on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.