Extra millions from state will be placed in new fund

MARSHALL CO. — Earlier this year, Indiana counties learned that a mistake by the Indiana Department of Revenue had cost them several million dollars in missing funds. Although the individual counties were reimbursed, it was unclear if the money could be spent.
Marshall County Auditor Penny Lukenbill informed county council members Monday that she had received direction from the state on the lump sum of reimbursement funds, which totals $2.8 million for this year for Marshall County.
“Rather than put the money in the general fund, we have to establish a different fund,” explained Lukenbill.
This new fund is called the CAGIT certified shares fund, and Lukenbill said that after consulting with council president Matt Hassel, it was determined that the jail and Sheriff’s budget would come from this new fund.
“It seemed the best way to go since that supports public safety,” said Lukenbill.
She added that other county auditors she had spoken with regarding the matter had come up with a similar solution.
Marlene Mahler, Marshall County Recorder, also visited the council meeting to update council members of a project she has been working on to cut down on her department’s expenditures. She noted that by switching to a different maintenance software, the total savings over a span of four years would be $106,300. On her department’s budget, she saved $8377 per year. Another project Mahler is in the process of is having micro film scanned, installed into a computer, and put online for public use. She said that the online search costs the department $250 per month, but that they are bringing in an income of approximately $720 per month from people paying to use the service.
“It’s more than paying for itself to be online,” said Mahler, adding, “At the end of my first term, everything will be (searchable) in the computer, everything will be digitized, and we also have a copy off-site.”