Kendallville Makes Budget Cuts

By Max Resnik

December 10, 2010 Updated Dec 10, 2010 at 7:15 PM EDT

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) Budget cuts made mandatory by the State of Indiana are forcing towns like Kendallville to re-evaluate how money is spent.

The street department is bearing the brunt of the budget cuts, having to do away with street improvements. The Street Department Superintendant and Cemetery Department Superintendant positions will combine. Five full time positions and one part time position are no longer available and that brings the city staff to less than 80.

In all, the 2011 budget is being cut by more than $100,000. Mayor Suzanne Handshoe says that isn’t a significant amount however. If further cuts need to be made, then this number will become more significant.

The operating budget for 2011 is more than $7 million. It is very close to what the city operated under in 2003. The same could be said for the number people employed by the city.

Cities must reduce their budgets once the state has determined that their assessed values have decreased. Additionally, their budgets must also reflect their revenues.

Revenues come from property taxes, gas taxes and cigarette and alcohol taxes. If property values are decreasing, homes are being foreclosed and businesses are leaving building empty, then property taxes can’t bring as much revenue for a municipality. Additionally, schools and libraries compete for those property tax revenues with the city. Gas, cigarette and alcohol taxes operate similarly. If they’re not being purchased, there is less revenue that a city can collect.

Mayor Handshoe says the Kendallville community has always been great in volunteer and donation efforts and she doesn’t expect the cuts to have an adverse change in Kendallville.

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