Warren’s 2018 budget looks similar to 2017 spending plan, council hears

The 2018 budget for the Town of Warren looks very similar to the spending plan for 2017.

“It’s basically the same budget,” said Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison as she presented the figures to Warren Town Council members during their meeting on Monday, Sept. 11.

The proposed 2018 budget totals $2,152,762, a decrease of $48,000 from the 2017 $2,200,855.

Morrison attributed the decrease in part to a couple of items that have dropped off the budget. The town had been putting back money to purchase a fire truck and a police car, and both of those purchases are being completed this year.

Insurance premiums for 2018 are not as high as anticipated, she added.

The budget does not yet include a proposed tax rate.

A public hearing on the budget will be conducted during a special council meeting set for Monday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.

Council members will be asked to adopt the budget during their regular meeting on Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.

In conjunction with the budget, the council introduced ordinances establishing wages and benefits for law enforcement, utility, street and part-time employees, as well as elected and appointed officials, for 2018.

Council had previously approved raises of 69 cents an hour.

In other business, the council voted to vacate an unimproved section of 6th Street located behind Crain Ford as well as an unimproved alley that runs through the dealership. No one spoke at a public hearing on the vacation.

• Members of the 2017 Salamonie Summer Festival committee attended the meeting to thank council members and town employees for assisting with this summer’s festival, and council members returned the sentiment.

“We really appreciate what you do,” council President Julia Glessner said.

Festival committee members and the council will meet early next year to discuss plans for the 2018 festival.

• A greater variety of banners may appear on the town’s light poles, in response to comments by residents. Currently, the town has banners for the Salamonie Summer Festival and for Christmas, but nothing for fall or summer, Morrison noted.

The cost of 30 banners is about $2,000, Morrison said. Council will ask a local arts group, Warren Creative Arts Outreach, if its members are interested in designing the banners.

• Fire Chief Lee Poulson reported that Robert Sliger III has joined the Warren Volunteer Fire Department.

• Trick-or-treat hours in Warren were approved and will be on Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• Morrison said that town-wide clean-up will take place Oct. 2 through Oct. 7.