Andrews takes steps to get paid what it is owed

Starting next year, the Town of Andrews will have a new means of getting payment on money it is owed.

The Andrews Town Council voted to participate in the Association of Indiana Counties’ Tax Refund Exchange and Compliance System (TRECS) program during its meeting on Monday, Nov. 25. Attorney Adrian Halverstadt III explained how the program works to council. Halverstadt noted that his law firm, DeLaney Hartburg Roth & Garrott LLP, of Huntington, handles debt collection for the town. In January, he said, the law firm will start sending a list of the town’s delinquent accounts to the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC), which works closely with the Indiana Department of Revenue.

“As Indiana Department of Revenue processes returns, they cross-check the list of accounts that have been submitted with people who are owed tax refunds,” explained Halverstadt. “If there’s a match, we get a notification at the law firm. We have to send that person a letter, giving them 30 days to pay the account in full. If they don’t, then the state will offset their tax refund.”

In that scenario, said Halverstadt, not only will an individual’s tax refund be used to settle their debt, but the state and AIC will both collect a fee from the refund.

Halverstadt shared that the City of Huntington participated in the program last year. With both the city and DeLaney Hartburg Roth & Garrott satisfied by the experience, the law firm decided to introduce the program to other municipalities in Huntington County.

Halverstadt noted that his law firm has lawsuits filed against 39 accounts in Andrews, the majority of which are utility accounts. The total amount of money owed to the town is $29,500, he said.

In other business, council received an update on the cleanup process at Antioch Mobile Home Park. The mobile homes on lots 5, 7 and 12 have been removed, said Town Marshal Austin Bullock. The contents of the lot 12 trailer, however, he said, had been emptied out onto the lot after the unit proved to be too heavy to haul away with the contents inside. Bullock said that he had contacted the park’s owner, Brian Salerno, about getting the trailer’s contents picked up and disposed of. Bullock said he had also informed Salerno that the park’s maintenance shed was too dilapidated to refurbish and needed to be razed.