Lakeshore News Tonight

Porter County Considers $100-million Options, 2014 Budget Plan

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October 23, 2013 — Tempers flared this week as Porter County Commissioners and County Council Members raked over the numbers looking for ways to balance the county’s 2014 budget.

President of the Porter County Board of Commissioners, John Evans says, “The shortfall right now for that budget is $1.5-million.  That’s because the commissioners have already dedicated $2-million in county economic development income tax.”

Evans says it is the commissioners’ job to offer answers to the council to solve the deficit, “The solution we have offered tonight was to take $100-million and put that into an endowment, and it would earn us about 5% interest.”

President of the Porter County Council, Bob Poparad says, “One of the things we have concerns about is once the money goes to the foundation it can never come out.”

Evans says he is pushing for the Porter County Foundation endowment because he says he believes the financial growth would be profitable.  Evans says, “You set the interest rate going in, and you’re going to earn those $5-million every year, and if it’s a great year and the endowment earns more, $5-million.”

Evans says the County Treasurer is investing money, but the return rate is much lower, “He’s loaned a lot of the money to the government, Hammond and Lake County and some of the other municipalities in Lake County who have borrowed and will pay back, but the interest rate on that money is like one-half of a percent.”

While the Council has not ruled against the endowment, it has postponed making any decisions until the foundation makes its presentation.


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