Budget includes council raises

By Tyler Fenwick | For The Times-Post
MARKLEVILLE — The Markleville Town Council recently approved its proposed budget for 2018 — a document that outlines total spending of $203,598.
The budget was submitted for approval to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.
The proposed budget includes $134,895 in its General Fund, which includes town salaries; $9,723 for its local roads fund; $21,980 for its Motor Vehicle Highway Fund; and $37,000 of local income tax funds.
Within the budget, the council approved funds for a pay increase for its members, $4,000 per year, up from $1,700.
Member Matthew Gustin raised the idea at the Sept. 11 town council meeting. Gustin originally wanted an increase to $4,500 but said at the most recent hearing that he wasn’t comfortable with that amount because of possible strains on the budget.
Member Bob Fesmire and president Daniel Roseberry voted in support of Gustin.
“Why shouldn’t you be reimbursed for the work and the hours you put in?” Fesmire asked.
Roseberry raised the possibility that a salary increase could lead to people wanting to be on the town council because of the money that comes with it.
Gustin said the council may have the opposite problem currently, where qualified candidates choose not to run because of too little pay.
Council members have been paid $1,700 annually since 2009, according to town records.
In other business, the council:
• Agreed to begin crafting an ordinance to restrict semi traffic in and around Markleville. Council members agreed an ordinance should restrict traffic from the south side of State Road 38 up to the edge of town. There was also talk of including all of Maple Street.