Lapel has hearing for 2022 budget

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LAPEL — The town of Lapel has had to go away from the norm in preparing its 2022 proposed budget.

The mandatory public hearing for the upcoming budget took place at the monthly Lapel Town Council meeting, Thursday, Aug. 19, at the Lapel Eagles building.

The proposed 2022 budget is for $897,426 with a proposed levy of $481,922.

The levy is broken down into two parts, a general fund of $396,922 and an MVH (Motor Vehicle Highway) fund of $85,000.

Traditionally, parks are included as part of the levy, but for at least the first half of next year, the parks will be funded through $50,000 available from the Cascadden Fund.

Changes and juggling to the proposed budget were necessary because Lapel has not yet received an agreed reimbursement of $176,000 from Indiana Department of Transportation. The reimbursement is for repaving work that was needed because of damages on a Lapel street when it was an unofficial alternate route during INDOT’s work on State Road 38 west of the intersection with State Road 13.

Janet Alexander, a budget consultant for the town, said if the town receives the money from INDOT, which had been agreed on between the two parties, the MVH fund would be reduced to $20-35,000.

She said the rest of the levy would go into the general fund.

Alexander said, with the removal of the parks department, “We have a fully fundable and sustainable budget presented for next year.”

The meeting date to adopt the 2022 budget is slated for the next town council meeting on Sept. 16.

SMCF Award

The town received $1,104 from the South Madison Community Foundation Award.

The council receives a yearly amount from the foundation, which it awards to one of the Lapel schools or to one of the school’s organizations.

Council member Jason Kleinbub said he was going to reach out to Lapel Middle School to see about school needs.

Meter purchase on hold

The council tabled purchasing new water meters until it has a better understanding of how it can use funds received from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA).

“We’ve received our first distribution of ARPA funds, but there a lot of questions on the rules of what can and can’t be done with that,” town council president Chad Blake said.

Towns have three years to use funding received through ARPA.