IU helps Lake County come up with fiscal action plan
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent November 11, 2012 10:14PM
Updated: November 12, 2012 8:27PM
Lake County’s first financial action plan will provide officials a road map for dealing with the ongoing fiscal challenges they face.
County Council President Jerome Prince, D-Gary, said the action plan will be created from a study done by Indiana University Northwest and Bloomington that looks into the county’s budget to identify areas where cuts or consolidations can be made to further reduce expenses and increase efficiencies.
“Clearly there are some real pertinent issues we are dealing with,” Prince said.
Earlier this year a committee of council members came up with a five-point plan to lay the foundation for getting the county back on track financially.
That plan included balancing the 2013 budget by cutting the bridge and liability insurance fund and eliminating the drainage levy.
“This is an example of the direction we are going in,” Prince said.
Having an outside source like the university delve into the county’s finances takes politics out of the findings. Creating an action plan will mean the measures identified are taken into consideration.
That, Prince said, is what will make this study and its results different. In the past when studies have been done, the information that was generated has not been put into use, he said.
“We are actually going to create an action plan,” Prince said.
That plan will also be a useful tool for the two new council members who will be coming on board in January.
Prince said the information will help them more quickly get up to speed with the actions the council has taken and plans to take moving forward.
“Any new members who come on will see there is an established action plan,” Prince said.