Porter Council approves accounting firm for budget
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent September 4, 2012 7:52PM
Updated: September 4, 2012 10:28PM
VALPARAISO — The Porter County Council is moving forward — tentatively — with a contract for an accounting firm to help it review the Valparaiso School Corporation budget, even though that duty may go to the Valparaiso City Council.
The council voted 6-1 Tuesday at the end of one in a series of budget hearings to pay accounting and consulting firm Crowe Horwath of Indianapolis not more than $10,000 for the budget review. Money for the work will come from the council’s consultancy fund.
But State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, is seeking to have the responsibility of going over the budget switched to the city council. Soliday is expecting an answer from the Indiana State Board of Accounts on Friday.
“That would have a great deal of impact on how deep into the well we dig,” Council President Dan Whitten, D-At-large, said of the school budget.
Under a new state law, the county council will have to approve the school budget because the board is appointed. Valparaiso is the only community in the region with an appointed board; the city council and the Center Township Advisory Board make the appointments. The county council passed a resolution in late June supporting an elected board.
The county council must approve the budget by Nov. 1 and had scheduled a public review of the school budget for Sept. 25, when the council is reviewing a host of municipal budgets. The school budget will most likely be pushed back.
Councilwoman Karen Conover, R-3rd District, said she voted against the measure because the county council will know by Friday whether it will be approving the school budget. With another budget hearing meeting Monday, there would still be time to set an amount to pay the consultants.