Council approves 2018 budget

New program recognizes century homes

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday, council heard about a new program celebrating the city’s historic homes and voted to approve next year’s budget.

Council voted 4-3 to approve the city’s 2018 budget. Council President Joe Gibson, Mayor Pat Hale and councilman John Kessler voted no on the budget ordinance and the accompanying appropriations ordinance.

Appropriations for 2018 total $52,869,664, including $26 million set aside for the electric fund and $3.5 million for the capital improvement reserve fund.

In an October letter to council, Gibson noted that there is anticipated to be a $650,000 deficit which is expected to be eliminated or substantially reduced by the end of next year. He added that he believed the city needs to reconsider the budgeting process to eliminate projected shortfalls.

Council also approved an ordinance issuing $8.6 million in bond anticipation notes, reissuing notes that were originally issued between 2005-2016 for various infrastructure projects.

The ordinance refinances 14 projects completed in recent years, including County Road 25-A improvements. The bonds will bear interest at the estimated rate of 6 percent per year.

“We made a commitment, for the last four or five years, that we’re going to have all non-utility debt paid off by 2020 and this helps us get to that point,” Finance Director John Green said.

Paula Lantz and Cathy Flohre introduced the Century Home project, an effort to recognize Tipp City homes that are at least 100 years old.

Nine homes in the first group of applicants were certified and several of the homeowners were present to receive their plaques and certificates at the meetings.

In memory of her late husband, Phil, Lantz established a fund with the Tipp City Foundation that will finance the project. The couple, who moved to the city in the 1970s, loved the city’s older homes. Lantz worked with Heather Bailey and the Tippecanoe Historical Society to realize the project.

“Almost every home is loved and cared for,” Lantz said. “What makes us different is the effort of private citizens to update and maintain the aging homes… Our goal is to honor that home when it becomes a century milestone home.”

Owners of homes that are 100 years of age or more may submit an application. The historical society is the administrator of the project, and will provide guidance on the research of the home’s history. Once an application and supporting documents are approved, the homeowner is awarded a century home plaque and a certificate.

Several homes have already received official century home certification, including several that were on last weekend’s home tour, Lantz noted.

“At present, there are approximately 25 homes… that we know are over 100 years old,” said Flohre, the president of the historical society. “We see this project going on for many, many years. Of course, as some are not 100-years-old now, they will reach that milestone.”

The goal of the project is to honor up to 10 homes per year.

New program recognizes century homes

By Cecilia Fox