ELWOOD — The Elwood City Council spent Monday night’s meeting shoring up money for shortfalls in city funds in several areas, including new allowances for holiday decorations and gas money for police.
The transferring of funds is a typical measure cities use, especially near the end of the year to shore up shortfalls with available funds in different areas. But there was still some contention over the transfers made. One transfer that drew some discussion from council members was a move of $18,500 from municipal gas services, water, building repairs and contractual repairs to an equipment fund.
A portion of the amount will go toward holiday decorations for the Municipal Building complex. Mayor Ron Arnold said this won’t represent the entirety of the $18,500, some of which will also be devoted to a boiler system, fountains, tools and other city equipment that needs to be replaced or upgraded. He said the decorations themselves come from local vendors, and the decorating itself will be done by a private contractor from Marion.
During the meeting, City Councilman Brent Boston expressed concern about the amount to be transferred, saying it was “a lot of money for Christmas decorations.” Boston still voted in favor of the transfer resolution, which passed by a 5-2 margin.
“It was one of those things that we’ll eventually know what it was all used for. I’m fine as long as we’re fiscally OK. I just didn’t think it was exactly the right forum to make a big fuss about a transfer of funds,” Boston said.
Councilmen Todd Jones and R. Eric Reese voted against the resolution, which also allowed for $6,000 in police funds to be transferred from contractual repairs to gasoline funds. Chief of Police Sam Hanna said during the meeting that the gas money is put to good use and never abused by officers. He said having the extra funds is especially handy when off-duty officers need to assist with their take-home cruisers.