News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 10, 2013

City Council approves financial consultant qualifications

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute City Council will – as a group – vote next month to hire a consultant to help it deal with the city’s multi-million-dollar budget.

The council voted Thursday night to approve a list of qualifications for whomever gets the job. The nine-member body hopes to vote to hire someone for the position in June.

Councilman Neil Garrison, D-5th, has urged the hiring of a consultant, saying the council needs an independent source of information regarding city finances.

Norm Loudermilk, council president, assigned Councilman Jim Chalos, D-at large, to chair a committee-of-the-whole to review resumes and applicants for the job. Chalos chairs the council’s governmental affairs committee.

The committee has the option of meeting applicants and discussing which applicant to hire in a closed meeting under Indiana open door laws, said Chou-il Lee, city attorney. Indiana open door laws make exceptions for meetings dealing with personnel matters, such as hiring.

The council also, at the urging of Chalos, agreed to place an advertisement in the Tribune-Star classified section next week with information about the open position. Currently, there are three applicants for the position, which will pay $20,000 for the year.

According to the ordinance passed Thursday night, a qualified candidate must be a licensed accounting professional with at least 10 years experience. The candidate must also have no other contractual agreements with the City of Terre Haute.

n The council also approved Thursday an eight-year real property tax abatement for Gageview Enterprises LLC for a new office building to be constructed on the southeast corner of 13th and Ohio streets. The new, 10,000-square-foot, single-story structure will be used for Indiana Business Equipment, a long-time Terre Haute business.

The estimated cost of the new building is $1.2 million, according to the abatement resolution, which passed without opposition.

n Finally, the council plans to review existing tax abatements next month during a special call meeting at 5 p.m. on June 6. The council also learned Thursday night its planned meeting dates for review of the 2014 city budget. Those meetings are moved forward about a month to give the council more time to review the budget, Loudermilk said. City department heads will meet with the council to discuss individual department budgets in mid September.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com