State audit shows Lapel Parks $95,000 in the red

Sep. 10—LAPEL — The most recent audit report by the Indiana State Board of Accounts showed Lapel had a negative cash balance of $95,264.

The audit by the state agency covered 2021 and 2022 and also noted that at the end of 2021 there was a negative cash balance of $197,193 in the Bodenhorn Park Fund.

When asked about the $95,264 deficit in the Park fund, Chad Blake, vice president of the Lapel Town Council, said Thursday the investigation by the Indiana State Board of Accounts is on-going.

The council is scheduled to consider at the Sept. 21 council meeting an appropriation of $90,000 from the Cascadden Fund to the Park Fund.

The Cascadden Fund was established in 2018 in the amount of $315,000. Under the terms of the gift the town of Lapel and the Frankton/Lapel Community Schools alternated yearly with the spending of the funds.

Last year the Lapel Town Council voted to provide $50,000 of the fund to the Lapel Parks Department.

The town council is responsible for approving the annual budget for the parks.

In other business, the council discussed the 2024 budget which will be presented for public discussion on Sept. 21.

Blake proposed a 2024 general fund budget for the Lapel Police Department in the amount of $525,000.

He said $44,000 for equipment would be funded through the town's share of public safety local income tax revenues.

Blake said the town should consider providing $25,000 for the hiring of a full-time school resource officer, with $60,000 being provided by the school system.

Noah Bozell, council president, said the proposed general fund budget for 2024 is $666,683 and projected revenues of $668,398.

Blake said the projected revenue estimated didn't include all the funds that town is hoping to receive in 2024.

Although no decision has been made, the council is considering a three percent pay increase for town employees in 2024.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.