Carmel City Council approves $669K for ‘unanticipated’ expenses


The Carmel City Council unanimously approved transferring $669,000 from the City of Carmel’s general fund to help with “unanticipated” expenses for various city departments. The Council voted to suspend the rules and approve the transfer on first reading after a public hearing. No members of the public spoke.

“Each year, we have a supplemental appropriation to cover such things that could not be anticipated at the time the budgets were put together the previous year,” City Spokeswoman Nancy Heck stated in an e-mail.

The costs, according to the text of the odinance,  are  “unanticipated.” They include:

  • $21,000 for the Human Resources Department for full-time salary costs. “This amount is to make up for a shortfall in salary and personal services costs, because in 2015 the City Council increased the HR director’s salary for 2016 without increasing that department’s budget,” Heck said.
  • $40,000 in legal fees for the Law Department. “These fees are for any outside legal services needed for pending or future lawsuits against the City of Carmel. There are no specific matters of legal action tied to this amount,” Heck said.
  • $15,000 in grounds maintenance for the Department of Community Services. “Carmel Urban Forestry has assumed responsibility for trees along River Road (formerly maintained by a nearby homeowners association). These trees need to be treated for severe scale infestation as well as general crown maintenance and pruning,” Heck said.
  • $15,000 in a grant to the Historic Preservation Commission. “The Historic Preservation Commission has received applications for Façade Grants for 11 eligible homes. The Commission has $5,000 budgeted but requested the additional amount to fulfill all of the grant awards, totaling $20,443,” Heck said.
  • $208,000 in unscheduled overtime for the Carmel Fire Dept. “Unscheduled overtime pay is needed for a variety of reasons, including end-of-shift time worked, getting called in to duty on a day off or being called in to cover someone who is sick,” Heck said. “It is impossible to predict the number of fires, incidents and sick days, especially since Carmel Fire Dept. has the greatest number of personnel. Additionally, because of the requirements of the department’s accreditation, it is important to keep staffing up to proper levels at all times.”
  • $60,000 in electricity for Building Operations. “This amount is based on additional electricity costs for the augmentation chiller, which averages about $12,000 a month,” Heck said. “This is a result of a faulty design and the city is reviewing whether reimbursement can be obtained from the designer.”
  • $300,000 in other contracted services relating to the city’s energy center in Building Operations. “This was for a number of equipment replacements, rental costs and major overhaul events in 2016 which cannot be predicted 12 to 18 months in advance, “Heck said. “This includes replacement of damaged chiller fan blades, condenser motor and manifold and compressor; installation of upgraded controls for the entire system; equipment repair and maintenance.”