Huntingburg has adopted its next spending plan.

Last night, the Huntingburg city council voted unanimously to formally approve the 2016 budget. The city is looking at a budget of just over $10 million in all. The proposed tax rate for the city is $1.17 per $100 of assessed valuation. Mayor Denny Spinner says that’s a less than 1 cent increase over last year.

Spinner was also pleased to report last night that Huntingburg’s assessed value has increased for the 3rd consecutive year. It came in at $160 million.

Spinner says the city has been able to keep its funding under control in spite of many changes at the state level:

There are some increases in the budget, mostly in funding for the park and street departments. The budget now heads to the Department of Local Government Finance for final approval.

In other business, Spinner provided a few updates on Stellar Communities projects. He told the council that Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group of Indianapolis has been chosen as the design and engineering firm for the Market Street Park project. Spinner also stated that project is expected to get underway next spring. Also, the council approved a committee to review 5 proposals for design and engineering work on the 4th Street Heritage Trail. Spinner says construction on that project is slated to start in 2017.

Of course, Stellar Communities projects are being financed through state dollars, but it still takes some planning on the city’s part to manage those funds. To that end, Spinner says there is great news for taxpayers when it comes to the Stellar projects:

On a final note, last night marked the first council meeting for Jeff Bounds. Bounds replaced Alex Blackgrove in the District 2 council seat after Blackgrove moved out of the district, thus he had to resign.

District 48 senator Mark Messmer is partnering with state officials to hold a seminar on Indiana’s tax amnesty program.

Messmer is pairing with the Indiana Department of Revenue to bring the seminar to Jasper this upcoming Monday evening, October 12th. The seminar will run from 6 to 7 pm in Room 230 at the Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing at VUJC. Registration for the event is not required.

Tax Amnesty 2015 is a limited-time opportunity for both individuals and businesses to pay past-due taxes free of penalty, interest and collection fees. All tax types managed by the Indiana Department of Revenue for periods ending prior to Jan. 1, 2013, are eligible for the program.

The free seminar will provide an overview of Tax Amnesty 2015, including:

Eligibility requirements;
Participation benefits;
Tax warrant expungement;
Payment plan options; and
Additional taxpayer resources.

Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of an experienced department representative.

Of course, Messmer is among those who supported the tax amnesty, which was put in place this past legislative session to raise money for the state’s new Regional Cities initiative along with funding to support Amtrak’s Hoosier State rail passenger service between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Messmer says the tax amnesty is a great opportunity to get out from under your tax burden:

For a complete list of scheduled Tax Amnesty 2015 seminars, go to

Officials with the Dubois County Highway Department say several roads around the county remain on a scheduled list to receive Rejuvenating Surface Seal in the next 6 or 7 days.

Roadways yet to be sealed barring any weather problems or contractor issues include:

The Jasper Dubois Road from State Road 164 to State Road 545 today through this Saturday.

County Road 1100 South from US 231 to the Ferdinand Industrial Road next Monday and Tuesday October 12th & 13th.

And finally next Wednesday October 14th, Schnellville Road from Celestine Road South to Market Street.

Highway Department officials ask that folks not park any vehicles on any roads receiving treatments and that any cars remaining on the scheduled roads will be towed at the owners expense.

They also want to point out that the rejuvenating surface seal involves fresh oil distributed on the roadway and that motorist are asked to please stay off the seal until it has properly cured and have been told that it is acceptable to drive on.

The Dubois County Community Foundation says local donors have helped the foundation successfully raise more than $1 million for local charities.

Through Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow VI, an initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc., donors have given more $500,000 to fully capture an eligible $500,000 in matching funds.

The objective of the initiative is to raise unrestricted assets for community foundations across the Hoosier state. Dubois County was eligible for $500,000 based on the size of it’s population.

Foundation board president Pat Miller says the Endowment challenged the community with a great opportunity and the foundation knew they needed to fully capitalize on the match. Miller says donors helped to achieve the goal with tremendous support beyond what was even imagined.

Thirty-six individuals, families and businesses contributed to the $1 million, including a major gift of $125,000 from Inwood Office Furniture Foundation. German American, Springs Valley Bank & Trust Co., Bob Luegers Motors, the Kunkel Insurance Agency and several individuals and families also contributed.

Along with these supporters, the foundation saw 100% participation from its staff and board of directors. A total of ten new endowments were established from the matching funds.

Meanwhile, Dubois County charities will see an immediate increase in available funding in 2016 thanks to the successful million-dollar campaign for unrestricted funds. Unrestricted funds are pooled into The Fund for Dubois County, an endowment that provides funding for nonprofits to apply for throughout the year.

The Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937.

Dubois County Emerging Leaders will soon open up applications for its yearly grant cycle.

This year marks the 5th year for grants to come from Dubois County Emerging Leaders. Any 501c3 nonprofit in Dubois County is eligible to submit a nomination online. The nomination period starts on Monday and runs through Friday, October 30th.

Emerging Leaders have also announced this year’s giving party. The event, which wraps up the year for Emerging Leaders, will be held on Thursday, November 12th at 6 o’clock at Hedinger Beverage in Jasper. The party will be a chance for you to hear more about nonprofits in the community and you will be able to vote on who gets this year’s grant. In previous years, recipients have recieved a $5,000 grant from the group.

For more information on Emerging Leaders, you can go online to

A local doctor who previously ran for state office is now going to try his hand at running for national office.

Yesterday, Dr. Richard Moss of Jasper announced his plans to run against 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon in the 2016 Republican primary. Moss made the announcement during the Evansville Fall Festival last night. The announcement was also posted on his campaign website.

Dr. Richard Moss

Dr. Richard Moss

In a statement on his campaign website, Moss stated he is running because he is disgusted with what he calls the ‘hapless, stand-for-nothing’ Republican Party. Moss says the party has recently dropped the ball on a number of issues, specifically pointing to the national debt, Obamacare, the EPA, the Supreme Court, ISIS, TPP, securing the border and the recent nuclear deal with Iran, which Moss calls ‘horrendous’.

Moss went on to say that Republican leadership needs to be defeated and called Bucshon one of former House speaker John Boehner’s ‘loyal foot soldiers.’ In closing, Moss stated that Indiana’s 8th District needs a true conservative Republican who will fight for American workers, citizens and America itself. Moss says with your help, he will be that representative.

Of course, this is not the first time Moss has run for public office. He ran against fellow Republican Mike Braun in the 2014 primary election for the District 63 state representative’s nomination.

Braun handily defeated Moss by a vote margin of 67% to 33%. That margin was also large here in Dubois County, with Mike Braun winning by a 77% to 23% margin.

Board members and officials with the Southeast Dubois School Corporation have completed the final touches on the district’s next spending plan.

Last night final approval was granted for the corporation’s 2016 budget along with the 2016-18 Capital Project Plan and the 2016-2027 School bus replacement plan which are all included in local property taxes but are required by the state to be acted upon separately.

Back in August Southeast Superintendent Rick Allen presented the board a roughly $11 million dollar total budget proposal, about the same as this year. Allen says the numbers have not change since they were first introduced two months ago with the maximum tax levy at around $4 million with a tax rate about the same as this year’s. The 2015 tax rate for Southeast Dubois was $1.07 per $100 of assessed value.

Allen says budget numbers will help fulfill the corporation’s needs while not asking more out of the district’s taxpayers……

Now the state of Indiana has touted $474 million in new funding for K-12 schools as part of the recently passed 2 year budget. Allen says the Southeast Dubois district’s next 2 budgets will see a boost of around $56,000 each year as a result of the funding. He says the district currently receives about $7.3 million from the state.

Next year’s Southeast Dubois budget was advertised through an online service known as Gateway. Allen says the service is part of new state procedure designed to basically keep up with the times. Of course the budget was also advertised in local newspapers.

A public hearing on the budget was held last month with no public comment before it was adopted last night. It will now be sent to the department of local government finance for final approval.