11/18/14 – 4:56 A.M.
A suit filed against the Hancock County Commissioners by the Hancock County Veterans Service Commission has been dropped. The Courier reports a pretrial hearing was held Monday morning before the case was dismissed. Neither side has said if concessions have been made, but Veterans Services Director Nichole Coleman told the newspaper things ended on a positive note.
The dispute centered on a modified budget for the Veterans Service Office. The commissioners had issued the office a charge of more than $38,000 for “indirect costs.” Coleman said the commissioners have no legal authority to change her office’s budget. Her agency gets operating funds from a half mill of the property taxes collected in the county. The office has never claimed all the millage they are due, sending the rest of the money back to the county’s general fund.
Hancock County Commissioner Phil Riegle told the Courier the commissioners have typically paid for the veterans offices indirect expenses since all the millage wasn’t claimed. Riegle says other offices are typically billed by the commissioners for similar costs.
The Veterans Service Commission has requested a budget of $811,000 in 2015. That’s roughly 94 percent of the millage the office can claim. It’s also around $58,000 more than this year’s budget.
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