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County approves plan to increase child support revenues

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

More money will be flowing into the county’s general fund if a new plan works out as expected.

The Shelby County Commissioners have approved a new contract with Malcon consulting of Carmel to seek additional federal dollars available through the child support program.

Payments made by a parent without custody to support a child are governed by the federal Title 4 (d) administered by the Social Security Administration.

Charles Malinowski, owner of Malcon consultants, made the initial proposal to the commissioners on Aug. 13.

Additional federal dollars may be available to the county because of recent changes in the child support laws, he told the commissioners at that time.

Malinowski returned to the commissioners’ meeting on Monday following a review of the plan by John C. DePrez IV, the county attorney, who gave his approval.

The local courts order child support payments to be made in divorce cases when appropriate.

“I have been in contact with the courts,” Malinowski told the commissioners, in response to a question by Commissioner Chris Ross (R-North District).

However, he was unsure at this time how much in additional revenues he might be able to find for them, Malinowski added.

The Shelby County Clerk’s office takes in child support payments for the local courts, and Clerk Vicki Franklin said Monday that Malcon has been good to work with since she took office in 2011.

“They have brought in revenues for us of over $300,000,” she said.

Malcon would be paid out of a different federal funding mechanism for the new work, not out of the revenues the county gets, Malinowski said.

Commissioner Don Parker (R-South District) asked about the term length of the new agreement.

Malinowski replied that it is open-ended and either side may cancel at any time.

“It’s as close to a handshake as we can get,” he said.

In other matters, the County Commissioners accepted a price of $92,986 from Shirks International for a new tri-axle truck for the Highway Department.

The board also OK’d closing portions of Walnut and West Vine Streets, and part of North Michigan Road, in Pleasant View from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday for that community’s annual festival.

And the commissioners said they will follow up on a letter received from Keith and Diane Linville regarding cleaning the Cotton Run legal drain on their property. 

Stormwater from a number of properties drains into the Cotton Run drain which starts at U.S. 52 and goes south near the eastern county line for several miles to the Little Blue River.

The Linvilles operate an organic beef farm on County Road 600 East and resisted the commissioners’ request to spray herbicides in the ditch to kill weeds that can block the flow of stormwater runoff.

A letter from the couple states they have cleaned the ditch. The commissioners plan to confirm that it’s been done.