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For additional compliance guidelines issued through SBOA Bulletins, please see this page.
UNIFORM COMPLIANCE GUIDELINES MANUAL FOR TOWNSHIPS
- The Township Trustee
The Accounting And Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual For Townships is designed to provide townships with some of the information needed to fulfill duties. The information contained herein is intended to assist you and does not represent legal advice, or a legal opinion, references to laws or other authoritative materials may not be all inclusive.
Township trustees and the three members of the township board shall be elected at the general election preceding the expiration of their term of office, and every four (4) years thereafter. The term of office shall be four (4) years and such term shall begin on the first day of January succeeding the election. IC 3-10-2-13; IC 36-6-4-2; IC 36-6-6-2
DESIGNATION OF TRUSTEE
Within thirty (30) days after taking office, the trustee shall designate a person who shall perform the trustee's duties whenever the trustee is incapable of performing the trustee's duties because the trustee (1) is absent from the township; (2) becomes incapacitated. The trustee shall give notice of the designation to the chairman of the township board, the county sheriff, and any other persons that the trustee chooses. The designee shall have all the powers of the trustee. The trustee may change the designee at any time. The designee shall perform the trustee's duties until: (1) the trustee is no longer absent from the township; or (2) an acting trustee is appointed by the county commissioners under IC 36-6-4-16. IC 36-6-4-18
VACANCY BY REASON OF INCAPACITY
When twenty-five (25) or more resident freeholders of a township file a petition with the circuit court of the county, alleging that the township trustee is incapable of performing his duties due to mental or physical incapacity, the clerk of the court shall issue a summons to be served on the trustee. The summons is returnable not less than ten (10) days from its date of issue.
Immediately following the return date set out on the summons, the circuit court shall hold a hearing on the matter alleged in the petition. After hearing the evidence and being fully advised, the court shall enter its findings and judgment.
If the court finds the trustee incapable of performing the duties of office, the clerk of the court shall certify a copy of the judgment to the county commissioners, which shall, within five (5) days, appoint a resident of the township as acting trustee of the township during the incapacity of the trustee.
The acting trustee shall execute and file a bond in an amount fixed by the county auditor. After taking the oath of office, the acting trustee has all the powers and duties of the trustee.
The acting trustee under this section is entitled to the salary and benefits provided by this article for the trustee. An incapacitated trustee is entitled to the minimum salary fixed by IC 36-6-6-10, for which no appropriation is necessary.
When an incapacitated trustee files a petition with the circuit court of the county alleging that he is restored to mental or physical ability to perform the duties of office, the court shall immediately hold a hearing on the matters alleged. After hearing the evidence and being fully advised, the court shall enter its findings and judgment.
If the court finds the trustee capable of resuming duties, the clerk of the court shall certify a copy of the judgment to the county executive, which shall, within five (5) days, revoke the appointment of the acting trustee. IC 36-6-4-16
If a township trustee moves his residence from the township in which he was elected, a vacancy is thereby created in the office of township trustee in said township. (Opinions of Attorney General June 14, 1944)
The township trustee must reside within the township as provided in Article 6, Section 6 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana. The trustee forfeits office if the trustee ceases to be a resident of the township. IC 36-6-4-2
Officers that want to resign shall give written notice of the resignation to the circuit court clerk of the county containing the largest percentage of population of the political subdivision. IC 5-8-3.5-1
Generally, vacancies in the office of township trustee shall be filled by a party caucus of the same political party as the officer who vacated the office. See IC 3-13-10-2 for vacancies required to filled by the county commissioners. Every trustee so appointed shall continue in office until his successor is elected and qualified. IC 3-13-10-8
If a vacancy occurs and there is no political party affiliation, the county auditor shall call a special session of the board of commissioners without delay to fill the vacancy. If the commissioners are already meeting, the appointment shall be made without delay. IC 3-13-10-2
When a vacancy has been created in the office of township trustee for the period of time between when the vacancy occurs and when the vacancy is filled, the chief deputy employee of the trustee assumes the duties of the township trustee. If no chief deputy employee exists, the chairman of the township board assumes the duties of the township trustee. IC 3-13-11-17, IC 3-13-11-12
Any person, who assumes the duties of any vacant office, has all of its rights and duties. IC 3-13-11-18
If an officer of a political subdivision does not take and file the oath required under IC 5-4-1-1 within thirty (30) days after the beginning of the officer's term, the office becomes vacant. IC 5-4-1-1.2
IC 5-4-1-1.2 does not apply to an individual appointed or elected to an office the establishment or qualifications of which are expressly provided for in the Constitution of the State of Indiana or the Constitution of the United States.
Each trustee, before entering upon the duties of office, shall take an oath or affirmation before some person qualified to administer the same (such as Judge of the Circuit or Superior Court, Clerk of the Court, Judge of the City Court, City Clerk, Notary Public), for the faithful performance of duties. All trustees shall reside within their respective townships. (Indiana Constitution Article 6 Section 6) IC 36-6-4-2. An individual appointed or elected to an office of a political subdivision may take the oath required at any time after the individual's appointment or election. If an officer of a political subdivision does not take
and file the oath required under IC 5-4-1-1 not later than thirty (30) days after the beginning of the officers term, the office becomes vacant. IC 5-4-1-1.2
IC 5-4-1-1.2 does not apply to an individual appointed or elected to an office the establishment or qualifications of which are expressly provided for in the Constitution of the State of Indiana or the Constitution of the United States.
The trustee shall file an individual official surety bond. The township board shall fix the amount of the bond as follows: (1) The amount of annual coverage must equal ($30,000) thirty thousand dollars for each one million dollars ($1,000,000) of receipts of the officer's office during the last complete fiscal year before the purchase of the bond, subject to subdivision (2). (2) The amount of annual coverage may not be less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) nor more than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) unless the fiscal body approves a greater amount of annual coverage for the officer or employee. The township board may, by resolution, authorize blanket bond coverage for the aforementioned. IC 5-4-1-18
Employees or contractors of a Township “whose official duties include receiving, processing, depositing, disbursing, or otherwise having access to funds that belong to the federal government, the state, a political subdivision, or another governmental entity” must have a bond of at least $5,000. [IC 5-4-1-18(a)(7), (e)(2)]
The official bond shall be approved by the county auditor. IC 5-4-1-8
The bond shall be filed in the office of the county recorder in the county of residence of the trustee. IC 5-4-1-5.1
The trustee shall obtain an official bond before the commencement of his term of office. If the trustee fails to give the bond before that time, the trustee may not take office. IC 5-4-1-9
The official bond shall be executed by the principal and by two (2) or more freehold sureties or an authorized surety company. IC 5-4-1-13
All bonds must have a one-year term. Consecutive yearly bonds must provide separate coverage for each year. [IC 5-4-1-18(m)(1), (2)] Continuous bonds may be used if the bond is renewed on an annual basis and provides coverage in the amount required for the individual covered under the bond for each policy year.
We will not take exception to schedule bonds—by name or position—if the bonds are authorized by resolution, endorsed to cover faithful performance, and include aggregate coverage sufficient to cover all officers, employees, and contractors required to be bonded.
Crime insurance policies providing additional coverage for criminal acts or omissions committed by officers, employees, or contractors are permitted if they are authorized by resolution. [IC 5-4-1-18(c)] We will not take exception if a Township purchases a crime insurance policy in lieu of a bond if the crime insurance policy is authorized by resolution, endorsed to cover faithful performance, and includes aggregate coverage sufficient to cover all officers, employees, and contractors required to be bonded.
The aggregate liability for a surety or insurer for a policy year is the sum of the amounts specified in the bonds issued by the surety or insurer for that policy year. [IC 5-4-1-18(m)(2)] For example, if a Trustee has four consecutive yearly bonds for $30,000, the maximum liability of the insurer is $30,000 for each of the four years.
All bonds must commence on one of the following: The first day of the calendar year; the first day of the fiscal year of the Township; or the first day of the individual’s service in the office or employment position for which a bond is required. [IC 5-4-1-18(m)(1)]
All official bonds shall be made payable to the State of Indiana. [IC 5-4-1-10] The State is considered an additional named insured on all crime insurance policies. [IC 5-4-1-18(c)]
The Township must determine who must be bonded under the statute. The term ‘official duties’ is not defined. It is our position that ‘official duties’ may include duties set forth in a job description, duties that are customary or routinely performed, or duties that are assigned but not frequently performed. For example, if an office has three employees who routinely accept payments in the Townships office, then all three employees must be bonded. If an employee is assigned to accept certain registration fees but only receives funds once every other year, then that employee must be bonded.
There is no dollar threshold or de minimis exception in the statute. However, we will not take exception if employees of the Township who receive, process, deposit, disburse, or otherwise have access to public funds in an amount less than $5,000 are not bonded.
The bond premium on the official bond of the township assessor should be paid from county funds and not from township funds. IC 5-4-1-18; IC 6-1.1-3-5.
A public employer may contract for group insurance in relation to its employees (full-time or part-time employees or a person who provides personal services to the unit under contract during the contract period) and retired employees by either purchasing policies of group insurance or by establishing a self-insurance program.
A public employer may pay part of the cost of group insurance, but shall pay a part of the cost of group life insurance for local employees.
For more information on group insurance, see IC 5-10-8.
COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES
The township board shall set the compensation of all officers and employees of the township. Compensation shall be established using an annual, monthly, or biweekly salary schedule. An elected township officer is not required to report hours worked and may not be compensated based on the number of hours worked. IC 36-6-6-10
IC 36-6-6-10(b) defines compensation as the total of all money paid to an elected township office for performing duties as a township officer, regardless of the source of funds from which the money is paid. The term includes all employee benefits paid to an elected township office, including life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, retirement benefits, and pension benefits. For purposes of determining an increase or decrease in compensation of an elected township officer, the term does not include any of the following: (1) payment of an insurance premium. (2) Payments in recognition of (A) longevity; (B) professional certifications; or educational advancements that are separately identified on a salary ordinance or resolution. (3) Payment of a stipend or per diem allowed by statue. IC 36-6-6-10(c) states in part: “the township legislative boy shall fix the compensation of all officers and employees of the township.”
The trustee’s salary may be paid from multiple township funds. The breakdown should mirror the estimated time spent for each duty and must be clearly stated in the salary resolution. The trustee cannot receive any compensation in excess of what is noted on the salary resolution for the trustee. It is very important that the township board makes it clear what that total salary of the trustee will be and for what duties he/she will perform on the salary resolution.
The State Board of Accounts is of the audit position that the compensation provided by a township board in accordance with IC 36-6-6-10 on the salary resolution is all inclusive for all duties performed. We will request reimbursement for any payments received above the compensation established for the trustee, board members or other employees.
We recommend that the township board set the salaries of township officials and employees in conjunction with the preparation and completion of the township budget.
The type of format for recording these salaries should be the existing form of Township Form 17 Resolution Recommending Salaries of Township Officers and Employees. The salaries so fixed shall be recorded in the township board minutes.
IC 36-6-6-10(d) provides “The township board authority to reduce the salary of an elected or appointed official, however the official is entitled to a salary that is not less than the salary fixed for the first year of the term of office that immediately preceded the current term of office.”
IC 36-6-6-10(g) does not allow for the township board to reduce the salary of the township trustee without the consent of the township trustee during the term of office of the township trustee as set forth in IC 36-6-4-2.
Except as provided in subsection (i), “The township legislative body may not alter the salaries of elected or appointed officers during the fiscal year for which they are fixed, but it may add or eliminate any other position and change the salary of any other employee, if the necessary funds and appropriations are available.”
IC 36-6-6-10(i) provides “In a year in which there is not an election of members to the township legislative body, the township legislative body may vote to reduce the salaries of the members of the township legislative body by any amount.”
IC 36-6-6-10(f) provides “If a change in the mileage allowance paid to state officers and employees is established by July 1 of any year, that change shall be included in the compensation fixed for the township executive and assessor under this section, to take effect January 1 of the next year. However, the township legislative body may by ordinance provide for the change in the sum per mile to take effect before January 1 of the next year.”
IC 36-6-6-10(h) provides in part “If the Township executive dies or resigns from office the person filling the vacancy of the township executive shall receive at least the same salary the previous township executive received for the remainder of the unexpired term of office of the township executive unless the person consents to a reduction in salary.”
TOWNSHIP TELEPHONE, CELLULAR, AND INTERNET EXPENSES
The annual appropriations of a township for the expenses of renting an office and telephone expenses must, as nearly as is possible, be equal to the actual cost of those items. If the township trustee uses a part of his residence as his office, the township board shall appropriate a reasonable sum for that office space. IC 36-6-8-3
We will take into consideration a personal phone and internet reimbursement policy that is approved by the Township Board. If there is a policy adopted by the Township Board and presented to us that allows the Trustee a full reimbursement of these expenses, even though the use of these services was not restricted to Township use, we would not take exception.
Please be advised IC 12-20-5.5-3 provides the township trustee shall ensure adequate access to township assistance services, including a published telephone number in the name of the township.
Documentation should be retained to provide evidence that a personal phone number has been provided to the public as the contact number for the Township office. Common examples of acceptable documentation would include: a copy of the listing in a telephone directory, signage at the township office or a public building, listing on a governmental unit’s website, etc. Using Township funds to pay for personal use of telephone, cell phone, or internet services without a documented and approved Township policy may be the personal obligation of the responsible official or employee.
The State Board of Accounts will not take audit exception to reasonable cellular phone expenditures if Township owned cellular telephone(s) exist for which the township has a listing in the telephone directory in the name of the township. The Township must maintain a detailed listing from the cellular service company showing the township business nature of all calls made.
The State Board of Accounts will not take audit exception to reasonable internet expenditures if the township Internet service is in the name of the township and approved by the township board in accordance with IC 36-6-8-3.
MILEAGE AND TRAVEL
The township trustee is entitled to a sum for mileage in the performance of his official duties equal to the sum per mile paid to state officers and employees (IC 36-6-8-3). The State rate can be found on the Indiana Department of Administration’s website. Mileage Claim Form Number 101 shall be properly completed, listing dates of authorized travel, details of travel, miles traveled, nature of business, etc., for reimbursements for mileage before payment is made.
Official Opinion 74 of the Indiana Attorney General, issued in 1953, concluded there is no statutory authority for payment of a fixed amount of travel allowance to public employees and that a public employer may not reimburse an employee for a travel expense which is, in fact, not incurred by the employee. Also, there is no authority for a travel allowance to be paid without regard to the number of miles, if any, actually traveled.
Therefore, the State Board of Accounts is of the audit position that a fixed amount for travel allowance should not be paid. The prescribed method is to reimburse the employee for travel on the basis of a claim filed on Mileage Claim, Form 101.
A township trustee and township board should determine whether parking fees and toll charges are included in the rate or, on the other hand, whether such expenses are to be reimbursed separately based on the submission of receipts.
Reimbursed mileage should not include travel to and from the officer's or employee's home and regular place of employment. If more than one person rides in the same vehicle, only one mileage reimbursement is allowable. General Form 101 (or an approved substitute) should be used for claiming mileage. The odometer reading columns on this form are to be used only when the distance between points cannot be determined by fixed mileage or official highway maps.
When traveling outside the local unit's boundaries on official business, officers and employees may also be reimbursed for meals, lodging, and incidental expenses as defined in the travel policy. The claim for reimbursement should be supported by itemized receipts from hotels, restaurants, and transportation companies used by the officer or employee while traveling on official business.
If a fixed per diem rate is established by policy, the policy should clearly indicate which type of expenses, in addition to meals, are included in the rate and which expenses are to be reimbursed on the basis of actual receipts being submitted by the officer or employee. The policy should also define the local unit's boundaries for purposes of reimbursing travel; i.e., outside a 50-mile radius of the office, outside of the county, etc. The policy should cover a proportionate reduction in the per diem rate when meals are provided by an outside party.
TOWNSHIP VEHICLES AND BUILDINGS
IC 36-6-4-4 and IC 36-6-8-3 provides a trustee may use a township vehicle if authorized by the township board for official duties. A trustee may not also claim mileage reimbursement when using a township vehicle for official duties. A township trustee shall maintain a mileage log when using a town-ship vehicle.
No exception will be taken to authorized township vehicle purchases or leases, as long as the proper appropriation, bidding and disbursements procedures have been followed.
Any properly owned township vehicles, other than fire and emergency medical services apparatus, must have regularly maintained mileage logs which can be used to demonstrate that the vehicles are used for their designated purposes.
IC 36-9-17.5 provides for the cumulative township vehicle and building fund and the legislative body of a township may levy a tax on all taxable property within the township in compliance with IC 6-1.1-41. As the tax is collected, the tax shall be in a special fund known as the cumulative township vehicle and building fund.
IC 36-9-17.5-2 states "A township may establish a cumulative township vehicle and building fund under IC 6-1.1-41 to provide money to:
(1) acquire township vehicles;
(2) purchase, construct, equip, and maintain buildings for public purposes;
(3) acquire the land and any improvements on the land that are necessary for the construction of public buildings;
(4) demolish any improvements on land acquired under this section and level, grade, and prepare the land for the construction of a public building;
(5) acquire land or rights-of-way to be used as a public way or other means of ingress or egress to land acquired for the construction of a public building; and
(6) improve or construct any public way or other means of ingress or egress to land acquired for the construction of a public building."
DUTIES OF THE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
The trustee of the civil township has certain specific duties to perform. Space will not permit a listing of all of the specific duties of a township trustee. Some of the most important and most frequently performed duties are listed herein:
1. Keep a written record of official proceedings (Township Form 14, General Record);
2. Manage all township property interests;
3. Keep township records open for public inspection;
4. Attend all meetings of the township board;
5. Receive and pay out township funds;
6. Examine and settle all accounts and demands chargeable against the township;
7. Administer township assistance;
8. Perform the duties of fence viewer;
9. Provide and maintain cemeteries;
10. Provide fire protection;
11. File a Certified Report of Names, Addresses, Duties and Compensation of Public Employees (Form 100R) with the State Board of Accounts;
12. Provide and maintain township parks and community centers;
13. Destroy detrimental plants, noxious weeds, and rank vegetation;
14. Provide insulin to the poor, IC 36-6-4-3;
15. Administer oaths when necessary in the discharge of official duties;
16. Appoint an attorney to represent the township in any proceeding in which the township is interested;
17. Enter into certain oil and gas leases of township property;
18. Authority to perform notarial acts (notary public) without receiving a fee, IC 33-42-5-1;
19. The trustee shall maintain general accounts showing the total of all township receipts and expenditures;
20. The trustee shall maintain a financial and appropriation record, which must include an itemized and accurate account of the township's financial affairs. IC 36-6-4-5
21. All public funds collected by the trustee shall be deposited in the depository designated therefore, on or before the first and fifteenth days of each month. IC 5-13-6-1
22. On the first Monday of each August the trustee shall post, in a conspicuous place near his office, a verified statement showing the indebtedness of the township in detail and giving the number and total amount of outstanding orders, warrants and accounts. IC 36-6-4-10
23. The township trustee shall present a complete report of all receipts and expenditures of the preceding calendar year, including the balance to the credit of each fund controlled by the trustee. If the trustee controls any money that is not included in a particular fund, then the trustee shall state all the facts concerning that money in the report. The report must be submitted to the township board on or before the third Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each year at the annual meeting. A copy of the annual report shall remain in the custody of the chairman of the township board who shall keep it open to inspection by taxpayers. Within ten (10) days after the township board's action on said report, the trustee shall file a copy of the report and its accompanying vouchers in the county auditor's office. IC 36-6-4-12, IC 36-6-6-9.
The state examiner shall require from every municipality and every state or local governmental unit, entity, or instrumentality financial reports covering the full period of each fiscal year. These reports shall be prepared, verified, and filed with the state examiner not later than sixty (60) days after the close of each fiscal year. The reports must be filed electronically, in a manner prescribed by the state examiner that is compatible with the technology employed by the political subdivision. IC 5-11-1-4
The manner to submit the Annual Financial Report (AFR) currently prescribed by the State Examiner is via the Indiana Gateway for Governmental Units website.
24. When the trustee prepares the annual report mentioned above, the trustee shall also prepare an abstract of receipts and disbursements on forms prescribed by the State Board of Accounts. The abstract shall include; (1) the sum of money in each fund of the township at the beginning of the year, (2) the sum of money received in each fund of the township during the year, (3) the sum of money paid from each fund of the township during the year, (4) the sum of money remaining in each township at the end of each year, (5) a statement of receipts, showing their source and, (6) a statement of expenditures, showing the combined gross payment, according to classification of expense to each person.
Within four (4) weeks after the third Tuesday following the first Monday in February, the trustee shall publish the abstract once in one newspaper. IC 36-6-4-13, IC 5-3-1.
IC 5-3-1-4 states in part (d)" This subsection applies to notices published by officers of political subdivisions not covered by subsection (a) or (b). If there is only one (1) newspaper published in the political subdivision, then the notice shall be published in that newspaper. If no newspaper is published in the political subdivision, then publication shall be made in a newspaper published in the county and that circulates within the political subdivision."
Our opinion is that the annual report required by IC 36-6-4-12 and the annual report required to be submitted via the Gateway per IC 5-11-1-4 are not necessarily the same report. To not duplicate efforts, we have designed the Gateway Annual Financial Report (AFR) system to provide outputs that will satisfy the requirements of IC 36-6-4-12 and IC 36-6-4-13. We believe that it is the outgoing Trustee’s responsibility to provide the information required to be input into the Gateway AFR, but it is the incoming Trustee’s responsibility to input the information and submit the report prior to March 1 (within 60 days of the end of the fiscal period).
25. Transition from prior Trustee to newly elected Trustee - Township business is a continuing one; a change of office need not interrupt that business.
IC 36-6-4-14, concerning trustees who do not succeed themselves in office, states "When his term of office expires, the executive shall: (1) immediately deliver to the new executive custody of all funds and property of the township, except records necessary in the preparation of the former executive's annual report; (2) deliver to the new executive, not later than the second Monday in the next January, his annual report and any records he has retained; and (3) attend the annual meeting of the township legislative body held under IC 36-6-6-9 and submit to inquiries from the legislative body concerning the operation of the executive's office during the preceding calendar year."
The bank accounts should be in the name of the township, for example, "Clay Township, St. Joseph County", not in the name of the trustee. Therefore, if the account is properly in the name of the township, the change can be made at the bank by simply registering the authorized signature of the incoming trustee.
We suggest the outgoing trustee prepare in duplicate an itemized inventory of equipment and other assets owned by the township on December 31, to be signed by the successor and outgoing trustee. One copy is for the outgoing trustee and one copy is to be kept by the incoming trustee as a township record.
Sometimes difficulty exists for a person in office to convey to their successor all the knowledge gained during a term or terms of office. However, you may be able to give valuable assistance and you are urged to provide information to your successor.
26. List of persons to whom taxing unit owes money - On or before June 1st and December 1st of each year, the disbursing officer of each political subdivision shall certify the name and address of each person who has money due him from the political subdivision to the treasurer of each county in which the political subdivision is located. Upon the receipt of this information, the county treasurer shall search his records to ascertain if any person so certified to him is delinquent in the payment of property taxes. IC 6-1.1-22-14
27. Withholding and application of funds from payment of delinquent taxes - If the county treasurer finds that a person whose name is certified to him is delinquent in the payment of his taxes, he shall certify the name of that person and the amount of delinquency to the official of the political subdivision who is to make payment to the person. The disbursing officer shall periodically make deductions from money due the person and shall pay the amount of these deductions to the county treasurer. IC 6-1.1-22-15
A county treasurer who receives funds that have been deducted from money due a person shall apply the funds to the delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest owed by that person until those items are paid in full. IC 6-1.1-22-17
28. A township trustee is purely a statutory officer with only such power and authority as the laws vest in him. (State ex rel. Walkerton-Lincoln Tp. Consolidated School v. Citizens Nat. Bank, 1935, 100 Ind. App. 501, 193 N.E. 389)
29. The office of township trustee is a lucrative office and the trustee is prohibited by the Constitution of Indiana from holding any other lucrative office while serving as township trustee. (Bishop v. State, ex rel. Gruner, 1897, 149 Ind. 223 48 N.E. 1038; Creighton v. Piper, 1860, 14 Ind. 182)
30. All local investment officers shall reconcile at least monthly the balance of public funds, as disclosed by the records of the local officers, with the balance statements provided by the respective depositories. IC 5-13-6-1
31. Each office is a distribution site for registration by mail forms. IC 3-7-24
32. During the annual meeting required by IC 5-13-7, the investment officer shall make a written report to the investing officer's local board of finance summarizing the political subdivision's investments during the previous calendar year. The report must contain the name of each financial institution, government agency or instrumentality, or other person with whom the political subdivision invested money during the previous calendar year. The local board of finance shall do the following at the meeting: (1) review the report; and (2) review the overall investment policy of the political subdivision. IC 5-13-7-7
- Description of Township and General Forms
FORMS TO BE USED - TOWNSHIP FORMS
1C (2017) Financial and Appropriation Record
6 (Revised 1967) Township Trustee Check
14 (Revised 1955) Trustee's General Record
16 (2006) Township Trustee's Receipt
17 (Revised 2020) Resolution Establishing Salaries of Township Officers and Employees
TOWNSHIP BUDGET FORMS
Prescribed by Department of Local Government Finance
86 (Revised 1947) Contractor's Combination Bid Bond and Bond for Construction
86A (1947) Contractor's Bond for Construction
96 (Revised 2005) Contractor's Bid for Public Works
98 (Revised 2001) Purchase Order
99 (Revised 1985) Payroll Schedule and Voucher
99A (Revised 1985) Employee's Service Record
99B (Revised 1985) Employee's Earnings Record
99C (1985) Employee's Weekly (Work Period) Earnings Record
101 (1955) Mileage Claim
350 (1964) Register of Investments
369 (Revised 2004) Capital Asset Ledger
370 (1997) Receipt Register
TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE FORMS
TA-1 (Revised 2004) Application For Township Assistance
TA-1A (Revised 2004) Notice of Township Assistance Action
TA-1B (Revised 2004) Application For Additional or Continuing Township Assistance
TA-2 (Revised 2004) Township Assistance Purchase Order
FINANCIAL AND APPROPRIATION RECORD (Form 1C - Revised 2017)
The Financial and Appropriation Record is furnished bound with continuous metal or plastic fasteners. Form 1C includes a record of receipts, disbursements and balances by fund; a control of all funds and a control of expenditures by appropriation. The left hand page includes columns for date, voucher number, name and explanation of receipt and disbursement items. A detail of the Township, Fire Fighting, Cumulative Fire, Township Assistance, Rainy Day, and the Excess Levy Fund is provided, with space provided for other funds, if needed. A fund is any amount of money collected for and to be disbursed for a specific purpose or purposes. Appropriations are the authority to spend money in a fund for specific purposes so appropriated.
The right-hand page includes the accounting for deductions from salaries and wages, shown as the "M" accounts described further in this section.
Form 1C may be used in townships having only a few transactions in a year for more than one calendar year.
Purpose of Ruled Columns
The "A" columns provide for a control account of all funds: A-1 Received for all Funds; A-2 Disbursed for all Funds; and A-3 Balance in all funds.
The "B" columns provide controls for the Township Fund; the "C" columns for the Township Assistance Fund; the “D” column for the Fire Fighting Fund; the “E” column for the Cumulative Fire Fund; the “F” Column for the Rainy Day Fund; the “G” column for the Excess Levy Fund; other columns are available for any other funds as may be required.
Following the "B" columns are four columns for listing expenditures by appropriation from the Township Fund, as originally approved, along with space for investments purchased and interfund transfers. Record the total appropriation made for personal services in column 1. The remaining columns account for the total appropriations, as shown on Budget Form No. 1.
All additional or emergency appropriations made during the year, or any transfers between departments should be added to the then remaining appropriation in the proper column 1 through 4.
Note that the columns headed by letters are to be used for all fund financial transactions in the several funds, and the columns headed by numbers are to be used for appropriations and expenditures from such appropriations. Additional fund columns do not have a letter, which may be added as needed.
Columns "M-1" to "M-5" are to be used to record receipts of all deductions from salaries and wages. Columns "M-6" records the disbursements to federal and state departments designated to receive the various withholdings and column "M-7" accounts for balances withheld and not yet paid to proper authorities.
Open a new record, or a new series of pages for each year, by recording all fund balances of the previous year. Record the total balances as of the end of the previous year on line 2, in column A-3. Post the balance in each of such funds as of January 1 on line 2, in columns B-3, C-3, etc., and others if used. The sum of columns B-1, C-1, and others used should equal the amount posted in column A-1. Likewise, the sum of columns B-3, C-3, and others should equal column A-3.
Receipts and disbursements during the year are to be posted on lines 3 to 34, inclusively.
For receipts, show the date received, the receipt number (posted in "Voucher Number" column), the name of person from whom received, the nature or purpose of the receipt, and the amount in columns A-1, Total All Funds, and the appropriate fund to which the receipt belongs in B-1, C-1, etc. The total of the funds columns will equal the entry in A-1.
For disbursements, show the date of payment, voucher number, name of payee, nature or purpose of disbursement, and the amount in Columns A-2, Total All Funds, and the appropriate fund or funds to which the disbursements belong in B-2, C-2, etc. Distribution of the amounts disbursed should be made at the same time by charging the appropriation account or accounts (the number columns in each fund). The total postings to the numbered columns in each fund will equal the postings to B-2, C-2, etc., and the total of these columns will equal A-2.
All checks from which salary deductions are made must be entered in Column A-2, in the net amount. The gross amount is to be entered in the appropriate fund disbursed column and the correct appropriation column to which the disbursement applies. The amounts withheld must be entered in the appropriate "M" column under "Deductions from Salaries and Wages". Thus the net amount of the warrants issued in Column A-2, plus the amounts withheld in the "M" columns will equal the gross amount of disbursements in the funds disbursed columns and in the appropriation columns affected.
The amounts withheld in the "M" columns are to be disbursed as follows:
- Make wage reports to Public Employee's Retirement Fund, 501 Harrison Building, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, in accordance with their instructions.
- On or before January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 of each year:
- Make report of federal tax withheld during the preceding quarter and make payment to Internal Revenue Service, if not deposited previously in accordance with IRS deposit requirements.
- Make report WH-1 and pay State Tax withheld during preceding quarter to Indiana Department of Revenue.
- On or before January 31 of each year prepare and furnish each employee Federal Form W-2 showing compensation paid, and appropriate withholdings; and State WH-2, showing compensation paid and proper withholdings.
Post the checks written to disburse taxes withheld, to Column M-6 and A-2 only. The net salary payments as originally posted and the posting or remittances from Column M-6 account for total salaries in Column A-2.
Proving the Financial and Appropriation Record
The record is to be proved at the close of each month and reconciled with the monthly bank statement or statements. As pages become fully posted, lines 3 to 34 inclusive, or for as many lines are used in a month, the items are to be totaled for all columns. After checking off the township checks returned paid by the bank or banks, list the checks, outstanding, immediately following the totals, on the first full page of the Financial and Appropriation Record. The total receipts of all separate funds must agree with the control Column A-1, and the total disbursements of all separate funds must agree with the control Column A-2, plus the balance carried in Column M-7. The total balances in all funds must agree with the control Column A-3, minus the balance in Column M-7.
After the funds have been proved to the control account, prove the various appropriation expenditures of each fund to total disbursements for each fund. As a check, the total of all appropriation (numbered) accounts must equal the total of Column A-2, plus the balance of Column M-7.
The amount shown in Column A-3 (all funds) should be the same as the balance given by the bank or banks, less the checks outstanding.
TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE CHECK (Form 6 - Revised 1967)
The Township Trustee Check is to be used for payment of payrolls and payment of other expenses by all Township Trustees. The check is to be printed in triplicate and must be prenumbered by the printer. The check may be printed either in single sets with checkbook binding or loose-leaf for use with a typewriter.
The duplicate is the voucher copy to accompany the annual report to the county auditor after the close of the year. The payee line should be signed by the recipient of Township funds in all instances where Township Assistance is provided directly to the eligible person. The Trustee should make every effort available to obtain the payee’s signature from a recipient of Township funds. If not possible or if the Trustee determines that the benefits of not signing outweighs the costs of obtaining the signature, then the Trustee shall document their reasoning and adjust internal control processes accordingly.
The triplicate is the trustee's copy and, if loose-leaf, is to be punched and retained in a post binder.
The trustee should detach the earnings and deductions slip (perforated at top of original check) before issuing the check to the payee when the check is used for payment of expenses other than payrolls. The employee is to detach the slip before cashing the check, when the check is used for payment of salaries or wages, for their personal record.
All of the information for which space is provided must be placed on every check where applicable.
Checks returned by the depository should be kept in the trustee's office, as the endorsements of the payees constitute final evidence of payment.
Cancellation of Checks
All checks drawn upon public funds of the township, which checks are outstanding and unpaid for two or more years as of December 31 of each year, shall be declared void. IC 5-11-10.5-2 The amounts of such checks should be receipted into the fund or funds from which originally drawn by writing an official receipt or receipts, therefore. The amount of such check should be receipted into the township (general) fund if the fund from which a check was drawn is not now in existence or cannot be ascertained. These checks should also be removed from the list of outstanding checks. IC 5-11-10.5-5
"Not later than March 1 of each year, the treasurer of each political subdivision shall prepare or cause to be prepared a list in triplicate of all warrants or checks that have been outstanding for a period of two (2) or more years as of December 31 of the preceding year. The original copy of each list shall be filed with the: (1) board of finance of a political subdivision; or (2) fiscal body of a city or town. IC 5-11-10.5-3
TRUSTEE'S GENERAL RECORD (Form 14 - Revised 1955)
The Trustee's General Record is a bound book of eighty (80) sheets consisting of forty (40) sheets Ruling A, thirty (30) sheets Ruling B, and ten (10) sheets Ruling C. Any decision concerning township business which the trustee makes himself should be recorded in the first section, Ruling A. Some examples of the trustee's decisions which should be recorded in this section are: Awards of contracts to bidders not rejected by the township board, description and cost of construction or repair of line fences, eradication of Canada thistle, details of sale of township property, decisions concerning certain township assistance cases, etc.
Ruling B is an insurance record, and every policy issued for the benefit of the township should be listed. The left-hand page provides for policy number, name of the insurance company, property covered, kind of insurance, and date of the policy, amount of insurance, total premiums payable, and premiums payable by years. All policies should be listed, and postings to this record should be made each time a policy is issued or renewed.
Ruling C provides for a record of all civil township and school township indebtedness other than bonds. A record of all township bonds should be kept on General Form 53. Record on Ruling C all other indebtedness such as notes, lease-rental contracts, etc. Record each instrument when issued. List the nature of indebtedness (notes, etc.), date of issue, to whom payable, purpose of the issue, rate of interest, due date of final payment, total amount payable, and date and amount of interest payments. Also list all payments of principal, giving date and amount of payments, and the resulting balance due. Please remember to leave enough blank lines to record principal and interest payments each year until maturity. If principal and interest are paid semiannually, two lines must be allowed for each year until maturity of the instrument.
TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE'S RECEIPT (Form 16 - 2006)
The Township Trustee's Receipt (Form 16-Rev. 2006) is to be used for receipt of each item of money received. Indicate in the space "On Account Of" the fund or funds to which the receipt is to be posted and identify the receipt, such as a Tax Distribution, Fire Protection Agreement, Temporary Loan, Bank Loan for Equipment, etc. Give the original to the payor, and retain all duplicates in the bound record. Payment amount for cash, check, money order, credit card/bank card, EFT, and other shall be designated on each receipt.
If a printing company is not used, the trustee can print this form on Township equipment and stock. It is required that the Township’s accounting system have proper internal controls in place that would assign receipt numbers to the transaction entered in the system, which would match the prenumbered receipt forms.
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING SALARIES OF TOWNSHIP OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES (Form 17 - Revised 2020)
IC 36-6-6-10 requires the township board to set the salaries; wages; rates of hourly pay; and remuneration other than statutory allowances of all township officials and employees, except assessing officials and employees, for the year 1985 and each year thereafter. However, please remember the township board should RECORD THE SALARIES SO FIXED IN THE TOWNSHIP BOARD MINUTES. A type of format for recording these salaries should be the existing format of Township Form No. 17. We recommend the board set the salaries of township officials and employees, in conjunction with the preparation and completion of the township budget.
Salaries established for any one position should not have multiple classifications i.e., a clerk position should not be annual and hourly and weekly, etc.
IC 36-6-6-10 (d) provides subject to subsection (e) the township legislative body may reduce the salary of an elected or appointed official. However, the official is entitled to a salary not less than the salary fixed for the first year of the term of office that immediately preceded the current term of office.
Township Form No. 17 (Revised 2020) has been prescribed to fulfill the requirements of the law.
APPLICATION FOR TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE (FORM TA-1, Revised 2004)
Application for Township Assistance is to be completed by each person who applies for township assistance. Any person expressing a desire for assistance shall be permitted to apply, whether or not the trustee believes the person to be eligible. Each completed form must be filed in the trustee's office, whether or not relief is granted on the application. The trustee shall not extend aid to persons or families unless an affidavit setting forth the personal condition of the family has been filed within one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the date of the extension of aid.
An individual filing an application and affidavit on behalf of a household must provide the names of all household members and any information necessary for determining for household's eligibility for township assistance. The application must be on the form prescribed by the State Board of Accounts. IC 12-20-6-1
The township trustee shall assist an applicant for township assistance in completing a township assistance application if the applicant: (1) has a mental or physical disability, including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, blindness, or paralysis; (2) has dyslexia; or (3) cannot read or write the English language. IC 12-20-6-1
A township trustee shall determine whether an applicant or a member of the applicant's household has been denied assistance under IC 12-14. The trustee has no obligation to extend aid to those denied assistance in the sections described above. A trustee shall not extend aid to an applicant or a member of the applicant's household if they have been convicted of an offense under IC 35-43-5-7 or IC 35-43-5-7.1 as follows: (1) if the conviction is a misdemeanor a trustee shall not extend aid to the applicant or household for one year after the conviction. (2) If the conviction is a felony, aid shall not be extended for ten (10) years after the conviction. IC 12-20-6-0.5
If an individual who is required to sign a form under this section is unable to sign in the township trustee's office due to a physical or mental disability or illness, the township trustee shall make alternate arrangements to obtain the individual's signature. IC 12-20-7-1
NOTICE OF TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE ACTION (Form TA-1A, Revised 2004)
Immediately after any action is taken upon a completed township assistance application or, in the case of termination or reduction of existing benefits, before action is taken, a "Notice of Township Assistance Action" form shall be delivered to the applicant or recipient in person or by first class United States mail at said person's last known address. A copy of each completed "Notice" shall be filed with the applicant's application in the trustee's office. In those cases where the trustee has determined to terminate or reduce benefits, if an appeal is requested within ten (10) days, assistance shall be continued to those recipients until a decision by the county commissioners is made. See Brooks v. Center Township, 485 F 2d 383 (7th Cir. 1973), which requires in cases where termination or reduction of benefits is proposed, that assistance be continued pending a hearing and determination by the board of county commissioners if the recipient requests such a hearing. An appeal to the board of county commissioners should be in writing or orally as may be required by the commissioners. The appeal should be made within fifteen (15) days from the date the trustee denies assistance, if the applicant has been informed of his right to appeal and the procedure for such appeal. An application for township assistance is not considered complete until all adult members of the requesting household have signed: (1) the township assistance application; and (2) any other form, instrument, or document: (A) required by law; or (B) determined necessary for investigative purposes by the trustee, as contained in the township assistance guidelines. IC 12-20-6-8
In a case of emergency, a trustee shall accept and promptly act upon an application from an individual requesting assistance. In a nonemergency request for township assistance, the trustee shall act on the completed application not later than seventy-two (72) hours after receiving the completed application, excluding weekends and legal holidays listed in IC 1-1-9. The trustee's office shall retain a copy of each completed application and affidavit whether or not relief is granted.
The actions that a trustee may take on a completed application for township assistance, except in a case of emergency, are the following:
1. Grant assistance.
2. Deny assistance, including a partial denial of assistance requested.
3. Leave the decision pending.
A decision pending determination under subsection (b)(3):
1. May not remain pending for more than seventy-two (72) hours after the expiration of the period described in subsection (a); and
2. Must include a statement listing the specific reasons that assistance is not granted or denied within the period required under subsection (a). IC 12-20-6-7
APPLICATION FOR ADDITIONAL OR CONTINUING TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE (Form TA-1B, Revised 2004)
Application for Additional or Continuing Township Assistance should be completed for additional or continuing township assistance.
The township trustee may not extend additional or continuing aid to an individual or a household unless the individual or household files an affidavit with the request for assistance affirming how, if at all, the personal condition of the individual or the household has changed from that set forth in the individual's or household's most recent application. IC 12-20-6-5
TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE PURCHASE ORDER (Form TA-2, Revised 2004)
Township Assistance Purchase Order must be issued for each and every township assistance order for medical aid. The form is to be made out in triplicate. The original is either given the indigent to take to the doctor or vendor, or is mailed to the doctor or vendor. The duplicate is to be filed alphabetically in the assistance office, and the triplicate remains in the book in numerical order. The purchase order must be completely filled out and itemized before being issued to the doctor or vendor. The doctor or vendor must itemize fully on the reverse side the exact services rendered or items supplied, and must obtain the signature of the relief client. When more than one service is rendered on the same purchase order, a separate report (Form TA-4) must be submitted for each service showing necessary signatures. The original purchase order, signed by the recipient, must accompany the doctor's or vendor's claim when filed with the trustee for payment.
PURCHASE ORDER (Form 98 - Revised 2001)
The Purchase Order in triplicate is prescribed for use in placing orders for township supplies, materials, goods and equipment. The trustee must complete the form by listing the quantity, unit, description, unit price, and amount of articles ordered. The trustee must list the appropriation name and number and certify that there is an unobligated balance in the appropriation sufficient to pay for the order. The original is forwarded to the vendor, the duplicate is filed for public record, and the triplicate is retained in the files of the township trustee for use in checking the order when furnished by the vendor. The purchase order should show the amount of the purchase if known, or if not known an estimate should be made.
PAYROLL SCHEDULE AND VOUCHER (General Form 99 - Revised 1985)
The Payroll Schedule and Voucher is used for recording payrolls. The form is used to post Form 99B.
EMPLOYEE'S SERVICE RECORD (General Form No. 99A - Revised 1985)
The Employee's Service Record is kept for each employee in order to properly prepare "Payroll Schedule and Voucher, General Form No. 99." It records the hours or days worked, sick leave, vacation and days lost. The Employee's Service Record may also be used to comply with the requirements of IC 5-11-9-4 regarding recording hours worked each day by an employee.
We suggest that these be arranged alphabetically in a binder.
EMPLOYEE'S EARNINGS RECORD (General Form 99B - Revised 1985)
The Employee's Earnings Record is to be used for each officer and employee receiving payment for services rendered from the township. The posting information is to be taken from the tear strip on Check Form 6 and provides a proof of payments made for the year, in addition to accumulating amounts withheld from salaries and wages for taxes, social security, Medicare, PERF, etc.
EMPLOYEE'S WEEKLY (WORK PERIOD) EARNINGS RECORD (General Form No. 99C - 1985)
The Employee's Weekly (Work Period) Earnings Record has been prescribed to meet the record-keeping requirements of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION FORMS
The following general forms should be used if any construction project is undertaken:
- General Form 86 (Revised 1947), Contractor's Combination Bid Bond and Bond for Construction
- General Form 86A (1947), Contractor's Bond for Construction
- General Form 96 (Revised 2005), Contractor's Bid for Public Works
CAPITAL ASSET LEDGER (Form 369 – 2019)
To ensure adequate safeguards over capital assets, townships should maintain proper asset records. Every governmental unit should have a complete inventory of all capital assets owned which reflects their acquisition value. Such inventory should be recorded on the applicable Capital Assets Ledger. A complete inventory should be taken at least every two years for good internal control and for verifying account balances carried in the accounting records.
MILEAGE CLAIM (General Form No. 101)
This form is designed to serve as a claim for mileage to be presented to the board for allowance.
Officers and employees may be reimbursed for actual miles traveled in their own motor vehicles on official business of the city or town at a reasonable rate per mile as fixed by ordinance or resolution of the board. If two or more persons ride in the same motor vehicle, only one mileage reimbursement is allowable. The speedometer reading columns on this form are to be used only when distance between points cannot be determined by fixed mileage, official state highway map, or reliable map application.
After the claim has been completely processed, allowed and the warrant issued it should be filed numerically by warrant number with other claims for the same period.
Reimbursed mileage must not include travel to and from the officer's or employee's home and the governmental office in which he works, unless otherwise authorized by law.
- Budgets and Appropriations
The township trustee shall annually prepare a budget for the approval of the township board. The trustee shall present an itemized written statement of the estimated expenditures for the year for which appropriations are asked. IC 36-6-4-11
Budgets must be published two times in each of two (2) newspapers published in the township. If there is only one (1) newspaper published in the political subdivision, then the notice shall be published in that newspaper. If no newspaper is published in the political subdivision, then publication shall be made in a newspaper published in the county and that circulates within the political subdivision. The first publication must be made not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of public hearing. IC 6-1.1-17-3, IC 5-3-1-4
The annual date for adoption of the budget is not later than November 1. IC 6-1.1-17-5
Ten (10) or more taxpayers may object to a budget, tax rate, or tax levy by filing an objection petition with the proper officers of the political subdivision not more than seven (7) days after the hearing.
Any objection filed against the budget shall be forwarded by the county auditor to the Department of Local Government Finance. IC 6-1.1-17-13
Additional or emergency appropriations may be made during the year under certain conditions. All additional appropriations shall be limited to revenues available or to be made available which are in addition to and in excess of those revenues anticipated in the original budget, and a showing of such excess revenues must be made before any such additional appropriations may be approved. Additional appropriations may also be made, which are not in excess of the original appropriations, by decreasing an unused and unexpended appropriation or appropriations, in an amount equal to the additional appropriations asked. Additional appropriations must be advertised one (1) time at least ten (10) days before the date of the hearing. IC 6-1.1-18-5; IC 5-3-12(b)
PREPARATION OF THE BUDGET
Townships should contact the Department of Local Government Finance for all current Budget Forms and procedures. The budget manual, training, and form are located on their website at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/8945.htm.
TRANSFER OF APPROPRIATION (WITHIN A FUND)
If the proper legal officers of any township determine that it is necessary to transfer an appropriation from one major budget classification to another, the transfer of appropriation is made by resolution of the township board of the township at a regular public meeting. A transfer may be made under IC 6-1.1-18-6 without notice and without approval of the Department of Local Government Finance.
SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION PROCEDURES:
1. Notice to Taxpayers is published at least ten (10) days prior to the taxing unit’s public meeting on the proposed additional appropriation.
2. Public meeting is held on the date and time as advertised. Resolution/Ordinance is passed.
3. Appropriations that require DLGF approval are reviewed by the Department to ensure that funds are available.
4. For all funds that are “Reporting Only”, the unit must report the fund and amount appropriated to the Department of Local Government Finance.
5. The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) issues a written determination on appropriations requiring approval within fifteen (15) days of receipt. The deadline to submit additional appropriation requests to the DLGF can be found in the budget calendar. Appropriations are available for use upon receipt of DLGF approval.
6. If appropriations are denied, the unit may request within fifteen (15) days specific reconsideration of determination by the DLGF.
7. The DLGF will respond to a reconsideration request within 15 days of receipt.
A township may request a reconsideration of a determination of the Department of Local Government Finance under this section by filing a written request for reconsideration. A request for reconsideration must: (1) be filed with the Department of Local Government Finance within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of the determination by the political subdivision; and (2) state with reasonable specificity the reason for the request. The Department of Local Government Finance must act on a request for reconsideration within fifteen (15) days of receiving the request.
INSURANCE CLAIM PROCEEDS
IC 6-1.1-18-7 states "Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, the fiscal officer of a political subdivision may appropriate funds received from an insurance company if: (1) the funds are received as a result of damage to property of the political subdivision; and (2) the funds are appropriated for the purpose of repairing or replacing the damaged property. However, this section applies only if the funds are in fact expended to repair or replace the property within the twelve (12) month period after they are received."
IC 6-1.1-18-9 states "Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, the proper officer of officers of a political subdivision may: (1) reappropriate money recovered from erroneous or excessive disbursements if the error and recovery are made within the current budget year; or (2) refund, without appropriation, money erroneously received."
PROPERTY TAX ADVANCES
Please be advised of the availability of a property tax distribution advance to help avoid overdrawn funds and cash flow problems. IC 5-13-6-3
- The Township Board
At the time of electing township trustees, the voters of the several townships shall elect a township board consisting of three residents and qualified voters of the township. The term of office shall be for four years, or until their successors are elected and qualified, and shall begin on the first day of January succeeding their election. IC 3-10-2-13
Members of the township board shall subscribe and file with the township trustee an oath to discharge their duties faithfully and honestly as prescribed by law. IC 5-4-1-4
If a vacancy occurs in the board, it shall be filled by a political party caucus, of the same party as the officer who vacated, for the unexpired term as provided in IC 3-13-10-1. Other township board vacancies shall be filled by the county commissioners. IC 3-13-10-4
A member shall reside in the township in which he was elected. If a member ceases to be a resident of the township, the office becomes vacant. IC 36-6-6-3
The annual salary of each member of the township board may be set by the township board. IC 36-6-6-10 (d) provides subject to subsection (e) the township legislative body may reduce the salary of an elected or appointed official. However, the official is entitled to a salary not less than the salary fixed for the first year of the term of office that immediately preceded the current term of office.
If a township board member serves for part of the year only, the compensation shall be the annual salary prorated based on the time served. IC 36-6-8-13
IC 36-6-6-10 provides in part (i) In a year in which there is not an election of members to the township legislative body, the township legislative body may by majority vote reduce the salaries of the members of the township legislative body by any amount.
The board shall keep a record of proceedings in a separate book to be furnished by the trustee, and kept as a part of the records of the township, to be known as "The Record of the Township Board" of such township. Said record is to remain in the custody of the chairman of the board. IC 36-6-6-8
All proceedings had and decisions made by a township board must be entered of record, which record shall be open to public inspection and persons dealing with the township trustee must take notice of such record. (First National Bank v. Van Buren School Tp., 1911, 47 Ind. App. 79, 93 N.E. 863)
The secretary of the township board shall under the direction of the board record the minutes of the proceedings of each meeting in full and provide copies of the minutes to each member of the township board before the next meeting is convened. After the minutes are approved by the township board, the secretary of the township board shall place the minutes in the permanent record book. Any meeting may adjourn from day to day until the business is completed. IC 36-6-6-5, IC 36-6-6-8
The township board shall meet annually on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January at the office of the township trustee. The board shall meet and organize annually on the above date by electing one of its members chairman and one of its member's secretary for that year. Any two members shall constitute a quorum. IC 36-6-6-7
If a newly elected township board holds a special meeting before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the January following its election, it shall elect a chairman and a secretary before conducting any other business. The chairman and secretary elected at the special meeting retain those positions until the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year following the special meeting. IC 36-6-6-7
Meeting to Approve Annual Report
The board shall meet annually on or before the third Tuesday after the first Monday in February to consider and approve in whole or in part the annual report of the township trustee. IC 36-6-6-9
Board of Finance Meeting
The township board shall meet annually after the first Monday and on or before the last day of January and organize as a board of finance. IC 5-13-7-6
During the annual meeting required by IC 5-13-7, the investment officer shall make a written report of the investing officer's investments during the previous calendar year. The report must contain the name of each financial institution, government agency or instrumentality, or other person with whom the political subdivision invested money during the previous calendar year. The local board of finance shall do the following at the meeting: (1) review the report; and (2) review the overall investment policy. IC 5-13-7-7
Budget Adoption Meeting
The annual meeting for the adoption of the annual budget, and any special meetings, may be held at a convenient place in the township, notice of which shall be given as provided by law.
Special meetings may be held if the township trustee, or chairman of the township board, or a majority of the members of the township board, issue a written notice of the meeting to each member of the board. IC 36-6-6-13.5
Publication of Notices
Publishing notice of meetings is required when another law requires meetings or notices to be published. If the law that requires the meeting does not mention IC 5-3-1-3, then you would follow the requirements of the Open-Door law. IC 5-14-1.5 Meetings that follow the requirements of the Open-Door law would require notice posted 48 hours in advance and it is not required to publish notice in the newspaper(s).
DUTIES OF THE TOWNSHIP BOARD
Some of the most important duties of a township board are:
o To advise with the township trustee concerning matters pertaining to the civil township.
o To organize by electing a chairman and secretary at each annual meeting of the board held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January. IC 36-6-6-7
o To examine and approve, in whole or in part, the annual report of the township trustee on or before the third Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each year. When such examination is completed, the board shall enter of record the action thereon, specifically stating such parts and items as may be altered or disallowed. The chairman retains custody of the report. IC 36-6-6-9
o To keep a record of all business transacted at all meetings.
o To make appropriations and establish tax rates and levies for the ensuing year (no later than November 1) with notice given by the trustee. IC 6-1.1-17-5
o To make additional or emergency appropriations as the need or emergency arises.
o Resolve tie votes in township office elections. IC 3-12-9-4
When a vacancy has been created in the office of township trustee for the period between when the vacancy occurs and when the vacancy is filled, the chief deputy employee of the trustee assumes the duties of the township trustee. If no chief deputy employee exists, the chairman of the township board assumes the duties of the township trustee.
Any person who assumes the duties of any vacant office has all its rights and duties. IC 3-13-11-18
If the legislative body finds that an emergency requires the borrowing of money to meet the township's current expenses; it may take out temporary loans in an amount not more than eighty percent (80%) of the total anticipated revenue for the remainder of the year in which the loans are taken out.
The legislative body must authorize the temporary loans by a resolution stating the nature of the consideration for the loans; stating the time the loans are payable; stating the place the loans are payable; stating a rate of interest; stating the anticipated revenues on which the loans are based and out of which they are payable; and appropriating a sufficient amount of the anticipated revenues on which the loans are based and out of which they are payable for the payment of the loans. IC 36-6-6-15
FUNDING AND REFUNDING INDEBTEDNESS
Any civil township in the state whose indebtedness is evidenced by bonds, notes, judgments, or other obligations issued or negotiated by such township, or rendered against such township, may for the purpose of funding or refunding such indebtedness, or any part thereof, reducing the rate of interest thereon, extending the time of payment and canceling so much thereof as may be or become due, by the vote of two thirds (2/3) of the members of the township board, and with the approval of the township trustee, issue its bonds, with interest coupons attached, for an amount not exceeding in the aggregate the whole amount of the indebtedness of such township. IC 5-1-10-1
TOWNSHIP BOARD - LUCRATIVE OFFICE
The office of township board is a lucrative office. Hence, a member cannot hold any other lucrative office at the same time such as member of the county council. It is the accepted rule of law in Indiana that the acceptance of a second lucrative office, in violation of the constitutional provision, automatically vacates the office occupied at the time of such acceptance. (Opinions of Attorney General 1935, page 333; Wells v. State ex rel. Peden, 175 Ind. 381)
UNUSED AND UNENCUMBERED BALANCE IN TOWNSHIP FUND - TRANSFER TO DEBT SERVICE FUND OF SCHOOL CORPORATION
Whenever an unused and unencumbered balance remains in the civil township fund of a township and a current tax levy for the fund is not needed, the township fiscal body may order any part of the balance of that fund transferred to the debt service fund of the school corporation located in or partly in the township. However, if more than one (1) school corporation is located in or partly in the township, then any sum transferred shall be transferred to the debt service fund of each of those school corporations in the same proportion that the part of the assessed valuation of the school corporation in the township bears to the total assessed valuation of the township. IC 36-1-8-5
MEMBERSHIP IN GOVERNMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS BOARD'S AUTHORITY TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS REPRESENTATION
Township boards are hereby authorized to appropriate necessary funds to provide membership of townships in county, state and national association of a civic, educational or governmental nature, which have as their purpose the betterment and improvement of township governmental operations. Townships are also authorized to participate in the activities of these associations, and the township boards are authorized to appropriate money to defray the expenses of such representatives in connection with these activities. IC 36-6-6-12
DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY
The fiscal body of a unit must approve every sale of real property having an appraised value of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more and every lease of real property for which the annual rental payments will be more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or more. IC 36-1-11-3
Public hearing and notice requirements exist under IC 36-1-11-3 for certain disposals of real property.
If there is a constitutional or statutory provision requiring a specific manner for exercising a power, a unit wanting to exercise the power must do so in that manner.
If there is no constitutional or statutory provision requiring a specific manner for exercising a power, a unit wanting to exercise a power must either adopt a resolution prescribing a specific manner for exercising the power or comply with a statutory provision permitting a specific manner for exercising the power. A resolution must be adopted by the legislative body of the township.
A township may not exercise power the township has if another unit in which all or part of the township is located exercises that same power. IC 36-1-3-5
(a) Subject to subsection (b), a unit does not have the following:
1. The power to condition or limit its civil liability, except as expressly granted by law.
2. The power to prescribe the law governing civil actions between private persons.
3. The power to impose duties on another political subdivision, except as expressly granted by law.
4. The power to impose a tax, except as expressly granted by law.
5. The power to impose a license fee greater than that reasonably related to the administrative cost of exercising a regulatory power.
6. The power to impose a service charge or user fee greater than that reasonably related to reasonable and just rates and charges for services.
7. The power to regulate conduct that is regulated by a state agency except as expressly granted by law.
8. The power to prescribe a penalty for conduct constituting a crime or infraction under law.
9. The power to prescribe a penalty of imprisonment for an ordinance violation.
10. The power to prescribe a penalty of a fine of more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for the first violation of an ordinance or more than seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) for a second or subsequent violation of the ordinance.
11. The power to invest money, except as expressly granted by law.
12. The power to order or conduct an election, except as expressly granted by law.
(b) A township does not have the following, except as expressly granted by law:
1. The power to require a license or impose a license fee.
2. The power to impose a service charge or user fee.
3. The power to prescribe a penalty. IC 36-1-3-8
- Township Assistance
Prescribed forms to be used by the township trustee in the administration of township assistance include: TA-1, TA-1A, TA-1B, and TA-2.
ADMINISTRATOR OF TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
The township trustee is ex officio administrator of township assistance within the township. IC 12-20-5-1
The township trustee shall, in cases of necessity, promptly provide medical assistance for all the poor in his township who are not provided for in public institutions. See that medicines, medical supplies, special diets, or tests prescribed by a physician or surgeon in attendance upon poor individuals in the township are properly furnished. The township trustee may, in cases of necessity, authorize the payment from township assistance funds for water, gas and electric services, including the payment of delinquent bills for such services, when necessary to prevent their termination or to restore terminated service.
The administrator of township assistance may hire osteopaths and chiropractors as well as medical doctors. (Opinions of Attorney General 1935, Page 317)
Where a resident of a County Home (who is a township public charge) requires hospitalization, medical or surgical care which is not furnished by the County Home, it is the duty of the township trustee where such person resides to provide for the expenses of such service. (Opinions of Attorney General 1954, Page 213)
From a consideration of the laws concerning township assistance, it is clear that regardless of the established residence of poor persons contemplated therein, such relief shall be administered by the overseer of the poor in any township wherein the poor persons may be found in need of distress. Portage Tp. of St. Joseph County v. Clinic Inc., 109 App. 365, 33 N.E. 2d 786 (1941).
The township is liable for the reasonable value of medical and surgical attention rendered to a poor person of the township in an emergency without opportunity to communicate with the trustee. Newcomer v. Jefferson Tp., 181 Ind. 1, 103 N.E. 843 (1941).
FINANCING TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
If money is not available for the payment of township assistance the Township is able to obtain financing by obtaining a loan, requesting the County for a loan, requesting the county to issue debt, or any other lawful method of obtaining money for the payment of Township Assistance. For more information about Township borrowing for Township Assistance, refer to IC 12-20-24.
A township board must make an additional appropriation before money borrowed under this chapter may be spent. IC 12-20-24-9
TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE STANDARDS
The township trustee shall process all applications for township assistance according to uniform written standards and without consideration of the race, creed, nationality, or gender of the applicant or any member of the applicant's household.
The township's standards for the issuance of township assistance and the processing of applications must be:
1. Governed by the requirements of this article (IC 12-20);
2. Proposed by the township trustee, adopted by the township board, and filed with the board of county commissioners;
3. Reviewed and updated annually to reflect changes in the cost of basic necessities in the township and changes in the law;
4. Published in a single written document, including addenda attached to the document; and
5. Posted in a place prominently visible to the public in all offices of the township trustee where township assistance applications are taken or processed.
Standards for the administration of township assistance must contain the following:
1. Criteria for determining township assistance eligibility.
2. Minimum requirements of township trustee accessibility.
3. Other information as needed, including the following:
A. Township office locations, hours, and days of availability.
B. Initial eligibility criteria.
C. Continuing eligibility criteria.
D. Workfare requirements.
E. Essential and nonessential assets.
F. Available resources.
G. Income exemptions.
H. Application process.
I. Countable income.
J. Countable assets.
K. Wasted resources.
The township trustee shall ensure adequate access to township assistance services, including a published telephone number in the name of the township.
A township assistance office, if separate from the township trustee's residence, must be designated by a clearly visible sign that lists the:
1. Township trustee's name;
2. Availability of township assistance; and
3. Township assistance office's telephone number.
The sign must conform to all local zoning and signage restrictions.
This section does not apply to a township trustee who has assisted less than fifty-one (51) households during each of the two (2) years immediately preceding the date of the township trustee's annual report under IC 12-20-28-3. 12-20-5.5-4
To ensure minimum accessibility, a township trustee operating a township assistance office in a township with a population of at least ten thousand (10,000) shall provide scheduled office hours for township assistance and staff each office with an individual qualified to:
1. Determine eligibility; and
2. Issue assistance sufficient to meet the township assistance needs of the township.
To meet the requirements of IC 12-20-5.5-4(b), the township trustee shall do the following:
1. Provide township assistance office hours for at least fourteen (14) hours per week.
2. Provide that there is not more than one (1) weekday between the days the township assistance office is open.
3. Provide for after-hours access to the township assistance office by use of an answering machine or a service:
A. Capable of taking messages; and
B. Programmed to provide information about township assistance office hours.
4. Respond to a telephone inquiry for township assistance services not more than twenty-four (24) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after receiving the inquiry.
5. Post township assistance office hours and telephone numbers at the entrance to each township assistance office.
The township's standards for the administration of township assistance must include all applicable standards governing the provisions of basic necessities, including maximum amounts, special conditions, or other limitations on eligibility, if any have been established for one (1) or more basic necessities.
A township trustee shall set income standards for the township that provide for financial eligibility in an amount consistent with reasonable costs of basic necessities in the trustee's particular township. IC 12-20-5.5
Standards for the administration of township assistance must exclude a Holocaust victim's settlement payment received by an eligible individual from countable assets and countable income. A township trustee may not consider a Holocaust victim's settlement payment received by an eligible individual when setting income standards under this section.
PAYMENT OF CLAIMS
Whenever the administrator of township assistance of any township grants township assistance aid to any indigent person, or to any other person or agency on a township assistance order as provided by law or obligates the township for any item properly payable from township assistance funds, the claim against such township, itemized and sworn to as provided by law, and accompanied by the original township assistance order, duly itemized and signed shall be checked with the records of the administrator of township assistance, audited, and certified to, as required by law by the trustee.
The claim, with the original township assistance order or orders attached, shall then be filed for payment. All townships are required to pay township assistance. Such claim or claims shall be carefully reviewed and approved by the trustee as the administrator of township assistance. The township trustee shall pay claims against the township for township assistance in the same manner that other claims against the township are paid. The township trustee, when authorized to pay claims directly to vendors, shall pay a claim within forty-five (45) days. The township trustee shall pay the claim from: (1) any balance standing to the credit of the township against which the claim is filed; or (2) from any other available fund from which advancements can be made to the township for that purpose. IC 12-20-20-1
Payment of all claims should be directly to a vendor and should never be to a township assistance applicant.
FOOD PURCHASE ORDERS
When the head of a family, including a one member family, is considered by the administrator of township assistance to be incompetent or irresponsible to select food from a combined grocery and meat market or to make proper use of food stamps, the administrator shall issue the food purchase order in the name of another member of the family, of a relative living in another household or of any other person considered competent by the administrator. IC 12-20-16-8
LEGAL SETTLEMENT OR RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
In the case of Major et al. v. Van DeWalle et al., Civil No. 4169 (1970) in the United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, a three-judge federal court held that IC 1-1-5, concerning legal settlement or residency requirements for township assistance, was unconstitutional on its face. A township assistance application should not be denied on the grounds that the applicant has not established legal residence.
The imposition of residency requirements may subject the trustee to civil liability. Migrant workers, transients and new arrivals should be treated the same as any other applicants for township assistance.
NOTE: Where the term "legal settlement" appears in subsequent unamended sections of this chapter, it should be understood to refer to "residence."
IC 12-20-8-1 states "For purposes of this chapter, an individual is a 'resident' of a township or county if the individual:
1. Has located in the township or county; and
2. Intends to make the township or county the individual's sole place of residence."
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE - SCHOOLS
Under extraordinary circumstances, the township trustee may pay for schoolbooks and fees for individuals who do not otherwise qualify. Assistance in such cases may be provided under the general township assistance provision of IC 12-20. IC 20-33-5-12
DUTIES OF THE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE - SERVICES TO BE RENDERED, TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
The trustee shall have the oversight and care of all poor persons in his township as long as they remain in the trustee's charge, and shall see that they are properly taken care of in the manner required by law. IC 12-20-5-2
The township trustee shall carefully investigate the circumstances of the applicant and each member of the applicant's household to ascertain their legal residence, their physical condition relating to sickness or health, their present and previous occupation, their names and ages, the ability and capacity for labor of all members of the household, and the cause of the applicant's or household members’ condition if the applicant's household member is found to be in distress and the cause can be ascertained, whether an applicant or member of the applicant's household is entitled to income in the immediate future from any source including past or present employment, pending claims that may result in monetary award, or pending determination for assistance from any other federal or state governmental entity. (Form TA-1) The trustee shall ascertain, as far as possible, whether such persons have relatives able and willing to assist them. IC 12-20-6-9
If an applicant or a member of the applicant's household who applied for township assistance has relatives in the township who are able to assist the individual, the trustee shall, before giving aid a second time to the individual, ask the relatives to help the individual either with material relief or by furnishing the individual with employment. IC 12-20-6-10
If shelter payments are made to a relative of a township assistance applicant on behalf of the applicant or a member of the applicant's household, the trustee may file a lien against the relative's real property for the amount of township assistance shelter assistance granted. IC 12-20-6-10
The trustee shall refuse to furnish aid until he is satisfied that the persons claiming help are endeavoring to find work for themselves. The trustee shall obligate any adult member of a recipient household to do any work needed to be done by any governmental agency or unit including the state within his township or adjoining township, in exchange for assistance given, (IC 12-20-11) unless:
1. The obligated individual is not physically able to perform the proposed work;
2. The obligated individual is a minor or is over sixty-five (65) years of age;
3. The obligated individual has full-time employment at the time the recipient receives township assistance;
4. The obligated individual is needed to care for a person as a result of that person's age or physical condition;
5. There is no work available for the obligated individual; or
6. The obligated individual, at the direction of the trustee, is attending classes or a job training program.
The term "recipient" means a single person receiving township assistance or, when township assistance is received by a household with two (2) or more persons, that member of the household most suited to perform available work. Suitability to perform available work shall be determined by the trustee, who may provide for medical examinations necessary to make the determination. The recipient shall be required to do an amount of work which equals the value of assistance already received by the recipient or the recipient's household. The recipient shall receive credit for the work performed as assigned by the township trustee at a rate not less than the federal minimum wage.
The unit of government or nonprofit agency for which the work is performed shall furnish any necessary tools, materials, or transportation, unless the trustee agrees, in writing, to furnish the necessary tools, materials, or transportation. Supervision of the work of a recipient is the responsibility of the governmental unit or nonprofit agency for which the work is performed. The trustee is responsible for seeing that the recipient is covered by adequate liability insurance for injuries and damages suffered by or caused by the recipient. A recipient shall not be assigned to work which would result in the displacement of governmental employees or in the reduction of hours worked by those employees. Work performed under IC 12-20-11 is considered as satisfaction of a condition for township assistance and is not considered as services performed for remuneration. However, a recipient performing work under this chapter and the governmental unit or nonprofit agency for which he works are covered by the medical treatment and burial expense provisions of IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6 with regard to the work performed. A township trustee may not seek federal or state reimbursement, foreclose a lien, or otherwise seek repayment of assistance for which a recipient or an adult member of the recipient's household has satisfactorily completed a workfare requirement.
The administrator shall make all possible efforts to secure employment for the able bodied in the township where they reside, and may call up residents of the township to aid in finding employment for persons who are able to work. If the poor person applying for relief is in good health and able to work and if employment is secured for or offered to that person by the administrator of township assistance, whether the compensation for the work be payable in money or in house rent, or in commodities consisting of the necessaries of life as defined below, or if employment at a reasonable compensation is offered by any other individual government agency or employer, no aid shall be furnished to such poor person by the overseer unless and until that person shall accept and perform the work. However, the person may be given admission to the county home, where he shall be compelled to work, or shows just cause for not performing the work. The failure of a recipient to perform work assigned by the township trustee within a reasonable period required by the trustee is a basis for denying further assistance to the recipient or recipient household for not more than 180 days unless the recipient shows good cause.
If a recipient, after referral by the trustee, is accepted and attends adult education courses under IC 20-30-6-1 or courses at Ivy Tech Community College, the recipient is exempt from performing work for or searching for work for not more than 180 days. The township trustee may reimburse a township assistance recipient for tuition expenses incurred in attending the courses described in subsection (a) if the recipient:
1. Has a proven aptitude for the courses being studied;
2. Was referred by the trustee;
3. Does not qualify for other tax supported educational programs;
4. Maintains a passing grade in each course; and
5. Maintains the minimum attendance requirements specified by the educational institution.
Public aid by the administrator of township assistance may provide and shall extend township assistance only when the personal effort of the applicant fails to provide one (1) or more of the basic necessities. "Basic necessities," for purposes of IC 12-20, includes those services or items essential to meet the minimum standards of health, safety, and decency, including the following:
1. Medical care described in IC 12-20-16-2.
2. Clothing and footwear.
5. Transportation to seek and accept employment on a reasonable basis.
6. Household essentials.
7. Essential utility services.
8. Other services or items the township trustee determines are necessities. IC 12-7-2-20.5
In Van Buskirk v. Wayne Township, 418 N.E. 2d 234 (Ind. App. 1981), the court held the trustee shall provide the above items but the nature and extent of such relief are left in large part within the discretion of the trustee.
As a condition of continuing eligibility, a township trustee may require a recipient or any member of the recipient's household of township assistance to participate in a training program that is offered within the county or an adjoining township in another county, by a federal, state, or local entity or non-profit agency. IC 12-20-12-1
The trustee may require an applicant or an adult household member to satisfy all obligations to perform work incurred in another township before additional township assistance is granted. The trustee may request from another trustee documentation necessary to confirm that such work has been per-formed. However, in an emergency, the trustee may temporarily waive the work obligation incurred from another township and provide temporary assistance to an applicant to relieve distress or immediate suffering. IC 12-20-11-4
Except as provided in IC 12-20-16-2, subsections (b) and (c), the township trustee shall, in cases of necessity, do the following:
1. Promptly provide medical assistance for individuals in the township who are not provided for in public institutions.
2. See that medicines, medical supplies, special diets, or tests prescribed by a physician or surgeon in attendance upon poor individuals in the township are properly furnished. IC 12-20-16-2(a)
A township trustee may not provide to an individual medical assistance under the township assistance program if the individual could qualify for medical assistance for the same service under IC 12-16, Medicaid, other governmental medical programs or private health insurance that would cover the individual at the time the assistance was provided. However, if the individual's insurance does not pay for the medical assistance due to a policy deductible or other policy limitation, the township trustee shall pay for medical assistance that the trustee would provide if the individual did not have insurance. However, a township trustee may provide interim medical services during the period that the individual has an application pending for medical assistance under Medicaid (IC 12-15) or another governmental medical program if the individual is reasonably complying with all requirements of the application process. IC 12-20-16-2(b)
The township trustee shall pay only for the following medical services for the poor of the town-ship:
1. Prescription drugs, not to exceed a thirty (30) day supply at a time, as prescribed by an attending practitioner (as defined in IC 16-42-19-5) other than a veterinarian. However, if the prescription drugs are available only in a container that contains more than a thirty (30) day supply, the township trustee may pay for the available size.
2. Office calls to a physician licensed under IC 25-22.5 or another medical provider.
3. Dental care needed to relieve pain or infection or to repair cavities.
4. Repair or replacement of dentures.
5. Emergency room treatment that is of an emergency nature.
6. Pre-operation testing prescribed by an attending physician licensed under IC 25-22.5.
7. Over-the-counter drugs prescribed by a practitioner (as defined in IC 16-42-19-5) other than a veterinarian.
8. X-rays and laboratory testing as prescribed by an attending physician licensed under IC 25-22.5.
9. Visits to a medical specialist when referred by an attending physician licensed under IC 25-22.5.
10. Physical therapy prescribed by an attending physician licensed under IC 25-22.5
12. Repair or replacement of a prosthesis not provided for by other tax supported state or federal programs.
13. Insulin and items needed to administer the biological, not to exceed a thirty (30) day supply at a time, in accordance with section 14 of this chapter. However, if the biologicals are available only in a container that contains more than a thirty (30) day supply, the township trustee may pay for the available size. IC 12-20-16-2(c)
The township trustee may establish a list of approved medical providers to provide medical services to the poor of the township. Any medical provider who:
1. can provide the particular medical services within the scope of the provider's license issued under IC 25; and
2. is willing to provide the medical services for the charges established by the township trustee; is entitled to be included on the list.
Unless prohibited by federal law, a township trustee who:
1. provides to an individual medical assistance that is eligible for payment under any medical program described in subsection (b) for which payments are administered by an agency of the state during the pendency of the individual's successful application for the program; and
2. submits a timely and proper claim to the agency; is eligible for reimbursement by the agency to the same extent as any medical provider. IC 12-20-16-2(e)
If a township trustee provides medical assistance for medical services provided to an individual who is subsequently determined to be eligible for Medicaid:
1. the township trustee shall notify the medical provider that provided the medical services of the individual's eligibility; and
2. not later than thirty (30) days after the medical provider receives the notice under sub-division (1), the medical provider shall file a claim for reimbursement with the office. IC 12-20-16-2(f)
A medical provider that is reimbursed under subsection (f) shall, not later than thirty (30) days after receiving the reimbursement, pay to the township trustee the lesser of:
1. the amount of medical assistance received from the trustee to an individual; or
2. the amount reimbursed by Medicaid to the medical provider. IC 12-20-16-2(g)
The township trustee may, in cases of necessity, authorize the payment from township assistance money for essential utility services, including the following:
1. Water services.
2. Gas services.
3. Electric services.
4. Fuel oil services for fuel oil used for heating or cooking.
5. Coal, wood, or liquid propane used for heating or cooking.
The township trustee may authorize the payment of delinquent bills for the services listed in IC 12-20-12-1(a)(1) through (a)(5) when necessary to prevent the termination of the services or to restore terminated service if the delinquency has lasted not longer than twenty four (24) months. The township trustee has no obligation to pay a delinquent bill for the services or materials if the delinquency has lasted more than twenty four (24) months. IC 12-20-16-3(b)
The township trustee is not required to pay for any utility service:
1. that is not properly charged to:
A. an adult member of a household;
B. an emancipated minor who is head of the household; or
C. a landlord or former member of the household if the applicant proves that the applicant is responsible for payment of the bill; or
2. received as a result of a fraudulent act by any adult member of a household requesting township assistance. IC 12-20-16-2(b); or
3. received the services as a tenant residing at the service address at the time the cost was incurred and that includes the use of township assistance funds for the payment of:
A. a security deposit; or
B. damages caused by township assistance applicant to utility company property.
INSULIN FURNISHED TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
The township trustee is authorized to provide insulin to individuals who are in need of insulin treatment and who are financially unable to purchase the insulin, upon application of a physician licensed under IC 25-22.5 or an advanced practice nurse who is licensed under IC 25-23 and who meets the requirements of IC 25-23-1-11 and IC 25-23-1-19.5. However, an application submitted by a physician or an advanced practice nurse under this section must meet the requirements of IC 16-41-19-4.
A township is not responsible for paying for biologicals as provided in subsection (a)(2) if the township trustee has evidence that the individual has the financial ability to pay for the biologicals.
After being presented with a legal claim for insulin being furnished to the same individual a second time, a township trustee may require the individual to complete and file a standard application for township assistance in order to investigate the financial condition of the individual claiming to be indigent. The trustee shall immediately notify the individual's physician that:
(1) the financial ability of the individual claiming to be indigent is in question; and
(2) a standard application for township assistance must be filed with the township.
The township shall continue to furnish insulin under this section until the township trustee completes an investigation and makes a determination as to the individual's financial ability to pay for insulin.
For purposes of this section, the township shall consider an adult individual needing insulin as an individual and not as a member of a household requesting township assistance. IC 16-41-19-7
DISTRIBUTION OF STATE AND FEDERAL AID
The administrators of township assistance are hereby empowered to cooperate with the state and federal government in the furnishing of township assistance in order that it shall be furnished adequately and economically. The administrators of township assistance shall provide such facilities for relief headquarters and storage and transportation of commodities for township assistance purposes as are demanded, but such cooperation shall be confined to that reasonably required under the purposes of IC 12-20.
The administrator of township assistance may participate in surplus agricultural commodities distributions that have been provided for and made available by the United States Department of Agriculture to the state (IC 20-1-16-1). Each such administrator of township assistance may establish his own distribution plan or he shall participate jointly with one (1) or more administrators of township assistance. IC 12-20-18
The administrators of township assistance shall, as persons may become permanent charges upon the township as paupers, have such persons removed to the county home. IC 12-30-4-2
It is for the township trustee to determine whether a pauper shall be removed to the county home, or temporary relief afforded to such pauper. County of Posey v. Harlem, 108 Ind. 164 N.E. 913 (1886).
In Decatur Township of Marion County v. Marion County Home Board, 578 N.E. 2d 390 (Ind. App. 5 Dist. 1991), the court held that the amount of board's scheduled charges for care of indigent patients and residents of county home which could be charged to township was subject to statutory limit of one hundred dollars ($100) per month.
For more information regarding the placement of indigents in County homes and the payment of indigents’ expenses, refer to IC 12-30-4.
TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE - TEMPORARY AID
If a township trustee determines by investigation that a township assistance applicant or a town-ship assistance applicant's household requires assistance, the township trustee shall, after determining that an emergency exists, furnish to the applicant or household the temporary aid necessary for the relief of immediate suffering. However, before any further final or permanent relief is given, the township trustee shall consider whether the applicant's or household's need can be relieved by means other than an expenditure of township money. IC 12-20-17-1
The trustee shall cooperate with all charitable organizations operating within the township.
The trustee shall furnish temporary relief when necessary to nonresidents of the township, if such indigents are unable to work, until such nonresidents can be returned to the place of their legal settlement. IC 12-20-9-2.
The administrator of township assistance shall attempt to provide some form of work for the individual seeking assistance before any able-bodied person who is not a resident of the township can receive aid. IC 12-20-9-1
The trustees may furnish transportation to a nonresident in the direction of his legal settlement, under certain conditions. IC 12-20-16-11
It is the duty of the township trustee, on complaint made to him that any individual in his township is sick or in need without necessary financial resources so that such person is likely to suffer, to investigate the case and grant such temporary relief as may be required. IC 12-20-17-3
If an individual dies in a township without leaving money; real or personal property, other assets that may be liquidated; or other means necessary to defray funeral expenses, and the individual is not a resident of another township in Indiana, the township trustee, as administrator of township assistance, shall provide a person to superintend and authorize either the funeral and the burial or cremation of the deceased individual. If the township trustee determines that the deceased individual is a resident of another township in Indiana, the township trustee shall notify the trustee of that township, who shall then provide a person to superintend and authorize either the funeral and burial or cremation of the deceased individual. IC 12-20-16-12(b)
The necessary and reasonable expenses of the funeral and burial or cremation, including a burial plot, shall be paid in the same manner as other claims for township assistance. A trustee shall determine the cost for the items and services required by law for the funeral and burial of an individual, including a burial plot, and for the cremation of an individual, and include in the township's assistance standards the maximum funeral and burial or cremation amount to be paid from township assistance funds. The trustee may deduct from the maximum amount of the following:
1. Any monetary benefits that the deceased individual is entitled to receive from a state or federal program.
2. Any money that another person provides on behalf of the deceased individual. IC 12-20-16-12(c)
If an individual described in subsection (b) is a resident of a state institution at the time of the individual's death, the division that has administrative control of the state institution shall reimburse the township trustee for the necessary and reasonable expenses of the funeral and burial or cremation of the deceased individual. The township trustee shall submit to the division that has administrative control of the state institution an itemized claim for reimbursement of the necessary and reasonable burial expenses incurred by the township trustee. IC 12-20-16-12(d).
If an individual described in subsection (b) is a resident of a special institution governed by IC 16-33 at the time of the individual's death, the state department of health shall reimburse the township trustee for the necessary and reasonable expenses of the funeral and burial or cremation of the deceased individual. The township trustee shall submit to the state department of health an itemized claim for reimbursement of the necessary and reasonable burial expenses incurred. IC 12-20-16-12(e)
A township trustee who provides funeral and burial or cremation benefits to a deceased individual is entitled to a first priority claim, to the extent of the cost of the funeral and burial or cremation benefits paid by the township trustee, against any money or other personal property held by the coroner under IC 36-2-14-11. IC 12-20-16-12(f)
The township trustee may not cremate a deceased individual if:
1. The deceased individual; or
2. A surviving family member of the deceased individual; has objected in writing to cremation. IC 12-20-16-12(g)
If a township trustee provides a funeral under this section, the cost of the funeral may not be more than the cost of the least expensive funeral, including any necessary merchandise and embalming, available from the funeral director under the funeral director's price list disclosed to the Federal Trade Commission. IC 12-20-16-12(h)
Township trustees are required to bury all paupers having a legal status within their townships, and the fact that a person died in a state or municipal institution would not remove such person from those classified as paupers. (Opinions of Attorney General 1946, Page 319)
Subject to IC 12-20-11-5(b), a trustee who has furnished aid or assistance to any person who dies leaving an estate and is not survived by his or her spouse, disabled adult dependent or minor children, may file a claim against the estate for the value of township assistance prior to such decedent's death. The estate includes any money or other personal property in the possession of a coroner under IC 36-2-14-11. IC 12-20-27-1
If an applicant for or recipient of township assistance is not satisfied with the decision of the township trustee as administrator of township assistance, the individual may appeal to the board of county commissioners in the county in which the township is located. An applicant for township assistance shall file his appeal within fifteen (15) days from the date of issuance by the township trustee of adequate written notice of denial as provided by IC 12-20-6-8. An appeal may be made in writing or orally as may be required by the board of commissioners. IC 12-20-15
The board of county commissioner may itself conduct the hearing on the appeal or it may appoint a hearing officer from among the board or from among the employees of the board or from qualified residents of the county who will serve without compensation to conduct the hearing for the board. The board shall make its decision based upon its own hearing or the written report of the hearing officer or upon its own hearing following the written report of the hearing officer. IC 12-20-15-3
The board of commissioners shall hold a hearing as soon as possible after the filing of the appeal but not more than ten (10) working days after the appeal form or notice of appeal is received in the office of the board of commissioners. Each decision shall appear on the official records of the board. The applicant and the township trustee shall be notified in writing of the decision not later than five (5) working days following the date of the decision, state the legal and factual basis for the decision; advise the appellant and the township trustee of the right to judicial review and the period prescribed for requesting judicial review; and inform the appellant of the availability of free legal counsel for the indigent. The trustee as administrator of township assistance shall carry out any decision of the board to sustain, increase, grant or otherwise modify township assistance only if the board complies with the requirements for a written decision. IC 12-20-15
In hearing an appeal, the board of commissioners and a hearing officer shall:
1. review and consider any report or investigative documents the trustee prepared before making the appealed decision; and
2. be governed by the township assistance standards for determining eligibility to the extent that the standards comply with existing law for the granting of township assistance. If no legally sufficient standards have been established, the board of commissioners and the hearing officer shall be guided by the circumstances in each case.
The board of commissioners shall remand a case to a trustee for further proceedings if:
1. new evidence was presented by the applicant to the board of commissioners; and
2. the board of commissioners determines that the new evidence presented would have made the individual eligible for assistance.
If a case is remanded to a trustee, the trustee shall issue a new determination of eligibility not later than seventy-two (72) hours after receiving the written decision remanding the case, excluding weekends and legal holidays listed in IC 1-1-9. IC 12-20-15-4
The township trustee or applicant may appeal a decision of the board to a circuit or superior court in the county. In hearing an appeal, the court shall be governed by the township assistance standards for determining eligibility for granting township assistance in the township. If legally sufficient standards have not been established, the court shall be guided by the circumstances of the case. IC 12-20-15-8
Whenever the court sets aside a decision of the board in favor of an applicant, the trustee may recover the amount of any assistance awarded as a result of the board's decision. IC 12-20-15-9
APPROPRIATIONS AND BUDGETS
It shall be unlawful for a township trustee to incur any obligation in the furnishing of township assistance in excess of the amount lawfully appropriated for that purpose. Appropriations for township assistance purposes shall be made in conformity with the provision of general laws governing appropriations for other civil township purposes. IC 12-20-22-1
If the amount provided for township assistance in the annual budget should be insufficient, additional appropriations may be made in conformity with the provisions of the general laws regulating additional appropriations. IC 12-20-22-1 and IC 6-1.1-18-5
Copies of all township budgets for current township assistance, as finally approved and adopted, shall be placed on file in the office of the county auditor. Also copies of all additional appropriations for current township assistance purposes shall be filed in the office of the county auditor. IC 12 20 22 2
The trustee of each township of the county shall:
1. Estimate the amount necessary to meet the cost of township assistance in the township for the ensuing calendar year; and
2. Publish with the township budget a tax rate sufficient to meet the estimated cost of township assistance.
The township trustee may process at the expense of the Township Assistance Fund, materials and articles provided by charitable or governmental agencies under certain conditions. The Trustee may buy garden seeds and plant and maintain gardens for township assistance purposes. IC 12-20-16-13
Feed for a minimum amount of subsistence for livestock may be purchased provided the cost is less than the cost of food necessary to be furnished. IC 12-20-16-10
If the township trustee, as administrator of township assistance, is unable to ascertain and establish the place of legal settlement of such poor person, he shall proceed to provide for such poor person in the same manner as other persons are hereby directed to be provided for. IC 12-20-8-7
INVESTIGATORS, SUPERVISORS AND OTHER ASSISTANTS
The township trustee may pay out of township assistance money the necessary office expense and clerical or other help necessary to properly administer township assistance.
The township trustee of each township, in the trustee's ex-officio capacity as administrator of township assistance within the township, may do the following:
1. Employ supervisors, investigators, assistants, or other necessary employees in dis-charging the township trustee's duties concerning the provision of township assistance.
2. Fix the salaries or wages to be paid to the supervisors, investigators, assistants, or other necessary employees employed by the township trustee. IC 12-20-4-2
The township trustee shall determine the number of township assistance supervisors, investigators, assistants, or other necessary employees that are employed by the township to administer township assistance. IC 12-20-4-3
A township may join with one or more townships in the same county to employ an investigator to investigate township assistance applicants and recipients. IC 12-20-4-7
Each supervisor, investigator, or assistant may be granted paid vacation leave or sick leave under 5-10-6-1.
If an individual has been convicted of an offense under IC 35-43-5-7, a township trustee may not extend aid to or for the benefit of that individual for the following periods:
1. If the conviction is for a misdemeanor, for one (1) year after the conviction.
2. If the conviction is for a felony, for ten (10) years after the conviction.
If a township trustee finds that an individual has obtained township assistance from any township by means of conduct described in IC 35-43-5-7, the township trustee may refuse to extend aid to or for the benefit of that individual for sixty (60) days after the later of the:
1. Date of the improper conduct; or
2. Date aid was last extended to the individual based on the improper conduct. IC 12-20-6-6.5
ADDITIONAL DUTIES OF TRUSTEE - TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
If an individual or a member of the individual's household has received assistance under IC 12-20-16-3, the individual or a member of the individual's household shall before receiving further assistance under that section, certify whether that individual's or household's income, resources, or household size has changed since the person filed the most recent application for township assistance. If these items have changed, the township trustee shall review the individual's or household's eligibility to make any necessary adjustments in the level of assistance provided to the individual or household.
IC 12-20-6-3 provides a trustee shall obtain information about public assistance programs and services of the division of family resources and county offices under this article, the Social Security Administration and the federal Food Stamp Program or by another federal or state governmental entity. If the trustee believes the applicant or the applicant's household may be eligible for a public assistance program, the trustee may not extend aid to the applicant or the applicant's household unless the applicant verifies that: (1) the applicant filed, within one hundred eighty (180) days preceding the application for township assistance, an application for assistance under a federal or state public assistance program administered by the division of family resources and county offices or by another federal or state governmental entity; (2) the applicant or a member of the applicant's household is receiving assistance under a public assistance program administered by the division of family resources and county offices departments or by another governmental entity; or (3) the applicant has an emergency need that the trustee determines must be met immediately.
If, before granting township assistance, the township trustee determines that an applicant or a member of an applicant's household may be eligible for public assistance other than township assistance, the applicant or household member shall, when referred by the township trustee, make an application and comply with all necessary requirements for completing the application process for public assistance administered by
1. The division of family resources and county offices; or
2. Any other federal or state governmental entity.
An applicant or a household member who fails to:
1. File an application as specified in subsection (b); and
2. Show evidence that the application, as referred by the township trustee, was filed not more than fifteen (15) working days after the township trustee's referral; may be denied township assistance for not more than sixty (60) days. IC 12-20-6-5.5
IC 12-20-16-9 concerning food stamps provides that the trustee may not provide food assistance for more than thirty (30) days unless the individual files an application with the trustee that includes: (1) evidence of application for food stamps from the division of family resources; and (2) the amount of assistance received or the reason for denial of assistance. The trustee shall inform the applicant for food assistance that food stamps may be available from the division of family resources and that food assistance may not be provided for more than thirty (30) days unless the individual files an application for food stamps with the division of family resources.
TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE DENIED
A township is not obligated to pay the cost of basic necessities incurred on behalf of a household in which the individual resides during a period that the individual has previously applied for and been denied township assistance. IC 12-20-6-6.6
DISTRESSED TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE
The township trustee shall immediately notify the township board and the county fiscal body when a township becomes a distressed township. IC 12-20-25-6.
A distressed township is a township that:
(A) has a valid township assistance claim that is approved for payment under IC 12-20-20;
(B) has township assistance expenditures during a year that exceed the year's township assistance revenues, excluding any advances from the state and revenues from short-term loans from the county or a financial institution or advances from the county from the proceeds of bonds, made or issued under IC 12-20;
(C) has imposed and dedicated to township assistance at least ninety percent (90%) of the maximum permissible ad valorem property tax levy permitted for all of the township's funds under IC 6-1.1-18.5; and
(D) has outstanding indebtedness that exceeds one and eight-tenths percent (1.8%) of the township's assessed valuation;
or a township that:
(A) has been a controlled township during any part of the preceding five (5) years;
(B) has a valid township assistance claim that the county auditor cannot pay within thirty (30) days after the claim is approved for payment under IC 12-20-20 and
(C) uses advances from the county from proceeds of bonds issued under IC 12-20-25-4.
COUNTY OFFICE INFORMATION
The county office (Division of Family Resources) shall provide the following information to each township located in the county:
1. Information that will identify the types of public assistance that are being provided to the individual who signed the consent form and the individual's household.
2. Information that will identify the amount of public assistance that is being received by the individual who signed the consent form and the individual's household.
3. Information that will identify the number of individuals in the household of the individual who signed the consent form who are receiving public assistance.
4. Information regarding the income, resources, or assets of members of the individual's household receiving public assistance.
The county office must provide the information required under subsection (a) not later than fourteen (14) calendar days after obtaining the information.
The township trustee shall use the information received under IC 12-20-7-2 to assist in reducing fraud and abuse in aid programs administered by the township trustee. IC 12-20-7-4.5
TOWNSHIP ASSISTANCE SHELTER
"Shelter" means a facility that provides temporary emergency assistance.
A township trustee may establish, purchase, acquire, maintain or operate a shelter for eligible township assistance households needing temporary housing assistance. A township having a population of less than eight thousand (8,000) may not expend more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to implement this section without the approval of the county executive. A township having a population of at least eight thousand (8,000) may not expend more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to implement this section without the approval of the county executive. IC 12-20-17-2
In counties where the implementation of this section can be more efficiently and expeditiously handled in units larger than a single township, a township trustee may combine resources with other townships within a county to:
1. Establish one (1) or more household shelter units; and
2. Pay a pro rata share of all administrative and other costs incidental to the maintenance and operation of each shelter unit established in subdivision (1). IC 36-1-7-1 through IC 36-1-7-4 apply to a township electing to combine its resources with other townships under this subsection.
A township trustee is not required to provide shelter to an individual who at the time assistance is requested is:
1. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or 2. Incapable of self-care.
The township trustee may at no cost to the township refer an individual described in this subsection to an appropriate agency or facility located in the county or in an adjoining county that has a problem or charter specifically addressing the problems of substance abuse, mental illness, or self-care.
A township trustee may contract with a private agency offering a shelter program in order to comply with this section if the applicant or the applicant's household is not mandated by the private agency to participate, as a condition of eligibility, in religious services.
A township trustee is not obligated to:
1. Enter into a contract with; or
2. Pay shelter costs to; a shelter that is supported by federal or state funds. IC 12-20-17-2
SHELTER - RELATIVES
A township trustee may not use township assistance funds to pay the cost of an applicant's shelter with a relative who is the applicant's landlord if the applicant lives in:
1. The same household as the relative; or
2. Housing separate from the relative and either:
A. The housing is unencumbered by mortgage; or
B. The housing has not been previously rented by the relative to a different tenant at reasonable market rates for at least six (6) months.
If the shelter payments are made to a relative of a township assistance applicant on behalf of the applicant or a member of the applicant's household, the trustee may file a lien against the relative's real property for the amount of township assistance shelter assistance granted.
A township trustee may employ the services of a housing inspector to inspect all housing units, including: Mobile homes, Group homes, Single household units, Multiple household units, Apartments, or any other dwelling, inhabited by a township assistance recipient.
A township trustee may contract with a local housing authority:
1. For housing inspection services; and
2. To train a township housing inspector.
Costs of these contractual services shall be paid from the township assistance fund.
A township housing inspector shall use the following for determining a housing structure's suitability for habitation:
1. Standards recommended by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as used by local housing authorities.
2. Local building codes and municipal ordinances.
Substandard housing that does not meet minimum standards of health, safety, and construction is not eligible for:
1. The maximum level of shelter payments; or
2. Damage or security deposits paid from or encumbered by township funds.
If the trustee determines that a housing unit for which payment is requested is substantially below minimum standards of health, safety, or construction, the trustee, when necessary, shall assist the applicant in obtaining appropriate alternate shelter.
A township trustee is not required to spend township assistance funds for a shelter damage or security deposit for an eligible township assistance applicant or household. However, the trustee may encumber money for a shelter damage or security deposit by making an agreement with a property owner who furnishes shelter for a township assistance recipient or household. The agreement must include the following:
1. The agreement's duration, not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days.
2. A statement that the agreement may be renewed if both parties agree.
3. The total value of the encumbered money, not to exceed the value of one (1) month's rental payment.
4. A statement signed by both the trustee and the property owner attesting to the condition of the property at the time the agreement is made.
5. A statement that encumbered money may be used to pay the cost of:
A. Verified damages, normal wear excluded, caused by the tenant township assistance recipient during the duration of the agreement; and
B. Any unpaid rental payments for which the tenant township assistance recipient is obligated.
6. A statement that the total amount to be paid from the encumbered money may not exceed one (1) months rental payment for the unit in question.
A trustee is not required to provide shelter assistance to an otherwise eligible individual if the:
1. Individual's most recent residence was provided by the individual's parent, guardian, or foster parent; and
2. Individual, without just cause, leaves that residence for the shelter for which the individual seeks assistance. IC 12-20-16-17
Under certain conditions, the trustee of any township desiring to own and control a public cemetery, where grounds have not been heretofore appropriated or set apart, shall have the right and power to eminent domain. IC 23-14-75
The township trustee is not authorized to maintain cemeteries owned or controlled by cities or towns or by a cemetery association.
A township trustee may convey a township cemetery to private corporations under certain conditions in accordance with IC 23-14-63.
Whenever by a majority vote of the board of directors of any cemetery association existing in the State of Indiana under any Indiana Law prior to March 9, 1939, shall determine to convey to the township in which such cemetery is located the real estate belonging to the association, the township trustee may accept such conveyance. After the conveyance to the township, the cemetery shall be cared for and maintained by the township trustee as a public cemetery. All expenses incurred by the township trustee in administering the cemetery and performing the duties connected therewith shall be paid from the Township Fund.
If the cemetery association has endowment funds, cash, securities, or other assets, they shall be paid over to the township trustee at the same time that the real estate owned by the association is conveyed to the township. The trustee may use them only: (a) To purchase additional land for the cemetery; (b) to make permanent improvements to the cemetery; or (c) for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery. IC 23-14-64
ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC CEMETERIES BY TOWNSHIPS (IC 23-14-69)
A township trustee shall care for and maintain each cemetery that is located in the township, keeping the cemeteries in a respectable condition by: (1) destroying detrimental plants (as defined in IC 15-3-4-1), noxious weeds, and rank vegetation; and (2) removing all unsightly accumulations and debris. [IC 23-14-69-3]
The township trustee may accept donations of land suitable for a public cemetery if the township trustee considers acceptance of the land to be in the best interest of the township. [IC 23-14-69-4]
Donated land shall be: (1) conveyed to the township; (2) set apart by the township for a public cemetery; and (3) kept in good condition and repair by the township trustee. [IC 23-14-69-4]
If no land suitable for a public cemetery is donated to a township and if the township legislative body adopts a resolution approving the purchase, the township executive may purchase land for the purpose of establishing a public cemetery. When land is purchased and conveyed to the township, the land must be set apart, kept in repair, and used as provided in IC 23-14-69-6. [IC 23-14-69-5]
A public cemetery of a township may be used by the inhabitants of the township for the interment of the dead. The township trustee may prescribe regulations governing the use of the cemetery. [IC 23-14-69-6]
After the plat has been recorded, the township trustee shall appoint two (2) freeholders of the township to appraise and fix the value of all the lots on the plat, except the part assigned to the potter's field under IC 23-14-69-7(c). The appraisal shall be filed with and preserved by the township trustee. [IC 23-14-69-7]
The township trustee may sell and convey the lots in a cemetery at a private sale to persons who desire to purchase them. The trustee shall not sell a lot at less than the value fixed for the lot under IC 23-14-69-7. [IC 23-14-69-8]
The proceeds of the sale of lots in a cemetery under IC 23-14-69-8(a) shall be used to pay the expenses that the township trustee may incur for the cemetery. Any surplus shall be held as a fund for use in keeping the cemetery in repair. [IC 23-14-69-8]
The township trustee shall keep an accurate account of: (1) the money received by the township trustee for the purpose of keeping the cemetery in repair; and (2) the sums that the township trustee has paid out, and for which the trustee has taken vouchers. [IC 23-14-69-8]
All expenses incurred by the township trustee for administering IC 23-14-69 shall be paid out of the township fund of the township. [IC 23-14-69-9]
These laws do not authorize a township trustee to make any contributions from public funds to any cemetery association.
The laws do not authorize a township trustee to pay from public funds for the maintenance costs or any part thereof of a cemetery under the control of a cemetery association organized for profit.
ABANDONED CEMETERIES - VERIFIED STATEMENTS - CARE AND MAINTENANCE
IC 23-14-68 applies to each cemetery that: (1) is without funds for maintenance; (2) was in existence on February 28, 1939; and (3) is operated by a nonprofit organization or is not managed by any viable organization. [IC 23-14-68-1(a)] This chapter does not apply to a cemetery located on land on which property taxes are assessed and paid under IC 6-1.1-4.
The trustee of each township shall locate and maintain all the cemeteries described in IC 23-14-68-1(a) that are within the township. However, a cemetery association claiming assistance shall furnish a verified statement of assets and liabilities to the township trustee. [IC 23-14-68-2]
The maintenance of a cemetery includes the following: (1) Resetting and straightening all monuments. (2) Leveling and seeding the ground. (3) Constructing fences where there are none and repairing existing fences. (4) Destroying and cleaning up detrimental plants (as defined in IC 15-3-4-1), noxious weeds, and rank vegetation. (5) Mowing the lawn. [IC 23-14-68-3]
The township shall appropriate enough money to provide for the care, repair, and maintenance of each cemetery described in IC 23-14-68-1(a) that is located within the township. Funds shall be appropriated in the same manner as other township appropriations. [IC 23-14-68-4]
The township may levy a township cemetery tax to create a fund for maintenance of cemeteries. If a fund has not been provided for maintenance of cemeteries, part of the township fund may be used. [IC 23-14-68-4]
A township trustee who fails to perform the trustee's duties commits a Class C infraction. [IC 23-14-68-5]
The State Board of Accounts can provide guidance on financial-related items related to cemetery care. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for the State’s requirements for the upkeep and maintenance of cemeteries. For these types of questions please contact the DNR https://www.in.gov/dnr/.
CAPITAL ASSETS – CEMETERIES
Township owned cemeteries are considered capital assets and need to be properly recorded on General Form 369 – Capital Assets Ledger. The cemeteries are to be reported on General Form 369 – Capital Assets Ledger at the actual or estimated historical cost based on appraisals or deflated current replacement cost. Contributed or donated assets are reported at estimated fair value at the time received.
General Form 369 – Capital Assets Ledger does not have a separate classification for cemeteries, so the cemetery ground will be recorded on the capital asset ledger under land, any structures on the cemetery grounds under buildings, and roads and drainage systems will be recorded under infrastructure. There will be no effect on the value of the asset as plots are sold. The purchase of a burial plot is a real estate transaction; however, cemetery plot deeds grant burial rights that create an easement for the specific purpose of burial but do not alter the Township’s ownership of the cemetery as a whole.
- Fire Protection and Emergency Services
CONTRACTS AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS
If a majority of the owners of taxable real property residing within and owning real property within that part of a township located outside the corporate boundaries of a municipality petition the township trustee and township board to provide fire protection in that part of the township, the trustee and township board shall grant the petition and proceed without delay to provide for fire protection. IC 36-8-13-2
The trustee of a township, with the approval of the township board, may:
1. Purchase firefighting and emergency services apparatus and equipment for the township, provide for the housing, care, maintenance, operation, and use of the apparatus and equipment to extinguish fires that occur within the township but outside the corporate boundaries of municipalities, and employ full-time or part-time firefighters to operate the apparatus and equipment and to provide services in that area;
2. Contract with a municipality in the township or in a contiguous township that maintains adequate firefighting or emergency services apparatus and equipment to provide fire protection or emergency services for the township in accordance with IC 36-1-7, (Interlocal Corporation Act);
3. Cooperate with a municipality in the township or in a contiguous township in the purchase, maintenance, and upkeep of firefighting or emergency services apparatus and equipment for use in the municipality and township in accordance with IC 36-1-7;
4. Contract with a volunteer fire department that has been organized to fight fires in the township for the use and operation of firefighting apparatus and equipment that has been purchased by the township in order to save the private and public property of the township from destruction by fire, including use of the apparatus and equipment in an adjoining township by the company if the company has made a contract with the township of the adjoining township for the furnishing of firefighting service within the township; or
5. Contract with a volunteer fire department that maintains adequate firefighting service. IC 36-8-13-3
In cases of interlocal cooperation agreements there must be a written contract which makes pro-vision for the duration of the agreement, its purpose, manner of financing, staffing, manner of termination and administration. IC 36-1-7-3
Agreements for firefighting services should include provision for the visiting firefighters to have the same powers and duties as the personnel of the entities they visit for the period they are there. The entity providing visiting personnel remains responsible for the conduct of its personnel, for their medical expenses, and for workmen's compensation. IC 36-1-7-7
OPINION OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
The proper officers of the township can enter a contract for fire protection only after an appropriation has been made, and then only for the term of office of the trustee. 1950, No. 15, Page 45
MUNICIPAL TERRITORY COMPLETELY WITHIN TOWNSHIP
Only townships providing fire protection or emergency services or both under IC 36-8-13-3(a)(1) and only municipalities that have all municipal territory completely within a township and do not have a full-time paid fire department, may provide fire protection or emergency services or both without contracts inside the corporate boundaries of the municipalities if before July 1 of the year the following occurs:
1. The legislative body of the municipality adopts an ordinance to have the township provide the service without a contract.
2. The township legislative body passes a resolution approving the township's provision of the services without contracts to the municipality.
In a township providing services under 36-8-13, the legislative body of either the township or a municipality in the township may opt out of participation by adopting an ordinance or a resolution, respectively, (resolutions for townships) before July 1 of a year. IC 36-8-13-3(b)
In townships providing fire protection or emergency services or both to municipalities in the township under IC 36-8-13-3(b), the executive with the consent of the township legislative body shall pay the expenses for fire protection and emergency services in the township both inside and outside the corporate boundaries of participating municipalities, from any combination of the following funds that the township may establish:
1. The township firefighting fund under IC 36-8-13-4.
2. The cumulative building and equipment fund under IC 36-8-14.
3. The debt fund under IC 36-8-13-6 and IC 36-8-13-6.5.
4. The rainy day fund established under IC 36-1-8-5.1.
Subject to the levy limitations contained in IC 6-1.1-18.5, the tax rate and levy for the township firefighting fund, cumulative building and equipment fund, or the debt fund is to be in an amount sufficient to pay all costs attributable to fire protection or emergency services provided to the township and the participating municipalities and not paid from other revenues available. The tax rate and levies are to be established in accordance with IC 6-1.1-17 and apply both inside and outside the corporate boundaries of participating municipalities.
The township executive may accept donations for the purposes of firefighting and emergency services and place donations in the firefighting fund. A person may donate partial payments for the purchase of firefighting or emergency services equipment made by the township. IC 36-8-13-4.5
TOWNSHIP OWNED APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT
After a sufficient appropriation has been made and approved and is available for the purchase of firefighting apparatus and equipment, including housing, the township trustee, with the approval of the township board, may purchase it for the township on an installment conditional sale or mortgage contract running for a period not exceeding (1) six (6) years; or (2) fifteen (15) years for a township that:
(A) has a totaled assessed value of sixty million dollars ($60,000,000) (or less) as determined
by the department of local government finance; and
(B) is purchasing the firefighting equipment with funding from the (I) state or its instrumentalities; or (ii) federal government or its instrumentalities.
The purchase shall be amortized in equal or approximately equal installments payable on January 1 and July 1 each year. IC 36-8-13-5
The trustee and township board, on behalf of the township, may also borrow the necessary money from a financial institution in Indiana to make the purchase on the same terms. They shall, on behalf of the township, execute and deliver to the institution the negotiable note or bond of the township for the sum borrowed. The note or bond must bear interest, with both principal and interest payable in equal or approximately equal installments on January 1 and July 1 each year over a period not exceeding six (6) years.
The first installments of principal and interest on a contract, chattel mortgage, note, or bond is due on the next January 1 or July 1 following the first tax collection for which it is possible for the township to levy a tax. The executive and legislative body shall appropriate and levy a tax each year sufficient to pay the obligation according to its terms. An obligation of the township executed under this chapter is a valid and binding obligation of the township, notwithstanding any tax limitation, debt limitation, bonding, borrowing, or other law to the contrary. IC 36-8-13-6
All purchases of firefighting apparatus and equipment shall be made in the manner provided by law for the purchase of township supplies. If the amount involved is sufficient to require notice under laws for bids in connection with the purchase of apparatus or equipment, the notice must offer all bidders the opportunity of proposing to sell the apparatus and equipment to the township upon a conditional sale or mortgage contract.
A bidder proposing to sell on a conditional sale or mortgage contract shall state in his bid the pro-posed interest rate and terms of it, to be considered by the township trustee and township board in deter-mining the best bid received.
All bids submitted must specify the cash price at which the bidder proposes to sell the apparatus or equipment to the township so the trustee and township board may determine whether it is in the best interest of the township to purchase the apparatus or equipment on the terms of a conditional sale or mortgage contract proposed by the bidder or to purchase it for cash if sufficient funds are available or can be raised by negotiating a loan with a financial institution in accordance with this section. IC 36-8-13-7
JOINT OWNED TOWNSHIP EQUIPMENT
The trustee of any two or more townships, with the consent of their respective township boards, may unite in the joint purchase of firefighting equipment for use of their respective townships.
Any two or more townships desiring to unite in the purchase, housing, care, maintenance, operation and use of firefighting equipment may purchase such equipment by executing conditional sales or mortgage contracts, notes, or bonds. The two or more townships may jointly employ firemen to fight fires and operate the equipment. The title to equipment purchased jointly shall vest and remain in the respective townships in proportion to their respective contributions toward purchase. IC 36-1-7-2 and IC 36-8-13-3
CONSIDERATION FOR CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS REQUIRED
The contract between a unit and a volunteer fire department must provide that the unit pay to the department, as consideration for the contract, an amount of money that is determined by negotiation between them. This consideration must include the amounts that the unit is required to pay under this chapter for insurance premiums and clothing, automobile, and other allowances. IC 36-8-12-4
FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS AND FIRE PROTECTION TERRITORIES
IC 36-8-11-1 et seq. and IC 36-8-19-1 et seq. sets out procedures for establishing a fire district and fire protection territory. These laws enable the proper local authorities and owners of property to organize special fire protection districts. Because of the length, these provisions should be reviewed in detail by any unit desiring to form such district.
FIRE PROTECTION TERRITORIES (FPT)
The Attorney General of the State of Indiana Issued Advisory Letter 04-03 on February 2, 2007, and which stated in part "A township may participate in an FPT by passing a resolution in the manner and with the same statutory formality as required for ordinances under section 36-8-19-6.
The FPT is not a governmental entity or governmental body to which a city, town or township may transfer property to or exchange property with under Indiana Code sections 36-1-11-8 or 5-22-22-10.”
Indiana Code section 36-8-19-8.6 allows a participating unit to adopt an ordinance or resolution to transfer any money belonging to the participating unit for fire protection purposes as long as the ordinance or resolution states the amount of money transferred and the source of the money.
Cities, towns and townships may establish various fire protection related funds in accordance with Indiana Code chapters 36-8-13 (township fire protection and emergency services) and 36-8-14 (cumulative firefighting building and equipment fund).
A municipality or Township is not required to disband its fire department when it participates in an FPT. Ind. Code 36-8-19-10. While section 36-1-8-5 controls the disposition of unused balances of general or special tax levies, a local governmental entity is not precluded from entering into an interlocal agreement with other participating entities or the provider unit of the FPT under IC 36-1-7 in order to facilitate cooperation and use existing equipment and other resources.
FUNDS AND TAXATION
Each township may levy, for each year, a tax for the township firefighting fund on all taxable real and personal property in the township outside the corporate boundaries of municipalities. Subject to the levy limitations contained in IC 6-1.1-18.5, the township levy is to be in an amount sufficient to pay all costs attributable to fire protection and emergency services that are not paid from other revenues available to the fund. The tax rate and levy shall be established in accordance with procedures set forth in IC 6-1.1-17.
In addition to the tax levy and service charges received under IC 36-8-12-13 and IC 36-8-12-16, the trustee may accept donations to the township for the purpose of firefighting and other emergency services and shall place them in the fund, keeping an accurate record of the sums received. A person may also donate partial payment of any purchase of firefighting or other emergency services equipment made by the township. IC 36-8-13-4
Notwithstanding IC 36-8-13-4(a), the legislative body may authorize the executive to borrow a specified sum from a township fund other than the township firefighting fund if the legislative body finds that the emergency requiring the expenditure of money is related to paying the operating expense of a township fire department or volunteer fire department.
A municipality that contracts for services with a volunteer fire department may pay the cost of an examination or investigation of the volunteer fire department under this chapter. IC 5-11-4-3
CLOTHING AND AUTOMOBILE ALLOWANCES – VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS
Unless otherwise provided by contract, a unit served by a volunteer fire department shall pay to each active and participating member of the department: A clothing allowance of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) per year and an automobile allowance of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) per year for the use of the member's automobile in the line of duty. IC 36-8-12-5
ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP FEES
A contract may also provide that fees for membership in a regularly organized volunteer fire-fighters' association be paid by the unit on behalf of the firefighters in the volunteer fire department. IC 36-8-12-5
SERVICE CHARGES - PROPERTY OWNERS
A volunteer fire department that provides service within a jurisdiction served by the department may establish a schedule of charges for the services that the department provides not to exceed the state fire marshal's recommended schedule for services. The volunteer fire department or its agent may collect a service charge according to this schedule from the owner of property that receives service if the following conditions are met: (1) At the following times, the department gives notice under IC 5-3-1-4(d)
in each political subdivision served by the department of the amount of the service charge for each service that the department provides: (A) Before the schedule of service charges is initiated. (B) When there is a change in the amount of a service charge. (2) The property owner has not sent written notice to the department to refuse service by the department to the owner's property. (3) The bill for payment of the service charge: (A) is submitted to the property owner in writing within thirty (30) days after the services are provided; and (B) includes a copy of a fire incident report in the form prescribed by the state fire marshal, if the service was provided for an event that requires a fire incident report. (4) Payment is remitted directly to the governmental unit providing the service.
A volunteer fire department shall use the revenue collected from the fire service charges under this section: (1) for the purchase of equipment, buildings, and property for firefighting, fire protection, or other emergency services; (2) for deposit in the township firefighting fund established under IC 36-8-13-4; or (3) to pay principal and interest on a loan made by the department of homeland security established by IC 10-19-2-1 or a division of the department for the purchase of new or used firefighting and other emergency equipment or apparatus. Any administrative fees charged by a fire department's agent must be paid only from fees that are collected and allowed by Indiana law and the fire marshal's schedule of fees.
An agent who processes fees on behalf of a fire department shall send all bills, notices, and other related materials to both the fire department and the person being billed for services.
All fees allowed by Indiana law and the fire marshal's fee schedule must be itemized separately from any other charges. If at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the money received by a volunteer fire department for providing fire protection or emergency services is received under one (1) or more contracts with one (1) or more political subdivisions (as defined in IC 34-6-2-110), the legislative body of a contracting political subdivision must approve the schedule of service charges established under subsection (a) before the schedule of service charges is initiated in that political subdivision.
A volunteer fire department that: (1) has contracted with a political subdivision to provide fire protection or emergency services; and (2) charges for services under this section; must submit a report to the legislative body of the political subdivision before April 1 of each year indicating the amount of service charges collected during the previous calendar year and how those funds have been expended.
The state fire marshal shall annually prepare and publish a recommended schedule of service charges for fire protection services. IC 36-8-12-16
The volunteer fire department may maintain a civil action to recover an unpaid charge that is imposed under subsection IC 36-8-12-13(a).
SERVICE CHARGES - FALSE ALARMS
If a fire department serving a township dispatches fire apparatus or personnel to a building or premises in the township in response to:
(1) an alarm caused by improper installation or improper maintenance; or
(2) a drill or test if the fire department is not previously notified that the alarms is a drill or test; the township may impose a fee or service charge upon the owner of the property. However, if the owner of property that constitutes the owner's residence establishes that the alarm is under a maintenance con-tract with an alarm company and that the alarm company has been notified of the improper installation or maintenance of the alarm, the alarm company is liable for the payment of the fee or service charge. IC 36-8-13-4(d)
If a political subdivision has not imposed their own false alarms service charge, a volunteer fire department that provides service within the jurisdiction may establish a charge for responding to false alarms under certain conditions. IC 36-8-12-17
If at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the money received by a volunteer fire department for providing fire protection or emergency services is received under one (1) or more contracts with one (1) or more political subdivisions (as defined in IC 34-6-2-110), the legislative body of a contracting political subdivision must approve the false alarm service charge established under subsection (a) before the service charge is initiated in that political subdivision. Section (f) provides that a volunteer fire department that: (1) has contracted with a political subdivision to provide fire protection or emergency services; and (2) imposes a false alarm service charge under this section; must submit a report to the legislative body of the political subdivision before April 1 of each year indicating the amount of false alarm charges collected during the previous calendar year and how those funds have been expended. IC 36-8-12-17
The amount of a fee or service charge imposed under subsection (d) shall be determined by the township legislative body. All money received by the township from the fee or service charge must be deposited in the township's firefighting fund. IC 36-8-13-4(e)
SERVICE CHARGES – OWNERS OF VEHICLES INVOLVED IN HAZARDOUS EMERGENCY
A fire department that responds first to an incident may impose a charge on a person that is a responsible party with respect to a hazardous materials emergency that: (1) the fire department responded to; (2) members of that fire department assisted in containing, controlling, or cleaning up; (3) with respect to the release or imminent release of hazardous materials at a facility, involves a quantity of hazardous materials that exceeds the spill quantities of hazardous materials that must be reported under 327 IAC 2-6.1-5, as in effect on January 1, 2001; and (4) with respect to the release or imminent release of hazardous materials from a mode of transportation, involves a quantity of hazardous materials that exceeds the spill quantities of hazardous materials that must be reported under 327 IAC 2-6.1-6, as in effect on January 1, 2001.
The owner or responsible party shall remit payment directly to the governmental unit providing the service. Any administrative fees charged by a fire department's agent must be paid only from fees that are collected and allowed by Indiana law and the fire marshal's schedule of fees. An agent who processes fees on behalf of a fire department shall send all bills, notices, and other related materials to both the fire department and the person being billed for services. All fees allowed by Indiana law and the fire marshal's fee schedule must be itemized separately from any other charges. IC 36-8-12.2-6
A fire department imposing a charge under this chapter may bill the responsible party for the total value of the assistance provided as determined from the state fire marshal's schedule of service charges issued under IC 36-8-12-16(h). IC 36-8-12.2-7
Money collected under this chapter must be deposited in the general fund of the unit that established the fire department under IC 36-8-2-3 or IC 36-8-13-3(a)(1) and may be used only for the following: (1) Purchase of supplies and equipment used in providing hazardous materials emergency assistance under this chapter. (2) Training for members of the fire department in skills necessary for providing hazardous materials emergency assistance under this chapter. (3) Payments to persons with which the fire department contracts to provide services related to the hazardous materials emergency assistance provided by the fire department under this chapter. IC 36-8-12.2-8
A fire department may not bill under this chapter for services provided that duplicate services provided by another governmental entity. The responsible party billed for services under this chapter may elect to reimburse the fire department by providing replacement materials that are of equal or greater value than those expended by the fire department in responding to the emergency. IC 36-8-12.2-9
A fire department that imposes a service charge under this chapter and maintains an action for reimbursement under IC 13-25-6-5 may recover all costs of the action, including attorney's fees. IC 36-8-12.2-10
A responsible party is subject to a penalty for failure to pay the full amount of a charge made under this chapter within sixty (60) days after the issuance of the bill for payment by the fire department. The amount of the penalty is ten percent (10%) of the amount of the charge that remains unpaid on the due date. IC 36-8-12.2-11
CHARGES; OWNERS OF PROPERTY OR VEHICLES INVOLVED IN HAZARDOUS MATERIAL FIRE OR SPILL
A volunteer fire department that first responds to an incident may impose a charge on the owner of property, the owner of a vehicle, or a responsible party (as defined in IC 13-11-2-191(d)) that is involved in a hazardous material or fuel spill or chemical or hazardous material related fire (as defined in IC 13-11-2-96(b)): (1) that is responded to by the volunteer fire department; and (2) that members of that volunteer fire department assisted in extinguishing, containing, or cleaning up.
The volunteer fire department shall bill the owner or responsible party of the vehicle for the total dollar value of the assistance that was provided, with that value determined by a method that the state fire marshal shall establish under IC 36-8-12-16. A copy of the fire incident report to the state fire marshal must accompany the bill. This billing must take place within thirty (30) days after the assistance was provided. The owner or responsible party shall remit payment directly to the governmental unit providing the service. Any money that is collected under this section may be: (1) deposited in the township firefighting fund established in IC 36-8-13-4; (2) used to pay principal and interest on a loan made by the department of homeland security established by IC 10-19-2-1 or a division of the department for the purchase of new or used firefighting and other emergency equipment or apparatus; or (3) used for the purchase of equipment, buildings, and property for firefighting, fire protection, and other emergency services.
Any administrative fees charged by a fire department's agent must be paid only from fees that are collected and allowed by Indiana law and the fire marshal's schedule of fees. An agent who processes fees on behalf of a fire department shall send all bills, notices, and other related materials to both the fire department and the person being billed for services. All fees allowed by Indiana law and the fire marshal's fee schedule must be itemized separately from any other charges. The volunteer fire department may maintain a civil action to recover an unpaid charge that is imposed under subsection (a) and may, if it prevails, recover all costs of the action, including reasonable attorney's fees. IC 36-8-12-13
INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRED - FAILURE TO PROVIDE
Each unit that has a volunteer fire department shall procure insurance in the name of and for the benefit of each member of the department. However, if a contract or agreement exists between a unit and a volunteer fire department, the contract or agreement must provide for insurance of the volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in the department, in the amounts and with the coverage required by this chapter. Unless the contract or agreement stipulates otherwise, all insurance coverage must be under a group plan, rather than in the name of each individual firefighter and emergency medical services personnel. Either the unit or the volunteer fire department, according to the contract or agreement, may undertake procurement of required insurance, but in either case, the costs of coverage must be borne by the unit.
If a volunteer fire department serves more than one unit under contract, each unit shall pay the amount for insurance coverage by step 1, for each census block or other area in a unit served by more than one volunteer department, divide the population of the area by the number of departments serving the area and round the quotation to the nearest one thousandth (.001). Step 2 add the quotients deter-mined under step 1 for the unit. Step 3 determine the sum of step 2 amounts for all units served by the same volunteer fire department. Step 4 divide step 2 amount for a unit by step 3 amount and round the quotient to the nearest one thousandth (.001). Step 5 multiply the cost of insurance for the volunteer fire department by the quotient determined in step 4, rounded to the nearest dollar.
A diminution of insurance benefits may not occur under this section because of a change in the insurance carrier or a change as to who actually procures the required insurance.
Each unit that has a volunteer fire department may procure an insurance policy for the benefit of auxiliary groups whose members could be injured while assisting the volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in the performance of their duties.
Each unit that has a volunteer fire department may procure an insurance policy or any other type of instrument that provides retirement benefits as an incentive to volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel for continued service.
An insurance policy or other instrument containing any of the provisions authorized by IC 36-8-12-6(d) may not be considered in the computation of nominal compensation for purposes of this chapter.
A volunteer firefighter and emergency medical services personnel who becomes covered by an insurance policy or other instrument containing any of the provision authorized by IC 36-8-12-6(d) does not thereby become eligible for membership in the public employees' retirement fund under IC 5-10.3.
If a unit fails to provide the insurance for a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical services personnel that this chapter requires it to provide, and a volunteer firefighter suffers a loss of the type that the insurance would have covered, then the unit shall pay to that volunteer firefighter the same amount of money that the insurance would have paid to him. IC 36-8-12-6
IC 36-8-13-9 provides for a township to pay for certain firefighter health care expenditures.
After September 30, 1988, a township shall provide a group health insurance program under IC 5-10-8-2.2(g), for every public safety employee who is receiving disability benefits under IC 36-8-8.
INSURANCE - DEATH AND DISABILITY BENEFITS - LIABILITY COVERAGE
The policy of insurance required by section 6 of this chapter must provide for the payment of a sum not less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) to the beneficiary, beneficiaries, or estate of a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel if the firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel dies from an injury or smoke inhalation occurring while in the performance of the firefighter's or member of the emergency medical services personnel's duties as a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel or from a cardiac disease event proximately caused within forty-eight (48) hours by or occurring while in the performance of the firefighter's or member of the emergency medical services personnel's duties as a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel.
The policy of insurance must provide for the payment of a sum not less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) to the volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel if the firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel becomes totally and permanently disabled for a continuous period of not less than two hundred sixty (260) weeks as a result of an injury or smoke inhalation occurring in the performance of the firefighter's or member of the emergency medical services personnel's duties as a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel.
The policy of insurance must also provide for indemnification to a member of a volunteer fire department who becomes partially and permanently disabled or impaired as a result of an injury or smoke inhalation occurring in the performance of the firefighters or member of the emergency medical services personnel's duties.
In addition to other insurance provided volunteer firefighters or emergency medical services personnel under this chapter, each unit shall be covered by an insurance policy that provides a minimum of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) of insurance coverage for the liability of all of the unit's volunteer firefighters or emergency medical services personnel for bodily injury or property damage caused by the firefighters or emergency medical services personnel acting in the scope of their duties while on the scene of a fire or other emergency. The civil liability of a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel for: (1) an act that is within the scope of a volunteer fire-fighter's duties; or (2) the failure to do an act that is within the scope of a volunteer firefighter's duties; while performing emergency services at the scene of a fire or other emergency or while traveling in an emergency vehicle from the fire station to the scene of the fire or emergency or from the scene of a fire or emergency back to the fire station is limited to the coverage provided by the insurance policy purchased under this subsection. A volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel is not liable for punitive damages for any act that is within the scope of a volunteer firefighter's or member of the emergency medical services personnel's duties. However, if insurance as required under this subsection is not in effect to provide liability coverage for a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel, the firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel is not subject to civil liability for an act or a failure to act as described in this subsection. IC 36-8-12-8
A township having a regularly organized fire department employing full-time firefighters may pro-cure at the township's expense: An insurance policy for each member of the department insuring the member against the loss of his life or dismemberment while in the performance of his regularly assigned duties; and group insurance providing supplemental income protection for the member of the department who has been injured during the course of his employment. The insurance coverage shall be selected with the consent of the members and is supplemental to other benefits provided the injured member by law. IC 36-8-13-8
INSURANCE - ACCIDENTAL INJURY
Each policy of insurance must provide for payment to a member of a volunteer fire department, for accidental injury or smoke inhalation caused by or occurring in the course of the performance of the duties of a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel and for a cardiac disease event proximately caused within forty-eight (48) hours by or occurring in the course of the performance of the duties of a volunteer firefighter or member of the emergency medical services personnel while in an emergency situation, as follows: (1) For total disability that prevents the member from pursuing the member's usual vocation: (A) after June 30, 2009, and before July 24, 2009, a weekly indemnity of not less than two hundred sixty-two dollars ($262); and (B) after July 23, 2009, a weekly indemnity of not less than two hundred ninety dollars ($290); up to a maximum of two hundred sixty (260) weeks. After July 23, 2009, the weekly indemnity may not be less than the Indiana minimum wage computed on the basis of a forty (40) hour week. (2) For medical expenses, coverage for incurred expenses. However, the policy may not have medical expense limits of less than seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000). IC 36-8-12-7
LIABILITY LIMITS; PUNITIVE DAMAGES
The combined aggregate liability of a volunteer fire department for an act or failure to act that is within the scope of the company's duties does not exceed three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) for injury to or death of one (1) person in any one (1) occurrence and does not exceed five million dollars ($5,000,000) for injury to or death of all persons in that occurrence. A volunteer fire department is not liable for punitive damages. IC 36-8-12-15
VOLUNTEERS; COVERAGE BY WORKER'S COMPENSATION AND OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES LAW; ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES
A volunteer firefighter or an emergency medical technician working in a volunteer capacity for a volunteer fire or ambulance company is covered by the medical treatment and burial provision of the worker's compensation law (IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6) and the worker's occupational diseases law (IC 22-3-7).
FIRE TRUCKS AND EMERGENCY SERVICE VEHICLES, REAL PROPERTY
A governmental body may transfer title of surplus property (fire trucks, emergency service vehicles, or firefighting or emergency services equipment) to a volunteer fire department for the volunteer fire department's use in providing fire protection or emergency services.
A volunteer fire department located in the same county as the governmental body offering the surplus property for transfer has the right of first refusal for all surplus property offered. Surplus property refused by the volunteer fire department located in the same county as the governmental body may be transferred to any volunteer fire department in Indiana.
A governmental body may transfer title of surplus property to a volunteer fire department by:
(2) gift; or
(3) another arrangement acceptable to the governing body and the volunteer fire department. IC 5-22-22-12.
See IC 36-1-11-5.7 concerning other transfers of property.
BUILDING OR REMODELING AND FIRE EQUIPMENT FUND
IC 36-8-14 authorizes townships to provide a cumulative fire fund for the purchase, construction, renovation, or addition to buildings or purchase of land used by the fire department or the volunteer fire department serving the unit and for the purchase of firefighting equipment, for use of the fire department or the volunteer fire department serving the unit including making the required payments under a lease rental with option to purchase agreement made to acquire the equipment. The fund may also be used for the purchase, construction, renovation or addition to a building or the purchase of land or purchase of equipment for use of a provider of emergency medical services under IC 16-31-5 to the township establishing the fund.
IC 36-8-14 limits the tax levy to no more than three and thirty – three hundredths cents ($0.0333) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation in the taxing district. Any tax collected after establishing the tax levy shall be deposited in a special fund to be known as the "Building or remodeling and fire equipment fund." Expenditures may be made only after an appropriation has been made available.
Any questions regarding procedures to establish the fund should be directed to the Department of Local Government Finance.
FIRE DEPARTMENT MERIT SYSTEMS
Townships may establish merit systems for a township fire department. IC 36-8-3.5
FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
Certain townships may adopt employment policies which include residency requirements in accordance with IC 36-8-13.5.
- Recreation - Township Parks and Community Centers
Park Statutes by Population
TOWNSHIPS IN A COUNTY WITH POPULATION OVER FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND BUT LESS THAN SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND
Expenditures for improvements and construction of facilities for the comfort and convenience of the public in the park shall be paid from the park and recreation fund.
If a park is acquired and the expense of the acquisition or of the development and improvement of the park is too great to be borne by the park and recreation fund, the township board may authorize its chairman to issue bonds for the acquisition of a park provided that the total bonded indebtedness of the township for park purposes shall not at any time exceed $1,000,000.00. Said bonds may be issued for a period not to exceed ten (10) years and bear interest at any rate and may be sold for not less than their par value. The township board shall attend the sale and must concur before the bonds are sold. The chairman shall publish notice prior to the sale in accordance with IC 5-3-1. IC 36-10-7-5
TOWNSHIPS OF NOT LESS THAN 8,500 POPULATION, THAT CONTAIN A TOWN
The township board may authorize the trustee to issue bonds for park purposes not exceeding $90,000.00 issued outstanding at any one time. Said bonds shall run for a period of not less than 10 or more than 20 years, and may bear interest at any rate, may be made payable semiannually and shall be sold for at least par value. IC 36-10-7-6
The cost of care, upkeep, repair, maintenance and improvement of such parks shall be paid from the Township Fund and the township board shall increase the levy of the fund each year, by an amount sufficient to provide the money to maintain the park. IC 36-10-7-6
PUBLIC PARKS IN CERTAIN TOWNSHIPS
Township trustees in townships having a population between 2,000 and 3,000 are authorized to accept, acquire and maintain grounds and structures which shall be used as public parks, upon petition of 51% or more of the resident taxpayers of the township. IC 36-10-7-7
When a park has been so established, the township board shall, at its annual meeting and annually thereafter levy a tax of not in excess of five cents ($.05) on each $100.00 of all the taxable property in the township to be set aside in a Public Park Fund to be used by the township trustee for maintenance, improvement and upkeep of such park and for no other purpose. IC 36-10-7-7
CERTAIN TOWNSHIPS - ACQUISITION OF LAND FOR PARK PURPOSES
This section applies to all townships having a population of less than two thousand (2,000).
The township trustee may lease, purchase, accept by grant, devise, bequest, or other conveyance to the township, or otherwise acquire land for park purposes and may make necessary improvements only as provided by this section.
The township board may establish a township park and may, by resolution, appropriate from the general fund of the township the necessary money to lease, purchase, accept, or otherwise acquire land for park purposes or make improvements thereon. The trustee shall then lease purchase, accept, or acquire the land for park purposes or shall make improvements thereon as directed in the resolution. However, the costs of the park grounds or of the improvements provided for in the resolution may not exceed in one (1) year one-fifth of one percent (0.2%) of all taxable property of the township according to its assessed valuation as it appears on the tax duplicates of the auditor of the county in which the town-ship is located.
If a park has been established under this section, the trustee shall have the park maintained and may make improvements and construct and maintain facilities for the comfort and convenience of the public. However, the trustee annually may not spend more than one cent ($.01) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) of assessed valuation of taxable property in the township as it appears on the tax duplicates of the auditor of the county in which the township is located. The money shall be paid from the general fund of the township.
If the general fund of the township is insufficient to meet the expenses of acquiring or improving the land for park purposes, the trustee shall call a special meeting of the township board by written notice to each member of the township board at least three (3) days before the date of the meeting. The notice must state the time, place, and purpose of the meeting. The township board shall meet and determine whether an emergency exists for the issuance of the warrants or bonds of the township. The township board shall, by resolution, authorize the issuance and sale of the warrants or bonds of the township in an amount not exceeding two percent (2%) of all taxable property in the township according to its assessed valuation as it appears on the tax duplicates of the auditor of the county in which the township is located. The amount of bonds may not exceed the total estimated cost of all land to be acquired and all improvements described in the resolution, including all expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the proceedings. The proceeds from the sale of the bonds shall be deposited in the general fund of the township. The bonds become due and payable not less than two (2) nor more than ten (10) years after the date of issuance, may bear interest any rate, and may not be sold for less than par value. The bonds shall be sold after giving notice of the sale of bonds in accordance with IC 5-3-1. The bonds and the interest thereon are exempt from taxation as provided by IC 6-8-5 and are subject to the provision of IC 6-1.1-20 relating to the filing of a petition requesting the issuance of bonds, the appropriation of the proceeds of the bonds, and the approval by the Department of Local Government Finance.
The township board shall, at its next annual meeting after authorization of bonds and annually each following year, levy a sufficient tax against all the taxable property of the township to pay the principal of the bonds, together with accruing interest, as they become due. The trustee shall apply the money received from the levy only to the payment of bonds and interest as they become due.
In addition to the levy required by subsection (f), the township board shall, when a park has been established under this section and at every annual meeting after establishment, levy a tax not exceeding one cent ($.01) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) of taxable property in the township. The levy required by this subsection shall be used by the executive for the maintenance and improvement of the park. The trustee may not expend more for maintenance and improvement of the park than the amount collected by the levy except:
1. Upon petition by fifty-one percent (51%) of the taxpayers of the township; or
2. When warrants or bonds are to be issued under this section to finance the expenses of improvements.
The amount received from the levy shall be deposited in the general fund of the township.
A park established under this section shall be kept open to the public in accordance with rules prescribed by the executive.
If the trustee determines that land or other property used for park purposes under this section should be disposed of and that the park should no longer be maintained, the trustee shall appoint three (3) disinterested appraisers to appraise the property. The property shall then be disposed of either at public or private sale for at least its appraised value. All money from the sale of park property, less the expenses incurred in making the appraisal and sale, shall be paid into the general fund of the township. IC 36-10-7-8
MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC PARKS OR PLAYGROUNDS IN CERTAIN TOWNSHIPS
Each township in a county having a consolidated city, or containing a second-class city within its boundaries that is not a county seat, if there is a public park or playground in the township under the jurisdiction of the township, the township trustee shall manage the park or playground. The trustee shall keep complete records of the management and all related transactions, including receipts such as fees, concessions, licenses, permits, and sales. The receipts shall be credited to the township fund. IC 36-10-7-4
TAX LEVIES APPROPRIATIONS FROM TOWNSHIP FUND
The township trustee may levy a tax and use appropriated township funds to pay for the recreation programs, facilities, or services. IC 36-10-7-3
In all townships except those in a county having a consolidated city.
The township trustee may, upon petition of at least twenty-five (25) resident freeholders, purchase or improve suitable land or purchase, construct, reconstruct, renovate, remodel, or improve room space, buildings, or equipment for: (1) a township community center for civil, social, recreation, or other township purposes; (2) or a township recreational land area.
A township may issue general obligation bonds for the purposes set forth in subsection (b) in the manner provided by IC 36-10-3 for the issue of bonds under that chapter.
Money for the purposes set forth in subsection (b) must be appropriated as provided by law from funds belonging to the township or from the proceeds of a general obligation bond.
The trustee may operate and maintain the community center or recreational land area. A property tax levy may be imposed as provided by law for the cost of all or part of the operation and maintenance expense incurred under this section.
The trustee may rent to others all or part of the community center or recreational land area when it is not needed for township purposes. The money received for rent shall be used to pay maintenance and utility expenses of the community center or recreational land area. IC 36-10-7-2
TOWNSHIP GENERAL PARK AND RECREATION
IC 36-10-7.5 concerns township general park and recreation. The legislative body of a township may adopt a resolution creating a department of parks and recreation. After a department has been created, all books, papers, documents, and any other property of former park and recreation authorities are transferred to and become the property of the department.
IC 36-10-7.5 provides for bonding of officers and employees. Also provides for the establishment of a special nonreverting capital fund for acquiring land and capital improvements.
IC 36-10-7.5 provides for the potential establishment of a cumulative building fund. The tax levy for the cumulative fund may not be greater than five cents ($.05) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation of taxable property within the Township.
IC 36-10-7.5 also provides for bond issues.
- Township Libraries
TOWNSHIP LIBRARIES - ESTABLISHMENT
The legislative body of a township which is not already taxed for library purposes and that has a population of at least ten thousand (10,000) or an assessed valuation that is at least as high as the median of the most recent certified assessed valuation of the ten (10) library taxing districts closest in population to ten thousand (10,000) may establish a public library for residents of that township. The establishment of a public library may be initiated by either the legislative body passing the resolution; or the filing of a petition by at least twenty percent (20%) of the registered voters with certain requirements. Petition and remonstrance procedures are provided in IC 36-12-2-5.
CONTRACTS FOR LIBRARY SERVICES
A library board may contract to provide or receive library service from a township. The contract for library service between the public library and the township must outline the manner and extent of service and the amount of compensation for the extension of library service.
PROPOSAL OF EXPANSION - REQUISITES - FILING
The library board of a public library may file a proposed expansion with the township trustee and township board of the township. The proposal must state that the public library seeks to expand its service area to include a certain township or any part of a township not being taxed for public library service. IC 36-12-5-2
AGREEMENT TO EXPAND - PETITION REMONSTRANCE PROCEDURE
When the township trustee and township board receive the proposal of expansion, they may agree to the expansion by written resolution. A petition for acceptance of the proposal of expansion must be signed by twenty percent (20%) of the registered voters of the township or part of the township, as determined by the most recent general election. Within ten (10) days after the filing, the township trustee shall publish notice of the petition for acceptance of the proposal of expansion in the manner provided in IC 5-3-1 in a newspaper of general circulation in the township. IC 36-12-5-3 provides petition and remonstrance procedures. IC 36-12-5-4 provides procedures for acceptance or rejection of the proposed expansion.
TOWNSHIP CONTRACTING WITH COUNTY CONTRACTUAL LIBRARIES - TAX LEVIES
When a township, or part of a township, is contracting with a library that is extending service through a county contractual library, then the township or part of a township; (1) shall cease to levy a separate tax for library purposes; and (2) becomes a part of the county contractual library district.
The tax levy for county contractual library purposes shall then be levied in the township or part of a township that has become part of the county contractual library district.
Any township that ceases to levy a tax for public library purposes in any year becomes a part of its county library district or county contractual library district, if either library district exists at the time the township levy is discontinued. The county library or county contractual library tax shall then be levied in the township. IC 36-12-6-4
IC 36-12-5 provides detailed procedures concerning expansion of Class 1 Public Libraries into more than one township in a county.
- Miscellaneous Duties and Other Matters Relating to the Office of the Trustee
IC 5-3-1-3 applies when another statute requires meetings or notices to be published. If the statute that requires the meeting does not mention IC 5-3-1-3, then you would follow the requirements of the open-door law (IC 5-14-1.5). Meetings that follow the requirements of the open-door law would require notice posted 48 hours in advance and it is not required to publish notice in the newspaper(s).
The dates and the medium of certain notices required by statute are outlined below:
1. Notice of meetings not specifically mentioned in statute – 48 hours (Notice by Township Office).
2. Elections – 10 days before the date of the election (Newspaper).
3. Sale of Bonds – 15 days before the sale and the second publication at least 3 days before the sale (Newspaper).
4. Receiving Bids – published twice, with at least 1 week apart and at least 7 days before bids are received (2 Newspapers).
5. Establishment of Cumulative or Sinking fund – published twice, with at least 1 week apart and at least 3 days before hearing (Newspaper).
6. Publication of Annual Report – within 4 weeks after the third Tuesday following the first Monday in February (1 Newspaper). IC 5-3-1-3(f)
7. Indebtedness of Township – first Monday of August (Notice by Township Office).
8. Budgets – Refer to the Budget and Tax Rate Calendar provided by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF).
If the Officer is charged with the duty of publishing any notice required by law and is unable to procure publication of the notice at either (1) the price fixed by law, (2) because newspapers qualified to publish refuse to publish, or (3) because newspapers qualified to publish refuse to post notice on their respective websites, it is sufficient for the officer to post printed notices in three prominent places in the Township.
IC 5-3-1-2.3 applies to notices containing errors or omissions. Notice is not required to be republished if (1) a reasonable person would not be misled by the error or omission and (2) the notice is in substantial compliance with the time and publication requirements.
BREAK-INS, BURGLARIES OR OTHER CRIMES
Break-Ins, burglaries or other crimes committed against the governmental unit must be documented by the filing of an official police report. Insurance companies must be contacted to request payment for any allowable coverage.
BUDGETED LINE ITEMS
Disbursements must be paid from properly authorized line items.
Public records, financial statement information and supporting information generated through a computer system must be printed out on paper, backed-up electronically or maintained on-line at the end of each reporting year and retained for audit. Information must be maintained in a manner that will allow access for audit and public inquiry on the equipment of the governmental unit.
CRIME INSURANCE POLICIES
Crime insurance policies permitted by law must be recorded in the same manner as official bonds under IC 5-4.
TRUSTS AND ENDOWMENTS
Each governmental unit is responsible for complying with any requirements of trust agreements or endowments received which are not contrary to state statute or constitutional provisions.
VARIOUS ACCOUNTING GUIDES, MANUALS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Compliance is required, as applicable, with generally accepted accounting principles, and standards issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Financial Accounting Standards Board, and other standards setting bodies and with various accounting guides, manuals and other publications.
VENDING, CONCESSIONS OR OTHER SALES CONTROLS
Internal controls over vending operations, concessions or other sales should include, at a mini-mum, a regular reconcilement of the beginning inventory, purchases, distributions, items sold and ending inventory to the amount received. Any discrepancies noted should be immediately documented in writing to proper officials. The reconcilement should provide an accurate accounting.
Persons with access to vending should be properly designated and access should be limited to those designated.
Governmental units should have internal controls in effect which provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial information and records, effectiveness and efficiency of operations, proper execution of management's objectives, and compliance with laws and regulations. Among other things, segregation of duties, safeguarding controls over cash and all other assets and all forms of information processing are necessary for proper internal control.
Controls over the receipting, disbursing, recording, and accounting for the financial activities are necessary to avoid substantial risk of invalid transactions, inaccurate records and financial statements and incorrect decision making.
Indiana Code 5-11-1-27(e) provides that through the compliance guidelines authorized under IC 5-11-1-24 the state board of accounts shall define the acceptable minimum level of internal control standards for internal control systems of political subdivisions, including the following: (1) Control Environment. (2) Risk Assessment. (3) Control Activities. (4) Information and Communication. (5) Monitoring.
In response, the SBOA developed the Uniform Internal Control Standards for Indiana Political Subdivisions manual, which contains the acceptable minimum level of internal control standards.
Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (the "Yellow Book") prohibits the SBOA from prescribing the actual internal control procedures to be used by a political subdivision. However, the manual provides examples and case studies to demonstrate implementation strategies.
Internal Control Policy and Required Certifications
After June 30, 2016 IC 5-11-1-27(g) provides that the legislative body of each political subdivision must adopt the minimum internal control standards as defined by SBOA. Additionally, the legislative body must ensure that personnel receive training concerning the internal control standards and procedures adopted by the political subdivision.
At the time of submission of the Annual Financial Report (AFR) through Gateway, the fiscal officer must certify that the minimum internal control standards have been adopted and that personnel who are not otherwise on leave status have received training regarding these standards and procedures. Instructions for filing will be found as part of the AFR submission.
Apart from the required certification to be filed by the fiscal officer in Gateway during the submission of the Annual Financial Report (AFR) due March 1, 2017 a certification for each elected official, appointee, and employee that meets the definition of personnel in IC 5-11-1-27(c), should be signed as evidence for their individual training. A certification form is provided below and can also be found under the Appendix found in the Uniform Internal Control Standards for Indiana Political Subdivisions manual. These certifications are to be maintained by the political subdivision on-site.
INTERNAL CONTROL TRAINING
Indiana Code 5-11-1-27(f) provides that the SBOA develop or designate approved personnel training materials concerning internal controls. The SBOA has developed and is providing the following training materials on internal controls: Webinar Link.
Uniform Internal Control Standards for Indiana Political Subdivisions manual by the SBOA and Live presentations by the SBOA at the annual called meetings and conferences around the state.
Every public officer in this state, who receives or distributes public funds, shall keep a cash book wherein there shall be entered daily by item all receipts of public funds. The cash book shall be balanced daily, shall show funds on hand at the close of each day, and shall be a public record and open to public inspection. IC 5-13-5-1
All funds collected by the township trustee shall be deposited on or before the first and fifteenth day of each month and in the same form they are received. All local investment officers shall reconcile at least monthly the balance of public funds, as disclosed by the records of the local officers, with the balance statements provided by the respective depositories. IC 5-13-6-1
Financial Institutions with Which the Township May Deposit Funds
Pursuant to IC 5-13-8-1(a), a political subdivision may deposit public funds in a financial institution only if the financial institution:
1. Is a depository eligible to receive state funds; and
2. Has a principal office or branch that is located within the territorial limits of the political subdivision, except as provided below:
No Financial Institution Within the County or Political Subdivision. If there is no principal office or branch of a financial institution located in the county or political subdivision or if no financial institution with a principal office or branch in the county or political subdivision will accept public funds, the board of finance of the county and the boards of finance of the political subdivisions in the county shall designate one or more financial institutions with a principal office or branch outside of the county or political subdivision, and in the State, as a depository or depositories. [IC 5-13-8-9(c)]
Only One Financial Institution Located in the County or Political Subdivision. IC 5-13-8-9(e) provides that if only one financial institution with a branch or principal office in a county or political subdivision is willing to accept public funds, the board of finance of the county or political subdivision may:
1. Treat the financial institution that is located within the county or political subdivision as if the financial institution were not located within the county or political subdivision; and
2. Designate one or more financial institution to receive public funds under the requirements of IC 5-13-8-9(c).
Political Subdivision District Crosses County Lines. If the political subdivision crosses one or more county lines, the local board of finance may limit its boundaries to that portion of the district within the county where its principal office is located. [IC 5-13-8-9(a)] Note, this subsection does not apply to a city, town or school corporation.
The State Board of Finance shall make available information concerning financial institutions eligible to receive state funds as may be requested by a local board of finance. A local board of finance may rely on the certificate regarding the minimum capital ratio requirements in determining to deposit public funds or reinvest public funds in the financial institution. [IC 5-13-8-1(b)]
All township warrants shall be drawn by the township trustee directly against a township depository. All checks drawn upon depositories shall be signed by public officers authorized to sign the same in their official capacity. IC 5-13-5-2
PURCHASES, EXPENSES, AND PAYMENTS
DECEASED PERSON - PAYMENT OF FUNDS DUE
The State Board of Accounts is often asked the correct method of making payment of money due an official, employee, or other person who has died. If an executor, administrator or personal representative has been designated by the court, payment should be made to such executor, administrator or personal representative. Payment may be made to a person claiming to be entitled to payment or delivery of property of the decedent without awaiting the appointment of a personal representative or the probate of a will when an affidavit is presented stating (a) no petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted, and (b) forty-five (45) days have elapsed since the death of the decedent, and (c) the value of the gross probate estate less liens and encumbrances thereon does not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), and (d) the claimant is entitled to payment or delivery of the property. IC29-1-8-1 A form of affidavit acceptable in fulfilling the intent of the above referenced law will be furnished upon request.
EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT ITEMIZATION
All claims, invoices, receipts, accounts payable vouchers, including those presented to the governing body for approval in accordance with IC 5-11-10, must contain adequate detailed documentation. All claims, invoices, receipts, and accounts payable vouchers regarding reimbursement for meals and expenses for individuals must have specific detailed information of the names of all individuals for which amounts are claimed, including the nature, name, and purpose of the business meeting, to enable the governing body to authorize payment. Payments which do not have proper itemization showing the business nature of the claim may be the personal obligation of the responsible official, employee or another person for whom the claim is made.
REPAYMENTS AND REFUNDS
Persons, companies, or governmental units that have overpaid amounts to a governmental unit are entitled to a repayment or refund by check or warrant.
Payments or transfers which are not authorized by law, ordinance, resolution, or court order must be reimbursed or transferred to the appropriate fund.
USE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES
IC 36-6-4-8(a) allows the township trustee to use the township’s share of state, county, and township tax revenues and federal revenue sharing funds for all categories of community services, if these funds are appropriated for these services by the township legislative body.
The trustee may use the funds for both operating and capital expenditures.
IC 36-6-4-8(b) states “…with the consent of the township legislative body, the township may contract with corporations for health and community services not specifically provided by another governmental entity.”
Our audit position is that there needs to be a contract in place which would show that the township will give an organization a fixed dollar amount and in return the organization will provide a certain community service to the citizens of the Township.
Checks and receipts must be prepared timely and not signed in advance of the event or trans-action.
The State Board of Accounts encourages the bidding and quote procedures whenever applicable to help ensure receiving competitive pricing for governmental units. However, IC 5-22-10-1 provides "Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a purchasing agent may make a purchase under this chapter without soliciting bids or proposals."
Supply purchases are a possibility for consideration of the special purchase provisions of IC 5-22- 10-1 et seq. However, we are of the audit position, townships should obtain the written position of the township attorney as to which section of IC 5-22-10 might be applicable to any particular situation. An example might be the township attorney advises IC 5-22-10-15 is applicable. IC 5-22-10-15 states "(a) A purchasing agent may purchase supplies if the purchase is made from a person who has a contract with a federal agency and the person's contract with the federal agency requires the person to make the supplies available to the state or political subdivisions. (b) A purchasing agent for a political subdivision may purchase supplies if the purchase is made from a person who has a contract with a state agency and the person's contract with the state requires the person to make the supplies or services available to political subdivisions, as provided in IC 4-13-1.6 or IC 5-22-17-9."
The written position of the township attorney should then be attached to the completed Special
Purchase Contract File List Form (sample in the appendix) and retained and for audit as a public record.
TRANSFER OF FUNDS
Whenever the purposes of a tax levy have been fulfilled, the township board shall have authority to order the trustee to transfer any unused and unencumbered balance in the fund resulting from such general or special levy to the township fund or rainy day fund. Funds for redemption of township assistance obligations are transferred to the Township Assistance Fund. IC 36-1-8-5
TEMPORARY TRANSFER BETWEEN FUNDS
The fiscal body of a political subdivision may, by resolution, permit the transfer of a prescribed amount, for a prescribed period, to a depleted fund from another fund of the political subdivision if it must be necessary to borrow money to enhance the depleted fund; there must be sufficient money on deposit to the credit of the other fund that can be temporarily transferred; the prescribed period must end during the budget year of the year in which the transfer occurs, except as authorized by IC 36-1-8-4(b); the amount transferred must be returned to the other fund at the end of the prescribed period; and, only revenues derived from the levying and collection of property taxes or special taxes or from operation of the political subdivision may be included in the amount transferred. If the fiscal body of a political subdivision determines that an emergency exists that requires an extension of the prescribed period of a transfer under this section, the prescribed period may be extended for not more than six (6) months beyond the budget year of the year in which the transfer occurs if the fiscal body does the following: (1) Passes a resolution that contains the following: (A) A statement that the fiscal body has determined that an emergency exists. (B) A brief description of the grounds for the emergency. (C) The date the loan will be repaid that is not more than six (6) months beyond the budget year in which the transfer occurs. (2) Immediately forwards the resolution to the State Board of Accounts and the Department of Local Government Finance. IC 36-1-8-4
Such temporary transfer should be affected by issuing a warrant and receipt for the amount of the transfer. The warrant should be endorsed and deposited in the depository account designated for the depleted fund. No appropriation is required either for the transfer or the repayment. No interest should be charged on any such temporary transfer.
RAINY DAY FUND
Pursuant to IC 36-1-8-5.1, a Township can establish a Rainy Day Fund (RDF) through the adoption of a resolution. The resolution must state the following: (1) the purposes of the RDF and (2) the sources of funding for the RDF. The sources of funding can include dormant funds (IC 36-1-8-5), or any other funding source specified in the resolution and not otherwise prohibited by law.
In addition, a Township can transfer an amount from a fund as long as it is authorized by the resolution, does not exceed 10% of the total annual budget for the current and prior fiscal years, and is not from a debt service fund.
Our position is that a unit can transfer money from an appropriated fund to the RDF as long as the purpose of the levy has been fulfilled (and the Township Board has stated such) and the transfer does not exceed 10% of the total annual budget. Also, any fund that has been declared dormant (by the Township Board) under IC 36-1-8-5 can be transferred to the RDF. Please note that Debt Service Funds are explicitly prohibited from being transferred to the RDF.
Township funds that cannot be transferred to the RDF:
- Township Assistance - IC 12-20-21-3 states: “The funds are continuing funds and do NOT revert to any other fund at the end of the year.”
- Fire - IC 36-8-13-4 states in part: “…exclusive funds…and for no other purposes…”
- Fire Protection Territories - IC 36-8-19-8 states in part: “…money in this fund cannot be used for any other expenses.”
- Park & Recreation - IC 36-10-7-7 states in part: “to be used…for the maintenance and improvement of the park and for no other purpose.”
Township funds that can be transferred to the RDF:
- Township (General) - Can be transferred to RDF, subject to max of 10% total annual budget
- Cumulative Fire - Can be transferred to RDF, subject to max of 10% total annual budget [IC 36-8-14] - NOTE: If money is transferred from a Cum fund, the DLGF will probably question if you still need that tax levy.
Township funds that could be in the Township General fund, depending on other information:
- Donations - If it is a nonrestricted donation, it would go to the Township General fund. If it is a restricted donation, we would audit to agreement.
- Cemetery - If a cemetery is conveyed to a township, all the assets, funds, cash, etc. may only be used in connection with that cemetery [IC 23-14-64-3], and therefore could not be transferred to the RDF. However, if the township has established a cemetery, the expenses shall be paid out of the Township General fund [IC 23-14-69-9].
YEAR END REPORTING
Report of Names, Addresses, Duties and Compensation of Public Employees (Annual Personnel Report - Form 100R)
Every township shall, during the month of January of each year, prepare, make, and sign a certified report, correctly and completely, showing the names and business addresses of each and all officers, employees, and agents in their respective offices, and the respective duties and compensation of each with the state board of accounts. The report must indicate whether the township offers a health plan, a pension, and other benefits to fulltime and part-time employees. The report must be filed electronically through the State Gateway. The Department of Local Government Finance may not approve the budget of a township or a supplemental appropriation for a township until the township files the report for the preceding calendar year. IC 5-11-13-1
The report must include a statement by the trustee regarding whether the township has implemented a Nepotism policy under IC 36-1-20.2 and a contracting policy. IC 36-1-21 If a township does not implement a nepotism and a contracting policy, the Department of Local Government Finance may not approve the unit's budget or any additional appropriations for the township for the ensuing calendar year. For the report due January 2015, each Township will be required to upload their policies if they indicate they have passed them. This report is a public record which shall be open to public inspection and examination. A trustee who fails to file this report commits a Class C infraction and is subject to removal for neglect of duty. IC 5-11-13-2 IC 5-11-13-3 The total compensation paid to all employees of the township for the previous year should be reported. This includes part time, temporary, and seasonal employees. If a W2 was required to be issued, that person should be listed on the report. IRS Publication 15 has guidelines for determining if someone is an employee or a contractor. Elected officials, including board members, should be included. The trustee must print and sign an Attestation Statement that certifies that the data is accurate to the best of their knowledge and belief. This must be mailed to our office within five days of submitting your report via Gateway. If you resubmit your report, you must print, sign and mail a new attestation form. Correspondence regarding the report will be sent to the email address on file in the State Gateway. If there has been a change in trustee or email address please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting an update of the township's contact information.
Annual Financial Report (AFR)
The state examiner shall require from every local governmental unit a financial report covering the full period of each fiscal year. These reports shall be prepared, verified, and filed with the state examiner not later than sixty (60) days after the close of each fiscal year. The reports must be in the form and content prescribed by the state examiner and filed electronically in the State Gateway. The Department of Local Government Finance may not approve the budget of a township or a supplemental appropriation for a township until the township files an annual report for the preceding calendar year. (IC 5-11-1-4) A trustee who fails to file this report commits a Class B infraction and forfeits office. IC 5-11-1-10 Beginning in 2013, IC 5-11-20 required that governmental entities include pension information on their employee retirement plans as part of the Annual Financial Report. If your township offers only the Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF) pension you will not need to provide any additional information on the Annual Financial Report. If your township has any other pension plans where the township makes contributions to the plan or funds any part of the benefits, you will need to provide additional information on the Annual Financial Report. The trustee must print and sign an Attestation Statement that certifies that the data is accurate to the best of their knowledge and belief. This must be mailed to our office within five days of submitting your report via Gateway. If you resubmit your report, you must print, sign and mail a new attestation form. Correspondence regarding the report will be sent to the email address on file in the State Gateway. If there has been a change in trustee or email address please send an email to email@example.com requesting an update of the township's contact information.
Each township board shall adopt a nepotism policy that includes, at a minimum, the requirements set forth in IC 36-1-20.2. The policy may include requirements that are more stringent or detailed. These policies should be retained locally. There is no requirement that a new policy be adopted annually.
When completing the Certified Report of Names, Addresses, Duties and Compensation of Public Employees (Form 100R), the trustee must indicate if a nepotism policy has been implemented. If a policy has not been implemented, the Department of Local Government Finance may not approve the township's budget or any additional appropriations for the township. If the township board implements a nepotism policy after the trustee has completed the Form 100R, the trustee should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the report to be unlocked. After the report is unlocked, the trustee should go back into the report and indicate that a policy has been adopted. The trustee must submit the report again in order for this change to be effective.
IC 36-1-20.2-9 states: "(a) This chapter establishes minimum requirements regarding employment of relatives. The legislative body of the unit shall adopt a policy that includes, at a minimum, the requirements set forth in this chapter. However, the policy may: (1) include requirements that are more stringent or detailed than any provision in this chapter; and (2) apply to individuals who are exempted or excluded from the application of this chapter. The unit may prohibit the employment of a relative that is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter. (b) The annual report filed by a unit with the state board of accounts under IC 5-11-13-1 must include a statement by the executive of the unit stating whether the unit has implemented a policy under this chapter."
IC 36-1-20.2-18 states: "If a unit has not implemented a policy under this chapter, the department of local government finance may not approve: (1) the unit's budget; or (2) any additional appropriations for the unit; for the ensuing calendar year until the state board of accounts certifies to the department of local government finance that the unit is in compliance with this chapter."
Each township board shall adopt a Contracting policy that includes, at a minimum, the requirements set forth in IC 36-1-21. The policy may include requirements that are more stringent or detailed. These policies should be retained locally. There is no requirement to adopt a policy annually.
When completing the Certified Report of Names, Addresses, Duties and Compensation of Public Employees (Form 100R), the trustee must indicate if a contracting policy has been implemented. If a policy has not been implemented, the Department of Local Government Finance may not approve the township's budget or any additional appropriations for the township. If the township board implements a contracting policy after the trustee has completed the Form 100R, the trustee should send an email to email@example.com and ask for the report to be unlocked. After the report is unlocked, the trustee should go back into the report and indicate that a policy has been adopted. The trustee must submit the report again in order for this change to be effective.
IC 36-1-21-4 states: "(a) This chapter establishes minimum requirements regarding contracting with a unit. The legislative body of the unit shall adopt a policy that includes, at a minimum, the requirements set forth in this chapter. However, the policy may: (1) include requirements that are more stringent or detailed than any provision in this chapter; and (2) apply to individuals who are exempted or excluded from the application of this chapter. The unit may prohibit the employment of a relative that is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter. (b) The annual report filed by a unit with the state board of accounts under IC 5-11-13-1 must include a statement by the executive of the unit stating whether the unit has implemented a policy under this chapter."
IC 36-1-21-8 states: "If a unit has not implemented a policy under this chapter, the department of local government finance may not approve: (1) the unit's budget; or (2) any additional appropriations for the unit; for the ensuing calendar year until the state board of accounts certifies to the department of local government finance that the unit is in compliance with this chapter."
NEPOTISM AND CONTRACTING CERTIFICATIONS
Each township board member and the trustee are required to certify in writing under penalties of perjury before December 31 of each year that they have not violated the requirements of IC 36-1-20.2 (Nepotism) and IC 36-1-21 (Contracting). These certifications shall be submitted to the trustee and retained locally.
IC 36-1-20.2-16, concerning the annual certification on nepotism, states: "Each elected officer of the unit shall annually certify in writing, subject to the penalties for perjury, that the officer has not violated this chapter. An officer shall submit the certification to the executive of the unit not later than December 31 of each year."
IC 36-1-21-6, concerning the annual certification on contracting, states: "Each elected officer of the unit shall annually certify in writing, subject to the penalties for perjury, that the officer is in compliance with this chapter. An officer shall submit the certification to the executive of the unit not later than December 31 of each year."
OTHER STATE AND FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS
WORKER'S COMPENSATION INSURANCE
The provision of the Worker's Compensation Act (IC 22-3-2) apply to township employees. A township trustee shall carry worker's compensation insurance. IC 22-3-2-2; IC 22-3-6-1(a)(b)
Official Opinion of the Indiana Attorney General Number 134 of 1945, established guidelines to be observed in paying school teachers in instances where an absence from work was because of circumstances under which the teacher received compensation benefits through the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act (Worker’s Compensation Act). Clarification was made in the Opinion, that a teacher who received benefits under the Workmen’s Compensation Act (Worker’s Compensation Act) while absent from work, would be entitled to receive from a school corporation only the difference between the amount received from Workmen’s Compensation Act (Worker’s Compensation Act) and the full benefits provided by law allowing teachers to be absent without loss of pay for a stated number of days; the laws considered in the Opinion do not authorize double payment for the same injury.
Official Opinion Number 17 of 1975 supports the prior Opinion in that while a teacher is entitled to each earned sick leave day for actual sickness or injury, in the event a teacher also receives Workmen’s Compensation (Worker’s Compensation) payments during the same time frame as receiving sick leave, an adjustment must be made so that the combined earned sick leave days and Workmen’s Compensation (Worker’s Compensation) payments do not exceed that teacher’s normal salary for the same time frame.
Applying the aforementioned to townships, we are of the audit position that if an employee is off work and receiving payments from a township for sick days, the employee should either sign the Worker’s Compensation payment over to a township or receive from a township the difference between the employee’s daily rate and the amount received from Worker’s Compensation.
If you have any questions regarding a Township’s requirements as they pertain to worker’s compensation, please contact the Worker’s Compensation Board. http://www.in.gov/wcb/
STATE AND FEDERAL TAXES
In some instances, governmental units may have erroneously paid the excise taxes from which they are exempt. In such instances, the unit has three years from the date tax been paid to the federal government in which to file for a refund.
To obtain a refund, the governmental unit should submit to the seller an exemption certificate for each item on which excise tax was paid accompanied with documentary evidence that the exemption had not been claimed or received. Such evidence may be copies of invoices, affidavits, records, etc.
The Internal Revenue Service will provide forms on which the original taxpayer may claim reimbursement for excise tax erroneously paid by a governmental unit.
Governmental units are eligible for an exemption from the state sales tax on purchases. To obtain the exemption for a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate, application should be made to the Sales Tax Division of the Department of Revenue. This certificate must be presented at the time a purchase is made to avoid paying sales tax. If sales tax is paid erroneously, a refund application may be obtained from the Sales Tax Division
Lodging for individuals in hotels and motels is not exempt from state sales tax. Therefore, reimbursements for lodging in approved travel status may include state sales tax. However, it should be kept in mind that claims for all such reimbursements must be supported by a fully itemized receipt showing date(s) of lodging, the name(s) of the person(s) occupying the room and the amount paid.
Following are some general comments pertaining to the State Board of Accounts audit position regarding local governmental unit's exemption from sales tax:
1. Items should be purchased through the issuance of purchase orders and paid for by township checks to avoid the problem of reimbursing employees for sales tax paid on materials purchased for the township when the township is exempt from sales tax.
2. Sales tax paid on lodging and meals by officials and employees while in travel status on township business of the township may be reimbursed in accordance with an official travel expense reimbursement policy adopted by resolution of the township.
3. We have often noted that out-of-state vendors not assessing sales tax on materials purchased out-of-state by a governmental unit for delivery in Indiana.
4. The Indiana Department of Revenue has consistently taken a position that the furnishing of food, fuel, drugs, etc., by the township to needy persons (Township Assistance Laws) are exempt from sales tax because the commodities are predominantly for use in the performance of governmental functions. The township would not be exempt, however, from paying sales tax on utility bills because the utility bills of Township Assistance recipients are billed in the name of each individual and not in the name of the township and individuals are not exempt from the payment of sales tax. Therefore, all purchase orders issued directly to a vendor, except for utility bills, are normally, exempt from sales tax.
Should you desire additional information concerning State taxation matters, we suggest you contact the Indiana Department of Revenue https://www.in.gov/dor/.
Public Records Retention
IC 5-15-6-3(f) concerning destruction of public records, states in part: "Original records may be disposed of only with the approval of the commission according to guidelines established by the com-mission."
The Indiana Archives and Records Administration is the authority that dictates record retention. Please visit their website to obtain the record retention schedules for local governmental units (http://www.in.gov/iara/2766.htm).
Supporting documentation such as receipts, canceled checks, tickets, invoices, bills, contracts, and other public records must be available for audit to provide supporting information for the validity and accountability of monies disbursed. Payments without supporting documentation may be the personal obligation of the responsible official or employee.
How to Submit a Request to Destroy Public Records
If an official has identified public records that are no longer needed or required to be retained, and no retention schedule exists that covers the record or records involved, that official should:
a) obtain a blank PR-1 form ("Request to Destroy/Transfer Public Records") from the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county. The Clerk is the ex-officio Secretary of the county Commission of Public Records;
b) fill out the form, listing the records to be disposed of;
c) submit the completed form to the Clerk of the Circuit Court (ie., Secretary of the Commission);
d) the Clerk will either call a meeting of the county Commission of Public Records or add the request to the agenda of the scheduled meeting. At the meeting, the Commission will vote to authorize the disposal of the records;
e) if the Commission grants authority to dispose of the records, the requests are reviewed by the Indiana State Archives and the designated historical or genealogical society of the county during the 60 day review period. If either the State Archives or the society wishes to obtain any of the records, those records should be set aside to be picked up by the requestor. NOTE: HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL SOCIETIES MAY NOT OBTAIN CONFIDENTIAL PUBLIC RECORDS;
f) if no request is made to obtain the public records within the review period, the records may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of. NOTE: CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS MUST BE DESTROYED IN A MANNER THAT PRESERVES THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE INFORMATION (IE., SHREDDING, BURNING, E
Public Records Go with the Office
Sometimes it is reported that when an official is replaced by reason of death, resignation, appointment, or election, the records are being withheld from the successor until they are audited.
When an official assumes custody of an office many of the forms and records are continuous. Each official's acts are a matter of record. An official is not responsible for the acts of his successor and a successor is not responsible for the acts of his predecessor.
Regardless of the capacity served by an official, upon completion of his service, all records and forms are to be surrendered to his successor.
The bank accounts should be in the name of the township, for example, "Clay Township, St. Joseph County", not in the name of the trustee. Therefore, if the account is properly in the name of the township, the change can be made at the bank by simply registering the authorized signature of the incoming trustee.
Township business is a continuing one; a change of office need not interrupt that business.
We suggest the outgoing trustee prepare in duplicate an itemized inventory of equipment and other assets owned by the township at the end of the year, to be signed by the successor and outgoing trustee. One copy is for the outgoing trustee and one copy is to be kept by the incoming trustee as a township record.
Sometimes difficulty exists for a person in office to convey to their successor all the knowledge gained during a term or terms of office. However, you may be able to give valuable assistance and you are urged to provide information to your successor.
Public Nature of Records and Meetings
Questions concerning access to public records or public meetings should be directed to the Indiana Public Access Counselor, who may be contacted at 1-800-228-6013 or 317-234-0906. The Public Access Counselor’s website is https://www.in.gov/pac/ .
IC 5-14-1.5-3 states in part "Except as provided in section 6.1 of this chapter, all meetings of the governing bodies of public agencies must be open at all times for the purpose of permitting members of the public to observe and record them."
IC 5-14-3-3 states in part (a) "Any person may inspect and copy the public records of any public agency during the regular business hours of the agency, except as provided in section 4 of this chapter. A request for inspection or copying must: (1) identify with reasonable particularity the record being requested; and (2) be, at the discretion of the agency, in writing on or in a form provided by the agency. No request may be denied because the person making the request refuses to state the purpose of the request unless such condition is required by other applicable statute."