Carmi Council

Bart King, with the group We Love White County makes a major donation for the construction of a playground in downtown Carmi at the old Theater Lot during a Carmi City Council meeting last week.

“The City of Carmi is still in fine financial shape.”

That was the assessment of CPA Keith Botsch who presented the 2019 Annual Financial Report and Independent Auditor's report. Botsch added that the city's general fund is in excellent condition with $1,409,938 in cash on hand and investments. “The City of Carmi has worked very hard to work within their budget,” Botsch said. “After depreciation and grants, the utilities department had higher revenues over expenditures.” After all was said and done, the City of Carmi ended its last fiscal year with a mere $37,000 deficit, which Botsch described as excellent considering the size of the budget. Botch said his next task for the City of Carmi is to prepare the property tax levy for council approval.

Plans to install playground equipment in the old theater lot in downtown Carmi have shifted into high gear with a gift from local organization We Love White County. Mayor Jeff Pollard told aldermen that the cost of the playground equipment is $92,471. Bart King with “We Love White County” addressed the council, pledging $52,000 to pick up the city's share of the cost not covered by grant funds. “Our mission is to do what we can to make White County a thriving community,” King said. “We see brokenness everywhere. There are a lot of social divides in this community. The solution is to build relationships.” King added that he was “blown away” at the amount of support his organization received in raising funds for the downtown park. Mayor Pollard announced the playground equipment will be installed by workers with the manufacturer. Additionally, a wrought iron fence will be erected around the playground to increase safety for visitors. A second phase is also in the works, Mayor Pollard said. The second phase involves the planned development of stage on the back side of the park property where movies can be shown and concerts can be performed.

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Chronicle.