AVON — Don Hodson offered an encouraging picture of Washington Township this week during the annual State of the Township Address. The township trustee spoke of continued education - both publicly and behind the scenes - on potential consolidation with the town of Avon.
One problem Hodson inherited when he took over as trustee was three underfunded township bond funds. Because of that, the American financial services company Standard & Poor's downgraded the township's bond rating a notch.
"Any entities that encountered problems like this, they would have to use CAGIT (County Adjusted Gross Income Tax) money to solve the problem," Hodson said.
Washington Township had to increase its emergency loan by $1 million, which raised taxes.
"The good news is that e-loan will now come back down for this year," Hodson said. "It was a one-time increase we had to do. We had to make the bond funds whole. Now they are whole and are in a positive nature. You can't have your debt funds be negative."
The trustee also noted that implemented energy recommendations in township departments, including fire and the library, have resulted in a 20 percent savings.
Easily one of the biggest items facing Washington Township is its possible consolidation with the town of Avon, something recently recommended by a joint study committee. Assuming both sides agree and voters approve it, the earliest it would take effect is January 2015. For now, Hodson is vowing to continue supporting Avon in its efforts to protect the township from involuntary annexation from outsiders.
He referred specifically to the southern border, where Plainfield has annexed property as far north as County Road 100 South. Last year the assessed value of the area now part of Plainfield was more than $164 million - almost 10 percent of Washington Township's total assessed value.