Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pike Township Leads Marion County Townships In Spending

An alert Pike Township reader pointed out that according to the Indianapolis Star's interactive map, Pike Township leads all nine Marion County when it comes to spending, according to 2009 figures reported by the Indianapolis Star. Pike in 2009 spent $40,879,272, while its much larger neighbor to the east, Washington Township spent $2,206,418. Wayne Township which abuts Pike's southern border and has a larger population, was the only comparable township, spending $37,212,443. Center Township, second only to Washington Township in terms of size, spent $15,852,225.

Frankly I don't know what to make of the numbers. I can only assume that some sort of township projects like new fire stations in Pike and Wayne townships drove up the numbers. I note that Pike's spending on poor relief was only $463,952 of the total $40,879,272 spent, about 1.1%. Meanwhile, Washington Township spent $906,125 on poor relief, about 41%.

Using another table provided by the Star, if you divide the poor relief numbers by the number of recipients, you get some interesting results. Pike gave aid to 2408 individuals, averaging $193 per recipient. Lawrence Township, the county's second wealthiest township, aided only 560 people, but the aid averaged $1,389. Center, the poorest township in the county, helped out 8,487 people at an average of $685 apiece. Washington which is per capita the wealthiest township in the county, but also has some very depressed areas, gave aid to 8,164 people, an average of $252.

What do these numbers mean? I'm not sure but I believe it is safe to say townships are very inconsistent in how they operate.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Washington Street Politics did point out quite correctly that Wayne and Pike have not merged their fire departments. That indeed does explain some of the discrepancy in overall spending, albeit not all of it.

Of course, that doesn't affect the strange discrepancy in poor relief spending.

I did note that Washington Street Politics findally did take note of my "political brilliance." It's about time. Thank you Robert Vane.

Paul K. Ogden said...
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