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Local Officials Laud Road Work Matching Grant Changes At Crawfordsville Meeting

Uwe Mayer

Small-town West Central Indiana commissioners say they’re happy about changes made to a state-issued matching grant intended for infrastructure work.

At a meeting in Crawfordsville Monday with Department of Transportation officials, Vermillion County Commissioner Tim Yocum said one of the new requirements – an asset management report – won’t require counties to hire pricey consultants.

“Most counties save $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 by utilizing their own people,” Yocum says. “It seemed like the state was really trying to work with us to make this happen.”

And Clay County Commissioners’ president Paul Sinders says even though the grant money can’t be used for labor, it will cover construction costs such as materials.

He says his county intends to apply for the full amount available – asking INDOT for a million dollars – with the county kicking in about $333,000.

That’s because Community Crossings will now cover 75-percent of a small community’s project cost.

Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton says the city had success with the Community Crossings matching grant last year, and plans to apply again.

He says that money has allowed them to fast-track years of road work.

“The funding that we receive through this program is equal to seven years’ worth of funding,” Barton says. “So that allows us to do that much work in just one year.”

INDOT Local Programs director Kathy Eaton-McKalip says she hopes the changes urge more small communities to apply for the matching grant.

More than two-thirds of Indiana counties and all but about 60 cities would qualify for the new 75-25 funding split.

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