Wabash County receives more than $4 million for infrastructure, other expenses

By Emma Rausch

Wabash County received more than $4 million on Monday, April 25, as a one-time special distribution per the Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 67.

All taxable entities within the county received a portion of the total distribution, which amounted to $4,474,847.65, and are required to use 75 percent of the distributions on infrastructure, according to information provided by the Indiana State Budget Agency.

The remaining 25 percent, or $1,118,711.91, of the supplemental distribution may be used by the county, city or town for any of the purposes, the SBA continued.

The funds must be allocated and distributed to all the taxable entities before June 1.

The county’s entities that received funds include

--Wabash County $1,887,879.33

--Chester Township $54,663.15

--Lagro Township $62,612.68

--Liberty Township $13,817.90

--Noble Township $39,880.49

--Paw Paw Township $12,912.32

--Pleasant Township $25,493.78

--Waltz Township $4,071.23

--Wabash Civil City $1,587,887.87

--North Manchester Civil Town $417,663.23

--LaFontaine Civil Town $40,392.62

--Lagro Civil Town $17,208.22

--Roann Civil Town $22,552.32

--Manchester Community School Corporation $35,414.75

--MSD of Wabash County School Corporation $55,768.70

--Wabash City School Corporation $19,402.83

--North Manchester Public Library $46,254.95

--Roann Public Library $7,509.38

--Wabash Public Library $121,461.90

The Wabash County Council -- which received $1,887,879.33 of the distribution -- voted at its Monday, April 25, meeting to place its remaining 25 percent, $47,969.83, into the Rainy Day Fund.

Prior to the vote, Council Chairman Mike Ridenour explained why the county received the distributions.

During the latest Legislative session, “the lawmakers decided they wanted to give us money for road funding,” Ridenour told the council Monday.

“So in order to give us money for road funding from the sources of that revenue that it typically comes from, they said at the same time that your trust balances are higher than they really need to be. They don’t need to be that high,” he continued. “So they’re basically taking some of our trust balance, like CAGIT and CEDIT, and they’re giving it to us and saying ‘Ok.’”

The monies for local government to help and improve roads is typically funded through the fuel tax, Ridenour told The Paper of Wabash County in a follow-up interview.

Of its total $1,887,879.33 distribution, the County Council received $1,474,931.12 from CAGIT funds and $412,948.21 from CEDIT funds.

Council Vice Chair Bill Ruppel noted that the council recently amended the Rainy Day fund that its funds would be used toward the Wabash County Jail construction.

“That was the last amendment,” he continued. “Now you can re-amend the Rainy Day fund.”

“Exactly,” Ridenour replied. “That’s going to be spoken about too. … So I have a motion and a second, and like he said we did change it for new jail construction and I have it in here somewhere, but that’s at our will to change the way that reads as we changed it for that specific purpose.”

The council voted 7-0 to place the funds in its Rainy Day fund.

Wabash Clerk-Treasurer said that the city will likely set up a separate line item in its budget for its portion of the fund which will go into the infrastructure. The council will then have to decide what to do with the remaining 25 percent of the funds.

Posted on 2016 May 03