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Commissioners voice support for building fund

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Two of the three Bartholomew County Commissioners say they are in favor of creating a new fund for the construction or improvement of major infrastructure projects. A vote on the matter has not yet been taken, however.

Retiring commissioner Paul Franke said that if approved, the cumulative capital improvement fund would take in monies generated by an increase in property taxes of four cents per $100 of assessed valuation the first year, followed by up to seven cents annually in subsequent years.   

During a meeting with the commissioners last Thursday, County Council President Bill Lentz said council colleagues did not want to "stick their necks out" with a tax increase to fund a new county office annex building. But Franke said during Monday's commissioners meeting that commissioners can create the fund without the council's approval.

"Yes, it's going to be an additional tax," Franke said. "But if we want to move ahead, somebody will have to take some lumps. Sometimes, you have to do what you feel is best."

County tax consultant Dan Eggermann pointed out Thursday that Bartholomew is one of only a handful of Indiana' 92 counties that does not have a cumulative capital improvement fund in place.

Commissioner Carl Lienhoop said Monday that the fund appears to be the most doable and painless method of financing a new annex building.

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