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Bartholomew County’s share of state funds for road upkeep and repairs is increasing as a result of actions by the Indiana General Assembly earlier this year.
The first round of new state appropriations should be hitting local government coffers soon, said Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus.
During the next two years, local governments in Bartholomew County will receive an estimated $8,991,039 for road maintenance and expansion, which Walker said is a significant boost compared to the previous state budget cycle.
This year, the county anticipates a combined 32 percent increase in its highway fund and in a local road and street fund, said County Engineer Danny Hollander.
Hollander said estimated road budget amounts are sent out by the state auditor for planning purposes. Final numbers depend upon the amount of gasoline purchased throughout the state as the fiscal year goes on, he said.
“These increases highlight that Indiana’s economy is
rebounding from the national downturn in 2009,” Walker said.
Local government units will be able to make repairs, perform infrastructure upkeep and make investments for future improvements, Walker said.
During the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly passed the 2014-2015 state budget, which increased transportation funding by $210 million per year. This includes $100 million for local units each year.
Area roads, bridges and highways all will benefit from significant funding increases as a result, Walker said.
Hollander pointed out, though, that not all the money goes into asphalt and concrete.
The monies also include payroll, benefits, retirement, insurance and taxes as well as equipment, purchases, fuel, county insurance and building upkeep and utilities, the county engineer said.
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