County sets capital improvement plan for EDIT funding

A capital improvement plan has been approved that provides a path for the Bartholomew County commissioners to follow in spending their economic development income tax (EDIT) revenue over the next two years.

Up to $7,420,000 may be used to pay costs and expenses related to current and upcoming building projects, according to commissioner’s Chairman Larry Kleinhenz.

Some money has been earmarked for certain projects, but not yet appropriated, Kleinhenz said. It may take two or three years for all of these funds to be actually paid out as a project progresses, he said.

For this year only, up to $1,025,000 can be used for improvements to county buildings, while up to $413,000 can be used for improvements to county property other than buildings, the plan states. In addition, up to $90,000 will be used for the purchase and repair of machinery and equipment.

During this year and in 2025, up to $110,000 will be used annually to obtain two seats on the Columbus Economic Development Board. That amount is considerably more than the $15,000 the county has paid for those seats in the past. But the additional investment means the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. will provide county government with the same level of service that the corporation provides to the city of Columbus.

Up to $500,000 per year will be used through 2025 to make the principle and interest payments on the Bartholomew County Highway Garage Bond, the plan states. It is a 15-year bond that will continue until 2034.

The county is planning to spend up to $800,000 in EDIT funds this year for use in the Northern Gateway Infrastructure, Kleinhenz said. The revenue is to prepare off-site improvements for the King’s Hawaiian facility, as well as current and future commercial development in the same vicinity.

More recreational development should be expected this year at Dunn Stadium, located south of Garden City near the county fairgrounds. Up to $400,000 will be spent this year for an illuminated, 12-court pickle ball complex, according to the plan.

The commissioners are also setting aside an additional $500,000 that may be utilized this year for county road overlay improvement projects. That amount matches last month’s announcement that the Indiana Department of Transportation has raised the cap on its popular Community Crossings Matching Grant program by an additional $500,000.

If there are any EDIT funds leftover from this year or from recent years, the plan states the money may be utilized for road maintenance, improving county buildings and upgrading infrastructure.

While the money must still be appropriated by the Bartholomew County Council before it can be spent, Kleinhenz says the county receives between $2.2 million to $2.3 million in new EDIT funds every year, Kleinhenz said.