The Jasper City Council has joined the Dubois County Commissioners and Huntingburg City Council by passing an ordinance to establish the Mid-States Corridor Regional Development Authority. The process made possible by the Indiana State Legislature, with the intent to create a funding mechanism for road projects. This RDA is being set-up to continue the 231 four lane highway that was establish in Spencer County, and bring a four lane highway through Dubois county to go on to provide a connective route to Indianapolis.
Mayor Terry Seitz was thankful for the opportunity.
Spencer County Commissioner will be the next governmental body to vote on Friday. In order to create an RDA there is a need for two counties to be involved. If successful, the heads of those governmental bodies will then put together a board to take charge of the RDA, with all fiscal decisions coming back to the various councils and commissioners. The board will be private sector only as no public officials nor government workers are allowed to be members. The goal of this board is to show INDOT that there is local “skin” in the project.
Normally road projects for highways and interstates are funded 80/20, with 80% being Federal funds and 20% being state. However, there is no additional funds for non approved road projects in Indiana due to a budget shortage, so without the RDA there is no 4 lane highway being built in Dubois County. The RDA provides for away that local funding, private and public, could be used to help cover part of that 20% normally covered by the state.
In September, INDOT will announce at their next meeting, the local match that would be needed to be made in order to get approved. The hope is by forming this RDA, it shows INDOT that Dubois County is serious about this project.
Mayor Terry Seitz considers this an important need for local industry and future development.
While most of the funds will be from Dubois County, future uses for the RDA could also provide economic development opportunities for Spencer County. And once the route is decided, then there is also the potential for additional counties to join the RDA to continue the 4 lane highway. INDOT, however, will have final say in development and the route the highway takes.