A summit at a local winery had Indiana government officials listen, take notes, and answer questions from county officials.
State Representative for District 74 Stephen Bartels and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch stood in front of representatives from Dubois, Spencer, Perry, Orange, Crawford, and Gibson Counties to hear about issues that they see important.
Bartels says that listening to the public helps build a relationship with areas in his district.
Crouch says it’s important for her to listen since she is originally from the area.
Bartels, Crouch, and even State Senator Mark Messmer answered questions the best they could from different areas.
Representatives from Dubois County are wondering if there is anything going on at the state level that is similar to the Paycheck Protection Program that was given out federally to help keep small businesses afloat.
Crouch says that they are reusing over $11 million dollars to help small businesses with COVID troubles, in the forms of grants, loans, or others, but other things are being worked on to help.
Representatives from Dubois County are also worried about how the time frame of the Mid-States Corridor will be effected by COVID-19.
State Senator Mark Messmer says that fuel excised tax will drop because of COVID, but the corridor is undergoing many studies which will take years to complete.
A representative from Dubois County showed concern over how COVID will affect budgeting for schools.
Bartels says this coming year will see no change, however, he doesn’t know how budgets will be affected by COVID in the future. Messmer sees a drop in the coming years.
Representatives from Spencer County are wondering about workforce, funding, and housing. Currently, Spencer County is having a housing crisis. Land in Spencer County sells for 20% lower than surrounding counties. They asked how Spencer County can get developers to the area.
Bartels says that is a county official issue. Crouch says that Indiana housing committees need to work on housing for the whole state.