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Major Moves Votes In LaGrange County
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Only one of three requests for Major Moves dollars won approval during a joint session of the LaGrange County Council and Commissioners Monday.

LaGrange County Trails request was an easy one for the joint boards to
approve...as the $1.5 million will likely bring another $5 million back to the county in the form of a Next Level Trails grant. Still, there were many questions asked...especially about he cost of maintaining the trails and who would do it.

Some council members wanted to see more support from the towns of
Topeka and Wolcottville. The trail request eaked out a win on an 8-1 vote...as it takes 8 votes of the joint boards to approve Major Moves expenditures. Commissioner Dennis Kratz cast the lone NO vote.
Commissioner Larry Miller was absent.

A request from Howe Volunteer Fire Department was sent to the boards from the Major Moves committee with a positive recommendation as a loan from Major Moves.

But Fire Chief Larry Watson made it clear that a loan would do his department no good as they could not repay it in six years as required by law. Milford Township Trustee Bruce Bowman pointed out that $150 thousand dollars appeared to be missing from the Lima Township Fire Fund, and Councilman Mike Strawser wondered why Township Trustee Terry Iannarelli wasn’t present to make the request and answer questions.

A motion to deny the request failed to get 8 votes so the request was
tabled and it was suggested Watson explore the use of TIFF district funds to help. The third request from LaGrange Community Youth Center for $3-million dollars to build a community center at Spreuer Park lacked support on the combined boards. Concerns included maintenance costs.

LCYC wanted the Major Moves dollars as a show of support from the
county to help jump start efforts to raise another 5.5 million dollars from the community and grant sources.

The request was sent back to the Major Moves committee to explore options of creating an endowment from Major Moves to support maintenance and sustainability of the center.

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