County government units to receive $55 million in stimulus funding

Ken de la Bastide, The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.
·2 min read

Mar. 26—ANDERSON — Madison County area governmental entities are expected to receive $55 million in federal funding, a result of the recently passed $1.9 trillion federal COVID-19 stimulus package.

Madison County will receive approximately $25 million, and the city of Anderson is expected to receive $22.8 million.

The city of Elwood is receiving $1.7 million, and Alexandria is scheduled to receive $1 million.

Payments to various towns in the area range from a low of $20,000 to Country Club Heights and Woodlawn Heights to a high of $910,000 to the town of Pendleton.

Scott Reske, Pendleton town manager, said the town is waiting to learn what the parameters will be on how the funds can be spent.

He said the town can spend the funds for the next three years.

"We will have to set up a special fund and account for how the dollars are spent," Reske said. "Any expenditures will have to be approved by the town council."

He said Pendleton is at a critical juncture with an expected increase of 30% in new housing construction over the next three years.

Madison County auditor Rick Gardner said Friday with a projected decrease in revenues in 2022 because of the pandemic, the funds will be used to stabilize county finances.

He said the funds could be used for pandemic-related expenses and is hoping the county can retire some existing debt with the funding.

"We have been reviewing the related literature and webinars and preparing to properly inform the council and commissioners on the intended uses and responsibilities," Gardner said. "It's my understanding that the commissioners and/or council will be required to pass ordinances related to what the specific uses will be.

"There are a variety of uses at this time, including any propping up revenue reductions caused by the coronavirus," he added. "This could be a wide range including property taxes, gasoline tax highway funds, and miscellaneous incentive fund. The uses could also include a wide range of economic development related grants."

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said the city's $22.8 million will have restrictions on how the funds can be used including a stipulation that expenditures must be related to pandemic expenses.

Jones said Elwood is working with its financial consultant, Reedy Financial, to prepare the 2022 budget based on a shortfall in revenues.

Jones said the Indiana Department of Local Finance said the $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds can be used to replace lost local income tax revenues.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.