Lapel waiting on promised state funds for road repair

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Jul. 18—LAPEL — The town of Lapel may need to borrow funds for street repairs next year unless the state makes good on a promised reimbursement.

The Lapel Town Council may have to make temporary loans from several accounts or it will be unlikely that any street repair work will take place in 2022.

Budget consultant Janet Alexander told council members Thursday there were no funds available.

When the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) replaced the bridge on Ind. 38 west of the intersection with Ind. 13, council President Chad Blake said, there was an unofficial alternate route that resulted in heavy traffic on a Lapel street.

Blake said the state agreed to reimburse Lapel for the repaving the street. "The state has not reimbursed the town of Lapel."

The cost of the road repair was estimated at $170,000.

He said INDOT offered a $40,000 payment.

Alexander said because INDOT has not reimbursed the town, it is having an effect on the 2021 and 2022 budgets.

She suggested the Town Council approve a temporary loan of $120,000 from the utility accounts for road work in 2022.

Alexander said the temporary loan could remain in three installments of $40,000 each.

"Are there funds in the utility budgets not committed that could be used for a temporary loan?" Blake asked.

Deputy Clerk Paula Lee said there was funding available.

Councilman Jason Kleinbub proposed possibly of borrowing the funds from the donation to the town made from the Olivia Cascadden Fund.

The council made no decision about borrowing funds for street work in 2022.

The town has applied for up to a $1 million grant from the State Water Infrastructure Fund for an upgrade to the water system.

The state agency has received 200 applications for funding and is expected to announce the grants in August.

The Lapel water system upgrade is on the state's project priority list.

Lapel has a $700,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to upgrade the water system.

The project is expected to cost $4.7 million. It includes installing 10,550 linear feet of water main, complete well improvements and water treatment and storage improvements.

Blake said whatever funds the town receives through the latest grant application will lower the amount borrowed from the Indiana Bond Bank.

Other business

Street repaving funded through a state Community Crossings grant is expected to start next week.

Streets to be repaved include County Road 200 South in front of the fire station, Vine Street, 10th Street and Brookside.

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

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