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Committee exploring how to spend Tippecanoe County's $38M stimulus check

As News 18 previously reported, local governments will be flush with cash thanks to the American Rescue Plan. Tippecanoe County will receive $38 million dollars.

Posted: Apr 13, 2021 1:41 PM
Updated: Apr 14, 2021 9:33 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A committee of local elected officials is exploring the possibilities of spending Tippecanoe County's chunk of money from the American Rescue Plan. 

The committee is comprised of Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh and three county council members.
The committee met for the first time last week but is waiting for guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

As News 18 previously reported, local governments will be flush with cash thanks to the American Rescue Plan. Tippecanoe County will receive $38 million dollars.

The money can be spent in four general ways: to respond to the economic and public health costs of the pandemic; to provide premium pay to essential workers; to reimburse governments for lost revenue due to COVID-19; and to invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

But officials say a lot of clarification is needed on how they can spend the money within those parameters. 

County council member Roland Winger is part of the committee. He says he'd like to spend more broadly on infrastructure because the county is less involved in local water and sewer systems.

"I would personally like to see us be able to spend more in infrastructure than what it appears we will be able to," he says. "The designated restrictions to broadband, water and sewer, well the county doesn't deal with water and sewer so much."

Winger says those restrictions take a lot of county's possible infrastructure projects out of play.

"Obviously, one-time money should never be considered for ongoing operational money, so then when restricted in the manner we are, it takes a lot of infrastructure projects out of play that we would otherwise do," he says. 

The money can be spent over a two-year period. The committee hopes to have a spending plan in place by May.

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