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Commissioners rescind recommendation for wheel tax increase


LaGrange County Commissioners unanimously rescinded a resolution passed April 15 that asked the LaGrange County Council to adopt an increase in the wheel tax for LaGrange County residents.

The original resolution was requested to ensure that LaGrange County would get the greatest amount of state collected gasoline tax available to the county. A bill in the legislature contained provisions that any county that did not have in place the greatest amount of wheel tax that can be levied by state law would not be eligible to a full share of mileage-based road repair funds. That provision was dropped from the final bill passed by the legislature.

LaGrange County is expecting an increase of $620,000 in road tax dollars for both 2014 and 2015 under terms of the new legislation. Various expenses of both the Indiana State Police and Bureau of Motor Vehicles had been taken from state imposed fuel taxes. That money has been returned to the local road and street fund.

There will also be an increase in funds for the four incorporated towns in the county.

For a number of years, LaGrange County has been subsidizing the local highway department with County Economic Development Income Taxes (EDIT). This increase in road money will make EDIT funds available for other county expenditures.

Commissioners accepted a bid of $12,500 from Howard and Donna West for a lakefront lot on Stone Lake. The Wests are adjacent property owners to the parcel and were the only bidders on the lot. Since there was only one bidder and the bid was for more than the $12,300 price set by commissioners, closing should take place soon.

Commissioners appointed La-Grange Attorney Travis Glick to represent the county in an issue regarding the building of a road extending Morton Street from the north side of the Town of Shipshewana to North Village Drive. LaGrange County Council members agreed last year to match an amount (up to $200,000) to match that of the Town of Shipshewana for the Levi King-Alvin Miller subdivision road project. King and Miller are to fund the remainder of the cost.

Arron Knisley was given permission to buy four heavy-duty, intensive use chairs for the communications center. The chairs will cost some $4,519. “We tried last year to buy some less expensive chairs that have lasted a year. They are now junk. We have researched this company and find nothing but good reports. Their product is guaranteed for three years and they make chairs that are fitted for male and female operators,” he stated.

Commissioners agreed to be the physical agent for an Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Block Grant for the LaGrange Communities Youth Center. The $20,000 grant will be used to operate an afterschool program for fourth and fifth graders at Westview and sixth and seventh graders at Lakeland. Coordinator Michelle Myers reported that the program has an average of 25 students participating at Westview schools and 15 at Lakeland.