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Grant request requires new housing ordinance

Big Brother is looking into LaGrange County in a big way. This time by “helping us” determine what is a family.

The “suggested ordinance” will change the definition of “family” to include families regardless of the actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of its members. (Section 9 of proposed ordinance)

This ordinance, preventing discrimination in housing in the County of LaGrange, will need to be passed by the LaGrange County Commissioners before a grant application that will benefit the Lima Township Fire Department can be submitted. The grant submission is due April 11, which means the commissioners will need to act on the proposed ordinance at their April 7 meeting.

The need for the ordinance adoption was brought before commissioners at the Monday meeting of the board. Kristine Christlieb, an official representing Region III-A Economic Development District, made the request to County Attorney Kurt Bachman. Bachman presented the proposal to commissioners who tabled the item until their next meeting which will be Monday, April 7.

The proposed Lima Township Fire Dept. grant will be funded by Title I of the federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (CDBG) as administered by the Indiana Office of Community Rural Affairs (OCRA). It asks for $150,000 to be used as partial payment on a new fire truck. Lima Township will supply the matching funds of $79,200.

Any other HUD (Housing and Urban Development) grant request that involves federal dollars is likely to require the same ordinance be in place as well as Department of Transportation grants. The Department of Interior based grants do not require the submission of a local ordinance with applications at this time.