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Vote is unanimous to forgive loan

A joint meeting of the LaGrange County Council and LaGrange County Commissioners convened Tuesday. The 10-person joint board consisting of county councilmen Charles Ashcraft, Ryan Riegsecker, Richard Yoder, Michael Strawser, Peter Cook, Ben Taylor and Steve McKowen plus county commissioners Garry Heller, Jac Price and Larry Miller, were unanimous in forgiving the $6.5 million loan to the LaGrange County Redevelopment Commission (RDC).

The loan was established from Major Moves funds to build a water and sewer system for the Fawn River Industrial Park. The system has been built and transferred to the LaGrange Regional Utility District for operations.

Originally, the plan was for RDC to repay the loan from Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) dollars. TIF dollars are created by the collection of real estate and personal taxes from newly built facilities within a district. TIF dollars in District #2 have not been sufficient to repay the loan. Two payments have been received over the life of the loan.

At this time, 80 percent of the RDC revenues are pledged, which means the possibilities for loan repayment are nil. Other factors, such as the lowered assessment of properties in the district, have reduced the income of the TIF district to about half of what was flowing into the TIF treasury at one time.

Within the joint meeting, county commissioners passed a motion to sign a resolution forgiving the loan.