TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Todd Thacker was named the Vigo County Council President within the last week– but he already has his goals laid out for 2023.
Towards the top of the list was establishing a plan to spend the rest of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding– which sits around $20 million. He said the county commissioner’s have been developing a plan to spend about 75% of the remaining funds, and they will present to the council in February.
“The commissioners have gone back and worked together a plan, and we’ve had some preliminary talks, they are supposed to present that at the February meeting,” he said. “They’ll present the plan, how they want to spend that money. I think they have about $15 million of it slotted, then we’ll look forward to that.”
Thacker is also keeping an eye on the county budget– and wasted little time making changes in that respect. The council decided to eliminate the council administrator position this week.
“We were the only county [in Indiana] that had a council administrator. That had been a position that started with an intern, started being part time and get morphed into where it was making a $64,000 a year salary for this budget,” he said. “A majority of the council and a lot of department heads felt it was a duplication of services. So, how can we ask other departments to be fiscally conservative and to use their budget most effectively if we don’t do it ourselves?”
He also said they were awaiting the completion of a Baker Tilly study that deals with employee compensation. It was started last year, and once they get the results, he said he hopes it brings positive changes to wages across county employees.
Thacker wants to change how the county goes about giving tax abatements– saying he wants to see incentives put in place so companies work alongside local people.
“Our intent is, if we’re giving a tax abatement, we would like to see local people being used to build these buildings,” he said. “If they don’t meet that requirement, then they don’t get the tax abatements.”
Overall, Thacker said he was approaching his new role with one goal in mind.
“Everything we’re trying to do, we’re trying to do to benefit county residents.”