TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Vigo County Council approved multiple additional appropriations for gasoline for various departments at its meeting on Tuesday.
Those departments would include the Sheriff’s, Health, Highway and Parks department.
The council sent a memo to departments for requests for additional gasoline appropriations. This move was made knowing that this would likely be a need, and the council could address all of these at once.
The highway department received an additional appropriation of $100,000 for the 2022 budget year. Highway Director Larry Robbins said that they’ve been cutting back on fuel usage as much as they can. He mentioned that the dry spell early in the summer helped to cut back on mowing specifically.
Robbins said that the department will continue to conserve fuel when they can, and added that these additional funds are vital in avoiding cutting services.
“We’re going to continue to do those things to conserve fuel where we can,” Robbins explained. “But short of cutting services, which is something that I don’t want to do, this is about as good as we can get it.”
Vigo County Council President Aaron Loudermilk said that it’s a hit to add additional appropriations as it’s money that wasn’t for a specific calendar year. But he added that the sudden rise of gas prices was completely unforeseen, and gas is vital for the departments to carry out the services that they provide.
“It’s a necessary item that we need in order for us to be able to provide services to the county,” Loudermilk said.
Also on the agenda was an additional appropriation for building renovations and capital improvement projects with the use of roughly $3 million in federal ARPA funds. The council voted 6-1 to table this decision.
There’s roughly $20 million available ARPA funds that must be spent by the end of 2026. Many on the council said that they would like to see an entire strategic plan on how to spend all of the money rather than roll out singular projects.
“They don’t want to be nickeled and dimed by these requests,” Loudermilk said. “They want to make sure that there is a meaningful project attached to these ARPA funds at some point.”