TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Vigo Officials announced their plan to form a committee that will help make the decisions on how to spend $3.5 million during the county council meeting Tuesday.
The committee will include one county commissioner and three councilmembers. The decision came after discussion around a $1 million request for the United Way of the Wabash Valley was tabled in October. No formal decision has been made on that request.
Council president Todd Thacker said these discussions have been ongoing for several weeks, and he thinks it will help them to come to a consensus on how these dollars should be spent.
“I had gone to the commissioners and we had some concerns with how much money we have left, how much do we have from the original plan from February, so we wanted to sitdown and have a conversation there,” he said.
It represents a shift from how they’ve spent the majority of around $20 million the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act, a federal bill passed during the pandemic. In February, the commissioners presented a plan that included around a dozen projects for the money to go to– many of which were passed throughout 2023.
However, as they’ve gotten down to the final $3.5 million, Thacker said he believed they go back to the drawing board to ensure they pick the best projects possible.
“We want to have a plan. So we had a plan in February, that plan didn’t include all of it, and we knew at the end we would have some that maybe got turned down, maybe something new, so it’s just a revised plan,” Thacker said. “In my eyes, it’s the county government trying to work effectively.”
During the meeting, Vigo County Commissioner Mark Clinkenbeard said he hoped work would begin in the coming weeks.
“I think, judging from what we heard back, you all like that idea, and think that would be a good idea moving forward,” he said while addressing the council. “So I will be getting that on our schedule, hopefully that’s something we can do the first of December.”
Thacker said the proposal for the United Way of the Wabash Valley was still on the table– but he wanted to consider all options moving forward.
“It’s just part of the conversation. Our position was, if we commit to it, we can’t take part in the conversation. We want to look at everything else and what we’re doing,” he said.
Thacker said he expects a presentation on how to spend the final dollars sometime in February of 2024.