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Mike Yoder (Photo Supplied) (PHOTO SUPPLIED)
County may get help paying for legislative lobbyists

Posted on Jan. 10, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 10, 2014 at 5:24 p.m.

GOSHEN — Elkhart County leaders may hold off on appropriating funding for legislative lobbyists they agreed to hire in December until they see how much the invoice adds up to be.

County Commissioner Mike Yoder plans to talk with the Elkhart County Council on Saturday, Jan. 11, about a pair of lobbyists who the county has contracted to work in Indianapolis during the legislative session on the county’s behalf. Yoder said the county may be able to get help from the cities of Elkhart and Goshen to pay for the two lobbyists’ work.

“They may not work for the entire session, and we wouldn’t have to have the entire amount appropriated,” Yoder said. “Secondly, the cities have offered to help pay for that, so that will lower the county’s cost. It just makes sense for us to wait until we get the bill, so we know what the total amount and then we can kind of divvy it up.”

Yoder said he has been in touch with the mayors of Elkhart and Goshen and said they are open to chipping in. He hopes the school corporations in Elkhart County will help with the cost as well.

The county council voted in December to hire the team of lobbyists from Barnes and Thornburg, a law firm based in Indianapolis, for a monthly rate of $5,000 to urge state lawmakers to approve a new local option income tax of up to 1 percent.

The Elkhart County Council meets at 8 a.m. Saturday in room 104 at the Elkhart County Administration Building, 117 N. Second St. in Goshen.