ELKHART — Matching funds from the state for local road projects have reached over $3.3 million this year.
Over 200 Indiana cities, towns and counties received a combined total of $126.5 million through the Community Crossings Matching Grant program, according to information from the Indiana House Republicans. The grants are made available through the Indiana Department of Transportation as a result of a law passed in 2017.
"Hoosiers throughout the state continue to see improvements to our infrastructure as a result of this program," state Rep. Doug Miller, R-Elkhart, said in the announcement. "These dollars go directly toward making the roads and bridges in our area safer and creating jobs for community members."
Elkhart County's most recent share of the funding totals more than $3.3 million among the towns, cities and county government. That includes $915,532 for the county itself, which will use it in the 2021 construction season, according to Transportation Manager Charlie McKenzie.
Several communities also received matching grants:
- Middlebury — $1 million
- Goshen — $535,130
- Nappanee — $469,659
- Elkhart — $457,800
Grant funding can be used toward road and bridge preservation, road reconstruction, intersection improvements, guardrail replacements and signage, according to state Rep. Christy Stutzman, R-Middlebury. Smaller municipalities must provide a match of 25% in local funds, while large communities must provide a 50% match.
"We use our roads every day," she said in the announcement. "By dedicating part of this money specifically for our rural towns, we are able to give more opportunities to improve quality of life and support local businesses."
Middlebury Town Manager Mary Cripe said the town's match is at the 25% level. She gave a list of the streets that will be paved using the money:
- Brown Street from West Warren Street to Bristol Avenue
- Bristol Avenue from Brown Street to Main Street
- Pleasant Street from Bristol Avenue to Main Street
- Krider Drive from Crystal Valley Drive to Hembred Street
- Hemsbred Street from the town limits to Bristol Avenue
- East Spring Street from Main Street to Mill Street
- Spring Meadow Farm Drive
"The Middlebury Town Council and representatives from the town are extremely grateful for the CCMG funds and the continued support from the Indiana Department of Transportation, because without this funding opportunity, many of the streets would not be improved due to the lack of funding," Cripe said.
In total, more than $738 million has been distributed for local road projects through the Community Crossings program, according to state lawmakers. Indiana law requires that 50% of the available matching funds be awarded annually to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer.
"When updating and maintaining our state's roads, it is essential that we do not leave smaller communities behind," said state Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Milford. "This grant money will go a long way in completing much-needed projects in our area."
About $100 million will be available for communities that apply for these grants during the July 2020 call for projects.