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By KEVIN KOELLING
TELL CITY – Jim Carter updated the county commissioners at their regular meeting Feb. 4 on efforts he has been making to bring more money into the county.
As the News has reported previously, the president of the Humane Society of Perry County visited or called officials in most of Indiana’s counties in efforts to rally support for a plan to tap part of a $2 billion state-budget surplus. The money would go to infrastructure improvements, freeing up funding in other areas.
In developing the county budget for this year, the Perry County Council “had to cut a lot of programs,” including “one dear to me … the animal-control officer,” Carter told the commissioners at their latest meeting.
The Evansville Courier & Press reported Jan. 19 state transportation officials were seeking more funding that Carter said would go to both state and local infrastructure. Since that article, available at http://www.courierpress.com/news/2013/jan/19/state-transportation-offici..., seemed to report the funding he’d been seeking could come, he redirected his efforts to the federal level.
He came up with a concept he said, and forwarded it to “more than one agency at the federal level. Believe it or not, these concepts are being considered right now.”
“Here’s the problem,” he continued. “At the federal level, they don’t even know what their budget is … so basically I haven’t been promised anything but (they would) take a very hard look at what I’ve proposed.”
That would be a pilot program for very small counties, he explained. He’s working with the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs in an effort to tailor a veterans-hiring program to the needs of local counties nationwide. He’s contacted state Sen. Richard Young “and he’s very much interested in seeing results on this,” Carter said, “so he suggested that I contact a congressman at the state level, (Rep.) Lloyd Arnold, and I’m in the process of doing that now. I am also … conversing with multiple federal agencies and I see a very good chance that we could get federal funds down to the county level. I’m proposing it for the bottom 20 populated counties in the state of Indiana. We would be right at the top of that bottom group.”
“I’m hoping that if you get contacted by the federal government,” he told the commissioners, “you’ll see this as a positive thing and a big chance we could get some federal money for our county.”
The commissioners offered no response other than thanks expressed by Commissioner Tom Hauser. They will next meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the county courthouse.