News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 14, 2012

Vigo Council again approves money for railroad spur

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A $75,000 economic development appropriation approved last year and unspent went before the Vigo County Council on Tuesday for a second approval.

The money is part of a package to fund a railroad spur for a Menard Inc. distribution center near 13th Street and Haythorne Avenue. The council last year approved the funds from the county’s Economic Development Income Tax, but the money was not encumbered into the county’s 2012 budget. The council voted 7-0 to reappropriate the money.

Steve Witt, president of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., said a rail spur is to be installed by All Track Inc. The funding for the project includes the $75,000 reappropriated by the county, along with $75,000 received from the city of Terre Haute.

In addition, the state of Indiana has committed an industrial development grant for $346,753. Menard Inc. has paid the county $493,970 for its share of the project.

Witt asked the council to undertake a bookkeeping measure and simply appropriate the full amount — $990,724 — as the funds are being administered by the county.

Councilman Mark Bird, D-at large, asked what would happen if unforeseen problems push the cost above the $990,724 mark. Witt said Menard would be responsible for all costs above the funds from the city, county and the state.

The state will reimburse the county through its grant, which remains open until the end of 2013. Councilman Bill Bryan, D-at large, instructed Witt to make sure he knows how to encumber any funds approved this year for 2013.

Witt said he would work with the county auditor to do that, adding the rail spur project should be completed by January.

The council approved Witt’s request in a 7-0 vote.

In a separate issue, Councilman Brad Anderson, R-4th, and Bryan were given plaques for their service on the council. Bryan lost a re-election bid in the primary election while Anderson will leave the council Dec. 31 after being elected as a county commissioner.

“I just want you to know, you can still call me for all the answers,” Anderson told the council with a smile.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.