County commission chair explains Rescue Plan funds use

St. Joseph County Commission chair Kathy Pangle had a pointed response to a constituent critical of the county’s potential use of its $11.8 million in funds issued through the American Rescue Plan Act.

During the commission’s Tuesday meeting, Pangle took a few minutes to share her rebuttal to a constituent who texted her and said he felt the money should be used to support ambulance service.

The matter came in light of the county board’s decision last week to recommend allocating $4 million of the funds toward budget stabilization, another $4 million toward renovation of the 50-year-old courts building and $2 million on capital improvements.

Pangle, who joined the board in January 2017, made no apologies for the potential designation of the funds.

She said the county has an abundance of needs of its own, and previous administrations have kicked the proverbial can down the road, she said, noting the county has no shortage of buildings in desperate need of attention.

Ambulance service, she said, is a matter for townships to sort out.

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