Road commission asks for portion of Rescue Plan funds

Officials from St. Joseph County Road Commission are hoping county commissioners might offer a portion of $11.8 million the county received from the federal government.

During their monthly board meeting last week, commissioners heard an appeal from road commission managing director John Lindsey. He asked for consideration when commissioners make their final decision about how they plan to divide the county’s American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

He said the road commission board had no way of anticipating the impact COVID-19 would have on driving habits locally, across the state and nationwide. As a result, the road commission’s anticipated share of Motor Fuel Tax dollars and what it actually received for 2020 was a difference of $758,000.

Lindsey said it’s his understanding that correcting such shortfalls was the intended purpose of ARPA funds.

In parting, Lindsey said Cass County allocated $1.4 million of its ARPA funds toward its road commission, making its road commission’s budget whole for 2020. In addition, he said, Montcalm County dedicated $2.7 million in ARPA dollars for its road commission.

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