Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Sep 14, 2006
State to distribute Major Moves construction funds to Toll Road counties

INDIANAPOLIS (September 14, 2006) - In one day, the state of Indiana will distribute $240 million to the seven counties along the Indiana Toll Road, nearly twice as much as the total reinvestment in those counties in the 50-year history of the Toll Road. The distribution on Friday, September 15 also will mark the first time that local governments will have full discretion over the decisions about how to use the funds. Previous local grants were based on grant applications made to the state.

The proceeds are the result of Governor Mitch Daniels Major Moves program. Steuben, LaGrange, Elkhart, St. Joseph and LaPorte counties will receive $40 million each. Porter County will receive $25 million and Lake will receive $15. Those two counties will receive additional assistance totaling $120 million through contributions to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

These funds are on top of the more than $1.2 billion the state will spend on new construction, major preservation projects and 2006 resurfacing in the seven counties as well as more than $200 million that will be used to keep passenger tolls on the Toll Road at 1985 rates for the next 10 years. The counties will also receive a share of a $150 million distribution to all 92 counties for local road and bridge projects in the next two years. Counties will receive the first half of the distribution in mid-October.

"We've only ever had one purpose, and that was to build a more prosperous state, starting right here. In one stroke, Major Moves closed our $3 billion transportation infrastructure deficit. Now, we have huge resources we never would have had, to generate jobs we'd never have had a shot at," said Daniels, who is traveling to all seven counties today and Friday. "If the people of our Toll Road counties use this once in a lifetime opportunity wisely, and we do the same statewide, we will leave our kids a dramatically stronger Indiana, led by these seven counties."

Auditors from each county will send the money on to cities and towns based on the motor vehicle highway formula. The allotments for LaGrange and Steuben counties, for example, are about twice as much as the total 2006 budgets for each county. LaGrange County will receive a distribution of $37.4 million; its annual budget for 2006 is about $16.3 million. Steuben County, which has a 2006 budget of about $17.4 million, will receive $33.7 million. In LaPorte County, for example, the nearly $1.1 million distribution for Westville is just more than the town's entire budget for 2006; for Osceola in St. Joseph County, the $221,156 distribution is just over 40 percent of the town's total budget for the year.

The counties, cities and towns can use the funds as prescribed by HEA 1008, which includes construction of highways, roads and bridges; economic development projects; cooperative local agreements, and federal grant matches.

Porter and Lake counties are both members of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA). The RDA will receive $120 million in the next 10 years -- $40 million to be paid this year, including $20 million specifically for the Gary-Chicago Airport. Beginning in 2007, the RDA will receive $10 million for the next 8 years.

In June, the state received $3.8 billion for a 75-year lease to the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company to manage and operate the road. Since July 5 when the State Treasurer invested the money, the state has earned more than $37.5 million in interest at an average rate of 5.46 percent.

A link to a chart with complete distributions amounts may be found at: