GREENFIELD — Hancock County officials are still moving forward with a $1.995 million bond, despite persistent criticism and questions over what projects should be funded with the borrowed money.
The Hancock County Commissioners Tuesday discussed an updated resolution for the bond. While no formal vote was taken, the three commissioners agreed the county council should ultimately decide next month whether money should be borrowed.
But there’s a catch: County officials learned last week that the most expensive item among projects the bond would fund – a $700,000 road improvement – cannot legally be included in the bond.
County attorney Ray Richardson suggested Tuesday the county’s economic development income tax could pay for the project, which would widen CR 600W south of U.S. 40. In its place on the list of bond projects, county officials could replenish the rainy-day fund; it was reduced by $650,000 for right-of-way acquisition at the proposed Mt. Comfort Road/CR 300N roundabout.
“You can’t use money (from a bond) to build a road,” Richardson explained. “You can use money to buy the land to build the road. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s the law.”
The discussion about what can and can’t be included in the bond is raising red flags for a group of tea party activists who have been skeptical about it from the start.