Commissioners to Lawmakers: More Funding for Roadways and Public Safety

By Rachel Martin

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 12:16 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Improving quality of life in Allen County. That's the idea County Commissioners expressed to Indiana lawmakers Thursday night at their legislative preview.

Allen County Commissioners urged lawmakers to focus on funding Thursday night, more for transportation and more for public safety.

“The reason we’re here is to meet with legislatures and help them to better understand some of the needs that we believe Allen County citizens want,” said Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters.

Currently, the county is not raking in enough money to maintain and run its roadways and 911 call center. Peters says it costs $6.7 million to run the 911 call center.

Right now the state charges monthly fees of $.90 for land lines and $.50 for cell phones to gain revenue for 911 call centers across Indiana, which is adding up to only $2.7 million in annual revenue for Allen County. Peters says there’s a $4 million deficit in that particular budget, which is why he and other commissioners are asking lawmakers to create legislation that would create more revenue.

It's the same situation with the Allen County roads and highways, but Peters says there’s a $1.8-million deficit in that budget. He says having state lawmakers support funding in these areas will benefit the residents in Allen County by attracting more business.

“Every time we’ve enhanced a road project we’ve had companies come to town,” Peters said. “We've got to have those transportation dollars. They will help create jobs in this community. From my perspective, that's what we're all about it putting people back to work and creating jobs and enhancing the quality of life.”

Allen County Commissioners say other legislative priorities include criminal sentencing reform, inmate medical costs, and changes to the Health Department and drainage easements.

Peters says with all the changes made to the makeup of Indiana's congress, it could take a while, but he's optimistic things will get passed.

The Indiana General Assembly will reconvene Jan. 7, 2013.

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