By By Joseph Payton, WFIE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – A new committee in Vanderburgh County is helping decide where millions in federal funding will land.
The Vanderburgh County Road to Recovery Committee will make recommendations on how to spend $35 million from the American Rescue Plan. It is made up of all three current county missioners, two county councilmembers, the county auditor and a former county sheriff.
Still, lots of questions remain. The American Rescue Plan Act is a little complicated. Its table of contents is nine pages long, totaling 678 in its entirety.
The committee wants to make sure it knows how the money can and cannot be spent.
“We all know each other, we all bring different skillsets to the table and I think it makes for a very, not only dynamic but a very productive group of individuals,” said Commissioner Ben Shoulders.
Committee member County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave read recommendations that commissioners have already made on 14 items like rural broadband and restoring revenue at Burdette Park.
“When we add all those up, there’s still about seven or eight million dollars left,” said Shoulders.
More than a dozen from Evansville CAJE were at Monday’s meeting. They would like to see some of the money go towards operating expenses for the Crisis Care Center at United Caring Services.
“It allows people who are caught in addiction, it prevents a jail term,” explained Tom Bogenschutz. “Or people who are in a mental health crisis, it prevents them a jail term.”
Commissioner Shoulders believes that could be a possibility, but they hope to have more federal guidance as to how and where the money can be spent before making a decision.
“It sounded to me like that could possibly be one, as it relates to mental health needs, as it relates to community centers and so forth. So as we await more information, that‘s why they were here today,” stated Shoulders.