Brazil has the No. 2 road project in the Crawfordsville District of INDOT and the S.R. 340/U.S. 40 intersection project is much further down on the list.
State Rep. Andy Thomas, R.- Brazil, spoke to the Brazil Rotary Club on Wednesday. He gave an overview of various business before the Indiana Legislature this year including Daylight Saving Time, pick-up trucks in the highway funding formula, the U.S. 40 project, the Pinckley Street project and the Airport Road project and property taxes.
Thomas supports Daylight Saving Time, saying it is an issue of energy conservation. When asked about the decision to allow each county to petition for Eastern or Central time, Thomas said he didn't care which time zone most of Indiana is in. He also said there are 10 states that have faced or are facing similar dilemmas, because time zones divide those states.
Seventy-seven of Indiana's 92 counties are on the same time now. The other counties have opted to be on the time of nearby states or metropolitan areas, such as Chicago.
Local drivers should get relief relatively soon. The Pinckley Street project is No. 2 on the Indiana Department of Transportation's Crawfordsville District priority list.
The U.S. 40 project is still three to four years from completion. It will start at Murphy Avenue and run west. No more lanes will be added as had been earlier proposed.
Thomas said the S.R. 340/U.S. 40 intesection near Reece's Point is still on the list but it is a low priority for INDOT. Thomas hopes INDOT eventually cancels the project.
The Airport Road project should receive greater consideration. Widening the road is a safety issue because Air Evac is now stationed at the Clay County Airport.
Another issue before the Legislature has been the inventory tax, which is scheduled to end. The bad news for homeowners is that property taxes are also scheduled be raised 12 percent while farm land taxes will decrease.
Thomas' attempt to include pick-up trucks in the highway funding formula was one of many bills that fell victim to a legislative walkout. He plans to keep fighting for the bill, saying it means a great deal more money to all of Indiana's rural counties.
Thomas supports Ivy Tech classes in Brazil and hopes the schedule of courses will continue to grow.
Thomas also presented a graph indicating Indiana will soon return to a treasury surplus, a rainy day fund.
"When you get involved in deficit spending, bad things happen," he told Rotarians at the Brazil Family Restaurant.