Clay County is making an attempt to get its fair share of the pie.
In the past couple of weeks, municipalities and other organizations compiled a list of projects to be considered in hopes of receiving funds from the recently passed Economic Recovery Plan.
A total of 63 projects were submitted throughout the county, with the City of Brazil providing the most (19), followed closely by the Clay County Commissioners (18).
Projects range from adding streetscapes, like trees and shrubs, to new water towers and funding for the proposed Pogues Run Detention Pond, which is needed before the Indiana Department of Transportation can begin the United States 40 project.
Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times a new, one-million gallon water tower and the detention pond would be the main priorities should the city receive adequate funding to complete the projects.
"Those are the big ones we are hoping to do, but we put in for numerous resurfacing and storm sewer projects," Bradshaw said. "We are also hoping to get funding to put in a walking/bike trail which would pass many of the historical aspects of the city, but that is not near as big of a priority as the streets and water/sewer system projects."
Commissioner Paul Sinders said part of their project proposals would include the involvement of the city to increase the development possibilities near Interstate-70.
"We want to work with the City of Brazil to get water to I-70, which could potentially expand the work base," he said.
Commissioners' President Charlie Brown elaborated on Sinders' thoughts of creating employment opportunities.
"Redevelopment and the possible creation of new jobs is definitely the main priority for us," Brown told The Brazil Times.
"Things are tough now and will probably get tougher in the next couple of years, but we want to promote and encourage industries to come to Clay County to get decent-paying jobs for people because we need them."
Other commissioners' projects included in the list are for promotion/marketing of the I-70 area, two Federal Bridge projects that have been in the works for a couple of years, various equipment needs, telecommunication and courthouse security upgrades and resurfacing projects on certain county roads.
"County roads had to be INDOT-eligible in order for us to add them as potential projects and we added all we could because some of them need to be fixed badly," Sinders said. "We also would like to add some more cameras in the courthouse for better monitoring, and we have money available for the Federal Bridge Projects, but if we are able to get some of the recovery money, we can turn the current funds toward other projects."
In an attempt to make a stronger case for the need of funds from the Economic Recovery Plan in Clay County, City Engineer Brian Pohlar -- who is a Professional Engineer For Hannum, Waggle and Cline Engineering, Terre Haute, and also works with the county on various projects -- recently traveled to Washington D.C. to speak with U.S. Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), among others.
"We would like to receive enough funding to complete all the projects on the list," Bradshaw said.
"However, we will be satisfied with what we may receive and will do our best to get as many projects done as we can."
Neither Bradshaw, Brown nor Sinders had received any indication as to when the county may receive word on the outcome of the project requests, but they all believed they put in the most viable options they could.
"We do know the projects are in the process of being considered at this time and I think we could know what will happen within the next few weeks," Sinders told The Brazil Times.
"Everything submitted is justifiable and needs to be done. All we can do in the meantime is hope for the best."
The following is a list of some, but not all, of the projects included in the list for potential funds from the Economic Recovery Plan coming from entities other than the City of Brazil or the Clay County Commissioners:
* Brazil-Clay County Airport -- Self-fueling storage tank systems and T-Hangars,
* City of Jasonville -- Phase 1 of the water project,
* Clay Community Schools -- Modernization, energy efficiency upgrade and repair for Northview High School,
* Five separate levee improvement projects,
* Town of Staunton -- Community Center, fire station, housing rehabilitation, and
* Town of Harmony -- U.S. 40 Beautification and Enhancement Project.