CROWN POINT | The Lake County Council voted Thursday to re-establish $3.8 million in reserve funds to finance the repair of county highway bridge and drainage ditches.
The seven-member council was forced last year to abolish the long-standing cumulative bridge and drainage funds because of declining revenues in the wake of state-mandated property tax cuts and a slow economic revival.
However, the council recently adopted an income tax on all county residents and workers that is expected to replace much of the lost revenue.
Lake Highway Superintendent Marcus Malczewski said his department would have run out of money for bridge maintenance by next year without the adoption of the bridge ordinance.
Lake County Surveyor George Van Til said the office tentatively has planned to spend its money on improving Beaver Dam Ditch Lateral 2 and 5 in Crown Point and Merrillville; Plum Creek in Dyer; sections of Cady Marsh Ditch in Calumet Township and Highland; Stony Run Ditch in Eagle Creek Township; and Singleton Ditch in West Creek Township.