CROWN POINT | Lake officials will begin writing procedures on how to spend the $15 million they will borrow next year as carefully and transparently as possible.
The Lake County Council voted Tuesday to seek the multimillion-dollar loan in the wake of forecasts that property tax revenues for 2013 won't be enough to provide needed spending for the county jail, highways, drainage waterways and other essential services.
They said the only alternatives would be to impose an unpopular local income tax or severely reduce the effectiveness of local government, including public safety since police, the courts and the jail constitute the lion's share of county spending.
Lake Councilman Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said he and other county government leaders will start meeting as early as today to name those who ultimately approve where the money goes and to set protocols to "make it as difficult to spend as possible."
Dante Rondelli, the County Council's finance director, warned earlier this week, "Be aware of the risks associated with this. You should describe a budget for the money; otherwise, you are in a no man's land."