For the past two months, residents from Heritage Lake have appeared at Putnam County Commissioners' meetings asking for help in getting nearly 30 miles of roads paved and repaired.
At last month's meeting, a group from the area presented an option for the county to take out a bond to pay approximately $3 million to pave the roads in the second largest populated area in Putnam County. They came again to Monday night's meeting to see if any other options were being considered by the commissioners to help repair roads at the lake.
"We don't have anything extra for anything," said Commissioner Gene Beck, explaining that the county had just lost $700,000 out of the county highway budget for this year.
Tom Pittman came to the last meeting to talk about the option of Heritage Lake creating an Economic Improvement District so they could tax themselves to pay for the necessary bond.
"Economic Improvement Districts (EID) are driven by members of an area who have an interest," Pittman said. "They have to be very actively involved."
Pittman reiterated his earlier presentation that explained the process to create the EID.
A petition has to be filed requesting the improvement district that has been signed by a majority of owners (51 percent). The petition has to include a detailed description of the project, cost estimates and a financial plan.
A three-member board must be set up, and two of the three must be property owners.
The creation of an Economic Improvement District can create revenue payable by assessments to property owners. Financing can be set over a long period of time to make payments more manageable.
"I feel the county owns the roads and is responsible for them," said Dan Antico, a member of the Heritage Lake Homeowners Association. "They haven't lived up to it except with the main road."
Beck said Heritage Lake wasn't the only area that was asking for help with roads, and that they also weren't the only ones being turned down for assistance.
"We just don't have the funds," he repeated, pulling out a large packet of letters from residents asking for road work. "All we can do right now is grind up the road and put it back to stone because we have no funds."
Lake residents told commissioners they planned to hire a consultant to do a study for them. Beck suggested they contact Wabash Valley Asphalt.
"They will come out and look at the roads and give you an estimate and they don't charge you for doing it," said Beck.
The commissioners offered additional information giving the amounts of money spent in all the county townships from May 2005 to May 2009. A total of $1.2 million was spent on roads during that time period.
Heritage Lake board members agreed to consider calling Wabash and getting some closer estimates, as well as talking to homeowners to see if they are willing to sign petitions.
They requested to be put on agenda for the commissioners' July meeting.