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12/19/2010 8:46:00 AM
Madison County, cities, towns to get $765,215 from food and beverage tax
By the numbers
The Madison County Council will meet Wednesday to award more than $765,000 in food and beverage tax revenue. Here are the top five projects in terms of cost:
$100,000: For Chesterfield to help build a new wastewater treatment plant and lift station.
$80,000: For Summitville in matching funds for a $1.8 million federal/state Indiana Department of Transportation grant for reconstruction of Main Street, including curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
$80,000: For Madison County to provide a regional fiber-optic connection from Anderson to Hancock Telecom. (Grant to be awarded only if funds are not available from other sources).
$75,000: For Alexandria to build an entryway and directional signs according to the Downtown Revitalization Plan.
$75,000: For Madison County to improve and update the Geographic Information System.


Dave Stafford, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer

ANDERSON­ — The extra pennies you pay to eat out are helping towns from Ingalls to Summitville undertake projects that might otherwise never get off the drawing board.

Madison County Council will meet Wednesday with a plan to award $765,215 in food and beverage tax revenue. The money comes from the 1 percent sales tax collected at restaurants and taverns.

By law, Anderson gets 70 percent of that money, because the city generates the lion’s share of food and beverage tax revenue. The remaining 30 percent is set aside for Madison County and its other cities and towns.

“Everybody that asked for money at least got some money,” said Jerry Bridges, Madison County Council of Governments’ director. He said a COG panel scores projects based on potential job creation, economic impact, community need, and other factors such as how much an investment from the food and beverage fund would help a particular project.

For instance, $80,000 in food and beverage tax money creates a huge windfall for Summitville. The money will provide the required local matching funds to unlock $1.8 million in state and federal transportation grants to improve Main Street. “We’re leveraging a lot of money with that,” Bridges said.

“I think it’s the best Christmas present Summitville could be receiving,” said Dee Amos, co-founder of Summitville Main Street. The group of about a dozen people has been trying to improve Main Street for years — about seven years, Amos figures.

“It’s just going to be a big difference,” she said of the project to improve the streets, curbs and sidewalks on the town’s chief street between Walnut Street and Indiana Avenue.

“We haven’t have any major road work done in probably 20 years,” Amos said. “It’s a project the people of Summitville need and have really wanted for quite some time.”

Likewise, Chesterfield has big plans for the $100,000 in food and beverage tax money it is in line to receive from the council.

“We’re in the process of trying to build our own sewer plant,” clerk/treasurer Candy Bennett said. She said the town has studies in hand that show the $5 million plant would cut sewer rates by at least $20 per month.  Chesterfield ratepayers now pay a  minimum of $65 per house for sewage treatment, Bennett said.

The food and beverage tax money will help Chesterfield leverage financing to build the plant that would serve nearly 1,000 residences in town along with about 700 homes in neighboring Daleville. Bennett said the town hopes to have a sewer plant ready to open in about two years.

“Many of these projects probably wouldn’t get done without this funding,” Madison County Auditor Kathy Stoops-Wright said.

“The communities are very thankful,” said first deputy auditor Patty Mauck.

The county has $795,615 available for the cities and towns share of food and beverage tax money, Mauck said. According to county records, the amount collected through  the 1 percent tax can vary wildly from month to month.

Food and beverage tax collections in the past year ranged from a low of $85,378 for April compared with a high of $194,371 for May.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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