I have not been following the ins and outs of this aspect of the potential sale of the Toll Road, but I have been aware of problems for Rep. Walorski for her failure to include St. Joseph County when she proposed an amendment to HB 1008 (the toll road bill) that created a “North
westerneastern Regional Development Area.” Initially at least, this RDA seems to be a mechanism for getting a bigger cut of the money paid out by the foreign consortium when the Governor sells the toll road for the next 75 years. Her problems stem from anger by her St. Joseph County constituents that she did not include them in the RDA. (Walorski is already in some hot water from her constituents for conveniently “missing” a committee hearing where she would have had the opportunity to stop the Daylight Saving Bill from getting out of committee in the first place. That, in turn, could have not only stopped DST from passing, but would have prevented the poisoning of the relationship between Elkhart and St. Joseph County caused by the State and Governor’s unstructured approach to the time zone question.)
Now, isn’t this funny? During the time zone hearings, we could not stop hearing from Elkhart County about how inextricably linked Elkhart County was to St. Joseph County. But when it’s time for the money to flow, things are completely different. Now that St. Joseph County has officially been screwed out of its preferred time zone, Elkhart County has forgotten how close they supposedly are.
So now St. Joseph County is considering a “North Central RDA”. This would align St. Joseph County with LaPorte County, its neighbor to the west, initially for purposes of increasing their mutual take from the Toll Road sale. But, it will be interesting to see if the pull to the west keeps increasing for South Bend and St. Joseph County.