Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law House Enrolled Act 1270, creating a permanent $3 million a year funding source for flood prevention projects. The projects would be undertaken by a reconstituted Kankakee River Basin and Yellow River Basin Development Commission.
The new law requires eight Northwest Indiana counties to pay a proportionate fee, starting in 2021, for river bank stabilization, channel reconstruction, sediment removal, water storage and similar projects to prevent a repeat of last year's devastating floods in southern Lake and Porter counties.
The annual fee for each county is: Lake $428,298; Porter $300,941; LaPorte $707,624; Newton $103,645; Jasper $190,138; Marshall $586,168; St. Joseph $377,882; and Starke $295,469, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.
Under the law, county officials can use existing tax revenue to cover their share, which is based on how much land in each county drains into the rivers, or impose a special assessment on each parcel of property located in the river basins.