INGOP Praises American Rescue Plan’s Infrastructure Projects across Northwest Indiana


Republican Christian Jorgensen: “It’s like Christmas in October” 

NWI Times: “The Lake County Council is poised to direct additional funds the county received through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to designated water and sewer projects in several communities.” 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated the brighter future the American Rescue Plan is STILL creating for Hoosiers. According to a NWI Times report, the Rescue Plan will provide the following investments: 

  • Dyer: Water main replacement, 
  • Highland: New water mains and fire hydrants, 
  • Munster: Calumet Avenue Water Tank rehabilitation, 
  • Schererville: Storm pipe replacement, and 
  • St. John: various water and safety infrastructure projects

The American Rescue Plan is so good that even Indiana Republicans like Christian Jorgensen described the funding as “Christmas in October”. These projects will no doubt deliver a brighter future for Hoosier families, and it was Indiana Democrats like Frank Mrvan who got it done. 

In contrast, the Indiana Republican Party – including Jennifer-Ruth Green – called these investments “wasteful spending”. In fact, Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer even claimed the Republicans’ opposition was a “great campaign to run on”. The Indiana GOP’s opposition to the kitchen-table issues – like water and sewer infrastructure projects – is another reminder they have no plan for Indiana’s future – just abiding by an extremist agenda. 

Here’s a look at how the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Hoosiers across Northwest Indiana: 

NWI Times: “The Lake County Council is poised to direct additional funds the county received through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to designated water and sewer projects in several communities.

Earlier this year, the council joined the Lake County Commissioners in agreeing to spend nearly all $94 million of the county’s ARPA money on projects to prevent the spread of disease and improve public health by extending sanitary sewer service to homes and businesses in Calumet Township and unincorporated Crown Point currently dependent on less reliable septic systems.

At the same time, the council held back about $10 million for each of the seven council members to allocate their share as they saw fit for ARPA-eligible projects in their council districts.

Councilman Dan Dernulc, R-Highland, revealed Thursday he will seek final council approval at its regular meeting Tuesday to send his cut of the ARPA money to Dyer, Munster, Highland, Schererville, St. John, and Tradewinds Services.

Under Dernulc’s proposal, each of the towns will receive $250,000 in 2023 to help defray the cost of specific water and sewer projects, while Merrillville-based Tradewinds, which provides services to disabled children and adults, will get $50,000 for general needs.

The projects include water main replacement in Dyer, rehabilitation of the Calumet Avenue Water Tank in Munster, new water mains and fire hydrants in Highland, storm pipe replacement in Schererville, and various water and safety infrastructure projects in St. John.

“(The towns) are aware this is where the money is going to go. These projects are in the works. We’re just going to help pay for them,” Dernulc said.

Councilman Christian Jorgensen, R-St. John, who previously won council approval to direct his APRA share to a sanitary sewer project in Lowell, poked fun at his GOP colleague who typically is reluctant to part with an extra dollar.

“You’re spreading the wealth, man. It’s like Christmas in October,” Jorgensen quipped.

Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, defended Dernulc. He said projects like those identified by Dernulc are exactly what the Democratic-controlled Congress had in mind when it approved ARPA and sent it to Democratic President Joe Biden for enactment.

“I think this addresses a real problem and it’s part of what, I think, the ARPA money was intended to do. We just have to get it to them,” Bilski said.

The council also is likely Tuesday to consider a proposal by Councilman Charlie Brown, D-Gary, to send his ARPA share to programs promoting urban farming and civil rights education.


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