Indianapolis, IN, January 3, 2007 - Indiana House Bill 1034 asks the state to increase the annual appropriation from $1,250 to $2,000 per bridge.
The increase would affect 79 bridges maintained by counties and cost the state an additional $59,250, according to the state's Legislative Services Agency. The funds would come from the Motor Vehicle Highway Account. The bridges now receive under $100,000 a year in state funds.
State Representative F. Dale Grubb, who introduced the bill, said he pledged to seek the increase after attending the rededication in October of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge in Parke County, two-thirds of which lays within Grubb's district.
Grubb said the annual Parke County Covered Bridge Festival rivals the Indianapolis 500 in terms of the number of tourists it draws. Tourism is the county's second-most important industry, behind agriculture.
[Thanks to Jim Crouse for forwarding the article from which this news was taken - Ed.]