During the North Judson Town Council meeting last night, board members approved an ordinance establishing a cumulative railroad revenue fund for future payments from the railroad company and to transfer the money from the existing railroad capital improvement fund.
In the settlement agreement between the Town of North Judson and Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company (CKIN), it was arranged that the town will receive quarterly payments from the railway operator based on and coinciding with railroad traffic. A fund needed to be established in order to put those payments somewhere under the new agreement.
Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins mentioned that approximately $94,000 of unspent money from the railroad capital improvement fund was also re-positioned into this fund. In the past, money in the railroad capital improvement fund was solely limited to railway construction, repairs and refurbishing. With the shift, that money can now be spent for a number of reasons that were listed in the ordinance establishing the cumulative railroad revenue fund.
The funds can only be spent for the purposes listed in the ordinance. Authorized uses include capital improvements and general maintenance to town buildings and infrastructure, local matching funds for state and federally received grants, attorney and litigation fees as well as court costs, public safety equipment.
The funds can also be spent for the expenses of administering the cumulative railroad revenue fund other professional services including but not limited to financial advising, engineering and survey costs, certified appraisal fees and other associated expenses relating to railroads and other town projects.
The town council is permitted to approve and incorporate any other qualifying expenses that into the ordinance as things come up, as long as it is done in a meeting open to the public. After a unanimous approval from the board, the Cumulative Railroad Expense Fund went into effect. The fund is of perpetual existence or until the ordinance is duly repealed by the North Judson Town Council.