St. Joseph County leaders weigh in on Transportation Authority - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

St. Joseph County leaders weigh in on Transportation Authority


St. Joseph County leaders are giving their opinions on Tuesday's vote to create a Regional Transportation District. That district would be responsible for transportation services in Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph counties. They would also fund and repair rail services including the South Shore Line.

St. Joseph County Commissioner and Commission Vice President Dave Thomas told Fox28 he's against the measure. He said the district would have the ability to raise taxes, and it's not something resident in the county want to pay. He also doesn't like that money would go to other counties and not as much to St. Joseph County.  Another reason he's against the measure is because "we don't need another layer of bureaucracy".

Thomas isn't the only commissioner against the measure. Andrew Kostielney, who represents the first district of St. Joseph County, said he doesn't like that most of the money would go to Porter County. Kostielney said he was against even holding the vote on Tuesday.

Fox28 News also contacted South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke's office. Representatives from his office said the mayor is against creating the transportation district. They said he doesn't believe the measure was completely thought out. 

There are those in favor of creating the transportation district, and one of those is South Bend Regional Airport Director John Schalliol. He told Fox28, he "may be the only one in favor of the measure". He believes it would be a good thing for the South Shore Line which runs from the airport to Chicago. However, Schalliol admits there are problems with the way the measure is written and doesn't like the idea of money going to other communities. He also expects voters to defeat the idea.

Only St. Joseph and Porter counties are holding a vote on Tuesday. Lake and LaPorter counties are not holding a vote becasue they don't have the funds for an election. In order for the district to be created, it has to be passed by two of the four counties.

Stay with and Fox28 News for more on this story.

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