The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County was pleased the County Commissioners moved forward with plans to improve the Montgomery County Courthouse. League members have concluded that there are many factors that contribute to the economic health of a community, including healthy, vibrant downtowns, particularly our county seat.

The League supports efforts to strengthen, revitalize and preserve a healthy downtown through appropriate planning, retail development, and collaboration between public and private entities. The current proposal for Courthouse improvements is an example of several ways in which the county government can strengthen our county seat.

Compliance with the American with Disability Act regulation must be done and is important for all Montgomery County citizens with physical handicaps. Improving security for employees, elected and appointed officials, and citizens doing business at the Courthouse is essential at a time when threats of violence are all around us. We should not delay on these two issues.

The third piece of the proposal is also important to our community. Improving the parking lot at the corner of Washington and Market has been discussed for a number of years. The impact of enhancing this entrance to our community is dramatic way to make Montgomery County a place people notice and remember positively.

Representatives from several organizations spoke at Monday's Commissioner meeting in support of an enhanced Court House parking lot which will provide a welcoming attractive entrance to our county seat from the north, west, and east.

The parking lot improvements have also been designed to handle excessive water now pouring into combined sewers and draining into Sugar Creek. We must address this environment issue and respond to orders from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 15% of the proposed project will go to storm water management. Sustainable Initiative representative pointed out one inch of rainfall results in 2400 gallons or ten tons of water run off. In an average year, there are 432 tons of run off.

In addition to the League of Women Voters and Main Street representatives expressing support, Montgomery County Livable Community emphasized that this is a wise investment now for Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. First impressions often determine whether or not an individual or business will EVEN CONSIDER moving or investing in our county. For our future, it is important to be perceived to be an attractive, livable community with pride.

It was noted that in recent years, increasing numbers of faculty, staff, professionals, plant managers, and administrators have chosen to live and also retire elsewhere-Tippecanoe, Hendricks, Boone, or Hamilton counties. In the aggregate, Montgomery County has lost millions of dollars in spendable income which could support enhanced retail business increase our property tax base and income tax. We've lost talented individuals with public and community board experience, talent, and talent to help Montgomery County prosper.

County Council member Tom Utley reported that the Cumulative Capital Development Fund has more than enough money to fund the project. Now is the time to move forward for the future of Montgomery County!

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join LWV where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For information about the League, visit the website:, send a message to LWV, PO Box 101, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 or e-mail