Two Northern Indiana counties have joined together and submitted a bid for the Indiana Toll Road lease.
The current operator filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September and is looking for someone else to take over the remainder of the lease.
Lake and LaPorte counties are the only two along the Indiana Toll Road that wanted to bid on the lease at this time.
If approved, the counties would form a not-for-profit agency to sell municipal bonds, which would finance the acquisition. LaPorte County Attorney Shaw Friedman says that means county assets wouldn’t be at risk.
“The benefit of this is, as we shared with the counties, it’s all upside,” Friedman said. “There is no downside for participating counties. The only upfront expense was a $10,000 per county expense to help defray some of the expenses of the submission.”
Friedman says under the structure, additional counties can sign on later.
But, Lake and LaPorte counties are the only ones that have guaranteed access to a split minimum amount of money that was negotiated in the proposal.