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Salem Mayor Troy Merry and the Washington County Commissioners and County Council were all smiles today as they received nearly $2 million in funds from the state’s Community Crossings matching grant funds that totaled $49 million statewide.

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With matching funds, the two entities will have nearly $4 million to spend on local streets and roads.

At the Washington County Highway Department today, Tony McClellan, Seymour Deputy Commissioner of INDOT, explained that the money was to be matched by local counties, cities and towns.

“This money comes with a lot less strings attached,” McClellan said. “It can be used more efficiently because you don’t have to follow all the federal regulations.”

The Washington County Commissioners will be meeting in September to approve the 17 projects.

Pam Hasty, who works at the highway garage, said the county submitted an asset plan and plans on what the county wanted to spend the money on.

Additionally, the county received about $980,000 back from the state earlier this year through House Bill 67.

The City of Salem received about $100,000 and both entities will be using that as part of their matching funds for this grant.

Salem received $95,300 and will match to have a total of about $180,000.

“For a city to come up with that kind of money really helps us out,” said Troy Merry. “We can do some things with that money and that frees up other money for other projects. “I’m ecstatic and extremely pleased. We’ve been working on this for awhile and it’s nice to see thing coming together. Now we can get going.”

Merry outlined a few streets that would be worked on through this grant — High Street (getting paved from SR60 to SR56), Cauble Street, Webb Street, Arthur Street (from Main to Martinsburg Road).

Additional work would be done on Homer Street and creating a seamless transition between pavement and bricks on Market Street.

“Both large and small communities in Southern Indiana demonstrated strong commitments to modernizing their roads and bridges and identified matching funds,” said INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson. “INDOT is pleased to award all of these funding requests within the program’s limit of $1 million per community.”