NFIB connects them with lawmakers to discuss their concerns.
Seventy small business owners flocked to an NFIB meeting in Montgomery on August 14 to tell state lawmakers about the poor condition of roads in Daviess County that are creating serious problems for their businesses, and health issues for their families.
NFIB’s State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt Underwood, brought the crowd of mostly Amish business owners together with three state legislators, Senator Eric Bassler, Representative Jeff Ellington, and Representative Shane Lindauer.
“We have Amish business owners and their families traveling down the road, and suddenly, a semi tractor-trailer passes kicking up a cloud of dust enveloping their buggy,” said Underwood. “It not only interferes with the family trying to get to and from their business, but the passengers are sickened when it happens.”
“We heard complaints that people couldn’t breathe, they are coughing, and the limestone dust may create permanent respiratory problems,” added Underwood. “Non-Amish business owners at the NFIB meeting expressed similar frustration, saying road conditions are hampering commerce and economic development in the community.”
Sen. Bassler pointed out that Daviess County has more dirt or gravel roads than any other county in Indiana. There were differences in opinion as to how the problem should be solved, but an agreement that something must be done. There is still a question of how to finance the work. Last year, the Indiana General Assembly passed an extensive road funding package that included an increase of the gas tax. The lawmakers assured the attendees that help is on the way, but it will take time.
Business owners and lawmakers also discussed an effort in the General Assembly to expand the sales tax to services. But the poor quality of roads in Daviess County dominated the discussion.