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Indiana to spend more than $55M on bicentennial events

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Celebrating Indiana’s 200th bicentennial next year will cost the state at least $55 million.

But that cost estimate doesn’t include more than 430 locally funded events. And taxpayers will foot the bill for a $1.6 million torch relay across all 92 counties.

Other plans to celebrate Indiana’s birthday include building a $25 million state archives facility and a $24 million inn for Potato Creek Park near South Bend. Projects also are coming to the Indiana Statehouse with $2.5 million for the state library’s education center and a $2 million Bicentennial Plaza west of the building.

The Indianapolis Star reports that state lawmakers have passed legislation that they say will pay for the festivities by leasing out capacity at 311 underutilized cellphone towers.