The problem with a windfall often is that it’s gone too soon.

Lottery winners all too frequently squander their new-found wealth.

So when Jay County Commissioners found themselves with a windfall of discretionary funds generally to be used for economic development after NextEra Energy built the county’s first wind farm, there was an opportunity to fritter it away.

They didn’t.

Instead, they kept the focus on economic development, working with Jay County Development Corporation in an effort to make sure those dollars were invested wisely for the future.

Then they used the funds to leverage State of Indiana dollars from the Community Crossings program in a way that most folks have not yet come to appreciate. 

Wind farm money provided the match for state money to pay for paving projects in virtually every corner of the county. Commissioners did their best throughout the decision-making process to assure that no one was forgotten.

As a result, villages like Bryant and Salamonia and towns like Redkey and Dunkirk and Pennville and Portland will see an unprecedented amount of street paving in the year ahead. Meanwhile, the county focused its match funds on highly-used arteries like Boundary and Blaine Pikes.

With funds left over, the commissioners virtually invited folks to step forward with projects. Arts Place was pledged funds toward its current capital campaign, and this week commissioners pledged $133,000 — the balance left — to help the Jay County Fair Board replace the Farmers’ Building at the fairgrounds.

Anyone who has given the current building a long, hard look has to agree that its replacement is overdue. 

At 76 years old, it has been nursed through some rough times; and those rough times are showing.

Patched beams, warped walls, a buckled roof, and a deteriorating concrete deck cry out for action.

And, thanks to Wednesday’s decision by the commissioners, action is on the way.

Well done. — J.R.