KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — The Kosciusko County Council met last night, Aug. 11, to discuss the county’s economic standing and Lakes and Streams.
Kosciusko County Economic Development Corporation President George Robertson came before the commissioners to give an economic quarterly update. Robertson said it wasn’t a big year for expansion, but the last three have been great.
Robertson told the council that he rarely gets a call from a retail site selector and he said, “In the last two months I’ve had more calls from retail site selectors then I’ve had in the first six years I was here.” Robertson said that “We have more retail here than a city of this size ought to have.” Robertson said the number of commuters that drive into the county every day is higher than any other county around. He went on to say, “A person spends 40 percent of their retail dollars where they work, 60 percent where they live.”
Robertson said Warsaw has had two visits from retail site selectors, with another coming next week. Robertson stated he couldn’t give the name of the retail businesses, but if a couple located here, “You would go holy smokes, that’s pretty good a city of this size getting that store here.” Robertson said they were names people would know.
Center for Lakes and Streams Director Doctor Nate Bosch presented the council with updates from the center, explaining how they make the lakes and streams in the county cleaner. Bosch said they do this in three ways: Applied research, educational programs and collaborative projects. One collaborative project is the Tippecanoe River log jam removal project. There have been over 200 log jams removed with 50-75 more to go. Bosch said they hope to finish it up this year. It will help with lessening flooding and opens it for paddling access.
Bosch presented the Lake Economic Impact Study. In the study it shows that Kosciusko County lakes contribute over $313 million annually to the local economy. With an improvement in lake quality the economic value could increase by 5 percent, that’s an additional $10,519,000 each year, but if there’s a decline in lake quality the loss could be a devastating 40 percent and $84,153,000 less a year.
With visible sadness, Kosciusko County Council President Bob Sanders told those at the meeting Councilman Brad Tandy, who has been on the council for 22 years, has resigned and had taken a position with a company in San Diego, Calif. Sanders said in Tandy’s resignation letter he stated he was appreciative of how he was able to serve the county. After a moment of silence, as Sanders seemed to be attempting to gain control of his emotions, he said, “I appreciate what Brad was able to do for me and with that he’ll be missed.” Sounding as if tears were not far off, Sanders said, “And I want to say I really appreciated Brad.”
In other business:
- Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine, was approved for a transfer of $7,000 from the Other Equipment budget to Repairs and Maintenance budget stating, “We had an extremely bad year on vehicles.” Rovenstine also approved for an insurance reimbursement of $1,127.75 to be put into the Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance budget.
- Kosciusko County Clerk Ann Torpy was approved to replace three full-time employees that left their positions.