WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Council heard from nine non-profit organizations Thursday night, July 12, as a representative from each of the agencies came before the seven-person panel to discuss operations prior to receiving their allotment of funds for 2019. The county is issuing just north of $1 million to the non-profits in 2019.
The council heard from representatives from the county’s historical society, the 4-H council, Cardinal Services, Inc., Home Care & Hospice, The Beaman Home, Kosciusko Community Senior Services, the Animal Welfare League, The Bowen Center and the St. Joe River Basin.
“We do appreciate the non-profits providing some additional information that we requested this year,” said Council President Sue Ann Mitchell. “We realize that may have been above and beyond what you’ve been used to having to provide for us. But we certainly do appreciate the insight that the information gave us. It gave us a much clearer picture of where you’re at and what you’re doing with our money, which is kind of what our job is here.”
Renea Messmore and her daughter Shana represented the 4-H council and told the board that the council has recently experienced an eight percent increase in enrollment to include 789 students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. The club also boasts 261 adult volunteers and a total of 20 different clubs.
“4-H is the largest youth organization in our county,” Messmore said. The council requested $42,845 for 2019.
Jerry Black, representing the county’s historical society, told the board that the society is undergoing a massive obituary project is underway. “All the obituaries that we have on file will be scanned and they will be attached to the Beacon and they will be available to researchers anywhere,” he said. The society’s 2019 allotment is $23,000.
Randy Hall, representing Cardinal Services, Inc., told the council the services his organization provide have a county-wide footprint.
“We serve about $4,500 residents across all of Kosciusko County on an annual basis,” he said. Cardinal Services allotment for 2019 is $98,953. Hall told the council that one Cardinal Services program, KABS, a county-wide public transportation system, gave 55,000 rides last year. “We have seven vehicles,” he said.
Glenn Hall spoke on behalf of Home Care & Hospice, a county organization requesting $46,200. “I want to thank the council for almost 35 years of support in working with us since 1985,” he said. “Our goal, as always, is to try to make a positive difference in the lives of those who we serve; to treat all individuals with integrity, with compassion, with respect and with dignity,” he said.
Tracie Hodson, the executive director of the Beaman Home, told the council about the new shelter, which opened last year on July 17. “Within a matter of weeks, we were actually to capacity,” she said. “We now have 11 resident rooms and 36 beds in our emergency shelter.” Beaman Home requested a disbursement of $40,000 from the county.
Kosciusko Community Senior Services was represented by David Neff, who came before the council with a request for $29,700. Neff told the council that three of the main arms of his organization are transportation, home-delivered meals and the senior activity center, located on North Park Avenue at Lucerne Park.
“One of the things that we have done is board transition, term limits,” Neff said. “We have, out of the 11 board members I had when I got there, we have two of the original board members. So, we have turned over our board, which is something you need to do from time to time,” he said.
Katey Zemen from the Animal Welfare League gave the council an overview of her organizations programs. She said the shelter currently has 206 cats and 89 dogs, which includes animals that are in temporary Foster situations. The AWL requested $81,676.
The Bowen Center was represented by CEO Kurt Carlson and Matthew Graham, the director of the local outpatient office. Graham told the board that the Bowen Center recently opened a clinic for the treatment of opiod addiction in Fort Wayne and added that center-wide, the company increases in client load by five clients each day. The center requested a 2019 allotment of $639,710.
Matt Meersman spoke on behalf of the St. Joe River Basin organization, requesting $3,492. Meersman explained that the agency created by the state of Indiana in 1988, was conceived “to provide a forum for the discussions, study and evaluations of water resources issues of a common concern. The organization spans all counties that fall within the river basic of the St. Joseph River.
The council also:
- Heard a presentation from Chas Sandy about the county’s new website, which was recently launched. The website features drone video footage from around the county.
- Approved additional appropriations for the county Health Department of $13,000.
- Approved additional appropriations for the county Sheriff’s Department of $15,000.
- Approved a transfer of $875.68 in the Community Corrections program.
- Approved a grant request of $44,250 by the county highway department.
- Heard an update by County Administrator Marsha McSherry of the building project progress at the county highway department.