SILVER LAKE — K21 Health Foundation CEO and President Rich Haddad attended the Silver Lake Town Council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 13, to discuss a grant being offered to the town by the Foundation.
Haddad explained that the Board of K21 Health Foundation extended grants to nine communities in Kosciusko County. According to Haddad, the K21 Board made a decision to pledge up to $200,000 in grant money to Silver Lake.
“We would like for the town of Silver Lake to decide what they feel the best use of that commitment from K21 would be. We don’t want to tell you how to use it,” Haddad said.
The only criteria, Haddad told council members, is that because K21 Foundation’s mission is for health and wellness, any sort of plan from the community of Silver Lake would have to include some purpose of health and wellness.
Haddad said the money could be used toward multiple projects. He also told the town council there is no real deadline and advised them to take their time in determining what the best use of the grant money would be for their community.
“This is not a matching grant,” Haddad clarified. “You don’t have to raise additional money to get this.”
“We value you. We appreciate this community. We want you to succeed and we want this to be a healthy, thriving community,” Haddad said. “This is money that could really be used to help move Silver Lake forward in a very positive way for each resident, for the families, the kids.”
Silver Lake Clerk-Treasurer Tonya Conley told council members there are policies in place that need to be updated as well as new policies that need to be implemented. Conley received proposals from two companies for putting together a new HR employee handbook. The lowest bid proposal came from New Focus HR, Indianapolis, in the amount of $4,800. This proposal was approved by council.
Council members approved a $300 donation to the Silver Lake Lions Club for the 2019 Toy Drive. Anyone who would like to contribute may drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Lions Club, located at 108 N. Harrison St., Silver Lake, between 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. The toys will be distributed at the Kids’ Bingo event, which will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 7, at the Lions Club. The bingo event is free for kids. Parents must stay with their child for the entire event. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
Laurie Voss, Silver Lake resident; and John Sonnenberg, regional sales manager at eDynamic Learning, spoke at the meeting in reference to the Silver Lake school building.
The school was closed down 10 years ago. At that time, Mike Baur expressed interest in purchasing and renovating the building, which had already been slated for demolition. Since purchasing the property, it has remained abandoned with its condition worsening.
“We have formed a new foundation and Dr. Baur is no longer associated with this foundation,” Voss said.
“Is he still the owner of the building?” Tonya Conley asked.
“Silver Lake Partners LLC still owns the building, but they have indicated they are willing to give it to the Foundation,” Voss replied.
Voss said the newly-formed Silver Lake Center Foundation is in the process of having the building re-evaluated and are seeking partnerships and tenants.
“What we’re asking for right now is to hold off on any further demolition efforts,” Voss said. She requested that they be added to the agenda for the January meeting in order to return with more information.
“Do you realize – have you been made aware that this is in court? Did Mr. Baur disclose that to you?” Tonya Conley asked. “I’m just saying, it’s in the Indiana Supreme Court, so in my opinion — I’m not an attorney, but in my opinion, the council should not be making any decision if it’s tied up in court at this moment.”
“I think what we’re asking is, there’s a group of people in town who are trying to get all these kinds of questions answered and put this together and get it out of his hands and get it into the community’s hands,” Sonnenberg said.
Voss and Sonnenberg said the foundation is aware of accumulated fines and the demolition order.
“We may end up determining that it’s too big of a risk,” Sonnenberg said. “We don’t want a white elephant.”
Council members agreed to include the Silver Lake Center Foundation on the January agenda
Silver Lake Fire Chief John Conley said they will now be housing District 2’s Kubota RTV. District 2 includes St. Joseph, Elkhart, Starke, Marshall, Kosciusko, Fulton and Pulaski counties.
“We get to house and pretty much do anything with the UTV that we want. The UTV is free to us and all we have to do is, if anybody in District 2 needs the UTV, it has to go,” John Conley said. “We do have to keep up maintenance on it. That’s our only cost is maintenance.”
The December year-end meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 30.
In Other News:
- Santa Claus will be at the Old Fire Station from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. He will ride through town on a fire truck before coming to the fire station for a visit. Cookies, candy and hot chocolate will be provided.
- Jay Miller qualified for $132.53 water credit and $69.23 sewer credit.
- Salary Ordinance 11-01-19 was unanimously approved.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 11.