By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Kosciusko Community Corrections Executive Director Barry Andrew received permission to apply for two grants at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, May 12.
Commissioners gave approval for Andrew to apply for the 2021 Community Corrections grant, which averages $360,000 each year, and the 2021 Drug Court grant, which averages $70,000.
“The Community Corrections grant is the main grant we apply for each year for Community Corrections,” Andrew said. “Both of these are grants through the Department of Corrections that help support our program.”
The Commissioners inquired as to how things are working out at this time at the Kosciusko Community Corrections Department after the previous director resigned amid criminal allegations.
“We’re getting there,” Andrew said. “I think when you had a program run the way it was being ran, expectations to get it fixed in a short manner is probably unrealistic.”
Andrew, who was the original Community Corrections director before leaving in 2016, officially accepted the position as executive director of Kosciusko County Community Corrections in January of this year.
He had been serving as interim director since November 2019, following the departure of former director Anna Bailey amidst some controversy.
Andrew said his goal for the first year is to “get things fixed, back to normal.”
“We’ve had a great team effort, not only with the auditor’s office but the whole, entire county,” Andrew said. “I’m thankful for what we’ve got and thankful for the direction we’re going in. I appreciate all the support. We’re going to keep going one day at a time and with team effort, we’ll get there.”
In other matters, Cardinal Services Executive Vice-President Matt Boren and Kosciusko Area Bus Service (KABS) General Manager Tony Peterson received approval for the 2021 INDOT Capital Grant application.
Boren said the application is different than normal because INDOT, through the FDA, was awarded CARES funding. This includes an 18 month period where 53-11 providers like KABS are funded at 100 percent with federal funds.
Peterson presented the 2020 first-quarter operating claim and said they are requesting $87,481 in federal and $46,268 in state support.
Commissioner Cary Groninger asked Peterson what the ridership level has been during the pandemic.
“It’s been down quite significantly. Typically, we would have 1,000 plus rides per week,” Peterson said. “Now we’re averaging around 200.”
Peterson said last week they were up to 284 and they anticipate that the number will continue to go up as the state continues to lift restrictions.
KABS’ first quarter claim was approved.
County Administrator Marsha McSherry said they making preparations for reopening county offices to the public next week.
“I would say we’re ready for the public to be back,” McSherry said.
Groninger asked Kosciusko Emergency Management Agency Director Ed Rock if any of the PPE items his department has are available for the county to use.
“We have material, PPE, that is available for the county in a limited supply,” Rock said. “It’s not going out willy nilly. It’s going to be controlled and we will have the expectation that people will be reusing PPE as much as possible but not to the point where it puts them at risk.”
McSherry said county employees should contact her office with any PPE requests because they have their own supply.
The next regular meeting will be held at 9 a.m. May 26.