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RLF issues $662,000 since 2000


February 16, 2011
The Crawford County Revolving Loan Fund has made 15 loans totaling $662,000 since its inception 11 years ago, Mike Cummings of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, the program's administrator, told the county board of commissioners at its January meeting.

The RLF is made up of funding from the Economic Development Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bulk of the loans — 11 totaling $509,500 — have been made from the EDA funding, with $292,115 having been repaid to date. Four loans have been made with the USDA funds. Of the $153,000 loaned, $54,906 has been repaid.

Approximately $43,500 is available to be loaned at the present time. As the loans are repaid, more funding will become available.

The program is geared toward assisting start-up as well as existing businesses looking to expand, with gap financing to help them get loans from traditional banks with the goal of creating jobs.

The loan requests come before a board made up of locals representing the financial, education and business fields, as well as the commissioners and county council. At Cummings' request, the commissioners voted 2-0 (Jim Schultz, president of the board of commissioners, was out of town to attend a funeral) to reappoint Doug Pearson, Wayne Carothers, Jim Bye and Eric Gilmore (financial industry), Jerry Brewer (county council), Randy Gilmore (commissioners), Dr. Jerry Ramsey (education) and Mike Benham (business owner).

The board also includes three appointments from Indiana 15 RPC. They are Mike Haverstock of Marengo, Bill Byrd of Milltown and Indiana 15 RPC Executive Director Lisa Gehlhausen.

"It's been a great program," County Attorney John E. Colin said at the Jan. 27 meeting. "I don't think you can say that enough."

In another matter, Emergency Management Agency Director Kent Barrow reported the National Weather Service issued 42 weather advisories, watches or warnings for the county in 2010.

Activity included: three tornado warnings, five tornado watches, 11 thunderstorm warnings, three thunderstorm watches, three flash flood warnings, seven flash flood watches, two flood watches, three winter weather advisories, three winter storm warnings and two winter storm watches.

Barrow also gave the commissioners a report detailing the amount of grant money EMA has obtained since 2006. Overall, $747,464 has been brought to the county.

The largest grant was $263,090 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security for 800 megahertz radios. Other grants were used to purchase a variety of things, including laptop computers, haz-mat planning and training and generators. Also, half of Barrow's annual salary has been reimbursed by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security each year.

The $747,464 also includes $52,434 in community assistance secured from agencies like the American Red Cross to help victims of house fires, Barrow said.

In a related matter, the commissioners approved a subgrant agreement with EMA regarding a $3,750 grant from IDHS. The grant does not require a match from the county.

District 1 Commissioner Daniel Crecelius also motioned to give Randy Gilmore, as vice president of the board and in Schultz' absence, authority to sign the certificate of origin on a 64-kilowatt pull-behind generator worth $36,000 EMA received from IDHS District. EMA previously had purchased a generator, so it now has two, Barrow said.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Were informed by Emergency Medical Services Director Debbie Wiseman that the county has received a check for $52,218 from Medicare for the payment of claims from October through December.

•Approved a quote of $3,608 for lights for five county highway department trucks. The approval, however, is subject to the county council's OK.

•Approved E-911 Dispatch Director Richard White's request to have $99.96 of his paycheck be given to dispatcher Debbie Pitman, who has been serving as his assistant. The county council has already given its approval.

•Authorized the receipt of a juvenile grant administered by Hoosier Hills PACT. The grant, which has been secured for years and doesn't require matching funds from the county, provides services at Crawford County Junior High School.

•Reappointed the following people to the Hoosier Hills PACT Community Corrections Advisory Board: Circuit Judge Lynn Lopp, Sheriff Tim Wilkerson, Prosecutor Cheryl Hillenburg and Chief Probation Officer Jim Grizzel.

•Approved Schultz's signature, as president, to close out the county's health care feasibility study grant. A public hearing detailing the findings of the need for a health care facility and possible locations was conducted at a commissioners' meeting last fall.

•Reappointed Gilmore to the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission board.

•Reappointed Don Cook to the Blue River Regional Water District board. His term will run from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014.

•Appointed Paul Miller to the Leavenworth Fire District board.

•Approved Auditor Ricki Hawkins' request to use money in her budget for a floater position to hire part-time help. The floater position currently is not filled. The county council also must approve the request.

•Approved an Indiana Criminal Justice Institute grant of $21,296 for aggressive prosecution of drug offenses, with the prosecutor's office as the subgrantee. The grant is for 2011.

•Voted to approve a $3,000 settlement payment, subject to funding approval by the county council, to Brent Birkla regarding snow removal he did as a private contractor for the county in 2004.

The commissioners' next meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the judicial complex in English.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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