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Lilly grant providing disaster relief

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lilly Endowment is stepping up to help Indiana flood victims and communities -- including Putnam County -- impacted by the recent flood and severe storms with three grants totaling $50 million.

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army will each receive $2.5 million for their relief work and to help replenish their disaster relief funds.

The Indiana Association of United Ways (IAUW) has been awarded a $45 million grant to establish a disaster-response fund to make grants for relief and recovery efforts at the county level for those 31 counties damaged by 2008 disasters.

Putnam County could receive up to $100,000 in the first round of funds that are designated for unmet needs and support for a local county committee that is already forming and functioning.

David English, Director of the Putnam County United Way told the Banner Graphic a committee has been formed to assess and make recommendations for the best use of the monies in round one.

"It's vital that we look for permanent fixes not just temporary ones for some of the disaster issues we have in this county. We are still looking for additional people to serve on the Local Coordinating Committee. We want people from all walks: government, fiscal, private citizens and education. Anyone who has an interest can be part of this group," said English.

Current committee members include Jim Baird, Don Walton, Sue Murray, Jeff Osborn, Kim Hyten, Dave Sutherlin, Josh Richardson, Ken Heeke, Kathy Skeels, Carol Stevens and Radene Varvel.

The committee also recently hired Dick Andis to be the part time Coordinator heading up the team. He will work on a contractual basis for at least six months and possibly longer.

Andis was chosen from a number of candidates nominated by various committee members.

"This grant money is intended for long-term fixes not just band-aids for problems," added Andis

"It may be used for immediate emergency needs and for assistance in planning and facilitation efforts related to prioritizing a county's needs for support from subsequent funding rounds," he said.

Factors in the committee's recommendations will include local needs, available resources, the scale and type of damage, local demographics and others.

"In the first round, we can apply for up to $100,000. That money is mostly used to pull together all the entities in the county impacted, do an analysis of data to see where the gaps are. Look at things like what FEMA, USDA and insurance companies are not covering. This includes infrastructure, privately owned property, roads, bridges, viaducts, sewer systems," said English.

"It can be anything from a flooded home to a washed out road. It doesn't take the place of FEMA but can compliment those funds plus provide for things not covered by FEMA or insurance. Most importantly it should be used for permanent fixes not just temporary ones," added English.

The second round of funding becomes available when application for the money to do the actual work occurs. The local United Way will make recommendations based on what the Local Coordinating Committee determines as priorities.

Reports will be made to the Endowment from each participating county with the first one due on December 31, 2008. This will include budget expenses, numbers of people and agencies requiring services. A second report is due June 30, 2009 and a third in December 2009. All monies approved will be spent.

Regarding IAUW's grant, its president, Roger Frick, said, "The Indiana Association of United Ways has a great working relationship with Lilly Endowment and communities all across Indiana. We will bring our local and state relationships and grant administration experience to this extraordinary opportunity for Indiana's residents and communities. United Ways know that recovery takes time and resources, and IAUW looks forward to helping communities as they rebuild after these devastating disasters."

"The Endowment believes that in situations such as these it is preferable for local communities to be able to prioritize the needs for which funding will be sought, and the Endowment is confident that IAUW has the ability to encourage local priority-setting efforts," added Endowment president, N. Clay Robbins.

For those counties without a United Way program the local community foundation will be the lead.

Indiana residents needing disaster-relief assistance should call the American Red Cross at (317) 438-4636 or toll free at 866-438-4636; The Salvation Army at (317) 937-7000 or toll free at 800-589-1037; or the Indiana information and referral service at 2-1-1.

Locally, if you have damage contact Kim Hyten, County Planner at 653-5727 or 720-5885 or visit one of the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.

Anyone interested in serving on the Local Coordinating Committee can Call English at the Putnam County United Way at 653-5638 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Andis to lead local effort


Staff Writer

The Putnam County United Way recently named Richard E. (Dick) Andis as the Coordinator for the Local Coordinating Committee in charge of making assessments and recommendations for grant money being provided by the Lilly Endowment Fund.

The Indiana Association of United Ways (IAUW) has been awarded a $45 million grant to establish a disaster-response fund to make grants for relief and recovery efforts for Indiana counties who have storm and flood damage.

Locally, the Putnam County United Way and Local Coordinating Committee will decide how and where the funds are used. One of the first steps in this process was to name a Coordinator for the group.

Andis has a long history in business and in Putnam County. He began his career with IBM and worked in management in various areas for that company.

He worked for them in Greencastle, New York, California, Michigan and back in Greencastle several times. He retired from the company at the close of the Greencastle facility.

He helped set up and served as the first Director of the Putnam County Economic Development Center.

"Dick's skills match our job requirements really well," said David English, Putnam County United Way Director.

"We wanted someone retired who could devote time to the project. The position is contractual for at least six months.

It's part time with 20 hours or less a week and he has all the business requirements," added English.

Andis was chosen from a list of candidates nominated by members of the Local Coordinating Committee.

Andis can be reached at 653-3464 or by e-mail at randis@broadreach.net.

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