County gets first round of disaster grant

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Indiana Association of United Ways has approved a Round 1 funding application for Putnam County from the Indiana Natural Disaster (IND) Fund provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Round 1 funding is intended to support the community's long-range planning committee and meet limited immediate needs.

"Round 1 grants of up to $100,00 per county help counties get started on their recovery work," said Roger Frick, IAUW president.

"We know that counties need to compile a comprehensive assessment of needs, set priorities and identify available resources. All that requires significant planning work and takes staff support which Round 1 funding provides," he added.

According to David L. English, Executive Director of the United Way of Putnam County, Inc, "The grant for Round 1 Funding is for $100,00. A Local Coordinating Committee for this grant has met three times in the past six weeks to identify and prioritize major areas that require funding. Our focus is on identifying root causes of repeated washouts of roads and bridges in the county then develop a plan to correct those problems to preclude recurring flooding."

"We intend to get engineering assessments of all bridges, roads and ditches in the county. The June flooding greatly affected agricultural land and drainage in the county. We intend to undertake a complete assessment of that land and identify major debris fields and log jams in order to prioritize actions in those areas," said English

"Certain subdivision sewer and drainage problems in the Greencastle and Fillmore areas will be assessed. To ensure that we maximize the utilization of this Round 1 funding, a part-time coordinator has been engaged on a contractual basis. Once these assessments are completed, we will be in position to request additional funding in Round 2 of the grant process to begin correcting the problems we did find," concluded English.

Coordinator of the Local Committee Dick Andis believes Round 1 funding is a significant event.

"The forethought and effort put into the need for certain project assessments will directly affect our ability to secure funding through Round 2 of the grant process. We must keep uppermost in our minds and as the focus of all our planning and execution the intent to implement permanent fixes to problems which crate recurring flood problems," said Andis.

"Our intent is not to apply a band-aid and wait until the next disaster, but to put in a permanent solution to sustain us through the long term. The Round 2 process will have an extremely high level of scrutiny," he added

Anyone with questions or concerns about operations can contact Andis directly by calling 765-720-1342 or writing to Richard Andis, Local Coordinating Committee, 1342 E. CR 210, Greencastle, IN 46135.

Round 2 proposals will be accepted in early fall based on local needs and specific plans to help counties recover from 2008 declared disasters. The amount of Round 2 grants will vary depending o the circumstances and needs of each county. The IND Fund has empanelled a state committee to accept and review proposals.

The United Way of Putnam County, Inc. has fiscal responsibility for the funds and organized the group of key community leaders who led the grant application process.

Members of the local committee are: Richard Andis, Coordinator; James Baird, County Commissioner; Jackie Baumann, Putnam Co. Coop. Extension Service; Sue Crafton, Putnam Co. Soil/Water Conservation District; David L. English, united Way of Putnam Co; Ken Heeke, First National Bank of Cloverdale; Kim Hyten, Putnam Co. Emergency Mt. Agency; Matt Jarvis, USDA-Indiana; Lisa Lee, Workforce Network; Jim Mannon, Professor Emeritus, DePauw university; Sue Murray, Mayor of Greencastle; Jeff Osborn, President of Fillmore Town Council; Elaine Peck, Putnam Co. Community Foundation; Josh Richardson, United Way of Putnam County; Kathi Skeel, Putnam Co. Red Cross; Dave Sutherlin, Putnam Co. Highway; Brenda Turner, Putnam Co. Highway; Radene Varvel, Putnam Co. Highway and Donald Walton, Putnam County Council.

The IND Fund was established through a disaster relief and recovery grant from Lilly Endowment for $45 million made to the Indiana Association of United Ways in June.

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