County to contribute $2,000 total to Roachdale effort
Having put some serious work into revitalizing their small town in recent years, members of the Roachdale Revitalization Cooperative Alliance appealed to the Putnam County Commissioners for some assistance recently.
During the Monday meeting of the commissioners, RRCA members Joanie Knapp, Joe Buser and Kevin Cook, who is also a Roachdale town councilman, discussed a planning grant the Town of Roachdale for which the town is applying.
The $34,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs would help the town in the preliminary stages of a downtown revitalization effort not unlike the one Greencastle has experienced in recent years.
The grant comes with a $4,000 local match in order for IOCRA to fund the remainder. With the town planning to contribute $1,000 and another $1,000 to be requested from Indiana Landmarks, the RRCA members were requesting $2,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax Warchest.
As town and RRCA officials go through the process, they know that any ensuing construction grant would come with a much higher local match level of $40,000. Bracing for that impact, officials are looking for outside sources to help in the preliminary stages.
County Auditor Lorie Hallett told the commissioners the warchest had a $252,869 balance.
With a relatively healthy balance and an economic development need presented, the commissioners unanimously approved the request for $2,000.
In other business:
* The commissioners heard from representatives of PHI Air Medical, which operates StatFlight emergency helicopters.
Already offering household memberships, PHI recently began offering county memberships. Through such an arrangement, if the county pays $4 per household, residents of the county can be flown from the county and all adjacent counties for no out-of-pocket expenses.
For Putnam County, with approximately 12,000 households, this would be an annual cost to the county of $48,000.
As an example of the kind of savings this represents, the standard cost of such a medical run is $30,000-$36,000. Most insurance coverage comes nowhere near covering all of this, leaving patients with large bills to pay out of pocket.
The commissioners were impressed with the proposal, but County Attorney Jim Ensley was not in attendance at the meeting. They will consider the matter at an upcoming meeting.