Commissioners approve funding requests

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Several organizations presented requests for funding in 2020 to the Dubois County Commissioners Monday.

The groups receive a donation each year from the county through the commissioners’ budget, which they worked on at their meeting.

Tri-Cap’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, which matches seniors and retired people with volunteer opportunities, will again receive $5,000. RSVP Director Becky Beckman said that services to handle food insecurity have increased, so more volunteers are used for programs like the Backpack Buddies program, the Community Food Bank, Dubois County Community Meals and the community garden.

“In Indiana, one in six children struggle with food security. That means in a classroom of 30 children, five do not know if there will be a meal when they get home.” She added that more than 18% of seniors in the state also face the threat of hunger.

Beckman also told the commissioners that she will be retiring at the end of this year.

The commissioners approved $13,000 for Ride Solutions, which is the same amount the county contributed for 2019. Program Director Becky Guthrie said the number of rides for people coming to Dubois County for dialysis treatment is increasing, especially from people living in surrounding counties. The organization also sees high numbers of riders in Dubois County going to work, the Head Start program and to nursing homes for visits. Visitors staying in the local hotels are also calling for rides to appointments, she said.

“It’s more than employment and recreation,” Guthrie said.

Ride Solutions has 65 employees and 100 vehicles. Of the 10 counties it serves, Dubois County is in the top three for the number of rides requested, Guthrie said.

Southern Indiana Resource Solutions, better known as SIRS, will again receive $37,000. SIRS served 132 Dubois County residents with special needs in 2019 and served 111 children in its home-setting service. The agency helped place 16 residents in jobs in which the average pay is $9.41/hour, SIRS CEO Kelly Mitchel said. The agency is looking to expand its day program facility on Woodlawn Drive, through which clients learn social skills.

The commissioners also approved giving the Older Americans program $25,000, which is the same amount given for 2019. The county gives the funding so that residents from throughout the county can participate in Older Americans’ events and use the facilities at the Arnold F. Habig Community Center. The community center is part of the Jasper Parks Department.

The Dubois County 4-H Council will be allotted $135,000, the same amount it received for 2019. Treasurer Jake Memmer said the number of donations the council received has decreased over the last year, something that other organizations are seeing as well, he said. The council is hoping that over time, it will be able to reduce its request back to the original $125,000 it used to request.

The commissioners also approved the Dubois County Solid Waste Management District’s 2020 budget proposal from the county. The $231,000 is $1,000 more than 2019’s allotment, district Director Carla Striegel-Winner said. The district’s total budget for 2020 is $36,194. The rest of the funding comes through revenue from other sources, most of which is user fees, she said.

LifeSpring Health Systems will receive $362,509, plus any growth adjustment over the next year. This amount is mandated and set by state statute.

Over the last year, Southern Hills Counseling merged with LifeSpring to offer counseling services for county residents. In 2019, 1,500 people were served through the Dubois County office, 1,100 of them were Dubois County residents, LifeSpring CEO Terry Stawar said.

The donations will be included in the commissioners’ budget, which is part of Dubois County’s 2020 budget. The Dubois County Council will review the budget in August and consider it for final county approval this fall. After that, the budget is sent to the state for approval.




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com