Council sets Heidorn house donation in motion

Allen Laman/The Herald
The Heidorn house, which is owned by the city and located on Knust Street near the 15th Street entrance to the Jasper Riverwalk, could be donated to Lifespring Health Systems to be used as a recovery home.


JASPER — After receiving a favorable recommendation from the Jasper Utility Service Board earlier this week, the Jasper Common Council took another step toward gifting an east side property that is in line to be renovated and converted into a recovery home for women.

Though more steps still need to be taken, the Jasper Common Council approved setting that process in motion at the group’s monthly meeting on Wednesday evening.

“We’ll have to take, probably a number of steps,” City Attorney Renee Kabrick told council members at the meeting. “But that’s what you’re authorizing tonight is for us to go forward and take whatever steps are necessary to finalize the transaction.”

The building in question is located on Knust Street, near the Jasper Riverwalk entrance on 15th Street. The facility could open to between 10 and 15 women under Lifespring Health System’s operation in 2021.

Dubois County Community Foundation Executive Director Clayton Boyles explained earlier this week that the foundation has spent the past two years “really trying to better understand our community’s needs and more effectively address these often complex challenges.” Conversations and analysis showed that Dubois County is under-resourced in the area of substance abuse treatment, leading to a “significant impact on the many lives in our community,” Boyles said.

The local community foundation has submitted a grant proposal to Lilly Endowment Inc. that is designed to “help significantly improve access to services that address mental health and substance abuse disorders in Dubois County and our surrounding region,” Boyles said. The group will know by the end of the year if it will receive that funding.

That application includes the building of two recovery homes that would each house between 10 and 15 residents — one building for men and another for women. (The request includes $250,000 in funds for each of those sites). Boyles defined a recovery home as a sober, safe and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other substance use.

Even if those grant dollars don’t come in, however, the foundation — and its long list of local collaborators — would still push forward with the renovation project at the Heidorn house.

The council also

  • Held a moment of silence for Ruth Meyer, a city employee who recently passed away.
  • Heard from Clayton Boyles, executive director of the Dubois County Community Foundation.
  • Approved appropriations for the 2021 budget. The budget total is $21,385,758, The 2020 budget was about $22,788,000.
  • Approved the second and third reading of the advertised property tax rate for the 2021 budget. That rate is 1.0405 but will likely fall. The advertised rate for 2020 was 1.1099, and the actual rate was 0.8458.
  • Approved an ordinance establishing a “Community Strike Force Against Crime” fund for the Jasper Police Department.
  • Approved an ordinance regulating the use of or discharge of firearms, bows and other like instruments within the corporate limits of the city of Jasper. The new language adds archery safety precautions and allows for the use of three-dimensional targets. Council member Nancy Eckerle voted against the measure.

Approved an ordinance regulating the discharge of unpermitted substances into the city storm water system and state waters and providing enforcement thereof and regulating

  • construction site storm water runoff.
  • Held a public hearing for an additional appropriation for the city’s central area TIF district. No comments were made.
  • Approved an ordinance appropriating additional money for the city for the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • Approved an ordinance providing for traffic upon the public streets of the city. The new language prohibits parking on 15th Street from Kellerville Road, east, to the city limits; and on the north side of 23rd Street, from Mill Street to Terry Lane.
  • Approved an ordinance asserting the jurisdiction of the city’s sewer and gas utility services within the city’s corporate limits and prohibiting future main extensions by any other sewer or gas utilities other than the city without the express consent of the council.
  • Approved an ordinance affixing the salaries and wages for the elected officials and the civil city employees of the city of Jasper, as well as the utility employees, for the year 2021.
  • Approved a resolution to accept a restricted use donation from the Dubois County Community Foundation. The money will be used to buy automated external defibrillator machines.
  • Approved a resolution approving the first amendment to the Jasper River Centre development
  • agreement.

More on