NEW ALBANY —Denise Konkle was elected to the Floyd County Council last November to represent District 4. Tuesday night, she won another election — for council president.
Konkle, who served as vice president last year on the council, edged Danny Short for the top spot by a 4-3 vote.
Her first official act as president was to support transferring $8 million from hospital sale proceeds line item into the county's Legacy Foundation. While the foundation was established last year, no money had been transferred to it yet, that is until Tuesday. All seven council members approved the move.
Supportive of the Legacy Foundation, Commissioner John Schellenberger asked the council to reconsider the $8 million, and maybe just move $5 million over until a financial analysis of county finances is complete.
"Don [Lopp, director of county operations] wants to put a capital plan together so we can apply for a Community Crossroads grant. If we put $5 million in and do a financial analysis we'll know what we have."
Konkle said the commissioners still have $2.6 million for paving and other projects after the $8 million transfer, which hopefully will be matched by the state grant. She also said more hospital funds will be available in November.
Both agreed the council and commissioners need to discuss how to use the spend rate from the investment.
"You can put in $5 million now and move more money over later. I just don't want to cut us short," Schellenberger said. "I just want to make sure we don't put too much in there now."
Lopp is expected to put together a capital improvements plan in April. Once money is put into the Legacy Foundation, it can't be spent for five years. But the county will get interest off the account to use, just like it does from the $70 million invested with the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.
Councilman Brad Striegel said the county, at minimum, will get its annual $6.1 million payment at the end of the year, and may get the entire remaining balance of around $35 million owed to the county. The council and commissioners have sent a letter to Baptist Health asking for the lump sum to be paid within 12 months.
"I would like to protect some of this money in the foundation. We worked hard on this," Striegel said.