Daviess County has a number of not-for-profit organizations designed to help provide assistance for residents virtually from the cradle to the grave. Those organizations say though that to meet their mission, they sometimes need a little extra help financially and they seek some of that help from the county.
About a dozen of those organizations reached out during the commissioners’ Tuesday meeting asking for almost a quarter million dollars in county money. In return, they point out that they provide a lot of services for local residents.
“We continue to work with a lot of people with disabilities,” said Sherri Tredway with Four Rivers Resource Services. “We work with people from preschool to geriatric in nature.”
The largest request is from the Daviess County Historical Society. The organization has gone through a number of changes at the request of county officials. It is once again seeking $80,000 as it attempts to pay down the debt for an elevator and building it purchased to house the museum.
“We have to pay that debt off and keep operating,” said Doug Dougherty, president of the historical society. “We know it is a lot of money, but we are doing the things you have asked.”
While most organizations like Senior and Family Services asked for no additional money, one did. Ride Solution asked the county to increase its donation from $7,500 to $10,000. The organization was formed in 2001 and now covers a 10-county area. The organization points out it provided 44,000 rides last year with the top destination in Daviess County is going to work.
“Daviess County has been the lead in the 10 counties in the 18 years so far as the number of trips provided by far,” said Becky Guthrie with Ride Solution. “But the money we get from the county has been stagnant for 18 years. We have 28 people in Daviess County that we employ. With place of employment being our top destination, it is a very big thing to provide transportation for people to have employment.”
Some of the other organizations are relatively new. Connections, which asked for $2,500, has not been around nearly as long as agencies like 4-H which asked for $10,000 and the Daviess County Fair which asked for $6,000.
Not all of the returns are easily tangible. RSVP asked for $7,900. The organization has 400 volunteers that produced 180,000 service hours with a value of $2 million.
“This is a win-win,” said RSVP Director Kim Herbertz. “These people get to stay engaged and they get to give back to the community.”
Some of the returns though are very tangible. The Southern Indiana Development Commission receives 25 cents for every resident in the county. The total donation is expected to hit $8,101.75. In return, SIDC has done $80,000 in brownfield assessments under an Environmental Protection Agency grant, worked on job development with workforce development, helped land grants for sewer improvements and a new utility building in Montgomery, assisted with the county’s American’s with Disabilities Act project, helped on the Washington Township Fire House and with the expansion of the PACE Head Start building on Washington’s west side.
“Over the past 12 to 18 months, SIDC has helped bring in $2,810,000 in grants,” said SIDC Executive Director Greg Jones. “For every dollar you are giving SIDC, you are getting $346 back. That’s better than the NASDAQ or anywhere else.”
One new organization made a request for $15,000. Youth First has been working to put social workers into schools in Daviess County to help kids. The agency has had one social worker at Washington High School and the junior high over the past couple of years. Now, it is adding one more social worker in Washington plus one each at North Daviess and Barr-Reeve schools.
“We’ve got this new one, Youth First,” said Daviess County Commissioner Tom McCracken. “We’ll have to see what we think about that.”
Nine of the agencies did show up in person to make their requests. A couple did not. No representatives from Senior and Family Services or Daviess County Economic Development Corp. came before the commissioners. EDC did present a request for $45,000.
“That’s not a problem,” said McCracken. “They’re like most people. They have other things to do.”
The commissioners have taken all of the requests under advisement and will vote on them later as a part of the budget.
“They all do a good job,” said McCracken. “They all help a lot of people. The fair board and all of them. They are doing a good job. They get the young kids involved and senior citizens. You see them going all the time. We will have to look at their budgets and see how we can help them.”