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Halfway house gets $500,000 building grant

A $500,000 grant has been awarded for construction of the long-awaited House of New Beginnings on Floyd Street in Corydon. A $500,000 matching grant brings the total to $1 million for the project.
The non-profit agency received word Friday that the grant had been approved by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, spokeswoman Sheila Temple told the Harrison County Council Monday night. The council reaffirmed its commitment to match the grant dollar-for-dollar.
Earlier the council had approved a resolution backing the match, which was submitted with the grant application.
Councilman Carl Duley’s motion to advertise the appropriation for the first meeting in January (Jan. 10), seconded by Kenneth Saulman, passed the seven-member board unanimously. Others voting in favor were Rhonda Rhoads, Alvin Brown, Ralph Sherman and Carl (Buck) Mathes. As chair, councilman Gary Davis was not required to vote.
Temple said the grant approval was among 19 awarded from 83 applications filed with the bank.
The next step is to advertise for bids for architectural services, Temple said.
Plagued with delays brought on by zoning opposition, the non-profit agency nearly two years ago chose the location on Floyd Street in northeast Corydon for a 32-bed dormitory-style house for men recovering from substance abuse. Despite strong opposition from neighbors, the request was approved by the Corydon Planning and Zoning Commission in early January 2003. The agency bought the property with a $90,000 grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation. At that time, construction was expected to cost about $700,000. Now it’s more like $1 million.
The 8,370-square-foot facility will provide a place for men in recovery from alcohol or other substance abuse, during the crucial early months of recovery. Residents will have house rules to follow, weekly room and board to pay, and they must be employed to qualify for the program. Residents hoping to turn their lives around may be sent by the judge to live at the residence for a recovery period or they may check themselves in voluntarily.
Plans for a recovery center for men in Corydon have been in the making since 1996. The project moved to the front burner in 2000 after the need had been well established. At that time, organizers had hoped to build a halfway house next door to The Next Step, a self-help center for recovering substance abusers. That plan fell through when zoning was denied.
In other matters Monday night, the council:
‘ Approved $321,118 in riverboat revenue sharing to neighboring counties and towns, and the 10 incorporated towns in Harrison County. The council also approved $12,475 in riverboat revenue from the infrastructure fund for Harrison County towns.
‘ Approved $156,000 to continue work next year on wastewater treatment plans; $30,000 for equipment for the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept.; $79,000 for design costs for Clover Valley Road improvements; $19,517 for computers in the prosecutor’s office; $49,000 for fuel, oil and lube costs for county vehicles, and $50,000 for county dependent care health insurance. All of those amounts were approved from riverboat revenue.
‘ Approved $55,000 for medical and dental costs of inmates in the Harrison County Jail; $4,000 for litigation expenses of the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, and $1,000 for the completion of a Level Two certification for the Heth Township assessor. Those amounts were approved from the county general fund.
‘ The council also tended to a host of end-of-year transfers requested by various county agencies or officeholders. Funds not used by the end of the year revert to the county general account and must be readvertised and reappropriated the next year if needed. Funds owed under contract can be held and paid the next year.
‘ Received a report from Harrison County Auditor Pat Wolfe that the riverboat funds totaled $17.3 million as of Dec. 13.