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Private school requests funding from county

Private school requests funding from county
Private school requests funding from county
From left, Harrison County Commissioners Jim Klinstiver, George Ethridge and Kenny Saulman. File photo by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners heard a request for funding from St. Joseph Catholic School to help with a number of structural issues inside and outside of the elementary (pre-kindergarten through sixth grade) school building in Corydon.
Ed Hoehn, who made the request, said it could come out of the funding per student public schools already receive from riverboat gaming funds.
Father Robert Hankee also accompanied Hoehn for the request.
It is not the first time the private, parochial school had made a request to the county, Hoehn said. The school was given approval from the county for a request a number of years ago, he said, but the school retracted the request after an individual threatened to sue the county if it went through.
Hoehn said there is precedent for such action by the county, since the state has recently passed a school voucher program that gives students and families a choice of attending a private school with funding help from the state.
He also said there are some private schools in the northern part of the state that receive money from county funding.
‘The facility is in need of major upgrading,’ Hoehn said.
He mentioned plumbing issues, air conditioning work, carpeting and roof repairs at a cost of $150,000 to $200,000 during a period of several years.
The commissioners did not send a funding request on to the county council, but, instead, advised Hoehn to present his request at the next regular council meeting, which will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.
‘Bring plenty of information,’ Commissioner George Ethridge said.
The school, which receives most of its funding from donations and fund-raisers, currently has 70 students, with enrollment fluctuating between about 60 and 100, Hoehn said.
The school, whose principal is Julie Crone, is located at 312 E. High St.
In other business, the board approved an additional of $309,947 to be passed on to the council for the annual shortfall for the county’s ambulance service.
Jeff Davis, Harrison County Hospital’s chief financial officer, said the shortfall is greater than the last few years, mainly because their collections are down. Harrison County Hospital, through its Emergency Medical Services, has been providing the county’s ambulance service since 1977. The county council has elected to pick up the tab on the shortfall each year and continue to receive the award-winning service it gets with EMS.
The board also heard from Mauckport resident Kent Yeager, who said he doesn’t think the Morvin’s Landing park idea will work.
The county parks department along with the county’s Indiana Bicentennial Committee combined to attempt to obtain an Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust grant for the property.
Yeager said the park will be quite expensive to maintain because of the flood plain location and he doubts that many people will be interested in the history of the area. He also said, from what he’s heard, the actual site of Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raiders crossing into Indiana was 300 to 400 yards west of the proposed park site.
Yeager said his home is the only one in the river-bottom area and his family has lived in the area for 140 years.
‘No one appreciates the history more than me,’ he said.
Yeager said the county should focus on taking better care of the land/parks it already has.
The commissioners, which generally meet the first and third Mondays of each month, will have their next meeting Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 8:30 a.m., due to Labor Day. The meeting will be at the Government Center in south Corydon.