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HCCF survey identifies 5 priorities

Pursuit of areas to be discussed Nov. 13
HCCF survey identifies 5 priorities HCCF survey identifies 5 priorities

A recent survey discovered what Harrison County residents want to see addressed to improve the quality of life, and the Harrison County Community Foundation says it could land funding to make an impact on the community’s needs.

The survey was part of a $46,500 planning grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds For Tomorrow. The grant is designed to determine a common vision for the community’s future. It includes input from governmental entities, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations and residents in the county.

The survey was designed for residents to rank the county’s top priorities that should receive funding in the future.

“We had over 800 people fill that out,” Julie Moorman, the Foundation’s president and CEO, said at the Harrison County Board of Commissioners’ meeting in October.

The Foundation found five top priorities:

Shared vision for the county for infrastructure, including water, sewer and high-speed internet and land-use planning;

Workforce development and education;

Diverse housing options;

Business development and support; and

Substance abuse and health.

The Foundation had two meetings to discuss the priorities before they were finalized. The first was among several county officials and leaders back in May.

Moorman said the officials’ priorities were similar to the answers residents gave in the survey.

The last meeting, about a month ago, had 29 people in attendance. Its final meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Purdue Extension Building in Corydon.

Moorman said a consultant is looking further into each priority and will present some ideas and recommendations for pursuing these priorities during that meeting.

Following the planning phase, the Foundation will have the opportunity to apply for an implementation grant, through the Lilly Endowment. Moorman said the funding would be as much as $100,000.

“Obviously, that’s not a lot of money to fix those big five areas that we talked about,” she said. “But, where can we move the meter, what piece can that do?”

The Foundation will apply for the implementation grant by March.

The same endowment had also given the HCCF a $440,000 matching grant near the end of 2018 to build the Foundation’s financial assets and support charitable activities. Through time, the funds will provide flexibility to help address community needs.

The Lilly Endowment’s new phase of GIFT is allocating $125 million to help Indiana community foundations strengthen the towns, cities and counties they serve.