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County to seek COA grant for 2014 operations

LaGrange County Commissioners agreed to seek a 5311 grant for the operations of the LaGrange County Council on Aging (COA) Monday morning. The grant, in an amount of nearly $500,000, is a major portion of the COA operating budget.

According to COA Executive Director Cheri Perkins, the major change for 2014 is the availability of a capital grant that will amount to about $50,000 and supply the county with a new van with an estimated cost of $50,000. “We will have to put in a 20 percent match ($10,000) which I have in the budget,” she said.

The grant is for some $430,000. Of that total, $203,000 is federal money and that has already been approved. The state department of transportation (INDOT) needs to approve the balance.

Another new requirement this year is for the COA (and county commissioners) to provide the public with an opportunity to request a public hearing on the grant request. A public notice regarding this issue is in today’s LaGrange Standard and will also appear in Friday’s LaGrange News.

Commissioners also appointed a committee to seek a Historical Building Grant for work on the county courthouse. Commissioners appointed Dalonda Young and Gary Mast to the committee. They will apply for a $50,000 Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Historical Building Grant that will be applied towards the proposed renovation of the 135-year-old courthouse. New windows and new boilers, plus tuck-pointing and replacement of old bricks has been discussed.

Mast also told commissioners he has a quote of $8,750 for the repair of the four cupolas. “The one on the southeast side is leaking badly and needs to be repaired this year,” Mast said.

Mast also noted that he wants to replace the boiler system before the winter heating season starts. He noted that he has two quotes for the work and has requested quotes from an additional three firms for the work. “We will be replacing the boilers installed in 1984 with new equipment that will be 90 percent efficient. This will save us money on fuel consumption,” he noted.