K21 Chief Haddad Tells North Webster Of Available Health, Wellness Funding

NORTH WEBSTER – Up to $200,000 is available to North Webster to promote the health and wellness of its residents.

Rich Haddad, president and CEO of the K21 Health Foundation, told the North Webster Town Council Tuesday that grants are available to nine unincorporated areas in Kosciusko County, including North Webster.

Haddad said the offer for the money does not expire, and there are few criteria to receive a grant. The best plans, he said, would answer the question: How will it help our residents in the areas of health and wellness?

He said K21 is looking for the governing bodies of each of the nine communities to the “lead the way” on the project. He said the town council may come up with its own plan, or it may endorse the plan of the school or a community nonprofit that would be “the best use of that grant” for North Webster residents.

“I would love to see the community take this opportunity” to plan what’s best for the town, he said.

Examples of how the money could be used were identified in the recent Hometown Chats sponsored by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Haddad said. These included sidewalks to improve access to the park and the school, youth sports facilities and more places for kids to play.

Council President Lisa Strombeck said North Webster’s Hometown Chat was the same night as that month’s town council meeting so council members were unable to attend. Haddad said he would email each council member a summary of ideas from the North Webster Chat to help them begin to develop a plan for the town.

Also during the meeting, Candace Smythe of the North Webster Police Department wants residents to “be careful on trick or treat night,” especially in the Dixie Drive area. The neighborhood has seen increased traffic with the closure of Ind. 13 south of town because of bridge work. The work could go through the middle of November, said utilities manager Jayne Alger.

Smythe said police will be “out in force” that evening and urged residents to “slow down and be cautious.”

Strombeck wondered if the town could erect some signs with flashing lights to get drivers’ attention or if a police car could park there with its flashers on. Alger added that they could park a town truck with flashers in the area.

In other business:

• Alger said the leaf vac is “ready to go as soon as people start their piles.” She said the end date for leaf pickup has not been set and that it would depend on the weather.

• Alger said the lift pump at station 8 has been replaced, “so everything is quieter” in the neighborhood.  The pump at station 5 was also replaced.

• The council approved the 2020 budget of $1,702,909. The tax rate was set at .849 per $100 of assessed valuation.

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 12 in the North Webster Community Center.