Local Coverage

With several projects in the works, the city of Jasper is looking at new ways to fund some of them.

Today, the Jasper Redevelopment Commission hosted an open house at the train depot about the idea of creating a tax increment finance (TIF) district. The city does not currently have any TIF districts.

Today was designed for folks to offer their suggestions on areas of the city that would be best suited for a TIF district. City leaders are looking into several different projects that could be done using TIF district funding. These range from riverfront development such as the former Jasper Cabinet buildings to work on the Downtown Square and repurposing of the former Astra Theater. Other projects include the ongoing aquatics study and the former Hoosier Desk building.

The open house was led by Ed Curtin. Curtin is the owner of CWC Latitudes, the firm that is leading the city through the TIF district process. Curtin says TIF districts can be an effective way to spur economic development in a community:

From the city’s standpoint, Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says the TIF district is an important tool that can help the city grow into the future:

CWC Latitudes will be reporting back to the Redevelopment Commission at the August meeting. TIF districts can exist for up to 25 years under state law.

A senior housing project in Huntingburg is set to continue moving forward.

TRI-CAP has been awarded 500 thousand dollars in Affordable Housing Program grant funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. The grant funding will be used for work on the former St. Joseph’s Hospital building project.

The project has already received tax credits for the project. Back in February, TRI-CAP and construction firm Miller Valentine were awarded the housing credits needed for developing part of the St. Joseph’s building into senior housing units. The grant funding will be in addition to those tax credits.

TRI-CAP officials say they are proud to have played a key role as the local Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) to secure the tax credits and AHP funds necessary for the project. They also say the partnership with Miller Valentine has been important in making this project a reality.

TRI-CAP was founded back in 1966 to provide programs, services, and opportunities to thousands of low-income citizens across a 41 county area.

Locally, the organization is eligible to provide CHDO services for Dubois, Pike, and Warrick counties.

An accident at a Daviess County youth camp claimed the life of the camp’s director.

Just before 10:45 yesterday morning, Daviess County Sheriff’s deputies and other emergency personnel were called to Camp Iliana along East County Road 450 South on the reported accident. Authorities say 60-year-old David Ira-Mitchell Bean was killed while he and another staff member were trying to cut a tree at the camp.

Sheriff’s deputies say Bean and 20-year-old Cody Chapman of Vincennes were removing a large dead tree at the bottom of a hill David Beannear the camp’s water slide. After they finished cutting the tree, Bean and Chapman attempted to pull it down using a Kubota tractor with a rope tied to the front loader and attached to the tree. Officials say Bean was standing near the bottom of the tree when the front end loader began pulling on the tree and the rope broke. The break caused the tree to sway and a large limb from the top of the tree fell and hit Bean in the head.

Staff members immediately called 9-1-1 and began CPR, but they could not revive Bean. Bean was pronounced dead at the scene by the Daviess County Coroner’s Office.

Bean served as director of the camp for several years.

Future uses for the former Jasper Power Plant are still being explored.

Last night, the Jasper Utility Service Board approved putting together a request for expressions of interest for the plant. That will be sent to the Jasper City Council for its approval before it is sent out to anyone who might be interested.

The power plant has not been used since it closed in 2008 and a year later, the city began to explore options for converting the plant to biomass. The Jasper Clean Energy project lease that the city signed with Twisted Oak Corporation back in 2011 was terminated earlier this year following a lengthy court battle between the city and Healthy Dubois County.

Jasper Utilites General Manager Bud Hauersperger says when it comes to future uses for the building and property, anything is possible:

Hauersperger says the idea of using the facility as a research area for carbon capture was an idea that came up several years ago and 1 company even expressed interest in doing so, but no proposal was ever submitted. Another option being discussed is demolishing the power plant and coming up with a new use for the land, though an environmental study would have to be done.

The board also briefly discussed how to replenish 1 million dollars of costs of the biomass litigation. The city will contact the Indiana State Board of Accounts to determine how to proceed there.

In other business, the board approved the expansion of a gas main along County Road 100 South between Lube Way and Dispatch Road. Gas and water manager Ernie Hinkle told the board the extension is necessary to improve the infrastructure in the Kimball Industrial Park in light of shovel-ready projects set to take place in the area. The cost of the project is expected to be around 21 thousand 500 dollars.

A report of disorderly conduct led to a Jasper man’s arrest on misdemeanor charges.

Just before 1:40 this morning, Jasper Police were called to a noise complaint at an apartment in the Village Court complex. Police say the report was for a group of people in the complex’s parking lot.

Police then contacted several of those who were in the group. 1 of them (29-year-old Anthony Maiden) was the suspect. Police advised Maiden of disorderly conduct statutes, but police were called back later to check on Maiden. Police then spoke with Maiden again and Maiden then said he would stay at a neighbor’s house due to being intoxicated.

This wasn’t the end of the story though. Police were called to the area for a 3rd disturbance involving Maiden at the same location. Maiden then was taken into custody and was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center.

Maiden is facing a Class B misdemeanor for disorderly conduct.

Daviess County and Purdue Extension will be bringing a leadership program to the county this fall.

The Community Leadership Program will be coming to the county starting in September. The program will have 44 hours of interactive educational opportunities. The goal is to help individuals to better understand themselves, their communities, and their leadership roles in the community.

Purdue Extension associate educator for Daviess County Cindy Barber says the programming is provided by Purdue. The county then implements the programs for local areas. Barber says part of the Daviess County program includes a bus tour of WestGate Academy as part of an economic development program taking place in January.

Sessions for this program will last 4 hours each. Half of the time will be instruction and the other half will be spent visiting various locations in the county. There will also be assignments that each participant will have to complete between sessions.

For more information, you can contact Barber at 254-1060 extension 279 or by emailing cabarber@purdue.edu. Program applications are due September 1st.

An attempted theft at Holiday Foods landed a Jasper man in jail.

At 2:50 yesterday afternoon, Jasper Police were called to the Holiday Foods along 3rd Avenue on a report of a shoplifter. Store personnel detained 60-year-old Douglas Butler when he tried to leave the store with a canister of spice. The value of the cannister was estimated at $1.65.

Butler was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center on a Class A misdemeanor for theft.