Crothersville Advertising For Bids Anticipating Another Paving Grant

In the past two years, Crothersville has received nearly $641,000 in state funding for paving projects. This past January the town applied for a third state Community Crossings Paving Grant.
In anticipation of being approved for a third time and to get a paving contractor locked in for what is expected to be a busy paving season with other communities and counties, the town is opting to advertise for bids before the grants are awarded sometime later this month.

That decision proved to be a wise one because the state of Indiana announced paving grant awards on Tuesday, April 7, and Crothersville will receive $206,075 to pave streets. Jackson County was granted $1,000,000 for paving.
The Crothersville paving projects include:
•Main Street Circle
•Main Street from 480 feet east of Preston Street to Main Street Circle
•Walnut Street from Preston Street to 700 feet east
•Bard Street from U.S. 31 to Seymour Road
•Walnut Street from U.S 31 to Seymour Road
•Vine Street from the terminus to Walnut Street
•Central Avenue from the terminus to Moore Street
•Cindy Lane from U.S. 31 to 80 feet west of Seymour Road
The eight projects total $275,065.
The town is using a $70,000 local match, anticipating a $206,000 grant to fund the paving project.
In 2018, Crothersville completed 14 paving projects after receiving $423,406.10 in Community Crossings funding. In 2019, the town completed 10 projects with the $217,480.80 it received.
“It has been a great program,” town engineer Brad Bender of FPBH said. “It started out they said it would be a five-year program, but now, it sounds like it will keep going.”
“Prior to these grants, we were spending about $70,000 a year,” said town council president Danieta Foster. “Now, we’re spending approximately the same amount, but we’re getting $275,000 worth of paving done.”

Schools, Sports Canceled Rest Of The School Year

COVID-19 Numbers Grow In Jackson & Scott Counties

Gov. Eric Holcomb and state education officials on Thursday announced that all K-12 schools in Indiana will remain on remote learning through the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move, which extends the governor’s previous order to close schools until May 1 and cancels all academic testing for the rest of the school year, mandates that no in-person instruction take place at schools in Indiana and all schools in the state remain closed, said Indiana Superintendent of Public Education Jennifer McCormick during a press conference on Thursday.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association also has canceled all spring sports for the remainder of the school year.
“Today, I am announcing that all K-12 schools in Indiana shall provide instruction via remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year,” she said. “It’s going to take a collective effort to save lives, and schools must do their part.”
Schools will still need to meet the 160-day requirement for school instruction days, according to the executive order, although the state has given schools a 20-day waiver at the first announcement of remote learning.
Additionally, school corporations will need to submit a continuous learning plan to the state by April 17 that signals to families, students and policymakers the type of instruction taking place during remote learning, McCormick said.
The decision from state officials comes amid a statewide stay-at-home order that restricts non-essential business and travel in the state as the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise.
On March 19, when Holcomb announced the first order to close schools, there were 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indiana, two deaths and one case each reported in Jackson and Scott Counties.
As of Wednesday, April 8, COVID-19 had been detected in all but 3 of Indiana’s 92 counties, with 5,943 confirmed cases and 203 deaths statewide. There are 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jackson County with no deaths and 171 tests administered. In Scott County there have been 11 confirmed cased with two deaths and 99 tests administered.

Legal Notices

2019 SC Library AFR
03/18 Page 3
03/18 Page 4

LEGAL NOTICE
The members of Zoah Christian Church, 700 N. Zoah Church Road, Scottsburg, Indiana will meet Sunday morning April the 5th at 10:30 AM to elect a Trustee. The name of Gene Amos had been approved by the Church’s Board and will be voted on by the members present for approval to serve as Zoah Trustee.
3/18, 3/25, 4/1 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
VOUCHER TO BE PRESENTED TO SCOTT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Court Claim to be approved 4/1/2020
Celesta Satterwhite, 143.00; Dietrich Law Office, 150.00; Erin Groenenboom, 707.50; Indiana Judges Assoc., 200.00; Jason Mount, 152.19; Marilyn Kundysek, 33.50; Marsha Owens Howser, 50.00; Matthew Bender & Co Lexis, 296.31; Quill Corp, 235.49; The Office Shop, 203.48; Thomson West Payment Ctr., 65.74
3/18 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
NOTICE TO TAXPAYERS OF ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION
Notice is hereby given to the taxpayers of City Of Scottsburg, Scott County, Indiana, that the proper fiscal body will consider the following additional appropriation in excess of the budget for the current year at the location of the City Hall-Council Chambers, 2 E McClain Ave, Scottsburg, IN, at 6:30 p.m. on the 30th day of March, 2020.
Fund Name:
GENERAL AMOUNT
Major Budget Classification:
Personal Services $74,050.00
Supplies $4,000.00
Other Services
& Charges $307,500.00
TOTAL GENERAL Fund: $385,550.00
Taxpayers appearing at the meeting shall have a right to be heard. The additional appropriation(s) as finally made will be referred to the Department of Local Government Finance (Department). The Department will make a written determination as to the sufficiency of funds to support the appropriation(s) within fifteen (15) days of receipt of a Certified Copy of the action taken.
March 12, 2020
Janetta C Hardy
Clerk – Treasurer
3/18 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
Legal Notice of Public Hearing
Notice is hereby given that the Scott County Advisory Board of Zoning will hold a Public Hearing at the Scott County Courthouse, 1 East McClain Avenue, Scottsburg, IN, on Wednesday October 9, 2019, at 6:00 P.M at which time all interested persons will be given the opportunity to be heard in reference to the matters set out in the “Description of Action Requested” below:
Case Number: CU-01-20
Applicant: Anthony Oxendine
Owner: Anthony Oxendine as owner of Kentuckiana Funeral Service dba Spring Valley Funeral Home
Description of Action Requested: Applicant wishes to operate a self-contained crematory facility on said property in an existing metal-sided pole barn with concrete floor. Licensed staff will operate the computerized system which is designed and regulated to emit no odor or pollutants.
Description of Property Affected: 72-08-98-200-006.000-005 cka 5330 East State Road 356, Scottsburg, IN 47170 and containing 43.54 acres.
The petition (application) and file on this matter are available for public inspection during the regular working hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, at the Scott County Courthouse, 1 E. McClain Avenue, Scottsburg, IN in Suite G40 until two days prior to the hearing date. (Office: 812-752-8445, ext. 1)
Martha A. Randall,
SC BZA Administrative Assistant
3/18, 3/25

LEGAL NOTICE
In The Scott Circuit Court
State of Indiana
In the In the Matter of the Estate of Gwen K. Peacock, deceased
Cause No. 72C01-1912-EU-040
NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATION
Notice is hereby given that Martin Shireman was, on December 23, 2019, appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of Gwen K. Peacock, deceased, who died on October 9, 2019. The Personal Representative is authorized to administer this estate without Court Supervision.
All persons who have claims against this Estate, whether or not now due, must file the claim in the Office of the Clerk of this Court within three (3) months from the date of the first publication of this notice, or within nine (9) months after the decedent’s death, whichever is earlier, or the claim will be forever barred.
Dated: December 23, 2019.
Missy Applegate
Clerk, Scott Circuit Court
John F. Dietrich
Attorney at Law
63 West Wardell St.
Scottsburg, IN 47170
(812) 752-2344
Attorney ID 14224-53
3/11, 3/18 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
Legal Notice of Public Hearing
Notice is hereby given that the Scott County Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a public hearing at the Scott County Courthouse 1 E. McClain Avenue, Room 128, Scottsburg, IN on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 6:00 PM at which time all interested persons will be given the opportunity to be heard in reference to the matters set out in the “Description of Action Requested” below:
Case Number: V-02-20
Applicant: Cody and Haley Proffitt
Owners: Cody and Haley Proffitt
Present Zoning: A – Agriculture
Description of Action Requested: Applicants request a variance to be allowed to build a pole barn/garage to the back right of their present home and from 7 to 9 feet away from side property line and adjacent to existing easement road.
Description of Property Affected: 72-05-36-100-004.000-005 cka 4762 East Plymouth Road, Scottsburg, IN 47170, and containing 5 acres more or less.
Reasons necessitating request: Applicants’ home was built in the 1950s with septic and lateral lines coming out the back left side of the house. Building the pole barn to the right will alleviate ruining any laterals as well as allow applicants to use current driveway. Barn site would be adjacent to current easement road but sit well away from Plymouth Road and not cause any line-of-sight issues.
The petition (application) and file on this matter are available for public inspection during the regular working hours of the Scott County Courthouse, 1 E. McClain Avenue, Scottsburg, IN, Suite G40 until two business days prior to the hearing date. (812-752-8445, ext. 1)
3/11, 3/18 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations for the Unincorporated Areas of Scott County, Indiana, and Case No. 19-05-2009P. The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) solicits technical information or comments on proposed flood hazard determinations for the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), and where applicable, the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report for your community. These flood hazard determinations may include the addition or modification of Base Flood Elevations, base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area boundaries or zone designations, or the regulatory floodway. The FIRM and, if applicable, the FIS report have been revised to reflect these flood hazard determinations through issuance of a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), in accordance with Title 44, Part 65 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These determinations are the basis for the floodplain management measures that your community is required to adopt or show evidence of having in effect to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. For more information on the proposed flood hazard determinations and information on the statutory 90-day period provided for appeals, please visit FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/bfe, or call the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) toll free at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).
3/11, 3/18 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
NOTICE OF SUPERVISED ADMINISTRATION
Cause No. 36C01-2002-ES-020
In the Circuit Court 0f Jackson County, Indiana.
Pursuant to I.C. 29-1-7-7, notice is hereby given that Jackson County Bank was on the 28th day of February, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of
Susan I. Macak, deceased, who died intestate on the 3rd day of April, 2019, and authorized to administer this estate with court supervision.
All persons having claims against this estate, whether or not now due, must file the claim in the office of the Clerk of this Court Within three (3) months from the date of first publication of this notice, or within nine (9) months after the decedent‘s death, whichever is earlier, or the claims will be forever barred.
Dated at Brownstown, Indiana, this 28th day of February, 2020.
Melissa J. Hayes
Clerk of the Circuit Court of
Jackson County, Indiana
Denise K. Connell
Lorenzo, Bevers, Braman & Connell
218 West Second Street
Seymour, IN 47274
(812) 524-9000
(812) 524-9001 (fax)
connell.denise@outlook.com
3/18, 3/25

LEGAL NOTICE
STATE OF INDIANA
COUNTY OF SCOTT
IN THE SCOTT CIRCUIT COURT
CAUSE NO. 72C01-2002-EU-007
IN RE: THE ESTATE OF
MARTHA KARI KESSLER-GEE, Deceased
NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATION
Notice is given that Kristina Kessler was, on March 9, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of Martha Kari Kessler-Gee, deceased, who died on February 18, 2020. The Personal Representative is authorized to administer the estate without Court supervision.
All persons who have claims against this estate, whether or not now due, must file the claim in the office of the Clerk of this Court within three (3) months from the date of the first publication of this notice, or within nine (9) months after the decedent’s death, whichever is earlier, or the claims will be forever barred.
Dated: March 9, 2020.
Missy Applegate
Clerk, Scott Circuit Court
Kerry Thompson, #840-72
Houston, Thompson and Lewis, PC
49 East Wardell Street
Scottsburg, IN 47170
Telephone: (812) 752-5920
Email: kthompson@htllawyers.com
Attorney for the Estate of Martha Kari Kessler-Gee
3/18, 3/25 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
State Of Indiana
County Of Jackson
In The Jackson Superior Court 2
Annual Term 2019
Cause No.: 36D02-1912-AD-36
NOTICE TO NAMED MOTHER
Elaina Barger, who has been named the mother of the child born on February 14, 2009 to Elaina Barger and Gabriel Land, is notified that a petition for adoption of the child was filed in the office of the clerk of the Jackson Superior Court 2, 109 S. Sugar Street, Brownstown, IN 47220.
If Elaina Barger seeks to contest the adoption of the child, she must file a motion to contest the adoption in accordance with IC 31-19-10-1 in the above named court.,
If Elaina Barger:
(1) does not file:
(A) a motion to contest the adoption
the above named court will hear and determine the petition for adoption. Her consent will be irrevocably implied and her parental rights will be terminated.
Nothing Taylor and Carolyn Barger or anyone else says to Elaina Barger relieves Elaina Barger of her obligations under this notice.
A person being served with this notice should consult the Indiana adoption statutes.
Prepared by:
Amanda L. Goecker
Attorney at Law
1407 Corporate Way
Suite 107
Seymour, IN 47274
(812) 522-7473
3/11, 3/18, 3/25 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
IN THE SCOTT SUPERIOR COURT
STATE OF INDIANA
IN RE THE ADOPTION OF Cambrie Sky Caudill, a minor
Cause No. 72D01-2001-AD-1
NOTICE OF ADOPTION
Cecil Cory Caudill is notified that a petition for adoption of a child, named CSC born to Skylar Lee-Anne Barnett on November 18, 2014 was filed in the office of the clerk of court, Courthouse, 1 E. McClain Ave, Room 252, Scottsburg, IN 47170. If Cecil Cory Caudill seeks to contest the adoption of the child, Cecil Cory Caudill must file a motion to contest the adoption in accordance with IC31-19-10-1 in the above named court not later than thirty (30) days after the date of service of this notice. If Cecil Cory Caudill does not file a motion to contest the adoption within thirty (30) days after service of this notice the above named court will hear and determine the petition for adoption.
The consent to adoption of Cecil Cory Caudill will be irrevocably implied and Cecil Cory Caudill will lose the right to contest either the adoption or the validity of Cecil Cory Caudill implied consent to the adoption. No oral statement made to Cecil Cory Caudill relieves Cecil Cory Caudill of Cecil Cory Caudill obligations under this notice. This notice complies with IC 31-19-45-3 but does not exhaustively set forth a person’s legal obligations under the Indiana adoption statutes. A person being served with this notice should consult the Indiana adoption statutes.”
Missy Applegate
Clerk
3/11, 3/18, 3/24 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
IN THE SCOTT SUPERIOR COURT
STATE OF INDIANA
IN RE THE ADOPTION OF Francisco Alexander Rodriguez, a minor
Cause No. 72D01-1912-AD-47
NOTICE OF ADOPTION
Nevada Nicole Herera is notified that a petition for adoption of a child, named FAR born to Francisco Rodriguez Hernandez on June 2, 2010 was filed in the office of the clerk of court, Courthouse, 1 E. McClain Ave, Room 252, Scottsburg, IN 47170. If Nevada Nicole Herera seeks to contest the adoption of the child, Nevada Nicole Herera must file a motion to contest the adoption in accordance with IC31-19-10-1 in the above named court not later than thirty (30) days after the date of service of this notice. If Nevada Nicole Herera does not file a motion to contest the adoption within thirty (30) days after service of this notice the above named court will hear and determine the petition for adoption.
The consent to adoption of Nevada Nicole Herera will be irrevocably implied and Nevada Nicole Herera will lose the right to contest either the adoption or the validity of Nevada Nicole Herera implied consent to the adoption. No oral statement made to Nevada Nicole Herera relieves Nevada Nicole Herera of Nevada Nicole Herera obligations under this notice. This notice complies with IC 31-19-45-3 but does not exhaustively set forth a person’s legal obligations under the Indiana adoption statutes. A person being served with this notice should consult the Indiana adoption statutes.”
Missy Applegate
Clerk
3/11, 3/18, 3/24 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
IN THE SCOTT SUPERIOR COURT
STATE OF INDIANA
IN RE THE ADOPTION OF Christian Michael Rodriguez, a minor
Cause No. 72D01-1912-AD-48
NOTICE OF ADOPTION
Nevada Nicole Herera is notified that a petition for adoption of a child, named CMR born to Francisco Rodriguez Hernandez on March 14, 2012 was filed in the office of the clerk of court, Courthouse, 1 E. McClain Ave, Room 252, Scottsburg, IN 47170. If Nevada Nicole Herera seeks to contest the adoption of the child, Nevada Nicole Herera must file a motion to contest the adoption in accordance with IC31-19-10-1 in the above named court not later than thirty (30) days after the date of service of this notice. If Nevada Nicole Herera does not file a motion to contest the adoption within thirty (30) days after service of this notice the above named court will hear and determine the petition for adoption.
The consent to adoption of Nevada Nicole Herera will be irrevocably implied and Nevada Nicole Herera will lose the right to contest either the adoption or the validity of Nevada Nicole Herera implied consent to the adoption. No oral statement made to Nevada Nicole Herera relieves Nevada Nicole Herera of Nevada Nicole Herera obligations under this notice. This notice complies with IC 31-19-45-3 but does not exhaustively set forth a person’s legal obligations under the Indiana adoption statutes. A person being served with this notice should consult the Indiana adoption statutes.”
Missy Applegate
Clerk
3/11, 3/18, 3/24 hspaxlp

LEGAL NOTICE
State of Indiana
County of Scott
In the Scott Superior Court
Cause No: 72D01-2002-JT-20
72D01-2002-JT-21
72D01-2002-JT-22
72D01-2002-JT-23
IN THE MATTER OF THE TERMINATION OF THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP:
CD – DOB 9/9/2006
DD – DOB 10/24/2007
CM – DOB 12/3/2008
JM – DOB 6/5/2010
and
Mary Davis (Biological Mother)
Jimmy Melton (Biological Father)
SUMMONS FOR SERVICE BY PUBLICATION & NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS HEARING
To: Mary Davis
Whereabouts Unknown
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to the above noted parent whose whereabouts are unknown, that the Indiana Department of Child Services has filed a Petition for Involuntary Termination of your Parental Rights, and that an adjudication hearing has been scheduled with the Court.
YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to appear before the Judge of the Scott Superior Court, One East McClain Avenue, # 252, Scottsburg, IN 47170 – 812-752-8425, 812-752-8424 for a(n) Initial Hearing on 4/14/2020 at 1:00 PM and to answer the Petition for Termination of your Parental Rights of said children.
You are further notified that if the allegations in said petition are true, and/or if you fail to appear at the hearing, the Juvenile Court may terminate your parent-child relationship; and if the Court terminates your parent-child relationship you will lose all parental rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties and obligations including any rights to custody, control, visitation, or support in said children; and if the Court terminates your parent-child relationship, it will be permanently terminated, and thereafter you may not contest an adoption or other placement of said children.
You are entitled to representation by an attorney, provided by the State if applicable, throughout these proceedings to terminate the parent-child relationship.
YOU MUST RESPOND by appearing in person or by an attorney within thirty (30) days after the last publication of this notice, and in the event you fail to do so, adjudication on said petition and termination of your parental rights may be entered against you, in your absence, without further notice.
Missy Applegate, Clerk
Krista A. Willike, 32250-10
Attorney, Indiana Department of Child Services
1050 W. Community Way
Scottsburg, IN 47170
Office:  812-595-5529
3/11, 3/28, 3/24 hspaxlp

Saturday’s Log Cabin Day Kicks Off Wildlife Refuge Week

October 13-19 is National Wildlife Refuge Week— a time to explore and celebrate National Wildlife Refuges. In southcentral Indiana, we are fortunate to have two National Wildlife Refuges fairly close together— Muscatatuck in Jackson, Jennings, and Monroe Counties, and Big Oaks in Jennings, Ripley, and Jefferson Counties. Several special events will be going on during Refuge Week at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge.
The kick-off for Refuge Week will be the annual Log Cabin Day Festival this Saturday, Oct. 12. The festival is held at Myers Cabin and features a free ham and bean dinner, old-time crafts, music, a blacksmith, a story-teller, wildlife exhibits, quilts, and lots of kid-friendly activities.
Activities will start at 10 a.m. and food will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (or when it runs out). There is no cost to attend the event that is sponsored by the Muscatatuck Wildlife Society.
On Sunday, Oct. 13, “The Big Sit” bird count will take place at the Endicott Observation Deck. During normal refuge hours visitors are invited to come out and count/record the birds they see from the Observation Deck. Sitting in one place watching wildlife is fun, and everyone is welcome. Bird lists can be emailed to Muscatatuck@fws.gov or left at the Refuge Visitor Center.
From Sunday through Saturday of Refuge Week the Muscatatuck “closed” Waterfowl Sanctuary Area will be open to walk-in visitors.
Entries in the Muscatatuck Refuge Week Photography Contest will also be on display in the Muscatatuck Visitor Center.
For more information about events email Muscatatuck@fws.gov

Crothersville Asked To Extend Sewer For Future Development

The Crothersville Town Council wants provide sewer service along the east side of US 31 on the southern outskirts of town.
Sims Bark, which is building a bark mulch manufacturing facility at U.S. 31 and County Road 1150 E (Frontage Road) adjacent to Interstate 65 at the Crothersville exit has requested to connect into the town’s sewer system.
The location is currently outside of the town limits but is expected to be annexed into the town limits.
It will require the town supply an 8-inch sewer main to the east side of U.S. 31, said sewer superintendent Mason Boicourt.
The new sewer line would make it possible for more development in the area, however, he added.
The town would bore under US 31 at the Industrial Way lift station to provide for sanitary sewage service in the undevelopted area.
Sims Bark would be the only customer for now now. “But it gives us the opportunity to provide sewer to other properties on the east side of the road,” Boicourt said
The existing sewer lift station will be able to handle the additional capacity from Sims Bark, but it would have to be upgraded in the future if there is more development in that area, Boicourt added. No process water will flow to the sanitary sewer. The new industry will have employee restrooms flow into the sanitary sewer system.
If the town doesn’t want to spend the money on the sewer, Sims Bark could install their own 2-inch line from the property taking it below U.S. 31 to tie into the line that serves Crothersville Industrial Park, but that would prevent future hookups, said Brad Bender, with FPBH the town’s engineer.
He also said it would make Sims a contract customer, which would be unusual. “I don’t believe we have any other contract customers,” Bender said.
Council member Lenvel “Butch” Robinson suggested the town negotiate with Sims Bark to see if they would install an 8-inch line instead of a 2-inch so others could hook up to it and dedicate it to the town.
But if the town did that, Sims Bark would then be able to recover some of its costs from future ratepayers that decide to hook on to that line, said town attorney Jeff Lorenzo.
If such a partnership wouldn’t work, “then maybe Sims Bark could make a donation to the town” to help fund the project, Robinson said.
Bender said he would contact Independent Land Surveying, which is working with Sims Bark, to tell them the town is willing to look into a public extension of the sewer line provided the company participates in the project.
“They are obviously asking to do this because it’s a cheaper solution than putting in a commercial septic system required by the county,” Bender said.
The town already supplies the area outside of town on the east side of US 31 with water and fire hydrants as well as police protection.
Extending the sewer into the area will allow the town to annex approximately 140 undeveloped acres for residential, industrial and commercial development. Additionally, the property could be placed in the Crothersville TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District where business expansion in the area could be used for fixing up the downtown area.
But the town apparently needs to take more rapid action that they customarily do.
The Jackson County Council is looking at the possibility of establishing tax increment finance districts in unincorporated area of Jackson County that would allow the county to capture tax money from new industrial development or increased property values in those county controlled TIF districts. That money would then be used to fund infrastructure, redevelopment or incentives to promote economic development in other areas.
The Sims Bark property is one of the areas being discussed as a potential Jackson County TIF district.
In other business,
•The council approved second reading by a 4-0 vote to make the alley next to town hall from Main to Howard Street an area with no parking on either side.
•Considered making fines for unkempt and nuisance properties an entire council action rather than a letter from a single councilman.
•On the yet-to-be started Seymour Road/Cindy Lane sewer renovation, gave contractor King’s Construction a 30-day extension for substantial completion and a 15-day extension for final completion. King’s will be reminded that the CDBG project has an Aug. 31, 2019 completion date. Rain and floods were the reasons cited for King’s delay.
•Another round of paving grants is underway but the council opted to wait to apply in January 2020 so the town could review their finances.

To Afford Small Indiana Schools, Merge Small School Corporations

by Michael Hicks

Professor of Economics

Ball State University

A number of recent studies examining the cost efficiency of Indiana’s school corporations report that corporations with fewer than roughly 2,000 students face very high overhead costs per student. This diverts significant money away from classroom instruction in more than half of Indiana’s school corporations. These small corporations enroll one in five students in Indiana. The inefficient use of tax dollars is no small matter.

Still, the effect on inefficient school corporations on student learning remained unknown until last week when my office published a study on the subject. That Ball State study, authored by Dagney Faulk, Srikant Devaraj and myself, paints a clear picture of the effect of inefficiently sized school corporations on student performance.

The study isolated the effect of school corporation size, not individual school size, on a number of performance measures from 2011-2014. First, there is some good news. Corporation size does not affect pass rates on elementary school ISTEP scores or the English End-of-Course Assessment (ECA), which is needed for graduation. Unfortunately, when it comes to more expensive educational experiences, especially college preparation and STEM programs, smaller corporations suffer badly.

Isolating the effective of corporation size, by controlling for demographics, local poverty and rurality, we found corporations with fewer than 2,000 students have SAT tests that average 20 points lower than kids from larger corporations. They also had pass rates on algebra and biology ECA tests that are more than 4 percent lower, and eighth-grade ISTEP pass rates are more than 5 percent lower than in bigger corporations. Students in small corporations pass the Advanced Placement (AP) tests at a 15-percent lower rate than peers in larger corporations. This is a stunning difference attributable solely to the overhead costs of running a small corporation

Separately, the study counted the number of AP course offerings. Here too, smaller corporations disadvantage students significantly by offering far fewer college preparatory courses, particularly in the critical STEM fields of math and science. The problem isn’t isolated. For example, one of the more affluent small school corporations (Barre-Reeve) has predictably high standardized test scores. Yet, their students pass AP tests at a rate that is well below the state average. This shockingly poor outcome is costly in terms of college admissions and extra tuition.

The response to this study has been largely positive. Most folks understand that course offerings are not as extensive in small school corporations, even if they didn’t realize how big the effects were. What surprised us most about the study were the number of folks who thought we were targeting small schools and local control. That’s baloney.

This study examined school corporations, not individual schools. This confusion is ironic because the most effective way to preserve small schools and small classrooms is to save money elsewhere. Consolidating wastefully small school corporations is a quick and painless way to direct more dollars into the classroom. Those folks who support small corporations aren’t defending small schools or local control. They are defending wasteful government and less effective education.

It is time for half of Indiana’s school corporations to seriously consider merging with their neighbors. In the end though, the facts of declining enrollment, rather than this study, will compel the issue. Nearly every one of Indiana’s small school corporations faces dwindling enrollment and 94 percent of these small school corporations are adjacent to another one of fewer than 2,000 students. Reality will compel a great many corporation mergers over the next decade.