County Commissioners Meet New KEDCO CEO, OKs YMCA Corporate Membership

June 18, 2024 at 4:59 p.m.
New Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) CEO Peggy Friday (R) speaks with Suzie Light, KEDCO leadership partner, before the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
New Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) CEO Peggy Friday (R) speaks with Suzie Light, KEDCO leadership partner, before the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

Peggy Friday, the new CEO for Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), introduced herself to the Kosciusko County Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, with the help of KEDCO Leadership Partner Suzie Light.
In introducing Friday, Light said that while the commissioners might see her occasionally, “You will see more of Peggy than you will of me.”
“It’s a pleasure to be here and to be in Kosciusko County,” Friday said. “I come from the city of Rochelle, Illinois, about 90 miles straight west of the city of Chicago. I used to work for U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, and then I transitioned to the city of Rochelle where I worked in economic development.”
She said she had some chamber experience during that time, but mainly worked in industrial development.
“I look forward to meeting and working with each of you and it’s just a pleasure to be in Kosciusko County,” Friday stated.
After a quarterly update on the activities of the Purdue Extension by Director Andrew Ferrell, Purdue Extension Educator Shannon Shepherd talked about her work, including with county programs.
“We had a total of eight programs that we delivered to the county employee health and wellness initiative, and we had 77 to 92 employees participate in each one of these programs. Out of that, we did the Get WalkIN program. We had 98 employees actually get the emails, but 67 participants actually tracked their steps and how much water they drank on a weekly basis, “ she said.
Eight county employees walked over 1 million steps in that program. At the commissioners meeting, they received certificates from Shepherd and $25 gift cards from the county’s Health & Wellness Committee. Those million steppers were Ronda Wiesehan, Michelle Hollar, Brooke Greer, Shane Bucher, Cheryl McGettrick, Jessica Scheil, Michelle Hyden and Eric Sorensen.
County Administrator Marsha McSherry said the Health & Wellness Committee benefits county employees and the county has seen savings to its health insurance renewal due to its health and wellness program and what it initiates during that programming.
After talking about some of that programming’s successes, she said the committee’s request was that the YMCA offered the county a corporate membership and the committee supported it.
“These things are paid from anything that we do for health and wellness. It’s paid out of our health insurance fund. These are not tax dollars that support our health insurance fund,” McSherry said. “The corporate membership, we’ve put together a package that we’re proposing. The county would pay $20, a flat contribution, for any employee that would like to participate. There are different levels for participation, as far as age or if it’s a family, we would just pay the $20.”
The estimate, if the county had 30 employees who wanted to participate for the remainder of 2024, the county would pay $3,600. For a full year, it would be $7,200, she said.
The Health & Wellness Committee supports it.
“So, the formal request is support from the commissioners, pending the review and acceptance and approval of the contract with the Y. (County attorney) Ed (Ormsby) would have to review it, but we would like to see this move forward as another part of our health and wellness program,” McSherry said.
Commissioner Brad Jackson said the county’s contribution of $20 per employee was just a portion of the cost and the employee would also have to contribute monetarily. McSherry said that was true.
Commissioner Cary Groninger asked about merit officers being free. McSherry said if the county initiates the program, the merit officers from the sheriff’s office would be free, but they would be responsible for paying for their family members.
Payments would be through payroll deduction, and county employees could use any of the three YMCA locations in the county.
The commissioners approved for the county to be a corporate member.
Earlier this year, the county approved $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the YMCA for security at its new Downtown Warsaw YMCA, next to the Gateway Grove residential development.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office to apply for a 2024 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Use site-based program federal grant for up to $1 million for the Kosciusko County Community Recovery Program.
Lt. Mike Mulligan said the grant cycle would run from Oct. 1, 2024, to Sept. 30, 2027, so it’s a three-year reimbursement grant with no cost to the county. The Kosciusko County Council approved the grant application June 13.
• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the city of Warsaw and Kosciusko County Highway Department for the city’s street department to store about 900 tons of the county’s road salt in the city’s new salt barn at 794 W. Center St. until the winter, as requested by Highway Superintendent Steve Moriarty. Moriarty said his department no longer has the full capacity of its salt barn because it’s full.
The Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety approved the MOU at its meeting June 7.
• Approved both of the rezoning recommendations from the Area Plan Commission as presented by Area Plan Director Matt Sandy.
The first rezoning was to go from commercial to residential for Weise in the unincorporated area of Atwood. The Area Plan Commission’s recommendation was unanimous to rezone. There were no remonstrators.
The second rezoning was to go from residential to agriculture for McCreary. Sandy said the property is south and east of Waubee Lake. The property is 9.4 acres. He said the previous owner had it rezoned not too long ago from agriculture to residential, and the new owner wants to rezone it back to agriculture. The Area Plan unanimously recommended it being rezoned. Esther Hoover and Kim McCreary spoke in favor of the rezoning and there were no remonstrators.
• Approved the cargo container ordinance amendment as presented by Sandy and Assistant Planner Andy Heltzel.
At their May 21 meeting, the commissioners tabled the ordinance amendment and sent it back to the Area Plan Commission for further consideration.
Heltzel said, “Essentially, we just addressed some of the concerns that (attorney) Mr. (Steve) Snyder and his clients brought before us at the last commissioners meeting. Some minor changes as far as verbiage goes. They were definitely a good addition.”
Commissioner Bob Conley, who sits on the Area Plan Commission, said the commission addressed the major questions the commissioners had, as far as aesthetics “and that type of thing.”
Commissioner Cary Groninger asked if the ordinance amendment still does not allow cargo containers in residential zones. Heltzel said that was correct.
After the commissioners approved it, Sandy noted that while the ordinance goes into effective immediately, there will be a six-month grace period because there are many violations out in the county and they wanted to give people a chance to get the containers legal.
• Approved the 2025 holiday, commissioners and council meetings and department head monthly meetings calendar.
The holidays are Jan. 1, New Year’s Day; April 18, Good Friday; May 26, Memorial Day; July 4, Independence Day; Sept. 1, Labor Day; Nov. 11, Veterans Day; Nov. 27-28, Thanksgiving break; Dec. 24-25, Christmas eve and Christmas day; and Jan. 1, 2026, New Year’s Day.

Peggy Friday, the new CEO for Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), introduced herself to the Kosciusko County Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, with the help of KEDCO Leadership Partner Suzie Light.
In introducing Friday, Light said that while the commissioners might see her occasionally, “You will see more of Peggy than you will of me.”
“It’s a pleasure to be here and to be in Kosciusko County,” Friday said. “I come from the city of Rochelle, Illinois, about 90 miles straight west of the city of Chicago. I used to work for U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, and then I transitioned to the city of Rochelle where I worked in economic development.”
She said she had some chamber experience during that time, but mainly worked in industrial development.
“I look forward to meeting and working with each of you and it’s just a pleasure to be in Kosciusko County,” Friday stated.
After a quarterly update on the activities of the Purdue Extension by Director Andrew Ferrell, Purdue Extension Educator Shannon Shepherd talked about her work, including with county programs.
“We had a total of eight programs that we delivered to the county employee health and wellness initiative, and we had 77 to 92 employees participate in each one of these programs. Out of that, we did the Get WalkIN program. We had 98 employees actually get the emails, but 67 participants actually tracked their steps and how much water they drank on a weekly basis, “ she said.
Eight county employees walked over 1 million steps in that program. At the commissioners meeting, they received certificates from Shepherd and $25 gift cards from the county’s Health & Wellness Committee. Those million steppers were Ronda Wiesehan, Michelle Hollar, Brooke Greer, Shane Bucher, Cheryl McGettrick, Jessica Scheil, Michelle Hyden and Eric Sorensen.
County Administrator Marsha McSherry said the Health & Wellness Committee benefits county employees and the county has seen savings to its health insurance renewal due to its health and wellness program and what it initiates during that programming.
After talking about some of that programming’s successes, she said the committee’s request was that the YMCA offered the county a corporate membership and the committee supported it.
“These things are paid from anything that we do for health and wellness. It’s paid out of our health insurance fund. These are not tax dollars that support our health insurance fund,” McSherry said. “The corporate membership, we’ve put together a package that we’re proposing. The county would pay $20, a flat contribution, for any employee that would like to participate. There are different levels for participation, as far as age or if it’s a family, we would just pay the $20.”
The estimate, if the county had 30 employees who wanted to participate for the remainder of 2024, the county would pay $3,600. For a full year, it would be $7,200, she said.
The Health & Wellness Committee supports it.
“So, the formal request is support from the commissioners, pending the review and acceptance and approval of the contract with the Y. (County attorney) Ed (Ormsby) would have to review it, but we would like to see this move forward as another part of our health and wellness program,” McSherry said.
Commissioner Brad Jackson said the county’s contribution of $20 per employee was just a portion of the cost and the employee would also have to contribute monetarily. McSherry said that was true.
Commissioner Cary Groninger asked about merit officers being free. McSherry said if the county initiates the program, the merit officers from the sheriff’s office would be free, but they would be responsible for paying for their family members.
Payments would be through payroll deduction, and county employees could use any of the three YMCA locations in the county.
The commissioners approved for the county to be a corporate member.
Earlier this year, the county approved $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the YMCA for security at its new Downtown Warsaw YMCA, next to the Gateway Grove residential development.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office to apply for a 2024 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Use site-based program federal grant for up to $1 million for the Kosciusko County Community Recovery Program.
Lt. Mike Mulligan said the grant cycle would run from Oct. 1, 2024, to Sept. 30, 2027, so it’s a three-year reimbursement grant with no cost to the county. The Kosciusko County Council approved the grant application June 13.
• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the city of Warsaw and Kosciusko County Highway Department for the city’s street department to store about 900 tons of the county’s road salt in the city’s new salt barn at 794 W. Center St. until the winter, as requested by Highway Superintendent Steve Moriarty. Moriarty said his department no longer has the full capacity of its salt barn because it’s full.
The Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety approved the MOU at its meeting June 7.
• Approved both of the rezoning recommendations from the Area Plan Commission as presented by Area Plan Director Matt Sandy.
The first rezoning was to go from commercial to residential for Weise in the unincorporated area of Atwood. The Area Plan Commission’s recommendation was unanimous to rezone. There were no remonstrators.
The second rezoning was to go from residential to agriculture for McCreary. Sandy said the property is south and east of Waubee Lake. The property is 9.4 acres. He said the previous owner had it rezoned not too long ago from agriculture to residential, and the new owner wants to rezone it back to agriculture. The Area Plan unanimously recommended it being rezoned. Esther Hoover and Kim McCreary spoke in favor of the rezoning and there were no remonstrators.
• Approved the cargo container ordinance amendment as presented by Sandy and Assistant Planner Andy Heltzel.
At their May 21 meeting, the commissioners tabled the ordinance amendment and sent it back to the Area Plan Commission for further consideration.
Heltzel said, “Essentially, we just addressed some of the concerns that (attorney) Mr. (Steve) Snyder and his clients brought before us at the last commissioners meeting. Some minor changes as far as verbiage goes. They were definitely a good addition.”
Commissioner Bob Conley, who sits on the Area Plan Commission, said the commission addressed the major questions the commissioners had, as far as aesthetics “and that type of thing.”
Commissioner Cary Groninger asked if the ordinance amendment still does not allow cargo containers in residential zones. Heltzel said that was correct.
After the commissioners approved it, Sandy noted that while the ordinance goes into effective immediately, there will be a six-month grace period because there are many violations out in the county and they wanted to give people a chance to get the containers legal.
• Approved the 2025 holiday, commissioners and council meetings and department head monthly meetings calendar.
The holidays are Jan. 1, New Year’s Day; April 18, Good Friday; May 26, Memorial Day; July 4, Independence Day; Sept. 1, Labor Day; Nov. 11, Veterans Day; Nov. 27-28, Thanksgiving break; Dec. 24-25, Christmas eve and Christmas day; and Jan. 1, 2026, New Year’s Day.

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