Community Coordinator Amy Roe (L) gives Kosciusko County Council some information about herself after being introduced by County Commissioner Cary Groninger (R) during Thursday night’s council meeting. Photo by David Slone, Times Union.

Amy Roe was officially introduced to Kosciusko County Council Thursday night as the county’s new community coordinator by Commissioner Cary Groninger.

“We’re super excited to have her on board. She’s going to be our new county coordinator. Basically, to implement the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) grant that we received from OCRA (Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs),” Groninger said. “This is a program that we are passionate about and it really does something that we can continue to make our rural towns in our county an even better place to live. to have it on board and see what this program can do for our community.”

The Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation issued a press release shortly before the Council meeting on Roe and the HELP program. The statement said Roe will be based at KEDCO’s offices.

“Kosciusko County is one of three communities selected by Indiana (OCRA) to participate in the first cohort of the HELP program. The program encourages communities to develop strategic investment plans focused on four pathways: advancing electronic connectivity, improving quality of life, promoting community well-being and strengthening local economies. The state program will use the $1.28 billion allocated directly to Indiana communities from local coronavirus fiscal stimulus funds through the American Rescue Plan Act,” the statement said.

The towns of Etna Green, Mentone, Milford and Pierceton are participating with Kosciusko County in the 12-month HELP program, which recently began with in-person training for local officials involved in the effort, and will include interactions with d other Cohort participants Jay County and the City of Auburn, according to the release.

On Thursday, Groninger told the council that Roe was from Fulton County and would be an employee of the county. The reason she would work at KEDCO, he said, was because “some of the other functions that KEDCO performs, we wanted to surround her with people doing like-minded things.”

Groninger said the cool thing about the program and where the county is at: “We went through Hometown Chats, we almost went through our FORWARD Kosciusko, through our strategies, through our broadband study, all these different things . All of these things sort of accumulate in this final HELP program. I think I explained it when we got the prize: it’s rocket fuel. We kind of built the rocket, built the pad. It’s going to be the rocket fuel to kind of kick off a lot of these projects or opportunities that we’ve seen here in the community, so I’m glad to have it.

Council Vice President Joni Truex asked Roe to tell them a bit about herself.

Roe said she was born and raised in Fulton County.

“Actually, I first discovered Warsaw because I went to Grace College, from 1998 to 2002, then I came back and Jeff Carroll asked me to help him set up his service department. social for Grace Village when he was CEO,” she said. .

After working there for three years and helping start the social services department, as well as helping Cerulean get started, she moved to Greenville. There she learned what she now knows about economic and community development.

“They were very good at public/private partnerships. Much further than I thought, many other people are now. I thought everyone did what they did because I was young, and I didn’t know any better, but it was an opportunity – about 10 years old – to learn a lot of things, which I then brought back to the Chamber as Chamber Manager to upgrade our Fulton County Chamber from a Municipal Chamber to a County Chamber. So I was president of tourism, president of the Main Street organization, and president of the chamber,” Roe said.

She said she learned a lot in Fulton County about building coalitions and relationships in small communities.

“It’s very exciting to be here,” Roe said as the Council greeted him. “I am honored to hold this position. I am excited and nervous.

She has been the community coordinator for two weeks.

Groninger then asked the Board to approve an additional $50,000 from American Rescue Plan Act funds for the community coordinator’s salary. Part of this money – $20,000 – will be reimbursed by OCRA in the first year.

Council approved the supplemental appropriation and then a wages order to pay the community coordinator $25 per hour.