Floyd County community expected to benefit from $130 million sal - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Floyd County community expected to benefit from $130 million sale of Floyd Memorial Hospital

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The $130 million sale of a local hospital provides a shot in the arm to Floyd County, Indiana.

County leaders carved out $12 million, specifically for improvement projects that lacked funding. Although they haven't said which projects will receive to funding, they pointed to the Floyd County Jail as an example. Sheriff Frank loop said, "There has not been any money allocated for the maintenance of the jail since it was built 25 years ago. " Loop said the roof leaks, he can't control the temperature and there's mold in the kitchen. "I've got $6.5 million in work that needs to be done...it's a security concern. "

Thursday night Floyd County Council and Floyd County Commissioners agreed to channel the money from the hospital sale through through a community foundation. Floyd County is getting $75 million on Sept. 30, and another $56 million over the next 10 years from the sale of Floyd Memorial Hospital to Baptist Health.

A community foundation works in a way similar to a bank: it invests money and pays back interest to the customer, but the fees from the foundation often turn into grants for area non-profit organizations, which then bolster the community served. 

Some say the sale of a hospital is almost like "life support" for area organizations.

There was talk early on of an income tax break as a result of the influx of cash. That tax break is still on the table in Floyd County. 

"I think the way that will happen is, if this money is invested, it will kick off income. That income will cover our deficit that we've had in the past, and give us a surplus in our budget," said Floyd County Councilman Matt Oakley. "And with that surplus, I think county council members will have a decision: Do we take the surplus and expand government, or do we take the surplus and give some money back to taxpayers?"

Community members like hot dog vendor Gary Starks think a tax break would be a nice surprise.

"I'm hopeful, I don't  know if I've ever seen taxes go down." Starks said," It can make a difference within a tank of gas, or a pair of shoes for your kids."

Councilman Oakley's idea of an income tax break is in the minority on the council and won't be considered until the next budget cycle. 

There is only one community foundation in Floyd County, but it may not get the money from the sale of the hospital. The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana manages funds in both Floyd and Clark County. It will have to bid and beat out other foundations in other communities to take on the multi-million dollar account from the sale. President and CEO Linda Stepp said, "We've supported local organizations for 25 years and we're after the best interests of Floyd County."  

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