County OKs funding

James Vaughn

The Vanderburgh County Commissioners approved funding to pay USI’s lifeguards during Burdette Park’s lifeguard training April 13, at the Physical Activities Center Pool.

The university will waive the rental fee, as it’s done the past few years. But the county is responsible for the $7.50 an hour it costs to have a lifeguard on duty during the training.

“It’s too cold to hold it at the pool,” Burdette Park Director Steve Craig said during Tuesday night’s meeting at the Civic Center.

Craig said it would only cost the county about $35.

“It’s very gracious of USI to allow us to do this,” President Joe Kiefer said. “They’ve done it several years in a row, and we appreciate that. So with that said, I vote yes.”

Commissioner Stephen Melcher also voted yes. Marsha Abell was absent.

“Usually it’s such a great deal for us that it’s not a big, debatable item,” Kiefer said.

The university made last week’s agenda, too.

The commission approved a $25,000 contribution to the free shuttle service linking USI’s campus to Evansville. The university, which will contribute $130,000, renewed an agreement with the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) and the county. The city agreed to contribute $25,000.

“It was a fair win-win deal – everybody pitches in to get bus service out to USI,” Kiefer said. “Students … and employees have a way to get there and back through these services.”

Though the cost of the service has remained the same from year to year, Melcher said he believes it will increase eventually as the price of gas continues to rise.

“Other riders are still paying,” Melcher said. “To go out there just for USI takes a little bit more money.”

The shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes, transports students from campus to the West Side Schnucks. They can then take one free bus transfer before being charged bus fare.

USI’s campus is the only METS stop outside city limits.