Jasper Middle School students present Safe Haven Baby Box idea to Ferdinand Town Council

Ferdinand may be next in line for a Safe Haven Baby Box.

Jasper Middle School students Isabella Harmon and Tori Hemmerlein presented the idea to the Ferdinand Town Council at last night’s monthly meeting.

They began the presentation by telling council members a story.

A man abandoned a baby at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper in 2013. The baby was adopted soon after.

But without a Safe Haven Baby Box, the man can be prosecuted.

Harmon and Hemmerlein say installing a Safe Haven Baby Box will open a new door.

To help the council have a better understanding, the girls broke the installation process down.

The estimated initial costs for installation is $10,000. This covers a variety of services, including determining a location, administrative/legal resources, training all emergency personnel, a 24/7 hotline for the community, and much more.

The girls also say there will be an estimated annual fee of $200 for recertification and maintenance.

And to help raise these funds, Harmon and Hemmerlein have a plan.

They have support pledges and have met with Memorial Hospital, who gives the girls their full support.

Remaining funds will come from businesses, organizations and individual donors.

Although a location has not yet been determined, the girls would like to install it at Ferdinand’s 24-hour EMT Station.

Town Council President, Ken Sicard, says Harmon and Hemmerlein have their full support.

Council members also discussed increasing security for 5th Street Park concession stands.

Ferdinand Park Board President, Matt Weyer. proposed getting wireless locks. Weyer says these are needed because multiple people have keys to the stands.

Weyer also updated the council on the Old Town Lake Project.

The project is right on schedule and the lake’s water level is back to normal. A grand opening has not been set yet.

The council also heard that the Water Department is moving forward with the Fifth and Eighth Streets water loop project.

It is expected to cost less than $50,000 and will be covered by the Water Department budget.

The Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District are also updating a water pit to a fully automated system.

This is near the water tower and the Sisters of St. Benedict.

Towards the end of the meeting, council members learned about a few events coming up.

The Ferdinand Folk Festival Committee is having their Half Way to Folk Fest fundraiser at the Ferdinand American Legion on March 28th.

German American Bank is holding its annual Clean Sweep event on Saturday, April 25th.

The next monthly meeting was rescheduled to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 24th at the Ferdinand Town Hall.

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