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Lilly Endowment gives Indiana nature trust $10M grant

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The Lilly Endowment has given a $10 million grant to Indiana's Bicentennial Nature Trust.

The grant announced Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources brings to $30 million the amount of funding for the initiative to acquire more wilderness land to mark the state's 200th birthday in 2016. Gov. Mitch Daniels this year set aside $20 million in state funding for the trust.

President N. Clay Robbins of the Indianapolis-based endowment says the trust's encouragement of conservation philanthropy "is an excellent way to celebrate our state's bicentennial."

Former Gov. Ed Whitcomb and Bloomington businessman Steve Ferguson have provided gifts of land to the trust.

Indiana DNR says the trust's first 24 projects will receive a collective total of more than $4.7 million and preserve more than 3,000 acres.

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  • Harmony with nature
    Praise God. Although humans have irreparably altered this once natural paradise, it is good to know we make some efforts to protect it. Harmony with nature should be our number one priority, because we found life already here as a gift to us. In thanks, our first inclination should be to care for our gifts.

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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

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