Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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January 20, 2013

YOU SHOULD KNOW: LaGrange County Commissioner Jac Price

LaGRANGE — Within moments after the Pledge of Allegiance at the first official meeting of the 2013 LaGrange County Board of Commissioners, newly elected member Jac Price was named president.

“It was a surprise to me,” Price said. “I found out I was being chosen at the same time everyone else found out. I had been asked last year if I was interested in the position. I told them I would be less-than-honest if I said I couldn’t handle the job, but that I was not campaigning for that position.”

Price is well known in the area. He was born and raised in LaGrange County. Back in 1979, with a young family to support, Price boldly quit his job at DuoTherm and the next year opened a laundromat on Fenn Street in LaGrange.

He married his high school sweetheart, Madonna, 47 years ago and they have lived on his family’s homestead ever since. He has a degree in accounting from International Business College and he graduated from Lakeland High School, as did his four grown children. Like his business, his family has expanded. He smiles broadly as he claims six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A natural-born entrepreneur, Price said he learned to follow-up on leads when they presented themselves. He remembered one day in particular, the LaGrange Hospital’s administrator came in to drop off dry cleaning and asked him if he was interested in expanding to commercial laundry service.

“By 1983 I had won the bid on providing laundry service for The Howe School, LaGrange Hospital and the Sturgis, Mich., hospital,” Price said. He now has multiple accounts located in three states and nine Indiana counties.

For many years Price has been directly involved in economic development for LaGrange County and Northeastern Indiana. He is a member of the federally funded, Northeast Indiana Workforce Investment and Development Board. Last year he was presented with the “Hoosier Award” by that board. The group oversees numerous satellite offices which coordinate public training programs with Ivy Tech and IPFW to name a few. He also sits on the Parkview LaGrange Hospital Board and served 10 years on the local chamber board.

He says he is fortunate to have his son Rex run the laundry as its chief executive officer, because now Price has become much busier with his public service work. In his new position as president of the LaGrange County Commissioners, Price has a seat on four regional and 13 local boards, commissions and task forces. He always finds time to serve. He says his motivation is seeing his county prosper.

“I want to see our county improve its work force quality and as a result, our economic future.” Price served for six years on the LaGrange County Council, this past year he was their president.

As for seeking higher office, Price said, “I’m old enough, and have served long enough, not to seek any higher political office. I serve at the pleasure of the public or until I have lost my enthusiasm.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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