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Issue of April 16, 2014
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October 16, 2013 | 09:12 AM

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners again picked up the discussion of a new garage for the Harrison County Highway Dept. Monday afternoon, Oct. 7.

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The latest site discussed is along S.R. 135 south near Mathes Quarry.

Other previous options such as flipping sites with the Harrison County Solid Waste Management or building somewhere else in the Business Park area have not gained support.

Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said the site would have quick access north and south on S.R. 135 and vehicles could reach east and west locations fairly easily as well on S.R. 62.

It is also in an area that is sparsely populated, which is important because of the noise the large highway vehicles make such as loading snow trucks at 3 a.m.

"You have a lot of pros there," Russel said of the site. "(One of) the cons is there will be more significant development to be done."

The county would have to build the garage structure from the ground up with no existing facility on the property.

Commissioner George Ethridge said the garage would be closer to District 3, which resolves a complaint about the current structure.

The goal is to find a location in District 2 that's easily accessible and is not close to residential homes.

"It looks like a pretty good area," Ethridge said.

Russel said the department would need approximately 10 acres for the facility and other space needs.

The cost for the land will be a little more than $6,000 per acre.

Russel said a variable of the property is sinkholes.

"There are sinkholes on the property," he said, which will have to be studied to determine their depth and impact.

Lucas Oil has also expressed interest in purchasing the current garage property.

In other highway department/engineer business, the board passed an additional of $635,000 for work on bridge 15 on Big Indian Road (near the coon hunter's club).

The board agreed to change the intersection of Lottick's Corner Road and Apple Lane to a three-way stop.

There was discussion about the process for bid letting in the county, specifically the fact that, as it stands, the council has to agree to the funding before going to bid. Russel said he hopes that can change since it takes five to six weeks for the county government funding process, which can pose a problem this time of year for needed projects.

He said he thought the current arrangement stems from a poor relationship with previous county councils and board of commissioners.

"We want to change that," Russel said.

"You're asking us to appropriate before we know the actual cost," Council Chair Gary Davis, who was present at the meeting, said.

No decision was made on the matter.

District 3 Commissioner Jim Klinstiver refrained from filling a vacant small equipment operator position.

"All I've heard for three years is I've had too many men in District 3," he said.

Also, North Harrison Community School Corp. Supt. D. John Thomas gave the board North Harrison's projected riverboat funding budget for next year. County government provides $2 million to be split between the three school corporations by enrollment. North Harrison normally gets about $750,000.

The budget includes half-day kindergarten, $175,000; replacement of computers, $150,000; computer software and licenses, $125,000; textbooks, $88,000; summer school, $80,000; Indiana State Police Alliance, $40,000; library books, $38,000; other technology purchases, $25,000; high school marching band, $20,000; and band movable equipment, $16,000.

Thomas said the school does not use the riverboat money to fully pay for text books (like South Harrison Community School Corp. does) because, if/when the riverboat funding dries up, North Harrison officials don't want parents stuck with the full payment of books out of the blue.

The state police alliance funding is less than last year because North Harrison has reduced its agreement with the agency from two officers (one at the Morgan campus and one at Ramsey) to one.

Thomas said the funding for the band was included because the school district has been accused of giving the football team all of the money. "The band is a great promoter of our school and has been very successful in the past," he said.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    October 17, 2013 | 08:34 AM

    I'm glad NH is actually helping out the band! As a parent of a band member, I can honestly tell you the band took a back seat to the sports program (not exclusively the football team).

  2. print email
    October 17, 2013 | 09:19 AM

    I wish the county highway department could take over highway 62 between Edwardsville and Corydon? The chip and seal coating that the state put on that road shows that INDOT-Southeast is going to do as little as possible to maintain the highways in this part of the state. It has created a mess for the residents along this stretch of highway. Doing nothing to the stretch of highway would have been a far better option and saved taxpayers money. Tourists who travel to Corydon on this highway are making comments about how this part of the state is going back to the 80's in how it maintains it's state highways. People are being encouraged to go to the Indiana Government website and leave a comment for the Governor, Lieutenent Governor and INDOT-Southeast on the results of this project to let the state's leadership know the residents' dissatisfaction before INDOT does this to other state highways in our area.

  3. print email
    mowing
    October 17, 2013 | 09:31 AM

    I am glad to see Jim not fill the small equipment operator position but when are you going to get someone to mow in southern Taylor Township, only been mowed once this year. And while you are at it see if you can get these rds side dressed with rock, been trying for over a year on that one. Maybe we should look into the possibility of private contracting the highway department out, might cost less.

    joe
  4. print email
    Mowing State & County Roads
    October 17, 2013 | 11:00 PM

    I have never heard so much whimpering about the mowing of roads, it almost seems like an orchestrated effort to create a issue. I say, Who Cares! The problem with government now is everybody expects it to do too much for them. Lets try some lessons from the past. The person that owns the property could mow along the road, at least their part of what needs to be mowed. This would get the roads mowed as often as the local residents want and would cut a huge expense out of the county budget. The savings would go back to the property owner. Seemed to work back then and not sure why it would not work now.

    Give the mowing a break, it you don't like it take a minute and run out there and mow it.

    Oh My Goodness
  5. print email
    Mowing
    October 23, 2013 | 07:01 AM

    The suggestion that "Oh My Goodness" made sounds good. If everyone mowed, we would get a TAX break right!!

    Sounds good, but that will only happen when pigs are able to fly..

    So the county NEEDS to maintain the roads, whether it needs mowing or repairing.

    Wishful thinking
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