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Fri, Oct 31, 2014 05:09 AM
Issue of October 22, 2014
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Future riverboat spending topic of 'what if' analysis

April 23, 2014 | 10:45 AM

The Harrison County Council and Board of Commissioners met together April 9 to discuss the "what if" analysis of riverboat gaming funds spending created by the council's financial planning committee.

The plan, which is not an approved budget, is only an estimation of funds needed and potentially to be used for certain large projects within the next five years. It is used so the council can have a handle on upcoming spending and, hopefully, minimize surprises to the budget. It is used as a tool for making decisions on spending riverboat revenue.

The county receives $23,248,162 in riverboat revenue each year, the capped amount agreed upon when negotiations to bring the boat to the county took place. Eighteen percent of that, or $4,184,669, is automatically shared with other counties, towns and cities. The county also elects to share 2 percent, or $162,737, with towns within the county and $110,000 split among Harrison County's 12 townships.

According to the plan, the council will continue to use $3 million on a yearly basis for property tax reduction and $2 million for education.

The committee estimates the need for an increase in health care coverage, causing an additional $100,000 needed from gaming funds for the county budget for a total of $200,000 in 2016 through 2018.

Other upcoming potential expenditures or changes include: $1.4 million (2016), $1.6 million (2017) and $1.5 million (2018) for the Lanesville connector road; $3 million for a new highway garage (2015); and $1.5 million for the prosecution of the two death-penalty cases (2015).

Projects that have been discussed in the past but with no funding set aside in the plan include the Corydon west Interstate 64 interchange, evidence building at the Harrison County Justice Center, a boat ramp and 4-H show barn.

"I think it's outstanding you meet and plan for the future," Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel, who attended on behalf of the Lanesville connector road project among others, said.

Another goal of the analysis is to have an ending cash balance each year of at least $20 million to cover committed expenditures.

The financial committee, which consists of councilmen Gordon Pendleton, Phil Smith and Gary Davis, will update the entire council at the next meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    highway garage
    April 24, 2014 | 11:28 PM

    Are you kidding 3 million for a highway garage. Does that come with a pool and a spa??? How many bedrooms and baths? We need to downsize this looks like overkill.

  2. print email
    April 27, 2014 | 10:20 AM

    I wonder how much they will need this year to bailout the budget? Seems like it goes up about half a million a year over the past three years.

    I guess after the bailout, we can get another of those "County Budget in the Black" headlines ...

  3. print email
    Casino tax revenues.
    April 27, 2014 | 01:48 PM

    The Harrison County fair board operates as a not for profit 501(c)(3). Each stockholder pays $500 and receives two tickets to the fair and grandstand.

    It is, however, owned by stockholders.

    The people of Harrison County IN did not vote for improvements to the private property of individuals when voting for the casino.

    They voted to maintain public properties, education and to keep their property taxes from increasing in the future.

    The Sherman Minton Bridge fiasco was costly to the Harrison County casino. Yet, no one knew WHY it had not been maintained, when it was so crucial to the tax base.

    People need to be considering how misappropriations have been spent in the past and see to it that those funds to the County & State of Indiana are used as intended.

    Existing maintenance, education and to reduce ALL property taxes.

    Sandra Crosby
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    City of Palmyra
    April 27, 2014 | 02:43 PM

    I believe some of the money should be spent to develop Palmyra. We need a car wash,Redbox,grocery store and some more fast food chains. Buffalo Trace lakes could be cleaned better and stocked with fish. Some of these things could be accomplished with grant money and help from the chamber of commerce to bring some business to Palmyra.
    Corydon nor New Salisbury have a carwash with a dryer. I don't want to hurt the little guys up here so help them expand their businesses to include these things. I am a senior citizen and it is costly to drive to New Salisbury or Corydon for these things. Dixie

    Dixie Turpen
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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email