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Tue, Oct 21, 2014 04:47 AM
Issue of October 15, 2014
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Council to hear 4-H show barn request


County's cost would be $345K


July 23, 2014 | 09:45 AM

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday night forwarded an additional appropriation request of $345,000 to the county council for a portion of the cost for a new 4-H show barn at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon.

The facility, which could be used for anything and not limited to 4-H, would be 72 feet by 140 feet in size.

"It'll bring a lot more economic activity to the fairgrounds and to the whole community," Charlie Sieberns, a 4-H official, said.

He said 4-H has outgrown the current barn, which has rotten posts.

"We've got the support of the fair board," he said. "It's a great opportunity for the county. I know we'll get more divisional shows."

The total cost of the new structure will be about $514,000, Sieberns said.

With the potential help of a grant, administered through the Harrison County Community Foundation, the cost to the county would be $345,000.

Commissioner Jim Klinstiver made the motion, which passed unanimously, to pass the request on to the county council.

"It's an investment, not an expense," Klinstiver said.

The request is out of riverboat gaming funds, although it's not yet clear if the grant will allow gaming funds to be used as matching funds. The HCCF board will also have to approve the grant opportunity.

"They know the program is on the way; I think they'll embrace the concept," Steve Gilliland, the Foundation's CEO, said of the HCCF board.

In other business, the board denied a request from Superior Court Judge Roger D. Davis for $2,000 to make up a shortfall in his budget to pay for updated law books for 2015. Davis said he wanted to keep the books up-to-date for the next judge, which will be decided in the November General Election between Democrat Dennis Byrd and Republican Joe Claypool. Davis recently withdrew his re-election campaign.

Commissioner George Ethridge asked Davis if he knew if the two candidates would use the books or if they'd rather utilize a digital, electronic method. Davis said he did not know, but he personally liked to use the books. Ethridge said he'd rather wait and let the new judge determine what method they'd like to use.

"Well, just turn it down if you don't think they need up-to-date information," Davis said.

Davis said he would cancel his order and transfer money from elsewhere to pay for shortages.

Klinstiver said he thought the appropriation should be approved.

"I think they ought to have books," he said. "I don't want you to leave with a gap."

Ethridge said there won't be a gap; the new judge will be able to order what he needs.

Klinstiver made the motion to approve, but it died from lack of a second.

The board of commissioner's next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 4, at 8:30 a.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

Twitter: @TCD_ross

  1. print email
    July 24, 2014 | 09:41 AM

    Problem is, the Harrison County Agricultural Society is a privately-held corporation. I am leery of spending taxpayer dollars--and yes, riverboat money comes from a tax--to build quasi-public buildings on privately owned land. I believe that sets a dangerous precedent.

  2. print email
    Get real about a "Privately-Held Corporation"
    July 31, 2014 | 10:05 AM

    The Harrison County Agricultural Society is a unique corporate structure, created by the Indiana General Assembly in the 1850's. The legislation allowed for the sale of shares of stock as a fund raising mechanism so they could get programs off the ground. But the corporation is recognized by the IRS as a not-for-profit corporation. This means that profits can NOT be distributed to shareholders. No HCAS shareholder has ever received a dividend because of their stock ownership. As a NFP corporation, HCAS shares this status with organizations like Harrison County Community Services, Harrison County Alternative Education Center, Inc., and others that receive county support. The only benefit to individuals will be from the services and experiences associated with the 4-H program, which everyone recognizes as a value to the community. Nobody will receive financial gain from investment in a new barn. It's time the critics got over this "private corporation" non-issue.

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