Source: The Corydon Democrat

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Bridge bid comes in well under estimate

by Ross Schulz

January 07, 2014

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday morning opened bids for the replacement of bridge 15 on Big Indian Road, and, much to the delight of the board, they came in significantly under what was expected.

The low bid from Fulkerson Contracting was $466,594, well below the $611,000 engineer's estimate.

"The (county) council should be happy with that figure," Commissioner George Ethridge said.

Other bids were placed by Gohmann Construction, $508,550; American Contracting, $529,473.70; RL Vuckson, $649,843.37; and MAC Construction, $662,650.

Ethridge said the spread between the low and high bid is amazing. Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said he hasn't talked with low bidder Fulkerson, but he's sure the firm is confident with its figure.

The board also canceled contracts with American Structurepoint for lobbying work on the Corydon west interchange project and Butler Fairman and Seufert for work on the Glass Overlook Road phase one project. Neither project is in the plans for Harrison County at this time.

At the beginning of the meeting, because it was the first of the year, Auditor Karen Engleman called the meeting to order before Commissioner Kenny Saulman was again voted as chairman and Ethridge as vice chair. The board also retained Chris Byrd as its legal counsel.

"Hopefully, it will be a productive year and maybe not so much excitement," Saulman said.

Saulman said he hoped people would be more positive and look at the good things that have been and will be accomplished instead of focusing on the negative.

In other business, the board sent of request of $50,000 to the council on behalf of Maxine Brown, who would use the funds as a one-to-one match for a grant from the Indiana Tourism Development Agency to complete the work on the Carter house and fully rehabilitate the Scott house. Both houses are near the Leora Brown School, which Brown owns, along East Summit Street in downtown Corydon.

The Carter house is an 1891 bungalow built by Harrison County Civil War veteran Leonard Carter. The goal is to use the Carter house as a Civil War learning center, particularly for high school students who, after learning about the war and its impact on Harrison County, will be recruited to assist with the creation and maintenance of an herb garden and a vegetable garden. Both the herbs and vegetables would be sold to produce income to help support the property.

"The Carter house is an important historic artifact that can help better interpret our history to our visitors and local citizens alike," Brown said.

The commissioners and council helped save the Carter house from demolition in 2005 with a $50,000 grant.

The Scott house will be used as a welcome center for the historic sites in Harrison County that are on a developing African American Heritage Trail, she said.

"The small, three-room house will have a gift shop and full kitchen for food preparation," Brown said.

Frank Scott was a fixture in Corydon for many years, according to Brown, and was an excellent concrete contractor who, no doubt, was responsible for some of the older sidewalks in town.

"This small, three-room house is another historical artifact that can be useful in increasing tourism and can help to better interpret our history," she said.

Brown said Harrison County has always had a diverse community and she hopes to showcase that for the state's bicentennial celebrations in 2016. Corydon, the state's first capital, plans to lead the statewide festivities.

The commissioners will next meet Tuesday (moved from Monday because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in Corydon.