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Carter house gets relocation funding

Carter house gets relocation funding
Carter house gets relocation funding
The Rev. Thich Hang Dat of Corydon prepares to deliver the opening prayer at Monday's Harrison County Council meeting. (Photo by Jackie Carpenter)

Funding was approved 4-2 by the Harrison County Council Monday night for $50,000 to move the two-room Corydon house of a black Civil War veteran to a vacant lot next to the Leora Brown School.
The $50,000 in riverboat funds will also pay for the vacant lot, said developer Maxine Brown.
The goal is to include the house and school in a cultural/community center to expand the historic value of both and promote tourism. Brown, a niece of the school’s early teacher, Leora Brown, restored the African-American one-room school about 10 years ago.
She reminded the council that the project has the backing of the three public school systems in the county as an educational tool, and support from the community has been increasing also. In response to a question from Councilman Chris Timberlake, Brown said about $2,500 has been raised for the non-profit venture. Fund-raising has not been the main focus so far, she said.
She presented a copy of an e-mail to the council showing the interest of a production coordinator for ‘Mega Movers’ in recording the move for possible showing on the History Channel.
Rhonda Rhoads’ motion, seconded by Carl (Buck) Mathes, was supported by Alvin Brown and Kenneth Saulman and opposed by Timberlake and Ralph Sherman, without comment.
Later, Timberlake said he opposed the request because he believes it is ‘too expensive’ since the property had appraised for $10,000 and ‘up to’ $20,000 is being allowed for the purchase.
‘The lack of fund-raising also led me to believe there was a lack of true support,’ Timberlake said.
‘I would rather have seen it done with money raised privately instead of county money,’ he said.
Maxine Brown told the council she has been given until the end of the month to move the house to Hill Street from its current site on Floyd Street, where the House of New Beginnings plans to construct a half-way house for recovering alcohol and other drug abusers. That group donated the Carter house to Brown.
Environmental study of junk yard gets postponed
A $2,500 request by the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission for an environmental study of junk yards in Laconia owned by Maurice Roby was tabled Monday night so the county council’s attorney can research the court’s order.
Attorney Mike Summers said the court order allows the plan commission to remove items, recycle those that can be recycled and use the money earned from salvage to pay for the clean-up. Excess earnings would be paid to Roby, Summers said. He wanted the issue tabled to take a closer look.
That didn’t sit well with Mathes, who serves on the plan commission board.
‘You know all these boards are county children,’ Mathes said, accusing Summers of twisting the court order’s meaning and treating the plan commission board like a stepchild.
‘I haven’t twisted one word,’ Summers told Mathes, ‘I’ve just read verbatim what the court order says. And it’s an agreed entry.
‘It doesn’t obligate the council to do anything.’
Mathes said the plan commission attorney (Elizabeth Swarens) would argue that the county should pay for the study or at least advance the money.
Saulman’s motion to table the issue until the Aug. 8 meeting, seconded by Alvin Brown, passed 4-3, with the chair, Gary Davis, casting the deciding vote. Rhoads also voted in favor, and Mathes, Timberlake and Ralph Sherman were opposed.
South Harrison water gets money to repair erosion at well site
A $112,000 bank stabilization project narrowly got funding from riverboat revenue Monday night from the council.
Bruce Cunningham, director of the South Harrison Water Corp., told the council that the utility gets its water from ground wells along the banks of the Ohio River in extreme southern Harrison County. An average of 730,000 gallons of water are pumped daily to South Harrison’s 7,700 customers in Harrison County. A portion of the river bank has eroded and washed downstream. ‘In the spring flood of 1997, approximately 50,000 cubic feet of riverbank suddenly gave way’ near South Harrison’s well.
‘This well represents an approximate investment of $1.2 million to SHWC and would be a very severe loss to our water supply,’ Cunningham said.
The funds are needed because SHWC is having a short-term cash-flow problem due to other projects that are being completed, he said.
Councilman Kenneth Saulman, a director of the water company, cast his vote in favor of the project after a 3-2 vote failed to provide the two-third majority needed to pass such funding issues.
Summers said Saulman’s vote, questioned later by Warren Haun who was in the audience, was in order because Saulman did not stand to gain financially in any way.
Councilman Ralph Sherman’s motion to approve the funds, seconded by Mathes, was also approved by Timberlake. Rhoads and Brown opposed the measure. Saulman, who normally abstains on such requests, voted in favor.
Brown was livid.
‘They’ve been at the trough too damn many times,’ said Brown, a Palmyra resident. He said the water utility has already received $1 million for improvements. ‘Let them borrow like Palmyra does,’ he said.
Buddhist monk brings message
The Rev. Thich Hang Dat of Corydon led the council and audience in an opening prayer, which is customarily provided by a minister who has been invited to do so.
The slight, robed monk told the council: ‘It is my honor to be here today.’
He read a message extolling accomplishments that require persistent effort and the virtues of charity, blamelessness and trust.
The minister then joined others in the customary pledge to the American Flag.