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Commissioners want Shireman on HCH job

During a meeting that lasted nearly four hours Monday night, the Harrison County Council took under consideration a request from the commissioners to appropriate nearly $497,600 to hire James L. Shireman Inc. to serve as the county’s representative, or watchdog, during the construction of the hospital in northwest Corydon.
The commissioners recently selected Shireman for the job. The contract is now being negotiated for the $43-million-plus hospital project, including ‘soft costs’ of the architect, financing and other costs. Construction of the 150,000-square-foot facility is expected to start yet this year and take about two years. Bids will be opened tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the hospital.
‘We’re going to ride shotgun on your stagecoach,’ Mark Shireman told the council.
He explained that his company will earn its fee by helping keep the project on budget, ensuring quality, and finishing it on time.
Some $12 million in riverboat dollars will be used to help finance the hospital construction. Another $5 million has been pledged by the Harrison County Community Foundation to the project. The hospital is expected to pay the balance from operating income.
Shireman is asking to be paid 20 installments of $24,800 each, but Eckart said the commissioners may insist that the last payment be withheld until the job has been completed to the county’s satisfaction.
The council is expected to act on the commissioners’ request at its Sept. 26 meeting.
In other matters, the council:
‘ Approved unanimously the request for a new Veterans Service transport van for $15,000. Volunteer driver’s use the van to take veterans who have no other transportation to medical appointments, mostly in Louisville.
‘ Approved unanimously an overall county budget of $21.2 million, which includes $7.4 million for county government operations, a little more than $2 million of which is paid for through property taxes. The balance reflects riverboat spending and accounts financed with user fees, highway taxes, parks, welfare and other miscellaneous income.
‘ Approved 5-1 an appropriation of $912,982 out of a requested $1.4 million in riverboat revenue for the commissioners to use on highways. The altered plan makes spending in each of the commissioners’ three districts the same. Councilman Kenneth Saulman’s motion to that effect, seconded by Alvin Brown, was opposed by Councilman Carl (Buck) Mathes, who would have approved the funding as requested by the commissioners.
‘ Approved $18,300 unanimously from misdemeanor housing funds for the sheriff’s department to purchase equipment for the jail, including Taser guns which can stop aggression without killing a person.
‘ Voted 3-4 (with council chair Gary Davis breaking the tie) to deny $9,200 for a new truck Emergency Management director Greg Reas said is needed. The old truck, he said, isn’t suitable for hauling. ‘The truck we’ve got’s not getting the job done,’ Reas said. ‘We would get more use out of a new truck.’
The sheriff’s department had planned to purchase the old vehicle with misdemeanor housing funds. ‘I don’t want to buy the truck,’ Brown said. ‘We’ve got too many vehicles now and too many programs.’
Brown was joined by Rhonda Rhoads, Mathes and Davis; Chris Timberlake, Saulman and Ralph Sherman favored the purchase.
Reas left the room immediately without comment.
‘ Approved 4-2 a request for $250,000 by the commissioners to acquire a first right of refusal on two pieces of property, which would apparently be used for two purposes: a new highway garage and a solid waste management facility in north Corydon. Mathes and Brown voted against the measure supported by Saulman, Timberlake, Rhoads and Sherman. Davis, the chair, told his constituents the property is the same the commissioners had sought to purchase next year for $2 million. That budget request was denied.
‘ Approved 4-2 a request for $28,000 by Leadership Harrison County to help defray tuition costs. (That’s $2,000 less than the Leadership group asked for earlier and withdrew. That drew praise from Rhoads for ‘going in the right direction.’) Sherman and Brown voted against that funding, with Timberlake, Saulman, Rhoads and Mathes voting in favor.