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Commissioners want more input on Posey fire district

A motion by Harrison County Commissioner James Goldman to create the Posey Township Fire District failed Monday night because there was no opposition.
Commissioners Jim Heitkemper and J.R. Eckart declined to second the motion because they were concerned that word hadn’t gotten out about the proposed fire district.
Eckart said that the absence of any objectors and the support of only a few meeting regulars could mean that most of Posey Township was unaware that the district formation and an increase in township tax rates was being considered.
If Goldman made the motion again at the next meeting, Eckart said he would second it. The next regular meeting of the commissioners is scheduled for April 3.
Heitkemper said he felt a petition would be the best approach. A petition containing 500 signatures or 20 percent of a township’s landowners could mandate a hearing but not the district’s formation.
Harrison County’s previous two fire districts were formed after the commissioners were petitioned in 1989.
The proposal put forth by the Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Dept. would increase annual property taxes by $26.26 per $150,000 of assessed value.
Harrison County Council Chair Gary Davis and county engineer Kevin Russel, a resident of Posey Township, voiced support for the district. Former county engineer Darin Duncan, another Posey Township resident, said he was not opposed, but he recommended using riverboat revenue in place of property taxes.
‘But what about those with limited income,’ Eckart said, after hearing support for the district. Those individuals, he said, were not in attendance.