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Council OKs $7.1 million

Harrison County Council members approved more than $7.1 million in riverboat revenue spending ‘ mostly for hospital construction ‘ with barely a whimper.
The action came at the council’s regular business meeting Monday evening.
Councilman Kenneth Saulman’s motion to approve the $4 million payment to Harrison County Hospital for construction, seconded by Carl (Buck) Mathes, passed 5-1, with Rhonda Rhoads casting the nay vote.
‘I have an attitude with the attitude of the hospital administrators,’ Rhoads said.
She and councilman Alvin Brown also voted against the commissioners’ request for $765,000 to construct an access road to the new facility, between Corydon-Ramsey Road and S.R. 337 west of Corydon.
‘I thought it should have come out of that $4 million,’ Brown said.
Otherwise, he asked rhetorically, ‘Where’s the end to it?’
Others voting in favor of Mathes’ motion to approve the funds were Saulman, Chris Timberlake and Ralph Sherman. As chair, Gary Davis didn’t vote.
The hospital construction, which began last fall, is expected to take two years. The council earlier approved $12 million in riverboat revenue for the $30 million facility. Costs such as the land purchase, fees for engineers and architects, equipment and bond expenses bring the total price tag to $47 million. The access road is a separate expense.
Other unanimous appropriations included $2 million in riverboat revenue for educational improvements in the three public school systems divided according to enrollment, and $370,000 from the cumulative bridge fund for bridge construction and repairs.
Of those bridge funds, $300,000 was approved for improvements to Bridge 29 across Big Indian Creek and $35,000 each for Bridge 68 on Zollman Road and Bridge 87 on Black Chapel Road.
The three school systems will share the riverboat wealth as follows: South Harrison Community Schools, $1.03 million; North Harrison, $746,000; and Lanesville, $216,000. Lanesville’s share will be reduced by a payment of $104,166 on an earlier loan to replace the elementary school gymnasium.
The council also approved nearly $90,000 from drug fees paid by people who have been convicted of alcohol or other drug violations.
Those fees are assessed as court costs in criminal court cases arising from alcohol or other drug-related crimes and are to be used to fund programs designed to combat such problems. The fund, which has been building for nearly a decade, was recently discovered by the Local Coordinating Council.
The breakdown includes funding for Hoosier Hills PACT for law enforcement training, Corydon Intermediate School for an awareness program for sixth graders, House of New Beginnings (halfway house for recovering addicts), Indiana State Police for methamphetamine training, 4Community for methamphetamine education and community awareness of WHAM! (War in Harrison County Against Meth), Harrison County Community Services for counseling, a Juvenile Court diversion program, Lanesville schools for updated educational material, The Next Step for program expenses, and Brandon’s House Counseling Center for counseling for teenagers at no-cost to the individual.