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Interlocal agreements serve as guide for use of riverboat revenue

The Harrison County Council nearly broke a record for the shortest meeting ever Monday night, but the session ran a few minutes over the one-hour mark.
Council chair Carl (Buck) Mathes handled in short order an attempt by former Palmyra town council president Roy (Speedy) McClanahan to abolish the interlocal agreements allowing towns to a share of riverboat income because he said the agreements restricted the use of the income. The towns should be able to use the money to pay for such services as trash pick-up, he said.
After discussion, Mathes told McClanahan terms of the agreement are recommendations only. And, as pointed out by Councilman Gordon Pendleton, the agreements are entered into between the commissioners and the towns, not the council and the towns.
‘This piece of paper you brought us tonight is worthless,’ Mathes said. ‘We need take no action tonight.’
There is some question whether the state has changed the gaming law to allow funds to be used to directly lower property taxes. Council attorney Shawn Donahue will research that and report back to the council.
The council appropriated more than $300,000 in riverboat revenue for revenue sharing, incidental travel expenses and $1,500 to cover any expenses incurred by a task force in developing a higher education program in Harrison County.
The council also approved spending $1,000 from the capital projects riverboat account to purchase new chairs for the auditor’s office.