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Financing of EMS building delays project, again

The Harrison County Council again tabled the vote on the funding for the Emergency Medical Services building on the Corydon hospital campus, this time to give the council options for which fund to use for the $730,000 request.
The request was advertised out of the cumulative capital development fund, which is in the county’s tax levy. The fund has a balance of $1.7 million, said chief deputy to the auditor, Heather Metcalf.
Councilman Chris Timberlake said at the Oct. 14 meeting that he would like to see the request come out of the riverboat fund to ‘keep consistent with other hospital projects.’
County Commissioner James Goldman presented the memorandum of understanding between the county and the Harrison County Hospital, which stated the hospital agreed to pay $260,000 toward the construction of the building and the county will provide the remaining funds to complete the building.
The document also said, in compliance with a 1977 agreement regarding ambulance service, that the hospital will own the building but it cannot be sold without the commissioners’ permission. The 1977 agreement also said the EMS will be operated by the hospital.
Timberlake made the motion to table the request until the next meeting and to advertise it out of riverboat funds. Councilwoman Rhonda Rhoads seconded the motion, which passed with a 5-0 vote. (Councilman Gordon Pendleton was absent from the meeting.)
In other matters last Tuesday night, the council heard a request of $16,000 for a new van for the Veterans’ Service Officer Marion Wallace. Wallace and volunteer drivers use the vans to transport veterans to the V.A. Hospital in Louisville.
Wallace said the 11-year-old van’s transmission failed, leaving no other option but to purchase a new van. Wallace has one working van but said he has already turned down requests for rides because one van is not enough.
The council will vote on the request and the following additional appropriations at its next meeting, which is Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Claudia Howard, director of the county parks department, asked the council for an additional $10,000 to allow the seasonal staff to stay on through the month of November to clean up from the September windstorm. Howard also gave the council an update on total revenue for the year. The parks revenue is about $2,400 less through September than last year, but the deficit can be attributed to a weak September because of the storm. Howard said with Halloween events planned for this month, they should finish the year with more revenue than 2007.
The council heard an additional request of $5,300 for part-time kennel staff at the Harrison County Animal Control Facility. LaHue said last month the shelter brought in 230 animals compared to 110 in September 2007.
‘We won’t turn any animal away if it’s from Harrison County,’ said LaHue.
LaHue said to keep a humane environment in the kennel, it is necessary to have 13 hours of staff Monday through Friday, 10 hours on Saturday and six on Sunday.
Rhoads asked if LaHue could ask the sheriff’s department for the use of prisoners for part-time help.
‘I wouldn’t petition the sheriff for anything,’ said LaHue.
The council tabled a request from Capt. Eric Fischer of the sheriff’s department for a transfer for overtime for corrections officers. Councilwoman Leslie Robertson said she needs an explanation for the overtime before voting.
The council unanimously passed $50,000 for emergency disaster relief for Greg Reas, director of the county’s emergency management agency.