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County forced into costly upgrade

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners sent a request Monday night of $262,000 to the county council for a computer equipment upgrade mandated by the state for the three taxing units in the county: the auditor’s, treasurer’s and assessor’s offices.
The law was passed in 2006 to increase efficiency of property tax management in the state, but technical difficulties allowed counties to avoid the change until Dec. 31, 2009. None of the state’s 92 counties made the change prior to this year. David Neel of Cybertek Engineering said a few of the counties have started the process this year, which bodes well for Harrison County.
‘You don’t want to be first, and you don’t want to be last,’ he said.
If counties do not implement the new software, the state will not recognize the county’s system and will hold its tax dollars for 2010.
‘They’re very serious about the Dec. 31 deadline,’ Neel said.
Cybertek has worked as the Information Technology consultant for Harrison County for four years.
‘Do you have the check the state sent down to pay for this?’ Commissioner James Goldman asked.
Neel, of course, did not have a check, but he did question the ability of many counties not as fortunate as Harrison to pay for the mandate.
‘I don’t know what they’re going to do,’ he said.
Neel reported to the board that none of the county’s 43 systems or three servers meet the new state requirements. He also said the connectivity and disaster recovery model is below the state standard. Full replacement of the equipment is needed, and the system must be approved by the state before the Dec. 31 deadline. Neel said the process could take about 90 days.
Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes made the motion to send the request to the council out of the county general fund because it is ‘an everyday expense.’
‘It’s the only way to get it on the tax roll. I hope I taught you all that much in 12 years,’ he said, referring to his three terms as a county councilman.
Commissioner Terry Miller seconded the motion.
In other matters Monday night, county engineer Kevin Russel opened, and the commissioners later awarded, spring asphalt bids. Gohmann Asphalt was awarded each of the five bids, totaling just more than $1.3 million.
‘I’m pretty excited with the numbers we got back,’ Russel said.
The estimated total on the bids was more than $1.6 million.
‘You should see a lot of asphalt put down pretty quick,’ he said.
The road paving funds were appropriated at the beginning of the year for each district.
The roads set to be paved include Louden’s Chapel Road from Moberly Road to Rothrock Mill Road; Satterfield Hill Road from Louden’s Chapel Road to Burgess Circle; Lagle Lane from North Road to the end of the road; North Road from Hancock Chapel Road to the county line; Mayden Trail from S.R. 64 to West Whiskey Run Road; Country Club Road from Corydon-New Middletown Road to Beechmont Drive; Lake Road from Wiseman Road to S.R. 337; and Wiseman Road from Shiloh Road to S.R. 135. The roads in South Harrison Park near Elizabeth will also be paved.
Russel also plans to open bids next month on the visual enhancement and curve elimination project for Corydon-Ramsey Road near Pennington Chapel Road and Sky Aire Road.
Tom Bube, county surveyor, requested his secretary’s hours be increased from four to eight hours a day. It was passed on to the council.