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Board backs New Salisbury sewer project

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday morning agreed to support a request of $670,000 for the New Salisbury business corridor sewer project proposed by the county’s regional sewer district. The motion, however, is contingent upon the district receiving at least 50 percent funding through an Economic Development Agency grant. The Harrison County Council will hear the request at its regular meeting Monday at 7 p.m.
The motion, made by Terry Miller, was seconded by fellow Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes only because it was contingent on the grant. Mathes said he liked the idea of sewers in New Salisbury, but didn’t think the district’s plan was the best way to spend county money.
‘I’m not going to support this,’ Mathes said. ‘The rate system for businesses is not fair. Whether it’s a big business or small business, they all pay the same.’
Mathes was referring to the $15,000 initial fee for the business owners. He said if the district collected the money elsewhere for the project, then ‘more power to you,’ but he said it was a poor investment to use the county’s money for the system.
‘I disagree,’ Commissioner James Goldman said. ‘This is a county entity, the regional sewer district; if we can’t support this, we may as well return the money back to the state.’
Darin Duncan, vice president/secretary of the regional sewer district board, said the price is much less than the cost of a sanitary system that the businesses would have to fund if it wasn’t for the district’s planned system.
He said the request was made so the district can go before the property owners for a yes-or-no vote on the project with support from the county.
The plan will provide sewers for 19 business properties including Child Craft south of New Salisbury.
‘I would be 100-percent sure some new business will locate there if they have sewers,’ Darrell Voelker, the county’s economic development director, said.
It also will lay the foundation for expansion to residential service. However, Duncan said home owners will have to request service and no one will have sewers forced on them without a vote from the neighborhood or area residents. The project also could include moving west to the North Harrison Community School Corp. campus.
In other news Monday morning, Kevin Russel, county engineer, said the work on Corydon-Ramsey Road has slowed the last two weeks because of rain. The contract completion date is Oct. 11, but Russel said he expects to be done before that date. He said a spring has popped up in the middle of the road, but other than that, the project has run smoothly.
Russel also reported that Congressman Baron Hill included an earmark for $500,000 for a new Interstate 64 interchange, with language identifying the location 2.3 miles west of the existing 105 interchange as part of a transportation funding bill passed by the House of Representatives. The bill now must pass through the Senate.
‘That’s a good development,’ Russel said.