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Multiple road projects proposed

Infrastructure creation and enhancement was a recurring theme Monday night at the Harrison County Council’s meeting.
The board heard a request for a $1.2 million loan from Darrell Voelker, the county’s economic development corporation director, for the extension of Federal Drive and Pacer Court to Corydon-Ramsey Road connecting the commercial area around the Walmart Supercenter to Harrison County Hospital, a length of about 6,000 feet.
Voelker said he estimated the 95-acre area would generate $500,000 in property taxes for the county in a five-year time period. The project will also provide relief to the traffic congestion around the current commercial complex and it will improve public safety by allowing more access points to the high traffic areas of S.R. 135 and the hospital.
Voelker said the agreement will include a 10-year payback time frame to the county.
Council chair Chris Timberlake asked Voelker about high-speed Internet availability in the area.
Voelker said there are wireless providers available, but not a single provider has infrastructure through the area.
The council will vote on the additional out of the riverboat economic development fund at its next meeting, June 28, but two councilmen already showed their support for the project.
Councilman Gordon Pendleton said riverboat gaming funds were supposed to be used for economic development, but it hasn’t always been used for that purpose.
‘Now we have a chance to use it (for development),’ he said.
Councilman Richard Gerdon said the project has a good potential to have a return on the investment.
The council heard three additional requests from Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes, including $200,000 out of the cumulative bridge fund for work on a new bridge on Valley View Road. Mathes said the current bridge was built in about 1900 and is the last ‘horse and buggy’ bridge in the county. He said Valley View Road is the first road traveling from the state forest to New Amsterdam. He said the old bridge will be left in place and can be used to fish off of.
He also requested $20,000 for right-of-way appraisal work on property along Corydon-Ramsey Road in preparation for the improvement of the stretch between state roads 62 and 337, and $30,000 for phase 2 of the Corydon-New Middletown Road enhancement project.
The council unanimously approved two additionals: $375,000 for a fire apparatus for the Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department and $25,000 for the Bliss House, a ‘halfway’ house for women in Jeffersonville.