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Radio tower system on hold

The Harrison County Council Monday night tabled a request from the county’s Emergency Management Agency director, Greg Reas, for $260,000 out of riverboat gaming funds to pursue a simulcast radio tower system for county agencies.
Councilman Richard Gerdon made the motion to table the request, which was presented to the council at its last meeting in July, and Councilman Jim Heitkemper seconded the unanimously approved motion (Councilman Ralph Sherman was absent).
Gerdon cited the price of the project as a reason to table the request to allow time for more research and to have Reas bring a representative from a company in the radio tower business to discuss the project further.
The system would strategically place multiple radio towers throughout the county to enhance radio reception, instead of having just the one tower located at Hayswood Nature Reserve near Corydon. The more ‘noise’ or radio traffic there is, the more difficult it is to communicate. The topographical make-up of the county, with hills and valleys, is another major factor hindering radio communications. Reas said that each year the system performs on a lower level.
Councilwoman Leslie Robertson asked Reas if Emergency Medical Services director Gary Kleeman used a different system, because he indicated he didn’t have a problem with radios.
Reas said Kleeman is on the same system, but he has always been easy to work with and tolerant, while others have expressed concern about the system.
The council will further discuss the request at its first meeting in September.
In other business Monday night, Harrison County Community Foundation executive director Steve Gilliland said the county has about $25,000 of usable money in an idle fund created when the riverboat was constructed. He said the Foundation is encouraging all of its idle funds to be spent within the next year or two. The money can be spent on anything related to charity, municipal work or county project.
The council approved $36,421 for design work for the Indian Creek Trail project, which will be a ‘greenway’ between Hayswood Nature Reserve and a trail head near the bend in Indian Creek close to Lincoln Hills Road. The motion was approved with a 4-1 vote; only Heitkemper was against.
The nearly $2 million federal-aid project will cost the county about $212,000 when complete. The plans originally called for the trail to run between Hayswood and downtown Corydon at South Mulberry Street. But since the project began, it has doubled in cost and the scope has been cut in half.
The council unanimously approved $200,000 for a refurbished ladder truck for Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department.
At its next meeting, on Aug. 23, the council will vote on an $82,500 request from the parks department to move and place an early 1800s-style log cabin on the Battle of Corydon Park property and several other additionals for the parks department totaling $14,800.