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Government center ‘phase 2’ work begins

Bret Dodd of RQAW Corp. updated the Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday night about the timeline for upcoming bids for construction for ‘phase two’ of the county’s space-needs renovation project and other aspects of ongoing work on the old hospital campus.
Dodd said part of the phase two project includes a security vestibule on the south side entrance of the courthouse in downtown Corydon. The security station will be attended by an officer, and visitors will have to pass a walk-through metal detector before entering, similar to the one at the justice center.
It was a challenge to find the right structure for the security station, Dodd said, because of the historical nature of the courthouse building. He said it will look nothing like the original building, leaving no doubt to preservationists that it was an added-on structure. It will be heated and cooled, Dodd said, with a unit similar to what is used in hotel rooms.
Rest rooms will also be added to the second floor of the courthouse. Currently, that floor is the only one in the three-story building without rest rooms.
Bids will be opened on the courthouse improvements and other phase two items at the commissioners’ first meeting in December.
Dodd said he also found a 200-square-foot area, taken from the weights and measures office in the new government center, that can be given to the Harrison County Regional Sewer District.
‘There’s more than enough room,’ Dodd said.
The weights and measures office was planned for 25-year growth, so, for now, there’s room to spare.
Dodd said the board will open bids for the simulcast radio tower system at its next meeting, Monday, Nov. 1, at 8:30 a.m.
The county council voted last month to approve the system, which will strategically place multiple radio towers throughout the county to enhance emergency and police radio reception. The estimated cost of the system is $260,000.
As of now, the county has just one tower, located near Hayswood Nature Reserve west of Corydon.
The topographical make-up of the county, with hills and valleys, is a major factor hindering radio communications. Harrison County Emergency Management Agency director Greg Reas said that each year the system performs on a lower level.
In other business Monday, the board signed an agreement with Gohmann Asphalt to begin construction on the Pacer Court-Federal Drive expansion and connection project. The project will connect Pacer Court and Federal Drive to Corydon-Ramsey Road, which runs north-south behind the Walmart Supercenter near the Northfield complex and Harrison County Hospital, a length of about 6,000 feet.
In July, the board approved a loan of $1.2 million to the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. for the project, which will be paid back by the property owners in a 10-year plan. The low bid, however, came in at about $1.5 million by Gohmann Asphalt, so the council had to approve an additional $350,000 for the project at its Oct. 12 meeting.
Kevin Russel, the county engineer, said the notice to proceed will soon be sent to Gohmann.
‘They’re ready to go,’ he said.
Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes made the motion to send an additional of $7,500 to the council for appraisal for right-of-way land along Corydon-New Middletown Road. Commissioner Terry Miller seconded (chairman James Goldman was not present).
The duo also sent a request of $15,000 to the council for crack-seal work on county roads out of the riverboat gaming infrastructure fund; $11,000 for utilities; and $6,600 for group insurance for the county parks department.