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Sheriff prepares to buy new cars

Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye informed the board of commissioners Tuesday night, Jan. 18, that he would be bringing a request for new vehicles in the coming weeks.
In the past, the sheriff’s department purchased seven vehicles on a yearly basis to keep the mileage down for the entire fleet of 33. But, in 2007, the department fell behind on the plan and is now faced with 19 vehicles that will be above 100,000 miles this year.
Seelye said he plans to have bids for the cars soon.
He also said he’d like to convert half of the fleet to Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) so ‘we’ll be able to get around better in inclement weather.’
‘We have a hard time getting around in the weather,’ Seelye said.
The vehicles will obviously cost a little more upfront but will save money in the long run, the sheriff said.
‘Get your figures together, and we’ll work with you,’ Goldman said.
In other business, the board passed an additional totaling $390,000 (out of riverboat gaming funds) to the county council for a new fire truck for the Lanesville Volunteer Fire Department which will replace its pumper and rescue trucks. Lanesville VFD covers all of Franklin Township in Harrison County and about half of Franklin Township in Floyd County. The coverage area includes six miles of Interstate 64, portions of state roads 62, 64 and 11 and some of the Northfolk Southern rail line.
The truck is part of the three-year plan created by the fire chiefs association last year for departments in the county in need of new equipment. Heth Township Volunteer Fire Department will also make a request this year for a new pumper truck. Next year, Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department will ask for a new rescue truck, according to the plan.
The board passed another additional, totaling $10,000, for the Harrison County Health Department to clean up a dump site where the property owner dumped debris from his contracting business. The property is located along Bradford Woods Drive near Bradford.
Health coordinator Tony Combs said Dan Schroeder, an environmental health specialist with the health department, made numerous visits to the property to verify the issue and to try to work with the owner.
Harrison County legal counsel John E. Colin also sent a letter to the property owner, but the problem was never fixed. So, the department took the matter to court.
‘The court ruled, obviously, in our favor and said, ‘If you don’t clean it up, the county will and bill you.’ He still didn’t do it. Now, we have to move in and do it,’ Combs said, adding that he hopes the job can be completed in two or three days for $3,000 to $5,000.
Combs also said he recommended having a police officer on site when the cleanup is taking place ‘just in case the gentleman gets a little irate with us.’
Colin said the goal is to never get to this point, and, in Schroeder’s nearly 20 years with the health department, he could only remember one other time when the courts had to force cleanup on private property.
‘We had to draw a line in the sand,’ Combs said. ‘We tried to work with them as much as possible before that.’
Mark Shireman, of James L. Shireman Inc., asked that the board to consider using some of the contingency fund left on the government center-old hospital project to rebuild two elevators at a cost of nearly $215,000. The elevators are from the original building and the company that placed them in the structure is no longer in business.
‘Bret (Dodd, RQAW Engineer) could go on and on and on about the engineering aspect of it,’ Shireman said.
The board will address the matter at a later meeting.
Terry Smith, of the county’s Plan Commission, requested and was granted two changes to property: one for Dorothy Troncin along S.R. 135 in New Salisbury from R-1 to B-2 for a business and the other change for a business near the four-way stop in Palmyra for a ‘dairy-dip’-style restaurant where the car wash currently is located.
The commissioners passed an additional of $700,000 to the council for the purchase of a 14-acre piece of property adjacent to the highway department. The land, formerly the old Castle pre-cast site, will be used to expand the highway department. The department has about $1 million from the state’s Major Moves program set aside for this project.
Highway superintendent Glen Bube requested $54,000 to purchase 900 tons of salt. During a 45-day period from mid-January to the end of February last year, the department used 1,400 tons. Bube said the county has saved quite a bit of money by using the state’s bid for salt, which is $59 per ton, compared to the $80-a-ton figure it was last year.
The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Feb. 7, at the courthouse in Corydon.