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Engineer’s office to research Duke pipeline locale

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday night advised county engineer Kevin Russel to research the location of Duke Energy’s proposed pipeline leading from the Oho River to S.R. 111.
Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes made the motion to have the engineer’s office get the information and report back at the commissioners’ next meeting. Mathes said any type of development in the area could not occur without permission from Duke.
Commissioner Jim Klinstiver, whose district includes the county’s portion of the pipeline area, expressed concern about the line going right up the middle of the bottom between the river bank and road.
‘To me, it ruins the whole bottom,’ Klinstiver said. ‘If it’s put there, it’s going to be there a long time.’
Klinstiver has shown interest in a possible boat ramp and marina for the area at some point in the future.
He also said the county does not benefit from anything passing through the pipelines.
Russel said Duke was probably taking the path up the middle of the bottom to avoid affected homes and yards.
‘Don’t make excuses for them,’ Mathes said.
Duke Energy informed the county in January 2010 of the proposed pipeline, which will run along S.R. 111 from the company’s Gallagher Station in Floyd County downriver 19 miles, mostly in Harrison County.
In other business Monday night, the board signed a grant application to start the process for the Comfort House to purchase the old Harrison County Emergency Medical Services building along Atwood Street in Corydon.
Comfort House Child Advocacy Center is a facility-based community partnership dedicated to pursuing the truth in child-abuse investigations.
Donna Lloyd, the agency’s executive director, said their current location, in the Northfield Plaza area along Federal Drive, is just too small with about 900 square feet of space.
‘It just isn’t adequate for what we’re doing,’ Lloyd said.
The grant will include a 10-percent local match, but Lloyd said they plan to ask the Harrison County Community Foundation for it.
Mathes said he believes in what Comfort House does but not in what the HCH is doing by not giving the building to the organization for free. He said after all that the county has done for Harrison County Hospital, it shouldn’t turn around and sell the building.
‘That bothers me,’ he said.
Jeff Davis, chief financial officer at HCH, said no one has yet approached the hospital board about the future use of the building.
‘I’ve told you fellers for two years,’ Mathes said.
Davis responded that nothing has been officially requested.
‘Don’t give me that line of malarkey,’ Mathes said.
Mathes said he’d be willing to sign the grant application if the hospital agreed to give the building to the Comfort House.
Pat Wolfe, a Comfort House board member, cautioned Mathes that every nonprofit organization within the county may expect a free facility if they give Comfort House the old EMS station.
‘Is that going to open a can of worms?’ she asked.
The Rev. Webster (Webbie) Oglesby also asked the board to sign the application.
‘If you’re really behind it (Comfort House), you need to sign it,’ he said.
He said the county had 14 children molested in one month and he doesn’t think the board should be quibbling over the application.
Mathes said he was just asking for two weeks to do a little ‘horse trading.’
‘I know you’re an old barn fighter from way back,’ Commissioner James Goldman said to Mathes. ‘I’ll go with you with boxing gloves on if you sign it.’
Mathes then made the motion to sign the papers, Klinstiver seconded and Goldman thirded the motion.
Lloyd was so happy about the motion that she walked up to the commissioners’ desk area and gave Mathes a hug.
The board also awarded the upcoming county auction, scheduled for June 18, to Beckort Auctions. The county opted for an Internet-only auction, which was the cheapest at 10 percent for Beckort. Two other auction services (Steve Morris and Steve Haggard) turned in bids, both of which required a 12-percent fee. Neither Morris or Haggard offered Internet options.
Brian Beckort said the Internet auction will allow for a national or even international auction and could possibly create a more competitive bidding atmosphere. The items for sale will still be set up in a building and can be viewed by the public.
Goldman said he liked the option, which was used at a recent North Harrison High School auction. He said everyone he talked to with the school corporation was pleased with the results.
The auction was previously awarded to Mathes, but he later was notified of a law that prohibits a commissioner from benefiting from action made by the board. It was then re-bid.