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Census spawns revenue sharing discussion

The Harrison County Council discussed riverboat gaming revenue sharing Monday night, now that the official 2010 Census town population figures are in.
Palmyra Town Councilman Alvin Brown requested that the council look at the figures again because Palmyra’s population increased significantly, and, therefore, he said, its revenue sharing should reflect that increase.
Palmyra’s population increased from 633 in 2000 to 930 in 2010.
If the county council elects to base the infrastructure sharing on population, Palmyra will receive just more than $28,000 a year, an increase of more than $6,000 than previously given to the county’s northern most town.
On the other end of the spectrum, Lanesville’s population decreased from 614 to 534, meaning it would stand to lose more than $4,000 of revenue.
The town with the most drastic numbers change was New Amsterdam, which went from 1 to 27. Its infrastructure money would increase from $0 to $840.
The county’s largest town, Corydon, will have no change in revenue since its population percent did not change.
The council will further discuss this matter, along with its other revenue sharing responsibilities, at its next meeting, Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.
In other business, the council approved an additional of just more than $193,000 for the Harrison County Hospital for reimbursement of the operation of ambulance services. The hospital has been operating Emergency Medical Services for the county since 1977, and the county council agreed to make up the loss of revenue. The county’s portion of the funding is significantly less than last year when it was nearly $234,000.
‘We feel like we’ve got a pretty stable situation with our ambulance service,’ Jeff Davis, HCH chief financial officer, said.
Commissioner James Goldman often praises the county’s EMS operations, which is far less expensive than some other counties throughout the state but the service is second to none.
Since 1990, EMS responses have increased each year beginning at 1,650 in 1990 and growing to 4,858 last year. Gary Kleeman, EMS director, projects this year’s total runs will exceed 5,000.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, the council approved $5,000 for Surveyor Harold Klinstiver for part-time help and to remove the title of co-op student from the request because the department had never had such a position.
The vote narrowly passed, 4-3, with Councilmen Jim Heitkemper, Gordon Pendleton, Richard Gerdon and Chris Timberlake voting for, while Councilmen Gary Davis, Phil Smith and Ralph Sherman were against.
Klinstiver, who said he hasn’t had part-time help in two months, requested $7,000.
The council also unanimously approved $474,000 for the Lanesville connector road project, which is the widening and improving of Crandall-Lanesville Road from the Interstate 64 interchange north to about George’s Hill Road. The county will be reimbursed 80 percent of the project by federal funds.
At the request of Chairman Davis, the council agreed to begin the 2012 budget deliberation process one month later than usual, September instead of August.