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Blue River firehouse funding supported

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday evening officially supported funding a portion of the Blue River Township fire substation, contingent on county council approval of the requested $150,000.
The funding was approved for 2016 through the Harrison County Fire Chiefs’ Association out of the $500,000 the council allots on a yearly basis through a gentleman’s agreement.
Site preparation is already underway on the substation property, which is along Totten Ford Road in the Hancock Chapel area.
Blue River Township Trustee Michael Beyerle said he plans to pay for the rest of the estimated $300,000 project out of township funds and now, with the county commitment, will not have to seek financing to complete the project.
Beyerle said he thought something in writing was needed to ensure the funding will be there in 2016.
‘Considering the circumstances, I don’t think that’s unreasonable,’ Commissioner George Ethridge said. ‘I’m glad to see progress.’
Ethridge then made the motion to create a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the funding. It passed 3-0.
The board also unanimously agreed to reject a proposed ban on glyphosate, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses known to compete with commercial crops. It is the main ingredient in Roundup.
New Salisbury resident James Coogle said the chemical, widely used among farmers, is a carcinogen and harmful to human health.
‘There’s no reason to wait; it’s coming,’ Coogle said of banning glyphosate, mentioning it has been banned in three California counties and the entire country of France.
‘I know it’s a small, farming community and people use the product to make a living,’ he said. ‘But, in the grand scheme of things, it does a lot more harm than good.’
He said Roundup was advertised as completely biodegradable, but now its maker can’t put that on the label following a lawsuit.
‘It’s bad stuff,’ Coogle said.
Commissioner Kenny Saulman, who is a licensed sprayer, said as long as the correct protective gear is worn and precaution is taken, the product is harmless.
Chris Miller, with Harrison County Farm Bureau, said farmers spray 30 ounces per acre of Roundup, two times per application.
‘I wouldn’t say it’s a massive amount,’ he said.
Miller said it’s a safe product that only works on contact, and it’s EPA-approved.
‘It’s a great product; I don’t know of anything as cheap or productive,’ he said.
Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said he’s always used Roundup and understood it was biodegradable.
‘I don’t know that for sure,’ he said. ‘We read side effects on drug bottles and still take it.’
Ethridge said he’s not going to ban something that farmers use and that’s approved by the EPA.
Morgan Township resident Robert Jones said he believes that the county has done a very good job educating farmers through good stewardship programs.
In other business, Klinstiver said engineering work will soon begin for repair work on Old Dam 43 Road from Buena Vista Road to Glenwood Road, which is about a mile in length.
The board’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Aug. 3, at 8:30 a.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

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