Floyd County asks for 1% back from G-town
A Floyd County councilman visited the Harrison County Board of Commissioners yesterday (Tuesday) morning to request the 1-percent riverboat casino sharing funding be brought back to Floyd County, not the Town of Georgetown, as was agreed upon earlier this year by Harrison County government.
John Schellenberger, the Fourth District councilman in Floyd County, was on the agenda to provide ‘the rest of the story’ concerning the Town of Georgetown and its riverboat revenue sharing from Floyd County.
He said the entire story wasn’t told by Georgetown representatives when they requested the 1 percent be returned to the western Floyd County town near the Harrison County line.
Schellenberger listed a number of ways Floyd County helped Georgetown with riverboat funding including: $13,718.85 for fire equipment (2004), $65,000 for a grant match for the Guerin Center (2004), $20,158 for computer equipment (2004), $4,750 for animal control (annually), $10,290 for computer equipment (2007) and $8,737 for a salt spreader (2008).
He said Floyd County shared $18,000 with Georgetown in 2013, $39,000 in 2014 and $32,000 last year.
So far this year, it has given about $15,000 to the town.
Schellenberger said it wasn’t fair to portray that Floyd County didn’t share with Georgetown, as some town officials suggested.
Harrison County approved returning 1 percent ‘ which amounts to $232,481 when the county meets its maximum level ‘ to Georgetown in late May (effective July 1).
The county council removed the 1 percent from Georgetown in 2004 and gave it to Floyd County for a number of reasons, including the idea that the town wasn’t spending the money but was, instead, sitting on it to build a new town hall.
Schellenberger said it should be kept with Floyd County and requested the commissioners to do so.
He also wanted to address two ‘elephants in the room’ and said he isn’t sure what happened when Floyd County failed to submit a letter of support for Harrison County when state legislature attempted to take the revenue from the county.
‘We fully support the riverboat in Harrison County and apologize for not giving a letter of support,’ he said.
He also spoke of the selling of Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services and the revenue it will bring the county.
‘It’s a huge responsibility (how to invest the money), and we’re taking it very seriously,’ he said.
Schellenberger said with 1 percent of the funds now going to Georgetown, their riverboat fund is operating in the red.
He also said, as a whole, the county is operating at $1.4 million in the red.
Commissioner Kenny Saulman said he’d have to look over the multi-page packet Schellenberger provided before commenting.
Commissioner George Ethridge, however, did have a comment for Schellenberger and Floyd County, in general.
‘You missed one elephant in the room,’ Ethridge said, calling out Indiana District 72 Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany. ‘He’s at the forefront to try to move the riverboat out of Harrison County. That can’t happen. He needs to stop.’
Ethridge told Schellenberger he ought to speak with Clere to see if he’ll reconsider his efforts.
Ethridge also said Floyd County officials, in pre-riverboat discussions, spoke against Harrison County gaining its license.
‘Floyd County has not been a supporter of the riverboat,’ he said.