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County roads to be treated with brine this winter

The Harrison County Council Monday night approved the use $39,000 for the highway department, which will, in part, finalize the ability to make brine to treat county roads this winter and beyond.
The highway department made the decision to move away from using cinders for snow- and ice-covered roads and will, instead, use brine, which is water saturated with salt, to treat roads in the winter.
A brine-making machine will be installed in the salt building at the new highway garage facility located south of Corydon.
The highway garage facility came in $188,000 under budget, and that money was then re-appropriated for the brine machine, storage tanks and four distributors for the brine.
The $39,000 (which was insurance money from a wrecked truck) will pay for remaining costs associated with the trucks, plumbing and electrical related to the brine program.
Councilman Richard Gerdon was the only one to vote against the additional appropriation.
‘We gave you the $188,000; now we’re asking for $39,000,’ Gerdon said. ‘The whole ideal of coming under budget on a project is so you can come out ahead,’ he said. ‘It was bad enough as it was, then we come in under budget, saved a little grace. Then, we turn around and spend it. And we’re still spending it. That’s what the public sees.’
Gerdon also said he’s heard a lot of concerns about the highway garage.
County engineer Kevin Russel said he tries to express the value of the brine system when he speaks with folks concerned about the spending.
‘There’s a lot of things that went into that (decision),’ Russel said of the brine, specifically, having to drive two trucks three times a week to Louisville to pick up cinders.
‘It’s high time we modernize and went to the brine system … ‘ Councilman Jim Heitkemper said. ‘It’s one of those things we’re going to be glad we did it. I know we will.’
Russel said it should be viewed as an investment for the county, not just an expense.
The board also approved $86,577 for E911 dispatch equipment, $10,000 for overtime for E911 and $7,000 for depositions for the prosecutor’s office, all with unanimous 7-0 tallies.
The council tabled one transfer, $930 for travel, per diem and meals from the county health fund, because no description was filed on the paperwork.
Gerdon made the motion to table the transfer until a written description is submitted.
‘Why don’t we make (health department administrator Tony Combs) come in,’ Council Chair Gary Davis said. ‘That way, next time he’ll write it down.’
The council’s next regular meeting will be Monday evening, Sept. 12, at 7.