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Harrison Twp. Fire District seeks tax advance

Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Jon Saulman requested a tax advance of $200,000 for the fire district to begin 2018 during Monday morning’s meeting of the Harrison County Board of Commissioners.
Saulman said the advance is needed because the newly-created fire district will not see tax revenue until June and insurance and other costs are due in January, to go along with operating costs.
‘We have a zero cash balance,’ he said.
Operating expenses include fuel, electricity, miscellaneous equipment funding and any kind of incident or catastrophe.
For the first six months, Saulman said, it will be business as usual for the department with no changes. Sometime in the second half of the year the department plans to hire four full-time firefighters, who will work Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The department will still utilize its volunteer base.
Saulman said there’s funding in the township trustee budget, in the fire and cumulative fire funds, but the trustee is under no obligation to transfer that money to the newly-formed fire district.
‘We’re under the assumption, from communications with the trustee (Cecil Trobaugh), that we’re not going to receive those funds,’ Saulman said.
The two funds have a combined total of more than $700,000.
A phone call to Trobaugh to ask about the funds held by the township trustee office was not returned by press time.
The commissioners made and approved a motion to take the request under advisement. It is anticipated they will make a decision about the request at their next meeting, which will be Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.
In other business, the commissioners passed a request from Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye for $50,000 for care of inmates for those housed at the Washington County Jail due to overcrowding in the Harrison County Jail. The county council will hear the request Monday night.
George Ethridge, manager of the Harrison County Community Foundation/Mainstream high-speed fiber Internet project, said the project is progressing very well with a third of fiber lines installed (213,000 feet). Thirty miles of the project will be lit later this month.
‘That’s wonderful,’ Commissioner Kenny Saulman said.
Mainstream now has a full-time sales person in the area, and its office, located next to Pizza King along Landmark Avenue in Corydon, is now open normal hours.
County engineer Kevin Russel opened annual bids for nine highway department items and will bring back a summary for the commissioners to consider for approval at their next meeting.

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