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Small business owners to have longer to repay loans

Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners met Monday night to approve multiple county business matters, including the repayment of small business loans.

Lisa Long, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County approached the commissioners to discuss the small business loans offered to various businesses in Harrison County this year.

Due to COVID-19 hurting the financial end of businesses throughout the county, the Chamber partnered with the Harrison County Community Foundation to make loans available to the county’s small business owners.

Ultimately, the loans totaled $37,000 and the businesses were set to begin payments back on the loans starting in December. However, due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, Long requested that the commissioners approve extending the beginning repayment date to July 2021.

The commissioners agreed this was the right thing to do to help out local businesses and the motion, made by Commissioner Charlie Crawford, passed 3-0.

Mel Quick-Miller, assistant superintendent of the Harrison County Highway Dept., came before the commissioners seeking approval to apply for a federal grant for the highway department. She explained the grant would be an 80-20 split, and that the hope is to put the money into the Cumulative Bridge Fund.

The goal, she hopes, is to save the money for upcoming bridge projects that will need to take place in the near future. She said the department’s main concern is Bridge No. 25, which is located on Corydon-New Middletown Road. Quick-Miller said this bridge will need attention soon, and having the funds in place already would be much easier on their team.

The commissioners approved her request 3-0.

At a special commissioners’ meeting Friday, Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith asked for approval for his emergency service personnel staff to be allowed to carry over into 2021 any time earned for vacation or days off, excluding sick time.

“Some of our staff has just not had time for vacation due to the high demand of hours we have been working this year,” Smith said. “We have hundreds of hours that people have accumulated, but they just cannot take off right now. It would be a good morale boost for our team to get this approved.”

Commissioner Jim Heitkemper was not present for the vote, but commissioners Charlie Crawford and Kenny Saulman both approved his request, passing 2-0.

The board of commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the government center in Corydon.