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Highway department seeks $118K in additionals

Highway department seeks $118K in additionals Highway department seeks $118K in additionals
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Highway Dept. will approach the council at its meeting Monday to ask for multiple additionals to get them through the rest of the year after the Board of Commissioners approved director Kevin Russel’s request at its meeting Tuesday morning (moved from Monday morning due to Labor Day).

The request totaled $45,000 from local road and street — with $20,000 for fuel, oil and lube, $15,000 for the parts truck and tractor line and $10,000 for parts road equipment line — and $73,000 from the Motor Vehicle Highway lines ($3,000 for contractual services, $10,000 for tree trimming, $5,000 for garage utilities, $40,000 for repairs for truck and tractors and $15,000 for repairs for road equipment).

Russel also requested an additional $42,140 in the riverboat fund for the highway department’s use, as it is a reimbursement from an insurance payment on a recently wrecked highway department truck.

He also gave an update to the commissioners that paving is currently ongoing for the two Community Crossings grant funded projects, and he added that Doolittle Hill Road is being added to the 2021 grant contract as there were additional funds to add in the road to the list.

Joe Squier, Harrison County Emergency Medical Services director, approached the commissioners to discuss future plans for two decommissioned ambulances, one of which is unserviceable.

Squier noted that in the past, with unserviceable ambulances, they have taken those to auction, which he said they have done surprisingly well at in terms of the amount they received back.

The commissioners agreed this was a good idea and unanimously voted to send the unserviceable ambulance to auction.

The other decommissioned ambulance is in need of numerous repairs, but Squier said he had been in talks with Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., which is interested in taking over the ambulance with agreement to provide back-up services to Harrison County EMS when needed. The commissioners unanimously agreed to this as well.

Greg Reas, director of Harrison County Emergency Management Agency, presented an updated mitigation plan to the commissioners that he is required to do every five years. He noted this is a requirement from FEMA in case something happens. The cost of the program is around $19,000, which is funded 75% by FEMA and 25% by the county.

However, Reas said due to FEMA supplying the fees for volunteers and labor during the program that the county has always been refunded for their 25% contribution.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the plan for Reas to move forward with.

Darrell Voelker, executive director for Harrison County Economic Development Corp., gave the commissioners an update about the READI grant program he has joined. He explained he is currently working with five other counties not involved in other regional READI programs to focus on bigger projects for grants, like broadband or regional housing projects.

He said he intends to put in applications for two projects. If the proposed distribution center chooses to commit to the Lanesville Business Park location, then one project will be to help fund extensions to sewer and water lines for the county, something he estimates could cost $1.5 million, and the other is to help funding with the regional sewer district’s treatment plant expansion in New Salisbury to help expand the housing development currently ongoing in the area.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to allow Voelker to move ahead with this program.

The commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. at the government center in Corydon.