HC Council approves funds for 5 new cruisers
Marie Mills, Contributing Writer
Donnie Hussung will continue as the Harrison County Council chair and Kyle Nix as vice chair as determined at the council’s first meeting of the new year on Monday.
Sheriff Nick Smith spoke to the council about the need to have enough funds in the budget for his department to purchase five new vehicles a year. Smith explained that five new vehicles a year would mean he is replacing the cars in his fleet, of 40 to 50 vehicles, every five years.
Due to the number of miles put on the vehicles, five is the minimum his department could get away with replacing each year, he said.
Smith said the sooner his department is allowed the funds, the less it would cost the county, as the vehicles are ordered through the state bid, which will close soon. If vehicles are not ordered through the state bid, the department has to buy in-stock vehicles, which often come with unnecessary upgrades and are more expensive, the sheriff said.
The council voted to allow $200,000 in the utility line and $50,000 in riverboat funds to cover the cost.
Smith said he will use commissary funds to make up the difference needed.
Jeff Hess, on behalf of Boone Township Fire District, requested the remaining $460,000 in funds granted to it from last year to purchase a rescue pumper truck. The council will vote on the request in two weeks.
The funds come from the Harrison County Fire Chiefs Association’s gentleman’s agreement.
Also at the meeting, several council appointments were made to various boards. They include Nix to the 4-H Council (this year the council representative will have voting rights); Jennie Capelle to the county Extension board and the Family and Children board; Jeff Byerly to the Alcohol Beverage board; Ross Schulz to the Alternative Education board and Harrison County Solid Waste Management District board; Gary Byrne to the Harrison County Public Library board; Brad Wiseman to the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County board and Harrison County Plan Commission; Holli Castetter and Hussung to the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. board; Richard Gerdon to the Harrison County Lifelong Learning board; David Lett to the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency board; and Patricia Vanderburg to the Tax Board of Appeals.
Kevin Russel spoke to the council about the need to approve the purchase of one of the parcels needed for the Lanesville connector road project right-of-way. He explained that nine parcels have been purchased for rights-of-way and four are in the condemnation process.
One of the four in the condemnation process made a counteroffer, which the Harrison County Board of Commissioners accepted, but the council also must approve.
Russel said that accepting this counteroffer is the least costly and most efficient way to move forward as condemnation costs lawyer fees and the amount allowed for the owners can change during the course of the condemnation period.
The council approved $100,760 for the appropriation of the parcel for the right-of-way.
The council also approved $312,640 for the environmental mitigation needed for permits for the Lanesville project.
Michael Summers was retained as the council attorney; he has served in the position the past 21 years.
The council’s next meeting will be Monday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Harrison County Government Center in Corydon.