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Title: Economic Development Needs Support
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Members of Warren County Economic Eevelopment Commission appeared before the Warren County Commissioners Monday, to see what if any support the county can give in assisting the EDC in its job. Economic growth will bring jobs to the county and increase its tax base, the Commissioners were told.

EDC members, Gary Ishmiel, Lon Akers, and Joe Kiger, met with the Commissioners, along with Economic Development Director Larry Crane, at the Board's regular meeting, Monday, August 15.

Ishmiel explained that serving on the EDI is very frustrating because without the county's support all their efforts are futile. He said what the county invests in economic development has paybacks and that other surrounding counties are making those investments and seeing the paybacks in jobs and the tax base.

The EDI members say there are several possible sites available for industry, however without water and sewage available they are not considered legitimate sites. They also pointed out that some locations still have zoning that was put in place in the 1960's and that they should be rezoned. They asked if it might be possible to get funding from the EDIT tax or other possible means of financial support that could assist economic development in the county.

It was pointed out that they have attempted to get grants to assist in the installation of water and sewage to the sites, where industry has expressed an interest but to no avail. They also found that the cost of what it would cost to run water and sewage increases dramatically when applying for grants due to prevailing wage requirements. In addition grants require the county to put up some matching funds, usually around 15%.

The EDC also told the Commissioners they receive listings every month about companies searching for sites to locate industry and that they can't wait two or three years until we get the funding together.

The Commissioners pointed out that each of the four incorporated towns have the opportunity to get a portion of the EDIT tax (only if they have a specific plan for its use.)

It was pointed out to the board, however that when trying to get an Illinois company to locate in Warren County, it was estimated it would cost $70,000 to $80,000 to get sewage and water run to the site. The EDC then discovered that with prevailing wage requirements, it would cost approximately $20,000. Using the $12,000 of possible funding through the EDIT tax for the Town of Williamsport, the EDC members explained to the Commissioners it would still not be enough even for matching funds for a grant. They also said even if the county could do the work themselves, $12,000 toward a $70,000 project is not enough to get much of anything done.

Akers pointed out that the EDC is not trying to overrun the county with industry, but pointed out that one manufacturing plant could bring in 30 or so jobs and help the tax base, even if an abatement is given. "It will increase the tax base right off the bat and that's a lot betterthan what the county collects on a bare piece of ground, Akers said.

Ishmiel said the EDC would like to concentrate on just the four incorporated towns of Williamsport, West Lebanon, Pine Village and State Line.

Crane explained to the Commissioners, "The EDC is not asking for a lot just something to work with. About $20,000 would be good, at least hopefully enough for matching funds."

The Commissioners explained that the EDIT tax has an uncertain future. The Commissioners hope to keep the EDIT tax and use the funds to recycle the county's blacktop roads. The Council has the final say in the matter of retaining or dropping the tax, however it is believed that once the EDIT tax is removed it can never be reinstated. The Commissioners suggested that the EDC meet with the Council to discuss the matter. An appointment will be scheduled for Aug. 30 when the Council begins budget deliberations.

Results Still Pending

Don Prichard and Jim Hughes of Everett I. Brown appeared before the Commissioners on Monday. "The bottom line: We think it's time for you to occupy your jail," Prichard told the Commissioners. He explained the two units in the day room (cell area) are being corrected and larger fans installed in those units. He said the duct work had not been completely installed according to design, and the company could be forced to re-do the work, resulting in further delays. "We recommended increasing motor size to move more air instead," Prichard said. Commissioner John Dillman pointed out that there had never been any complaints of illness or problems in the cell area. Commissioner Don Andrews said he was told the fans were too small and should be replaced.

A second issue Prichard wanted to discuss was about the open toilet in the control room. He said he understood that the local health board wants the toilet enclosed. Prichard said E.I. Brown does not concur. There is simply not room and it is not required. In all probability the toilet will never be used as a toilet anyway, it is merely there for an emergency. Such as if two people are on duty and one is making rounds, the other watching the control room. The one inside the room could use the facility while the other jail emplyee was out, it the one in the control room was not supposed to leave. Prichard said most of the time there are at least two or three people in there and if a person needs to use the restroom, they use one located elsewhere.

Prichard said open toilets in control rooms are common place and that he understands the health board is concerned about possible methane gas. He pointed out that through the air testing no methane gas was found. He said that by flushing the toilet every month and a half, to be assured there is water in the trap there would be no problem.

Prichard also said there is a difference of opinion about whether or not the toilet could be removed. He said the local health dept. contacted Walter Smith, Jail Inspector at the Dept. of Corrections and Smith said the toilet has to be there. Prichard disagrees. "I defy anyone to find in the code where it says that. It's a good idea and I recommend it, but we've never been able to find it written anywhere that the toilet in the control room is required," Prichard said.

Addressing a third issue, Prichard said the parking lot entry at the new jail, will be changed. He said the island (with the flag pole) will be relocated at our (E.I. Brown's) expense.

There had been complaints that it was difficult pulling into the parking lot entrance, without in some instances backing up due to having to negotiate the island there.

Numerous times throughout the meeting Prichard stressed that he recommends the county move back into the jail. All the Commissioners agree they would like to be able to move back in, but because of the liability, feel it is in the county's best interest to follow the advise of the Indiana State Dept. of Health and await the results of their testing.

Making an appearance later in the meeting was Dr. Fred Martin, Fountain/Warren Health Dept., who reported the results were not yet in on the air testing conducted by the state health dept. He agreed to let the Commissioners know immediately when the results are in. Meanwhile no one will return to the new jail until the county gets the okay from the state health dept.

Date: 8/18/1994
Origin: Review Republican
Author: LeeAnne Akers, Editor
Record ID: 00001567
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Warren County Jail
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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