RCRC asks for $150,000 from county

Cathy May, Contributing Writer

The Ripley County Commissioners met on Monday, November 19. Three members of the Ripley County Redevelopment Commission (RCRC), Brad Buening, Ted Spurlock and Jeff Volz, came to ask for $150,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax Economic Development Fund to purchase the Hanson property in Osgood for an industrial park.

The RCRC had obtained a grant from the City of Lawrenceburg for $679,530 to purchase the property. But, the city put a stipulation on the money that the industrial park in Versailles had to be completed before RCRC started on the industrial park in Osgood. It took $161,240 to make the Versailles Industrial Park shovel ready. That left RCRC short the money to purchase the Hanson property.

The commissioners voted to give RCRC $100,000 toward the purchase of the ground. The commissioners explained they had made a verbal commitment to the City of Batesville to help them with the widening of Merkel Road and they didn’t have the figures available for that project yet. The commissioners felt like they needed to save some money for that project.

Buening, Ripley County’s Economic Development director, said there have been several inquiries on the Versailles property, but no one is committed yet. RCRC can make the Osgood Industrial Park shovel ready, but the state won’t advertise it as such until the Versailles Industrial Park is 60% full.
In other business, Commissioner Chuck Folz said he had a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meeting where the problem of people abandoning horses was brought up. It hasn’t been an issue in Ripley County, but other counties have had problems with it. The LEPC suggested the county have a plan in place to handle the situation before a problem arises.

Emergency Management Director Wayne Peace was asked to join the meeting to inform the commissioners about the situation. He said it takes about ??? pound of hay a day to feed a horse, plus three to four pounds of sweet feed. Folz had talked to the Ripley County Parks and Recreation board and did get permission to house any horses there if needed. Folz will get donations for the feed and then decide how to dispose of the animals.

Peace said there is a horse rescue organization and that he also consults with Jim Hollis who is on the Indiana Board of Animal Health and resides in Sunman.

The commissioners spent more than an hour trying to figure out what happened to a $16,430 check that was issued by the Auditor’s office on December 29, 2006, returned on January 4, 2007 and issued again on January 12, 2007. The check was for new equipment for the County Highway Department.

The check became an issue because the highway department wanted to encumber money from 2007 to 2008 in order for the county to purchase a new dump truck. The issue was resolved by Attorney Neil Comer who said the money could be encumbered until next year, but the county would have to get an invoice into the auditor’s office prior to the December council meeting.

County Clerk Ginger Bradford asked for the commissioners to pay the poll workers before the claims are advertised because of the length of time it takes for them to be paid after the election. The commissioners asked Auditor Mary Ann McCoy if that was a problem for her. She replied if that was what the commissioners wanted to do, she had no objection. So, the commissioners voted to pay the poll workers before the claims were advertised for this election and all future elections.

Bradford also reported that Dean Housemeyer had donated and installed three electrical plugs in her office.

Planning Director Tad Brinson presented a rezone and two zoning ordinance changes to the commissioners. All had come from the Ripley County Area Planning Commission with favorable recommendations. The commissioners approved the rezone to allow a bed and breakfast on Coonhunters Road in Batesville.

Also, the change to the zoning ordinance regarding more flexibility with regard to lots on either side of the driveway in agricultural subdivisions was approved. But the proposed zoning change of having the accessory building before the primary building on 10 acres or more was not approved. The commissioners sent it back to the planning commission for further discussion.

Commissioner Chuck Folz said that he had received several complaints about Jonathon Smith burning at night and leaving his burn pile unattended. Folz had Wayne Peace from the health department go out and speak with him, but the burning has continued. Smith recently cut several trees down around the courthouse for the commissioners.

The commissioners reappointed Warren Bruns to the Ripley County Parks and Recreation Board of Directors.

All three commissioners were in attendance: Bob Reiners, Chuck Folz and Lawrence Nickell. County Auditor Mary Ann McCoy and County Attorney Neil Comer were present to advise the commissioners. The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be held on Monday, December 3 at 8:00 a.m. at the commissioner’s room of the Ripley County Annex.