2012-06-13 / Front Page

Owen Council Approves 10-Year Abatement For Hoosier Energy

Board Votes To Make Various Payments To ADA Project Vendors
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

As previously approved in May, the Owen County Council filed official documentation Monday evening to solidify a 10-year tax abatement plan for Hoosier Energy.

Following the passage of an official resolution and approval of the Statement of Benefits application submitted by the incoming business, the economic development process moved one step closer to completion. The partial abatement of real property tax will begin in 2014 and last through 2024. Both measures passed the county council by a vote of 6-0. Councilman Mark Snapp was not in attendance.

Denise Shaw, Executive Director of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation, and county attorney Richard Lorenz explained that the process is moving forward and requested that an individual from the council be appointed to serve on a task force that will oversee infrastructure construction through to completion. Council vice president Patty Steward volunteered for the post. Similar requests for other appointments will be made to members of the Owen County Board of Commissioners and Spencer Town Council in the near future.

The council also approved an additional appropriation and a transfer request. The council first voted 6-0 to approve a $9,500 appropriation from the county’s cash balance to satisfy a 2011 maintenance contract agreement for voting machines on behalf of the Owen County Election Board. The council will soon receive a 2012 invoice for another $9,500 payment.

Another 6-0 vote was made to approve a transfer of $1,000 within the Owen County Prosecutor’s budget into the Transcript of Evidence line item.

The council received an update on Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) from Bruce Hamlin, local board member. Hamlin noted that 22 percent of patients at the clinic are Owen County residents. He also shared short stories of appreciative patients and expressed his appreciation of the council’s financial support given to VIM.

The board later addressed outstanding invoices from vendors associated with the ongoing Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvement project at the Owen County Courthouse. The council voted 6-0 to approve a total amount of $19,034.50 from the county’s Rainy Day Fund and to pay $4,800 to the Southern Indiana Development Commission. The $19,034.50 included $1,500 to Architura, the amounts of $1,250 and $3,500 to PMSI, Inc. and $12,784.50 in local funds to contractor 3D Construction. The council also approved a grant draw down totaling $97,821.

Owen County Auditor Angie Lawson informed the board of an upcoming State Board of Accounts meeting for county council members scheduled for Saturday, June 30 in Plainfield. Council members are urged to attend, specifically to listen to discussion regarding sheriff’s department pensions and 911 funding. Lawson noted that the county will receive $250,000 from 911 funding for the 2013 fiscal year.

The board also briefly discussed 2012 budget hearings, scheduled for August 30 and 31 at the county courthouse. The council advised all county department heads to simply resubmit approved 2012 budgets, with any additions to be included separately as ‘wish list’ items.

The Owen County Council will meet again on Monday, July 9, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room, located on the second floor of the Owen County Courthouse.

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