By Valerie Werkmeister
The Posey County Commissioners opened their June 18, meeting by receiving what many consider good news from John Taylor, Executive Director of the Posey County Economic Development Commission. Taylor stated he had been notified by Governor Mike Pence’s office that the Indiana Finance Authority would release the bonds for the Midwest Fertilizer project. This action paved the way for Posey County to reissue and market the bonds on its own, thereby pushing the project forward.
Since Pence dropped state support for the facility, Posey County officials have been working to issue the bonds on their own. Pence cited safety concerns that the particular formula of the fertilizer that would be manufactured could fall into the wrong hands and be used in explosive devices against our troops serving in other countries.
Taylor indicated that Department of Defense officials intend to travel to Pakistan to test the new formula that has been created. He stated they will bring some back to a military facility in the United States to test it. Until the government gives a favorable nod on the new formula, the company and Posey County officials will continue working to select a site for the facility.
Commissioners approved road closures in Mount Vernon for the Path of Hope 5K Run/Walk to be held on August 17. Ara Shirel presented the plan and stated the event will kick off at 7 a.m. behind Dan’s Competition at Leonard Road and Old Highway 62 and finish the race going down Seibert Lane north on Tile Factory and west on Bellefountaine Cemetery Rd. Due to the high volume of traffic on some of these roads, they will be blocked off during race time. The commissioners and Sheriff Greg Oeth advised Shirel to have adequate signage notifying the public when the roads would be blocked off.
Shirel stated the race would end with awards and refreshments handed out at Agape Church. The event is sponsored by Agape Family Ministries. An August 24, rain date has been set.
Barb and Mick McConnell of New Harmony addressed the commissioners regarding the status of the plan for New Harmony to annex South Road for Phase II of their trail project. The state has approved the trail designed and they intend to seek construction bids soon. However, both county officials and New Harmony officials are unsure who specifically owns South Road.
Commissioner Jim Alsop stated South Road is not on their county road inventory list and hasn’t been for almost 30 years. He advised in 1978, the road was involved in lawsuit and the judge at the time proclaimed it was a county road.
McConnell asked Alsop who would determine whether or not South Road is a county road. Alsop replied he didn’t know and the county would have to do more research.
Town Board members have stated they do not intend to annex the road, which threw a curve ball into the project. Alsop also advised McConnell that the commissioners received a petition on June 17, to vacate the road. McConnell expressed concern that if the county does vacate the road, ownership would then transfer back to the original owner of the road. Commissioner attorney William H. Bender stated a title search should determine the road’s origin. He plans to complete the research and have an answer by the next commissioner’s meeting scheduled Tuesday, July 2.
Commissioner Carl Schmitz questioned whether they would be able to keep ATV’s off the trail once it’s complete. The only traffic that will be allowed on the trail includes pedestrians, bikes, golf carts and horses with buggies.
Alvin Blaylock of 17 Meadow Lane in New Harmony spoke against the project as his property borders the proposed trail. He felt it would bring too much additional traffic and trash that would devalue his property.
The commissioners did not take any action on the issue as it was discussed for information purposes only.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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