Town Gets Competitive Bids For Street Paving Grant

If bid documents are all in order, the Town of Crothersville received five competitive bids for paving up to 14 streets this year as a part of the state Community Crossroads grant.
Last year, the town applied for and was awarded $423,406 in state money to resurface local streets. The town’s local match of $120,000 brings the total amount available for milling and re-surfacing to over $543,000.
After bids were opened at last Tuesday’s town council meeting, all but one was under that figure.
•All Star Paving of Seymour was the apparent low bidder with a bid of $374,116.43.
•Dave O’Mara Contractors of North Vernon bid $443, 314.09.
•Wingham Paving of Charlestown entered a bid of $458,862.25.
•Globe Asphalt of Westport bid $494,520.05 for the project.
•BP2 Construction of Seymour entered a bid of $581,051.57.
“These are pretty good prices,” commented town engineer Brad Bender of FPBH of North Vernon, adding that the engineer’s estimate for the 14 street project was $564,541.60.
He recommended that the town council take all bids under advisement while his firm confirms that all documentation is in order and award bid at their March 6 council meeting.
The streets scheduled to be resurfaced in Crothersville under the grant in 2018 include:
•East Street from Moore to and including Virginia Court.
•West Street from Moore to East Street.
•Bethany Road from Howard Street to the southern town limits.
•Kovener Street from Main St. to Benham Ave.
•Park Avenue from Main to Benham,
•Rider Avenue from Bethany to Kovener
•Benham Ave. from Bethany Road to Kovener St.
•Jackson Street from Main St. to Coleman Ave.
•Bard Street from Seymour Road to Preston St.
•Walnut Street from Seymour Road to preston St.
•Oak Street from Seymour Road to Preston St.
•West Bard Street from Kovener St. west to town limits.
•West Walnut Street from Kovener St. west to town limits.
•Mill Street from Park Ave. to Kovener St.

May 8 Primary Battles Loom For Dems & GOP

The deadline for filing for elective office ended at noon last Friday and both major political parties have primary battles.
The Primary election is Tuesday, May 8.
On the Democratic side, Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson of Crothersville and Barry Stuckwisch of Seymour will be contesting their party’s nomination for County Council representing District 2.
Republicans also have a primary battle for the District 2 County Council; Mark Pardieck and Mark Hackman both of Seymour filed for that office.
District 2 includes Vernon, Grassy Fork, Driftwood, and Washington Townships along with Jackson 3 South and Jackson 4 South precincts.
Republicans also have a county-wide race for County Commissioner District 3. Incumbent Commissioner Matt Reedy of Freetown faces a primary challenge from Roger L. Bane of Medora.
District 3 includes Pershing, Salt Creek, Owen, Carr, in the western part of the county but all Jackson County voters cast a ballot.
Four candidates are seeking to be the GOP nomination for county sheriff. William V. Abbott, Richard S. Meyer, Charles Murphy, all of Seymour and Phillip Nale of Brownstown are wanting to be the Republican sheriff candidate in the fall.
There is a three-way race for State Representative District 69 for the Republicans: incumbent James Lucas of Seymour faces opposition from Nancy Franke of Seymour and Charles Johnson of Columbus.
There is also a Republican battle for State Representative, District 73 in that incumbent Republican State Rep. Steve Davisson of Salem faces a challenge from Buford Dewitt of Paoli.
In federal office races, incumbent GOP 9th District Congressman Joseph ‘Trey’ Hollingsworth faces a primary challenge from James D. Alspach.
Democrats will also contest their party’s nomination for the 9th Congressional seat: Daniel Canon, Robert Chatlos, and Elizabeth S. Watson are all seeking their party’s nomination.
There is a three-way Republican primary battle to be the party’s nominee for US Senator between Michael Braun, Allen ‘Luke’ Messer and Theodore ‘Todd’ Rokita.
In more local filings, incumbent Democrat E. Scott Kovener has filed to seek a second term as Vernon Township Trustee. Incumbent Democrats Odes Densford and Allene Hoagland have filed to seek re-election to the Vernon Township board. Incumbent Republican Vernon Township Board member Roger Teipen filed for another term and political newcomer Tyler Goodpaster are seeking the GOP nomination. Three board members will be elected in the November 6 general election
In other races in Jackson County, incumbent Republican Jackson Township Trustee William R. Marsh is facing a primary challenge from Linda J. Auleman. Incumbent Republican Owen Township Trustee Frank Fisher is facing a primary challenge from Karen E. Wagoner

Farmers Breakfast Tackles Tax Changes, Farm Economy

The Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service will serve up an economic forecast and a glimpse of the new federal tax laws at the 16th annual Farmers Breakfast. Serving begins at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Pewter Hall, 850 W. Sweet Street in Brownstown. Doors open at 7 a.m. Admission is free.
Jackson County farmers and others from the agricultural community will hear about the economic outlook for the farm sector as well as recent changes to federal tax law and its implications down on the farm.
Purdue University Ag economist Christopher Hurt, a long time speaker at the annual farmers breakfast, will offer his insights into the economic landscape for farmers, and a certified public accountant with Blue & Co. will review changes in federal tax law focused on those that might affect the farm sector and charitable giving.
The Farmers Breakfast program is free of charge and reservations may be made by contacting the Foundation by calling 812-523-4483 or by emailing development@cfjacksoncounty.org.

Aisin Drivetrain To Add 47 New Jobs In Crothersville

Aisin Drivetrain Inc., a local manufacturer of automotive and heavy equipment parts, has announced it will expand its operations in Crothersville and add up to 47 new jobs by the end of the year.
ADI officials were at the Crothersville Town Council meeting last night to announce the $16 million expansion at its manufacturing operations in the local industrial park south of town.
The local company, which manufactures automotive components and systems such as industrial and commercial transmissions and power steering columns, currently employees 360 workers at the local facility.
The expansion in manufacturing equipment will allow the company to supply parts for vehicles such as the Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES. Work on the plant upgrades is expected to begin later this month.
Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation, said that since 2008, ADI has invested nearly $50 million into its operations.
“Any growth in our industry is good for the community,” said Crothersville Town Council President Danieta Foster.
“We are pleased with this news and look forward to continuing to support, in any way we can, our industrial community.”
In addition to a $7 million requested local tax abatement for phase 1 of the project, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered ADI up to $425,000 in tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans.
“These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives,” said Plump.

1 In 6 Hoosiers Have A Handgun Permit

The Percentage Is Higher In Jackson & Surrounding Counties

The number of people with handgun permits in Indiana shot up in recent years. About 1 in 6 adult Hoosiers now have a handgun permit — up from 1 in 10 in 2012.
The Indiana State Police released the 2017 firearms licensing statistics last month.
The state issued fewer handgun permits in 2017 than in 2016 in Indiana, but permits have shot up in the last five years, especially for women.
To carry a handgun— concealed, openly or otherwise— in Indiana, a person has to have a license from the state.
Indiana State Police issued 72,061 new firearm licenses in 2017, which is down from 134,290 issued in 2016 — a 46 percent drop in the number of licenses issued.
There are 833,614 active firearm licenses issued by the state right now. There are 5,057,601 people age 18 & over living in Indiana; that means about 1 in every 6 adult Hoosiers (16.48%) has a firearms license that allows them to legally carry a handgun.
The number of gun permit owners in south central Indiana is higher than the state average.
Jackson County’s population age 18 & older in 2016 was 33,197 people. As of the beginning of this year, 7,225 (21.76%) of the residents over age 18 had licenses to carry handguns.
For comparison of counties surrounding Jackson: Bartholomew County 10,993 permits, 61,921 (17.75%) population age 18 & older; Lawrence County 8,181 permits, 35,494 population (23.04%); Jennings County 4,611 permits, 21,193 population (21.75%); Washington County 4,707 permits, 21,336 population (22.06%); Scott County 3,881 permits, 18,409 population (21.08); Brown County 3,456 permits, 12,134 population (28.48%).
In the last six years, the biggest applicant spikes came in 2013 and 2016:
2017: 72,061
2016: 134,290
2015: 77,571
2014: 75,627
2013: 116,059
2012: 63,970
A Statehouse bill that would have done away with handgun permits was mostly scrapped last week, but a version would still ease back on licensing barriers, like getting rid of the fees to get a permit. The Indiana House Public Policy Committee approved the bill 12-1.
Getting rid of licensing fees means the state would lose about $13 million in revenue in 2019 and 2020, according to state estimates.
The original proposal was to do away with permitting outright but was shot down quickly in the committee hearing.
While men hold 3 out of 4 handgun permits in Indiana, more and more women are licensed to carry handguns in Indiana.
In the last six years, the number of women with active handgun permits more than doubled, from 92,860 in 2012 to 223,596 in 2017.

Zach Evans of the Evansville Courier & Press contributed to this story.

Farmers Breakfast Tackles Tax Changes, Farm Economy

The Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service will serve up an economic forecast and a glimpse of the new federal tax laws at the 16th annual Farmers Breakfast. Serving begins at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Pewter Hall, 850 W. Sweet Street in Brownstown. Doors open at 7 a.m. Admission is free.
Jackson County farmers and others from the agricultural community will hear about the economic outlook for the farm sector as well as recent changes to federal tax law and its implications down on the farm.
Purdue University Ag economist Christopher Hurt, a long time speaker at the annual farmers breakfast, will offer his insights into the economic landscape for farmers, and a certified public accountant with Blue & Co. will review changes in federal tax law focused on those that might affect the farm sector and charitable giving.
Hurt is a familiar face at the annual Farmers Breakfast. He joined the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics in 1981. He teaches an undergraduate course in livestock and meat marketing. His areas of specialty include examination of family farm market problems, pricing strategies, and livestock futures market problems, pricing strategies, and livestock futures market performance.
In Extension education, he provides analysis for participation in government programs, teaches marketing principles and alternatives, evaluates the livestock industry structure, and provides price analysis and outlook of live cattle and live hogs.
Recently, Hurt has examined the factors influencing the structural changes in the pork industry and evaluated the adoption of new technologies in moderate size Midwestern farms.
The Farmers Breakfast program is free of charge and reservations may be made by contacting the Foundation by calling 812-523-4483 or by emailing development@cfjacksoncounty.org.