City of Scottsburg Seeking 30% Water Rate Increase

The Scottsburg City Council will be holding a public hearing next Monday, April 15, to consider a 30% water rate increase on all customers of the utility.
Water rates in the city have remained stable for a decade. “The last water rate increase was in 2009,” said Scottsburg Utility Office Manager Leslie Bixler.
She said this increase proposal is a result of increased costs for chemicals used in treatment, electric power needed for pumping and distributing water to customers and cost of materials for repairs and upgrades to the water system.
“Considering the length of time from the last rate increase, the city is seeking about 3% a year increase,” said Bixler.
The rate increase, if approved, would result in about a $6.95 per month increase for most utility customers using the 2,500 gallons of water each month.
“More than half of our customers use 2,500 gallons of water or less each month,” said Bixler. Business, commercial and industrial water users will see the same 30% rate increase.
The City of Scottsburg bills customers for water, sewer, electric, sanitation (trash collection), and internet broadband on a single monthly bill.
“Customers should not think that their entire bill will be going up 30%,” said Bixler. “The rate increase request is only for the water consumption portion of the monthly bill.”
The rates per 1,000 gallons being requested for the majority of users are $12.16 for the first 1,500 gallons; $10.43 for the next 18,500 gallons; $7.76 for the next 20,000 gallons.
If adopted at the April 15 council meeting, the new rates would be reflected in water customers’ June billing, said Bixler.
The Scottsburg City Council will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15, at City Hall Council Room to consider the increase. A copy of the proposed water rate ordinance is available for public inspection at city hall and is available online at www.crothersvilletimes.com.

Proposed Scottsburg Water Rates

Meal & Music At Hamacher Hall Friday

April is Crothersville History Month and in celebration, the Crothersville Historical and Cultural Arts Association will be hosting its annual History Dinner Theater fundraiser on Friday, Apr. 12.
Beginning at 6 p.m. there will be a dinner served with fried chicken, potatoes & gravy, salad, green beans, biscuits, drinks, and desserts.
Following the dinner will feature music by the band, ‘No Strings Attached’, consisting of area musicians.
Hamacher Hall is located at 211 East Howard Street in Crothersville.
The cost is $15 per person and funds raised will be used for maintaining and improving the facilities at Hamacher Hall. For reservations contact Linda Seals at 812-521-3695.

6 Parcels Sell At Delinquent Tax Certificate Sale

Six parcels of Jackson County property on which delinquent property taxes remained unpaid were sold last Tuesday, Mar. 26, at the Commissioners Certificate Sale.
The properties had gone through two delinquent tax sales and failed to sell.
Three of the properties sold for the $200 minimum bid.
New Hanna LLC of Beech Grove purchased the former Unicell Paper Mills Inc. property on West Spring Street in Brownstown for $200. The 32.72 acre parcel had delinquent taxes of $193,341.08.
James T. Eglen of Brownstown was the only bidder for 3315 N. Sugar Street in Clearspring on which $4,113.82 in delinquent taxes were owed.
Dale Ehringer of Norman was the only bidder for 6668 Glendenning Street in Freetown on which $3,081.36 in delinquent taxes were owed.
Joe L. Cole of Seymour had the successful bid $12,200 for 828 Phillips Lane in Seymour on which $15,894.84 in delinquent taxes were owed
Ricci D. & Alisa K. Sweazy of Crothersville were the successful bidders for 614 E. Bard St in Crothersville. Their high bid of $1,450; the property had delinquent taxes of $4,393.36.
Douglas Bledsoe of Cortland was the successful bidder for 621 Noble Street in Seymour, His bid was $1,500; the property had delinquent taxes of $9,990.62.

Jackson County, 4 Other Communities Awarded $3.5 Million In State Paving Grants

There will be a lot of paving going on in Jackson and Scott Counties this summer.
Last week the Indiana Department of Transportation announced that Jackson County along with the communities of Seymour, Brownstown, Medora and nearby Scottsburg were all awarded state grants to resurface roadways.
A total of 189 cities, towns and counties received a combined $115 million in state-matching funds for local road projects through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative.
Jackson County received $999,251.35, Seymour was awarded $999,999.99 for paving, Brownstown received $350,124.75 and Medora was awarded $156,918.75 for paving. Nearby Scottsburg was awarded a $1 million grant for paving.
Last November, Crothersville was awarded $217,480 to re-surface streets and Scott County received a $1 million for road resurfacing.
“Indiana’s fully-funded, long-term Next Level Roads plan means cities, towns, and counties are improving their roads and bridges at levels unmatched in our state’s history,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in making the announcement. “Community Crossings projects are crucial to first mile and last mile solutions that companies need when evaluating Indiana to locate their business or expand to create additional jobs.”
To qualify for grant funding, communities must provide local matching grants of 25% to 50%
The Community Crossings Initiative has provided more than $500 million in state matching funds for construction projects. The latest round garnered 229 applications—making the call for projects highly competitive. In response to local requests to help manage project flow, INDOT now accepts applications in both January and July, with a $1 million cap annually per community. An estimated $100 million will be available for communities opting to apply during the 2019 summer call for projects.
“Local leaders are improving the conditions of local roads and bridges all across the state with funding from the Community Crossings Initiative,” said Holcomb. “The partnership model with the state sharing in the cost of local projects means Hoosier taxpayers receive great value as communities deliver needed projects.”
State law requires annually that 50 percent of the available matching funds be awarded to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer.
As a result of the grant to Jackson County, 17 additional miles of paving are planned.
Vernon Township will see an additional 2.52 miles of roads being resurfaced. They include CR 1300 E (County Line Road) from 100 S to 200 S and CR 950 E from 800 S to SR 256.
Other Jackson County roads planned to be paved as a result of the grant include:
Brownstown Twp.
Base Road from town limits to 275 S
25 N .78 of a mile from 175 E
Carr Twp.
740 W from town limits to 275 S.
225 S 1.33 miles from 940 W
940 W from 225 S to 250 S
Grassy Fork Twp.
400 S from SR 30 to 600 E
600 E from 400 S to 500 S
540 S .61 of a mile from CR500 E
500 S .68 of a mile from 625 E
Jackson Twp.
Mutton Creek Drive from County Ave to Kerry Hill Dr.
Owen Twp.
1020 W .25 of a mile from 200 N
1000 W 1.08 miles from 325 N
200 N from 975 W to 1100 W
200 N .31 of a mile from 1100 W
1150 W 1.14 miles from 100 N
Redding Twp.
1300 E from 900 to 1000 N

BZA Gives Greenlight To Crothersvile Mulch Plant

A 45-year-old manufacturer of landscape products received final approval from Jackson County to operate a mulch manufacturing facility south of Crothersville.
Sims Bark Co. plans to invest up to $10 million and employ 20 people at the site off of U.S. 31 on County Road 1150E (Frontage Road) adjacent to Interstate 65 at the Crothersville exit south of town.
To begin the project, however, the Tuscumbia, Alabama-based company had to obtain a special exception to allow for industrial usage for the 59.68-acre site. During a special meeting Tuesday, March 26, the Jackson County Board of Zoning Appeals voted 5-0 to approve that special exception. The next step is for Sims Bark to obtain a building permit from the county for the project.
Andy Johnson, vice president of operations for Sims Bark Co., said construction of the first phase of the project on the site owned by James Puckett of Columbus is expected to begin June 1 and be completed by the end of the year. The company plans to buy the property from Puckett.
Johnson said the company plans to contract with local sawmills for raw material such as bark, slabs and other wood byproducts and local truck drivers to haul those materials to the processing plant and finished product to customers.
He said the company will be able to grind and bag about 5 million bags of bark mulch a year, but the second phase— to be completed in 2021— would add another 10 million bags to the capacity. Employment also could eventually grow to 40.
The company also has operations in Brent, Alabama; Olive Branch, Mississippi; Woodbury, Georgia; Bowman, South Carolina; and Corbin, Kentucky. The ones located in more rural areas sell directly to the public, and the Crothersville operation may do the same.
“I think this area might be a good fit for that,” Johnson said. That, however, won’t happen the first year or two, he said.
In response to questions by BZA board member Don Cummings about hours of operation, the potential for fires and the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process, Johnson said during the busy season, the facility would operate on 12-hour shifts Monday through Friday. That would drop to about 50 hours a week during the off-season, he said.
The company does not store large amounts of raw materials and generally tries to complete the manufacturing, coloring and bagging process within six weeks, Johnson said. The company does not use any chemicals, and the dye used to color the mulch is just pigment, he said.
The company will use about 300 gallons of water an hour, but some of that water will be reused, said Jonathan Isaacs with Independent Land Surveying in Brownstown. There also will be a detention pond for runoff from the site, and water will be released slowly from the pond into a nearby ditch. Architect Dave Correll is designing the project.
Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., said he and officials with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. have been working with Johnson and Sims, which looked at several sites before making the decision to make the investment happen in Crothersville.
Plump said the state is planning to provide some assistance for the project.
Several neighboring property owners expressed their support for the project, including Lanny Monroe, who said it would be a great improvement to the area, and David Lee with Lee Construction.
Lee said he only wanted to be sure the berm that Sims Bark plans to place along U.S. 31 is at least 3 feet above the surface of US 31 so it does a good job of enhancing the entrance to the town.
Crothersville Town Council President Danieta Foster and Councilman Chad Wilson also expressed their support for the project along with Jackson County Commissioner Drew Markel.
“It’s very rare to see this kind of investment out in the county,” Markel said.
Donald Hargett, who lives about a quarter mile from the site, said he had some concerns about the dust and noise created by the operation.
“We use electric powered stationary mulchers and hammer mills which are much quieter than the diesel powered chippers you probably are familiar with,” said Johnson.
Johnson said manufacturing activity would be limited to inside the processing and bagging buildings, and traffic and parking areas would be paved with asphalt. The company also has agreed to upgrade culverts at the two entrances to the property off of County Road 1150E.
Sims Bark Co. was founded in 1974 and has $85 million in sales a year and employs 300, said Seymour attorney Bill Branam, who was representing the company. The company plans to market its mulch throughout southern Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.
BZA Board President Sherry Bridges, who lives in the Crothersville area, said the community has been waiting for years to see the property improved.

Tri-County Conservation Club Frying Fish Saturday

The Tri-County Conservation Club will hold their first of the year seasonal Fish Fry & Chili Supper on Saturday, April 6, serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call in orders will be taken by calling 812.498.4448. The menu will consist of Fish Sandwiches, Chili, French Fries, Desserts and Drinks.
Anyone wishing to set up for a Yard Sale may have access to the yard as long as they are a non-food vendor from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at no charge.
This is an open to the public fundraiser and you do not need to be a member to participate.
The Tri-County Conservation Club is located southwest of Crothersville at 8705 E 800 S.
If you need directions, get your memberships ranging from $5-$15, or want to reserve the club for rental of $50, or have any questions, please contact Brian Karnes at 812-498-4447 or Sandra Law at 812-793-2014.