County approves $2,000 funding for hotel feasibility study

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By Ben Hyatt

The Harrison County Fiscal Court has voted to financially support a hotel study.
According to Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett the Economic Development Authority has been approached by an investor interested in possibly bringing a chain hotel to Harrison County.
“The investor is wishing to conduct a study that will show if it is feasible to build a hotel in Harrison County,” said Barnett. “They are wanting to conduct the study as soon as possible, however, they are wanting financial support from the city and county.’
According to Barnett, the hotel study, which monitors traffic flow as well as other statistics, is estimated to cost $8,200.
Barnett said he believed the city would agree to pay $2,000 of the cost along with the EDA’s $1,500 contribution to the study.
“I believe it was said that the investor is willing to pay $3,000 of the cost, which would leave around $2,000 left for the county to pick-up,” said Magistrate William Fritz.
Magistrates Frank Henson and Jeff Brunker showed some skepticism about paying for an economic development project with no guarantee.
“Doesn’t the EDA have their own money for things like this,” questioned Henson. “They are asking for $2,000 with no guarantee that a hotel will even be built.”
After a short debate, a motion was made to fund up to $2,000 for the hotel study. Henson was the only magistrate voting “no.” Motion passed.
During the personnel committee report, a motion was made to hire Jennifer Renaker as the new Harrison County Tax Administrator at a salary of $32,500. Motion passed.
Renaker will replace the vacant job of former tax administrator Melody McClure who has taken the place of Candida Lewis as the county treasurer.
Magistrate Brad Marshall of the road committee said there is a need for two snow plow adapter packages for the two used trucks that the county recently purchased.
“These trucks scrape snow in the subdivisions where the big trucks can not go,” explained Marshall. “Due to us buying Fords, we need adapters in order to be able to use the blades that we currently have.”
A motion was made to allow the road department to purchase two adapter packages for $2,400. Motion passed.
Finally, it was announced that plans for the courthouse renovation do not meet handicap requirements. They will be redrawn and submitted for bids at a later date.