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Navistar staying through July 2015, says EDA executive director

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By Becky Barnes

While early reports were shaky for the future of E-Z Pack in Cynthiana, it’s  now confirmed that the new owners will remain in Cynthiana through July 2015.
Darlene Bussell, Cynthiana-Harrison County Economic Development Authority executive director, told Cynthiana commissioners Tuesday that Navistar recently confirmed its intent to remain through the end of the 2015 lease.
Bussell said work now needs to be done to help grow the business and not just retain it.
Bussell added that other economic futures are looking brighter as well.
She said an existing business, whose parent company is located in Manchester, Ohio, is looking to expand its Harrison County operation.
Also, a New York company wants to locate in Kentucky and has made a site visit to Cynthiana and is in negotiations with the owner of an existing building.
The company would add 25 jobs to Harrison County’s workforce.
Bussell said there is also a committee laying the groundwork for a Walking Dead Festival in September 2013.
The Walking Dead is a television series that started as a comic book by its creators from Cynthiana, Tony Moore and Robert Kirkman.
Mayor Steve Moses said the opening scene of the comic is at Harrison Memorial Hospital.
Bussell said she is looking for about 100 volunteers to help with all aspects of the festival, which is expected to draw about 20,000 people from throughout the United States.
A committee of about 12 volunteers has been established to plan the festival.
In other business, the commission:
•Accepted retirement letters from Virgie Burns, city clerk’s office, and Kathleen Jackson, 911 telecommunicator.
•Agreed to advertise for the positions vacated with the retirements.
•Approved a $1,300 invoice for Planning and  Zoning mapping project. This would bring the city’s contribution to $3,800.
•Declared 1,000 square feet of new maple flooring as surplus and agreed to advertise for bids.
Commissioner Billy Grayson said he miscalculated the amount needed for the new City Hall gym floor.
•Voted to deny a $900 funding request for GED testing. Moses said he would be inclined to donate independently but did not believe the city’s money should be used.
Commissioner Roger Slade agreed, adding that the city had cut other service requests and that it should  not pick up new ones.
•Accepted the resignation of firefighter Jack True and agreed to advertise for the position.
•Noted that two police officer recruits, Billy Shaun Rains and John Christopher Bright, are at the academy for 18 weeks of training.
•New officer Dottie Batte will be graduating from the academy on Dec. 21 and will be riding with training officers for about a six-month period.
•Discussed repairs to one of the city’s fire trucks. Commissioner Gary Brunker said the cost of repairs will be about $3,000 to $4,000. He noted that commissioners need to be thinking about the purchase of a new truck in the next budgeting process.
Brunker said the most feasible way to make a $250,000 to $500,000 purchase will be through a bond issue.
•Heard Slade report that the city has 70 tons of salt ready for the first snowfall. He said less than half that amount was used in all of last winter.
•Agreed to begin work with HDR Engineers on repairs to the surface wash system at the city’s water treatment plant.
Commissioner Jack Keith said the work was anticipated and was included in the budget.
•Heard the mayor report that Time Warner Cable rates are changing.
Brunker added that a letter sent to customers indicates that an upgrade had been done in Cynthiana. However, he said he had been talking with representatives and some of the services listed in the letter are not available in Cynthiana.