WCEGP Holds Annual Meeting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 19 June 2009 00:00
      The Washington County Economic Growth Partnership (WCEGP) held its annual membership meeting on Friday, June 5, 2009 at the Salem Senior Citizens Center.  Approximately 45 members and elected officials met for lunch with the election of at-large directors following in a business meeting.
     Jess Helsel, President of WCEGP welcomed attendees and recognized special guests and sponsors.  Introduced was special guest, Harold Gutzwiller of Hoosier Energy and local sponsors of the annual meeting, First Harrison Bank, Community First Bank, Cottongim Enterprises, Saegesser Engineering, Inc., Robert Strange of Salem True Value and Jackson County REMC.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mr. John Fultz, County Councilman.  Lunch was catered by Country Cookin, Inc. of Salem.
    WCEGP Executive Director, Gerald Rose reported the activities of the Partnership and programs in which the Partnership is involved.  Rose introduced the guest speaker, Ms. Donna Riley.  Ms. Riley is the Executive Director of Leadership Southern Indiana.  Riley spoke on the topic “Leadership in the Community: Having a Vision for Economic Growth.”  She emphasized the importance of the leaders in Washington County looking to the future of the county and the importance of economic growth to the future of the citizens of the county. 
Last Updated on Friday, 19 June 2009 09:28
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Salem Speedway, Early Days PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 19 June 2009 00:00
    The Washington County Historical Society will host the program Salem Speedway, Early Days on Saturday, June 27 at 6 p.m. At the Steven;s Museum assembly room.
    The program will discuss the Speedway's founder and early racing events (1947 to present).
Descendants of the founders to attend: Emma Lou (Roberts0 Crockett will speak, Jim Summers, track builders, Everett (Foxy) Roberts, partner and past owner, Russ and Mary Barnard, promoters and past owners, Salem Fire Department, paid and volunteers who manned the concession stand and served as track safety personnel will also be present.
The intent of this program is to recapture the history of the building of the famed Salem Speedway in the early days.
    The Washington County Historical Society will continue to bring more programs remembering the old days of auto racing in Washington County. They currently have a small area at the museum dedicated to the racing past. They will continue to expand the exhibit with the help of future contributors of racing memorabilia with the hopes the community can support a dedicated racing museum to honor the rich racing heritage here in Salem and Washington County.
    The Salem high banks is known around the world. The track has claimed many in its day with no regard to how good a drivers or innocent spectators. Many times it has been editorialized as the Hills of Death in Southern Indiana. The auto industry having its roots in the Hoosier State was a mecca for racing. Many of those have gone on to be racings greatest drivers.
    Those who have survived to tell the tale will always remember the thrill of racing on the Hills go Thrills  at the famous Salem Speedway.
    For more information call 883-6495 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Last Updated on Friday, 19 June 2009 09:30
 
County Council votes to “unappropriate” economic development funds PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 June 2009 00:00
    The Washington County Council met in regular session on Monday, June 1, with all members presents.  The minutes of previous meetings and all claims were approved unanimously.
    In a 6-1 vote, the County Council voted to reverse its decision appropriating approximately $75,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax Fund (EDIT);  Jim Nice casted the dissenting vote.  Concerns were raised that a recent decision by the County Commissioners to give the Washington County Chamber of Commerce $10,000 to cover its operating budget for the remainder of the year violated the spirit of the initial agreement between the Council and the Commissioners when the earmark was approved late in 2008.  That agreement was to set aside 25 per cent of the annual funds generated by EDIT for unspecified non-roadwork economic development projects.  
    At the May 20 meeting when the Commissioners voted to approved the Chamber's request, County Council Vice-President John Fultz was present and gave enthusiastic support for the Commissioners' action saying, “The Chamber's work is an important part of economic development in the county.  We need a strong Chamber of Commerce.”      Apparently, no Council member other than Fultz was made aware of the money being given to the Chamber prior to the decision being made to do so.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2009 10:47
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City of Salem and Lucas Oil close to a deal on airport purchase PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 June 2009 00:00
    According to information provided by Salem Municipal Airport Board of Aviation Commissioners (BOAC) member Bob Woodward, the City of Salem and Lucas Oil Company are very close to inking a deal that will transfer ownership of the existing airport property to Lucas Oil and provide funds for the local match to build the new airport facility.  Representatives from Lucas Oil were in Salem last week to meet with Mayor David Bower, members of the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership, and members of both the air board and the city council.  Meetings also took place between the Lucas Oil people and Owen Thompson, owner of the Salem Speedway.
    Woodward said that the deal to purchase the old airport is about 99 per cent complete.  Assuming that negotiations go well between Thompson and Lucas Oil, everything should be signed before the end of the year.  
    Woodward went on to say that the engineering firm  R.W. Armstrong has redesigned the plans for the new facility to have a shorter runway than the initial plan called for.  The new plan includes a 3500 runway which is 1500 feet shorter than the one in the initial engineering plan but over 1000 feet longer than the current runway.  After completion of that phase, the additional 1500 feet of runway will be added over time.  This revision will allow the new facility to be operational within 24 months.  
    Woodward confirmed that the  re-appraising of properties to be purchased for the new airport is still expected to begin this fall.
    The next regularly scheduled BOAC meeting is Wednesday, June 17, beginning at 7pm at the airport.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2009 10:48
 
Commissioners say budget reductions mean less paving PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 June 2009 00:00
    The Washington County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Wednesday, June 3, with all members present.  The minutes of previous meetings, the payroll and all claims were approved unanimously.
    After reviewing the Budget Approval Form 1782 from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, the Commissioners noted that over $400,000 targeted for road paving in the county have been cut.  The explanation from the State of Indiana is that revenues will be less than anticipated due to the recession.  That cut in the budget could eliminate between six and eight miles of paving this summer.  County Highway Superintendent Rick Graves said that he will make cuts across the board and hopes that a reduction in fuel costs over last summer will help to absorb the shortfall.
    In other business, the Commissioners took the following action:
Appointments to various boards.
Approval of Adult Protective Services Contract with State of Indiana
Took no action on direct deposit of county employee paychecks as requested by County Treasurer Bob Woodward. Results of employee survey shows strong opposition to the plan.
    With no further business to conduct, the Commissioners adjourned until their next regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, June 17.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2009 10:49
 
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