Commissioners hear plan at Markland Business Park, discuss power outage

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The regular scheduled meeting of the Switzerland County Commissioners was held on Monday, June 22nd, after being canceled the week before.

The Commissioners heard a plan that will involve an additional purchase of land at the Markland Business Park.

Switzerland County Economic Development has entered into a lease contract to purchase the property on the corner of Bud Ballard Road and State Road 156. This is a 3 1/2 acre lot with a model home on it.

Executive Director Jon Bond said the property adjoins the 87-acre industrial park. He also said that the house will not be moved. It will be used as an office to meet with prospective clients who are interested in starting a business in the industrial park.

When asked why they don’t meet at the office in Vevay, Bond replied he needs to, “…Take clients someplace and not in his dirty truck.”

The Switzerland County Farmers market has been given permission to locate at the site.

The Commissioners also received information on the recent power outage in the town of Vevay.

Commissioner Steve Lyons discussed the recent power outage in the town of Vevay. He is in the process of coordinating a town hall meeting with Duke Energy, State Representative Randy Frye, town/county officials, and the community. The date and place of the meeting has not been decided yet.

IGA owner Eric Rabe spoke to the crowd and told them that the store is closed. He will have all the merchandise out by the end of this week. The local food banks received the perishables and the store is up for sale.

He stated that there has been four outages in the past 18 months with claims amounting to $122,000. His insurance company will no longer insure the perishables due to previous claims. When asked if he had built-in gas generators which could be used as a back up like Kroger and WalMart, he replied no.

Rabe said he checked into the purchase of a generator and the cost would be $50,000 -$70,000. He would also like to thank the community for their business and would love to keep the store open.

If he is given some assurance from Duke that the electric problem could be solved, he could reopen the store in 24 hours.

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In other business discussed by the Commissioners:

– Kerry McConnell, SIRPC, reported that they have 13 applicants for the housing rehab program. The grants will be awarded October 22nd to the homeowners that qualify for the program.

– EMA Director Chris See, informed the commissioners that the TEC Center phone lines and Internet were not operational during the power outage. The electric was on through the use of the generator. See will look into some other options for the phones if another outage occurs.

– There will be a change in the weather alerts that the public receives. The alerts will be sent during tornado warnings/watches, thunderstorm warnings, 60 mph winds, and any large hail expected to hit the area. Some of the other alerts will not be transmitted.

– There was a power outage at the Switzerland County Courthouse on Sunday. Semens ,the company that works on the courthouse electrical problems, will be checking the system over. It plans on doing any needed repairs on Sunday.

– Sheriff Nathan Hughes discussed the issue of “taking prisoners to work”. He informed the commissioners that with their approval and insurance, he could start the program to take convicted prisoners out of the county jail on a work program. Hughes will check into the insurance and report back to the commissioners.

– Vevay Main Street Director Vickie Hinman asked the commissioners if the Jack Sullivan Building could be used for a bingo hall. She is looking into options that Vevay Main Street might have to generate money for the program. She will report her findings in the near future.

– The highway department reported that construction is ahead of schedule on bridge #5 on Bennington Pike. Parham Construction turned in a claim for 38-percent of the bid in the amount of $70,920. The commissioners will pay the claim when the engineering firm signs off on the claim.

– Saundra Adams of the Switzerland County Nurse Managed Clinic asked for the approval to purchase a 10×16 metal storage building to replace the old one. The commissioners approved the purchase, which will cost $2,595, along with $445 to rewire the new building.

– Rosemary Bovard