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Hogan’s Dam issue resurfaces

Nearly two years after the Town of Pulaski voted to sell its Hogan’s Dam property over the objection of town and county citizens, the issue resurfaced Tuesday night.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr., who was the only councilman to vote against the sale, said he swore back then he would never bring the topic up in public again. However, he said questions he has been receiving from his constituents have caused him to make a reversal.
In May 2007, the Town Council voted to sell the 1,740-acre Hogan’s Dam property, which includes a 41-acre lake that is the town’s backup water supply, to the Thornspring Group LLC for $400,000. Thornspring Group plans to develop a housing project.
At that meeting, town business owner Diane Collins asked the Town Council who would receive the real estate taxes on the property if Thornspring is allowed to develop it.
The property is located in Pulaski County but was owned by the town.
Former Mayor Charles Wade told Collins the “simple answer” is Pulaski County. However, he said, the “more complex answer” is that the town is negotiating with the county on some kind of revenue sharing plan.
Burchett asked whether the agreement had been “set in stone,” but Wade acknowledged it had not been put in writing.
Tuesday night, Burchett questioned the status of that agreement.
Town Manager John Hawley said he believes the county agreed to give the town 30 percent of the property’s real estate taxes, which he recalled being around $1,600 at that time.
Hawley said that amount will obviously be more given the recent reassessment, but he noted “no formal document” has been “signed to date.
“We will have one. I have faith they’ll (county) come through,” he said.
Regardless, Burchett said he would like to see the agreement in writing soon.
Burchett also asked whether any progress has been made on arranging periodic joint meetings between the Town Council and the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.
Burchett said he is aware the town communicates with the county from time to time through staff, but he said he would like to see the two groups get together for some meetings.
Hawley and Mayor Jeff Worrell said they used to hold quarterly meetings a few years ago, but the meetings dwindled away for some reason. In fact, Worrell said he believes Dublin Town Council also participated.
Worrell said he and Hawley recently met with County Administrator Peter Huber about the possibility of starting the meetings again and he believes there is an interest on the county’s part.
“I’d like to see this get fast-tracked,” Burchett said.
He said he has a number of things he would like to ask the county, including questions about the reassessment and blight issues.
Hawley said he would make a formal request to the supervisors.
Worrell said he thinks it would be good to have a meeting between the groups to see what the interest is in planning periodic joint meetings. “I think the county is very much interested in working with the town,” he added.
Councilman Robert Bopp, who attends Board of Supervisors’ meetings regularly as the town’s representative, agreed the two need to work together more.
He pointed out that “perhaps one way to do that” is for councilmen to attend the supervisors’ meetings more frequently.
“Any of us can go,” he said.

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Hogan’s Dam issue resurfaces

Nearly two years after the Town of Pulaski voted to sell its Hogan’s Dam property over the objection of town and county citizens, the issue resurfaced Tuesday night.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr., who was the only councilman to vote against the sale, said he swore back then he would never bring the topic up in public again. However, he said questions he has been receiving from his constituents have caused him to make a reversal.
In May 2007, the Town Council voted to sell the 1,740-acre Hogan’s Dam property, which includes a 41-acre lake that is the town’s backup water supply, to the Thornspring Group LLC for $400,000. Thornspring Group plans to develop a housing project.
At that meeting, town business owner Diane Collins asked the Town Council who would receive the real estate taxes on the property if Thornspring is allowed to develop it.
The property is located in Pulaski County but was owned by the town.
Former Mayor Charles Wade told Collins the “simple answer” is Pulaski County. However, he said, the “more complex answer” is that the town is negotiating with the county on some kind of revenue sharing plan.
Burchett asked whether the agreement had been “set in stone,” but Wade acknowledged it had not been put in writing.
Tuesday night, Burchett questioned the status of that agreement.
Town Manager John Hawley said he believes the county agreed to give the town 30 percent of the property’s real estate taxes, which he recalled being around $1,600 at that time.
Hawley said that amount will obviously be more given the recent reassessment, but he noted “no formal document” has been “signed to date.
“We will have one. I have faith they’ll (county) come through,” he said.
Regardless, Burchett said he would like to see the agreement in writing soon.
Burchett also asked whether any progress has been made on arranging periodic joint meetings between the Town Council and the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.
Burchett said he is aware the town communicates with the county from time to time through staff, but he said he would like to see the two groups get together for some meetings.
Hawley and Mayor Jeff Worrell said they used to hold quarterly meetings a few years ago, but the meetings dwindled away for some reason. In fact, Worrell said he believes Dublin Town Council also participated.
Worrell said he and Hawley recently met with County Administrator Peter Huber about the possibility of starting the meetings again and he believes there is an interest on the county’s part.
“I’d like to see this get fast-tracked,” Burchett said.
He said he has a number of things he would like to ask the county, including questions about the reassessment and blight issues.
Hawley said he would make a formal request to the supervisors.
Worrell said he thinks it would be good to have a meeting between the groups to see what the interest is in planning periodic joint meetings. “I think the county is very much interested in working with the town,” he added.
Councilman Robert Bopp, who attends Board of Supervisors’ meetings regularly as the town’s representative, agreed the two need to work together more.
He pointed out that “perhaps one way to do that” is for councilmen to attend the supervisors’ meetings more frequently.
“Any of us can go,” he said.

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