Council hasn’t voted yet on annexation

The Nashville Town Council hasn’t yet approved the fiscal plan to annex 94 acres of Firecracker Hill into the town. Council members asked for more numbers to help them understand what a delayed annexation date might mean for the town financially.

The Big Woods Brewing family of companies has plans to build a new brewing and distilling facility on a couple acres of that land, leaving the rest “park-like,” the owners have said.

The fiscal plan says annexation is expected to increase the town’s assessed value by $3.4 million — about 2.7 percent of the town’s current AV. But that figure is based on the estimated value of the land after the project is built.

Town Manager/Economic Development Director Scott Rudd explained that the state does a one-time growth levy adjustment for the town, and in order to get the maximum amount, the town would be best served by having the development finished rather than partially-finished when it’s assessed and annexed.

Undeveloped, the land’s value is about $400,000.

The amount the town can levy in taxes affects the amount of money in its budget.

Rudd said it’s probably a good idea for the town to push back the effective date of the annexation to Jan. 2, 2018. The fiscal report data was prepared assuming an annexation date of no later than Jan. 1, 2018. Any annexation that occurs after Jan. 1 bumps the financial effect forward another year, so the council asked to see another year of projections before making a decision.

That updated report is on the agenda for the Thursday, April 20 town council meeting.

Town issues proclamation supporting linemen

Tuesday, April 18 is Lineman Appreciation Day in Nashville.

The town council issued a proclamation recognizing the work of Duke Energy and SCI-REMC employees who restore power in all types of weather. And in Brown County, prone to power outages, that’s fairly often.

Scenic byway project progressing for 135 North

The Nashville Town Council has pitched in $500 to make State Road 135 an official scenic byway, adding to contributions by Peaceful Valley Heritage Inc. and Morgantown government.

The Hoosier Hills Scenic Byway is a joint effort among Brown and Morgan counties, Nashville and the local heritage preservation group.

State Road 135 used to be considered the gateway to Brown County, said Town Manager Scott Rudd. He said members of the group are working on establishing an “old-style automobile tour” pointing out all the historic and heritage landmarks in downtown Nashville.

The group’s goal is $5,000; it has raised $2,500 so far, Rudd said.

Town Attorney James T. Roberts said reestablishing the road as a scenic byway is rooted in history. When Col. Lieber envisioned Brown County State Park, part of that vision was a scenic byway that came from Bean Blossom to the little village of Nashville, he said. The Bean Blossom Overlook was part of that.

There are already some protections in place on properties on 135 North, he said. A “scenic easement” restricts commercial construction 50 to 75 feet from the center of the road, and some mile posts show where that line is, he said.

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Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.