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March 4, 2013

Clarksville explores move to city

Experts discuss options with committee



“If you just start from the proposition that we don’t have to worry about how far we can ride our horse in half a day, we ought to be looking at Sellersburg and talking to Jeffersonville,” Church said. “We’re not going to spit in the wind, but maybe the more effective thought process is to think about interlocal agreements…”

Church said Clarksville officials can also choose to go in the direction of a third-class city, but that fixes the structure of their government whereas the government Modernization Act allows them to choose.

One of Church’s associates, Brent Borg, said the town could choose to annex neighboring municipalities if it wants to find some efficiencies in areas such as public safety and infrastructure, but it’s a hostile process.

“How long can you hold your breath?” Gilkey asked.

Gilkey said the town also has to consider the effect on constituent tax rates, though he said they may stay where they are.

He said the town’s growth could call for government that plays more of an active role in moving it forward.

“We want to look at how do you more efficiently, on a day-to-day basis, deal with the growth issues and challenges of a town the size of Clarksville and not have to do that with part-time government?” Gilkey said. “How do you get some full-time component of that government that has the power and authority to move forward with vision as opposed to getting together twice a month and trying to get four guys to agree on something?”

Church said whatever issues the town is trying to resolve by becoming a city, they need to know the transition won’t necessarily solve all its problems.

“The second thing I think that is not true is that there’s going to be some kind of a panacea out of any of these options that are available that we’re going to talk about, other than structuring something that meets the specific goals and objectives that you all identified,” Church said.

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