The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

December 29, 2011

State decides to sell farmland near Pendleton prisons

Reske: Property sale will decrease 'buffer zone'

PENDLETON, Ind. — The upcoming sale of nine tracts of land surrounding the Pendleton Correctional Facility has a state representative concerned for the safety of residents of Pendleton and Ingalls.

Rep. Scott Reske, D-Pendleton, said on Thursday that the sale would cut in half a buffer zone between Pendleton’s Maple Ridge Elementary School and the town’s two prison facilities.

“Look at aerial photos, the reformatory and where the elementary is seem very close to each other,” Reske said.

The property will be auctioned Jan. 19 at the Garden Hotel in Anderson. Originally, 851 acres were to be sold. However, the Department of Correction has donated one parcel of land to the town of Pendleton.

Reske believes that once the land is sold and becomes private property, prison guards will stop patrolling those areas.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, which manages the state’s real estate leases, said that will not be the case.

“The Department of Correction will continue the same patterns of patrols, there will be no lack of patrol in the area (Reske) is concerned about,” Connie Smith, the spokeswoman, said.

Smith said the Department of Administration decided to sell the land, because it was no longer being farmed by correctional facility staff and inmates.

“We felt the best use would be to return the properties to Madison County,” Smith said.

Smith said the land sale will add 658 acres to the county’s tax base.

“There’s surplus land, they need the money, I totally agree. But state policy says that ground should stay under public control,” Reske said.

Reske said the DOC tried to put the same lots up for sale last year, but was stopped because officials didn’t notify the county that the properties were available. He said even Edwin Buss, the DOC commissioner at the time, didn’t know of the sale.

While no inmate has escaped the confines of either Pendleton facility in the last 10 years, Reske is wary of an inmate on the loose making his way to Maple Ridge Elementary School.

“If they escape they’re not going into Pendleton or toward the detention center, they’re going to head to the tracks toward the elementary school,” Reske said.

Don Henderson, president of the Pendleton Town Council, said he understands Reske’s concerns, but added there is some “merit” to adding land into the county’s tax roll.

Henderson said he has had talks with the DOC and the town of Ingalls to develop a stone quarry, which was being used by prison staff, into a public park.

Doug Dowden, an Ingalls Town Council member, said he too would like to see the property turned into a park, as long as the town of Ingalls can have access to the quarry as a backup water system.

Contact Sam Brattain: 640-4883, sam.brattain@heraldbulletin.com

1
Text Only
Local Business
  • Historic barn tour and workshop Sept. 19 Across Indiana, barns of all ages and types have been successfully rehabilitated for modern farming and other uses. On Sept. 19, Indiana Landmarks offers BARN AGAIN!, a workshop to help owners maximize use of vintage barns.

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0820 - Kennedy Google- JC 2 Google X captures heart, imagination of AU professor After spending the summer working at Google's secret research laboratory in Mountain View, California, Scott Kennedy has decided to stay.

    August 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Residential electric rates increasing by 9 percent The electric rates for residential customers of Anderson Municipal Light & Power will increase by 8.96 percent for the final three months of the year.

    August 19, 2014

  • Indiana experiences growth in manufacturing sector Known for its strength in traditional and progressive manufacturing, Indiana gained more than 5,500 jobs in the manufacturing sector last month and has maintaining a 5.9 percent unemployment rate from June.

    August 19, 2014

  • NWS - HB0819 - Mounds Reservoir - JC 1 People get a view of proposed reservoir

    Local residents are being given the opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges that face the development of the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir.

    August 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • FEA - HB0819 - Mommy Monday - JC 3 Mommy and me time

    Babette Bargo of Anderson said she brought her daughter to Community Hospital’s first Mommy Monday to meet other mothers and children after her sister-in-law told her about the event.

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reservoir would reduce tax revenues If the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir becomes a reality by 2021, local taxing units could lose an estimated $1.9 million in revenues.

    August 18, 2014

  • Ambulance provider to leave communities

    Area hospitals say they are not sure what to make of Rural/Metro Corp.’s announcement to end ambulance services in some Indiana communities.

    August 18, 2014

  • Grant intended to lift college completion for 21st Century Scholars Fall classes at Ivy Tech Community College aren't set to begin for another week, but "college success coaches" from a company called InsideTrack are already contacting 21st Century Scholars to help them transition from high school to college.

    August 18, 2014

  • Jesse Wilkerson: Change is not always good, but sometimes necessary

    Remember when you graduated from high school? You and others started preparing yourself to take on more responsibility. A change occurred. Ready or not you were faced with more decisions that would have greater impact on your life.

    August 18, 2014

Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide