|Mon, Oct 20, 2014 01:57 PM
|Issue of October 15, 2014
November 20, 2013 | 08:58 AM
After hearing the Morvin's Landing presentation at last week's Harrison County Council meeting, Mauckport resident and opponent of the plan Kent Yeager said the new option, which guarantees the opportunity for perpetual farming on the majority of the land, is "considerably better."
Yeager said he still thinks it is wrong for the county to own more property than it already does and believes there will be more costs than those directly associated with the project, such as road improvement work.
Rand Heazlitt, director of the Harrison County Parks Dept., said the plan, which will purchase about 93 acres near the Morvin's Landing area for preservation, was initiated and is supported by the local Indiana bicentennial committee.
"It's something that actually has a lot of support," Heazlitt said of the project, which was previously voted down 4-3 by the council at a cost of $100,000. The new request is for just more than $97,000.
Heazlitt presented the board with a copy of a letter, dated June 24, from the council to Pam Bennett Martin, one of the co-chairs of the bicentennial committee, which stated: "The Harrison County Council supports the preservation of Morvin's Landing in order to secure this important piece of our county's rich history for future generations. ... "
In the letter, the council only asked for support in applying for a grant and didn't commit funding to the project.
"This was of significance to the community and at one time the council supported it," Heazlitt said.
Marian Pearcy, also a member of the bicentennial committee, said she hopes the council decides to preserve and enhance the property while leaving it as an open space. She spoke of the Battle of Corydon re-enactment raid on downtown and how she used to watch it from her upstairs law office on the square. Pearcy said one year re-enactors traveled from the Morvin's Landing area all the way up to Corydon.
"They stopped at our farm and had lunch in our barn," she said. "I can't tell you how much we appreciated having that recreation."
Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his raiders stopped at nearby Frakes Mill on their way to Corydon, where they met resistance in one of only two recognized Civil War battles on northern soil.
Carol Seals, a New Albany resident and member of the Daughters of the Union, said she hoped the county would vote to fund the preservation of the historical site. She said Ohio has 600 markers and 39 interpretive centers along Morgan's raid route.
"I think it's very significant that you save this property," she said. "We're losing our historical sites. And we, as a community, need to preserve it."
The council's next meeting, when a vote on the plan will again take place, will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon. A joint meeting with the board of commissioners will take place at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the council's riverboat gaming funds "what if" analysis.