|Mon, Mar 10, 2014 07:33 AM
February 26, 2014 | 09:05 AM
Harrison County Parks Director Rand Heazlitt asked the Harrison County Council Monday night for an additional appropriation out of the parks' General Fund for part-time funding to help clean up the parks after the active winter.
Heazlitt asked for $26,250. The bulk of the funding will be used to pay part-time workers to clean up the Indian Creek Trail at Hayswood Nature Reserve near Corydon. The trail has already experienced three flood events that washed up mud and debris onto the trailway.
The trail was increased an eighth of a mile last year to provide a loop back to the original trail.
The snow and ice storms also caused a number of limbs and trees to fall not only on and around Indian Creek Trail, but throughout all of the county parks.
"There's a lot of stuff that needs to be cleaned up in the parks," Heazlitt said.
According to Heazlitt, the parks' General Fund is in pretty good shape, starting the year with a balance of $498,454.
He said he expects a strong year financially for the parks. The Halloween event at Buffalo Trace is already sold out of camping spaces and another weekend may be added to the schedule. South Harrison Park also will have a Halloween camping event this year and, weather permitting, Hayswood Nature Reserve with host a trick-or-treat event.
"We're trying to do more things," Heazlitt said.
Councilman Richard Gerdon said the council spent four weeks completing the budget and just two months into the year they're already considering changing the numbers. He said other departments will likely want to do the same thing if the council approves the parks department request.
The council will vote on the additional appropriation, which will not impact the county general budget or riverboat budget since it's requested out of the parks' General Fund, at its next meeting, Monday, March 10, at 7 p.m.
The board also will vote on a $40,000 and $4,000 additional appropriation for overtime for the Harrison County Highway Dept. as a result of the harsh winter weather.
Glenn Bube, the county highway department superintendent, said that, with the temporary salt shortage the county experienced (at no fault of its own, the salt was ordered but not delivered on time) the use of cinders was needed more frequently, which takes longer to apply.
Bube said potholes have become an issue the department must face as well.
"There's more and more of them showing up every day," he said.
During the entire span of the winter weather so far, Bube said only one county vehicle was damaged when it side-swiped a tree.
"We've been lucky; that's the worst thing that's happened," he said.
Council Vice Chair Phil Smith gave an update on Chairman Gary Davis, who has missed the last couple of meetings after breaking his femur. Smith said Davis had planned to attend Monday's meeting but his hearing aid malfunctioned making him unable to hear.