|Tue, Oct 21, 2014 09:40 PM
|Issue of October 15, 2014
August 06, 2014 | 09:28 AM
The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday morning heard an update about the South Harrison Park lake project, which has been nixed by the park board.
"It could be done, but it's not feasible from a financial standpoint in any way, shape or form," Rand Heazlitt, Harrison County Parks director, said.
He said it would have cost the county more than $5 million to complete the project and there would be no guarantee it would hold water.
The proposed project called for a 40-acre lake at the park near Elizabeth that Heazlitt hoped would be a hot spot for anglers and a draw for campers.
One of the primary objectives of the Harrison County Parks board is to revamp, revitalize and redevelop the 225-acre South Harrison Park. That goal remains, even without the lake project as an anchor, Heazlitt said, before asking the commissioners to approve a contract with engineering firm DLZ to create a master plan for the park at a cost of $44,400.
The process will include public input (possibly two meetings, one at the park and one in Corydon) and will determine the best options for improvement to existing structures/attractions and ideas for new features.
A possible option, Heazlitt said, is a cluster of cabins, tree-house cabins or cottages, that could be perfect for any type of reunion or retreat.
"We want it to become a year-round destination rather than just a nice park with nice amenities," Heazlitt said.
The plan, if approved by the county council, would be scheduled to present to county officials in late October.
Heazlitt said the commissioners should expect an aggressive and ambitious plan from DLZ. The firm was hired earlier this year for $27,500 to conduct the lake feasibility study.
Overall, Heazlitt said, the parks revenue is stronger than last year, which is not the trend at other parks.
"They're still grossly underutilized," he said of the county's parks system.
Earlier this year, the parks department launched a new interactive website, harrisoncountyparks.com, where visitors can book campsites and explore other features.
In other business, the commissioners heard a progress report about the second phase of the Lanesville connector-road project, which will connect the Lanesville interchange area and S.R. 64 near Georgetown. The third and final stage of the project has not yet been approved by the state.
"It's a very significant thing for the Lanesville interchange," Commissioner Kenny Saulman said.
Commissioner George Ethridge said he hopes the project doesn't see too much opposition.
"It's been a long time coming," he said of the road. "We're going to do the best we can to take the time to keep the public involved every step of the way."
The second phase of the connector-road project is still in the design phase.
The board also heard a request from SITEX, a uniform company, to bid for services for next year.
The commissioners' next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.