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Trail group asks Tourism for $60,000

Even though Harrison County is flush with tax revenue — taking into account the $56 million-plus received since Caesars Indiana since opening its riverboat casino three years ago — fund-raising can still be a challenge.
“We don’t have a sugar daddy,” Randy West, a director of Indian Creek Trail Inc., told the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) board recently.
“We are here to ask for $60,000 for one part of our Indian Creek pedway project,” he told the CVB, unabashedly.
The group hopes to tap into the estimated $800,000 income the CVB expects to be generated next year from the inn tax and 10 cents of each $1 the state receives from Caesars’ admissions taxes. Those funds are earmarked for tourism development.
West, editor of this newspaper and a former jogger, presented a slide show, with aerial and creekside pictures, to give the board an overview of the natural beauty along Big Indian and Little Indian creeks in Corydon.
“It’s beautiful; it’s pristine,” he said. “It would be good for senior citizens, walkers, runners, everybody in Corydon.” A trail would enhance tourism in Corydon and improve safety for people like skateboarders, bicyclists and pedestrians, he said later.
Indian Creek Trail plans an aggressive fund-raising campaign, West said. (Saturday, several members of the Indian Creek Trail board visited the 2.1-mile Patoka River trail in Jasper, to learn how Dave Buehler accomplished that project.)
The Indian Creek Trail group has $7,500 from the Harrison County Community Foundation for an engineering study for the second phase of the project. It has already used a $15,000 grant from the foundation to construct the first phase, a 960-foot concrete walkway named “Logan’s Trail,” from Indian Creek General Store to the Rice Island Playground.
The second phase, for which the group is seeking $60,000, is a 3,000-foot trail from the West Bridge to the North Bridge, opposite the Keller Manufacturing Co. plant in Corydon.
Landowners there have agreed to lease their land at no charge, West said.
Responding to questions from the board, West said the walkway “would be a natural” for the county park department to take over someday, although that has not been discussed with the park department or other county officials.
He said concerns about flooding would be addressed by constructing the pedway in such a way as to minimize damage. Also, a liability insurance policy has been purchased.
The group’s long-term plans include extending the walkway from Logan’s Trail to Hayswood Nature Reserve west of town, although plans for the YMCA facility (announced yesterday) could alter those plans immediately.
“We’re planning this in stages, because of the expense,” West said.
The CVB had no immediate response to the group’s request, but said it would consider the funding.
The Indian Creek Trail group took shape in 1997. Other board members are Bill Gerdon, president; Linda Brown, secretary; Maryland Austin Scharf, Carl Snyder, Dennis Mann and Jerry Dryden.