Trustees not keen on celebrating the Fourth on July 6 and 7
By RANDY WEST
July 4 on July 6 and 7?
Larry Shickles, president of the Friends of the Corydon Capital State Memorial, asked the Corydon Town Council last week to reschedule the Old Settlers Day festival from July 4 to July 6 and 7, but his request was put on hold.
Old Settlers Day, held on the square on July 4 for 22 years, was recently renamed “Old Capitol Days.”
Speaking for Old Capitol Days committee chair Tim Riley, who was injured in a four-wheeler accident and couldn’t attend the meeting, Shickles said the very popular Independence Day festival that attracts thousands of people to Corydon had several problems with a one-day, mid-week, July 4 celebration. The number of vendors has been decreasing, probably because many come from a long distance, and volunteers are increasingly hard to find to work the event. Also, other events that day hurt attendance in Corydon.
The mid-week festival means most vendors and demonstrators have to start getting the grounds ready the night before, stay there all day on July 4, tear everything down that night, return home, and be ready to go to work the next day.
Shickles said the festival committee debated the issue long and hard but finally thought it would be best to have Old Capitol Days the weekend of July 6 and 7 to attract more vendors, more volunteers, a bigger crowd and increased revenue. The festival usually includes pioneer craft demonstrations, arts and crafts, living history encampments, a military ball and live music.
The town council was very cool to the idea. Several trustees said to celebrate the most patriotic holiday of the year on July 6 and 7 when America is experiencing a wave of patriotism following the tragic events of 9/11 was “bad timing.”
Shickles said Riley’s committee discussed this at length and agrees. “To us, it was a hard decision to take it off July 4,” he said several times, but reiterated that it was an economic decision.
The board tabled the request, asking for more time to make its decision to approve the festivities. The next council meeting is Tuesday night.
Doug Cregor, an Indianapolis environmental attorney and town consultant, told the board that he had “very good news”: the town’s sewage treatment enforcement response plan that he had prepared earlier this year is effective. Cregor said he has had “nothing but good cooperation” from Wolke Paint Manufacturing Co., in the Harrison County Industrial Park, which had illegally discharged copper, zinc and other paint residue into a sewer treatment lift station at least three times since July of 1999. Each time, the spill was contained in the lift station.
Cregor said the town’s sewage treatment system is not equipped to handle chemicals like that and would violate the terms of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, issued by the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management. Had the discharge continued, the town most likely would have had to pay a fine, possibly as much as $2,500 a day.
Wolke manager Chris Williams told town officials that his employees would get a complete education program, all chemicals that could harm the system will be desegregated, and they will apply for a pretreatment permit from the IDEM. Wolke will also reimburse the town for its expenses.
“All the problems are resolved,” Cregor said, and, due to Williams’ cooperation, there will be no enforcement action. “IDEM is happy with the way this has been resolved.”
Cregor was to meet with Williams last week.
Cregor told the trustees that they had dodged a bullet. “If (sewage treatment plant superintendent) Keith Smith had not been checking things, you would have had a real mess.”
Mark Smith was back before the board to say that work done on a speed bump installed years ago on Wyandotte Avenue to divert drain water was now worse than before. It drains onto his driveway on Williar Avenue and also onto two neighbors’ properties. He brought photographs from a few days before, following a big rain, to prove his point, plus some estimates for pipe and stone, which he figured the town could get at a better price.
Smith, a veteran state highway worker, had presented a plan last month to eliminate the bump and divert the water, and the council said their street crew would work with him. However, said town council president Fred Cammack, there had been so much rain the past week that “no asphalt work anywhere could be done.
“We’re still working on it.”
The rainwater diversion bump was installed in the 1980s, at the request of several neighbors, Cammack said.
After several minutes of fruitless discussion with Smith, the board checked its minutes from the previous meeting and reiterated that street superintendent Kenny Blum would look at the problem and report back to the council before doing any work.
Trish Paulley and Jeff Eads got permission to hold roadblocks to raise money for their sons, Corydon Central High School wrestlers Cory Paulley and Brett Eads, to attend a six-day national high school wrestling championship in Norfolk, Va., in late June. Wrestling coach Dick Clipp said in a cover letter, “this is quite an honor.”
Corydon’s newest town board member, Charles E. Lynch, was named to the Harrison County Solid Waste Board, replacing Junior LaHue. Lynch and Cammack now represent the town on the solid waste board.
Jeremy Wright complained about 40-inch-high weeds, bugs and snakes at a neighboring property, at 1399 Harrison Avenue. Wright said no one has lived there for two years.
The owner will be notified that he has 15 days to clean up the mess or the town will do it and add the bill to his property tax.
Wright said he had spent thousands of dollars to improve his own home, and now his kids can’t even go outside to play because of the “health hazard” nearby.
Last night the council opened five bids for the new town garage, which will be located at the intersection of West Chestnut and Water streets. The low bid was $389,000, submitted by the James L. Shireman Co. of Corydon. Four other bids, from companies in Louisville, Orleans and French Lick, were all above $450,000.
The council will probably announce its selection at its next meeting.
The next town board meeting will be held Tuesday, May 28, instead of Monday, May 27, which is Memorial Day, a legal holiday. The town board usually meets the second and fourth Monday evenings at 7:30.