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Disabled veteran hopes grant allows him ‘ and others ‘ to go fishing

A disabled serviceman expressed his support of a program that would make Harrison County parks more accessible to persons with physical limitations.
Earl Wofford, who lost his right leg last year due to complications from Agent Orange, told the Harrison County Council on Monday night that he is in favor of the county providing funds that would help provide accessibility in the parks.
‘We definitely need something with more accessibility,’ said Wofford, a veteran of the Vietnam War. ‘I’d love to go fishing again. It really opened my eyes to the accessibility issues in public places.’
The Harrison County Community Foundation is looking to obtain funds that are available through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Access to Recreation Initiative to help make improvements to the county’s parks.
Steve Gilliland, HCCF executive director, is working on the application. He was asking the county council for $100,000 from the riverboat’s human services fund to support a grant application to the Kellogg Foundation.
Claudia Howard, director of the Harrison County Parks Dept., has been working with Gilliland on the grant, which could help allow for the construction of two accessible-feature camping cabins at Buffalo Trace Park near Palmyra.
Additional money from the grant would be used on accessibility projects at O’Bannon Woods State Park, Gilliland said, while some of the funds would be placed in an endowment for maintenance and enhancement of the accessibility features.
The council approved the request 6-0.
Councilman Gordon Pendleton asked Howard about plans to install modern rest rooms at Hayswood Nature Reserve at Corydon.
‘It is definitely something the park board would like to see,’ she said.
Howard also said she would like to have a staff building constructed at Hayswood. ‘We have 300 acres of land, with no continual staff (on site),’ she said.
In other matters Monday, the council:
* Passed a resolution that allows the Harrison County Coroner to collect a fee for copies of accident reports and creates a coroner accident report fund. Under the resolution, Coroner Steve Hamm can collect a $25 fee for accident reports that are requested by any person or business. The county auditor will set up the Coroner Accident Report Fund, where fees collected will be deposited. The funds can be used at the coroner’s discretion for any purpose reasonably related to the keeping of accident reports and records, or the prevention of street and highway crashes.
* Heard a request from the Harrison County Highway Dept. for an additional $75,000 for its fuel budget. The additional appropriation is expected to get the department through the rest of the year, according to highway supervisor Glen Bube, who said in his written request that the highway department had already spent $116,956 in fuel this year. The council will take action on the request at its next meeting, June 25.
* Heard an update on the progress of the hospital project from Mark Shireman of James L. Shireman Inc. He said the sinkhole and masonry work is nearly complete and that everything seems to be going as planned on the project. ‘I’m not up here asking for more money,’ Shireman said. ‘We’re in good shape with our budget here.’ Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
* Heard from Harrison County Commissioner James Goldman, who expressed concern about using $2 million to $3 million a year from the county’s riverboat fund, as 25 percent of the county budget comes from riverboat money. Goldman does not want to see the county fall into a deficit if something were to happen with the riverboat.
Goldman and Commissioner Terry Miller said they want cooperation and communication between the commissioners and the council with the riverboat money. ‘There has been riverboat money being spent that we don’t know about,’ said Goldman.
‘It should be a system of checks and balances,’ added Miller. ‘That’s the way it should be ran.’
The council asked its attorney, Shawn Donahue, to research and provide legal clarification on the responsibilities of the fiscal body of county government and the legislative/executive side.

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