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Grant match for boat ramp tabled

The Harrison County Council tabled a request Tuesday night, Oct. 9, for $300,000 for a grant match that would help pay for the Ohio River boat-ramp project.
The grant, The Bicentennial Nature Trust, has a maximum of $300,000 for any one project; it also requires a one-to-one match.
The request was presented by Commissioner Jim Klinstiver and county engineer Kevin Russel.
Klinstiver said his goal is to create a ‘hub’ in Corydon by making ‘spokes’ of economic interest throughout the county and the boat ramp in the south is part of that.
‘That’s one thing that motivates me … ‘ Klinstiver said. ‘We could have our own economic base here. We’ve had the money for 10 years.’
He said county government should help businesses along and use the county’s natural resources to do so.
He said building a ramp in Elizabeth was one of his campaign promises.
He also said he wants to build a road leading from Horseshoe Southern Indiana at Bridgeport to New Amsterdam.
Klinstiver said he supports the Elizabeth site near the intersection of state roads 211 and 111, near the Elizabeth water wells.
‘We’d be joining a good partner here,’ he said.
Klinstiver said the town of Elizabeth supports the project.
Klinstiver presented a list of 600 or so signatures collected in support of the boat-ramp project and also said Horseshoe Southern Indiana supports the endeavor.
The Elizabeth site was one of two recommended by Strand Associates, the company hired to complete the feasibility study on the ramp.
The other possible site for a county-owned boat ramp is in Mauckport, where there already is a boat ramp. Russel said there’s no official word from the town of Mauckport, but, individually, town council members have agreed to support the project if the county chooses to build the ramp in Mauckport.
‘They feel it will benefit the town,’ Russel said. ‘And they’re going to draft (letter of support) sometime soon.’
Klinstiver said the study showed there’s 9,305 boats registered in the region (Harrison, Crawford, Floyd and Washington counties) and more than 4,000 fishing licenses issued in Harrison County. He said that number doesn’t include young children and senior citizens who fish.
Klinstiver said Tanya Tuell has talked with a sailboat group about possibly relocating to Harrison County if the ramp is built, and Steven Day is working on bringing fishing tournaments to the ramp.
The estimated total cost of the site near Elizabeth, according to the Strand study, is $1.8 million, while the Mauckport site comes in at $1.2 million. Both estimates include the total package of amenities such as sports fields, walking paths, concession areas, rest rooms, benches, picnic tables, grills, boat loading piers, parking lots, shelter houses, playgrounds, splash parks and amphitheaters. The Elizabeth site could also include a campground.
The request was tabled, at the recommendation of Russel, because appraisals on the land for both sites has to be completed before the grant application would be accepted.
‘I really thought this would have been built by now,’ Klinstiver said.
In other business last week, Gary Davis, chair of the county council, completed the first reading of the 2013 budget, which totaled more than $39 million. Before the budget is adopted, it will be read at the next meeting.
The council’s next meeting will be Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.