Posted on

Anti-road widening group gets its wish

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners heard Jan. 22 from a start-up group of residents along Corydon-Ramsey Road that does not want the road widening and improvement project on their road to continue.
The organizer of the group, Barbara Rumple, said she wanted to get back on record with the new commissioners.
‘We don’t want any more widening on the Corydon-Ramsey Road project and would like to have it stopped,’ she said. ‘It’s now a runway with people going 60 to 70 mph on it.’
Rumple said there’s been at least three wrecks recently south of Pennington Chapel Road where it narrows. Rumple said the area needs a ‘road narrows’ sign.
Janice Bays, who also lives along the stretch of Corydon-Ramsey Road, said it is unsafe.
‘They are going to go faster yet,’ she said. ‘It’s dangerous, and it will be more so if you widen it and straighten it.’
Rumple also said the sheriff’s department needs to enforce the 40-mph speed limit.
‘But they won’t do that,’ Rumple said.
‘We’ll see,’ Commissioner George Ethridge said.
Ethridge said he agreed with Rumple and, as of now, the project is on hold.
‘The current layout needs some work,’ he said. ‘And certainly the speed law needs to be enforced.’
Ethridge said the project will remain on hold until a workable solution is agreed upon by everyone, including Rumple’s group.
At a previous meeting, in May, Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said Corydon-Ramsey Road was identified as the most dangerous road as far as crashes in a 2003 transportation plan study. He said there are a lot of variables besides speed on roads that the commissioners can control and improve.
In other business, Pam Bennett Martin visited the board as co-chair of the bicentennial committee planning a celebration of Indiana’s 200th birthday in 2016. Martin said one of the hopes of the committee is to bring the Statehouse back to Corydon, the state’s first capital, for a day, either at the old statehouse on the downtown square or elsewhere.
‘We think we should be the lead dog in this pony show that’s going to be taking place,’ Martin said.
Martin, who said Judy Hess is her co-chair, asked for a commissioner representative to sit on the board to join county council representative Gary Davis.
Commissioner Kenny Saulman agreed to do so.
‘It sounds like you’ve got a good group, lots of horsepower,’ Ethridge said.
Saulman said he appreciates all of the hard work Martin puts in for the community.
‘You’re a good leader,’ he said.
The board also appointed Marydee Meyer to the Harrison County Public Library board, succeeding Dr. Sharon Uhl, who passed her term limit. The commissioners were unaware of the term limit when they re-appointed Uhl at their last meeting.
The board replaced Joey Rosbottom with John Eve Jr. on the Webster Township Fire District board after misinformation led to Rosbottom being appointed instead of Eve.
Other appointments include Commissioner Jim Klinstiver and Ethridge, National Organization of Disability; and Larry Shickles (succeeds J.R. Eckart), Bill Lyskowinski, Gerald Saulman and Sharon Franks, Property Tax Board of Appeals.
The board passed an additional of $30,500, out of riverboat gaming funds, to the county council for a new staff vehicle for Harrison County Emergency Medical Services.
It also passed an additional of $400,000 for New Middletown Volunteer Fire Dept. for a rescue, commercial firefighting apparatus, also out of riverboat gaming funds.
Other additionals passed to the council include more than $9,000 for new computers and chairs for the dispatch center and $15,000 for new radios for Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept.
The board reviewed legal counsel Chris Byrd’s salary for the year, which totaled $33,500, and above and extra work would be at a $125-an-hour cost (a cut from $175 for the previous attorney).
The commissioners’ next meeting will be Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.