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Indian Creek Trail connection approved

Walking and biking trails in a town or city have become an important aspect to residents and potential residents within a community.
Monday night, the Harrison County Council unanimously voted to ensure Harrison County will have one of the most impressive and unique trails around when the $2.3 million project is complete.
The council approved $1.2 million out of the cumulative bridge fund to refurbish and relocate the old Valley View Road bridge to a new location near the current stopping point of the Hayswood Nature Reserve portion of the trail.
The county is already on the hook to rehab the bridge, which would have cost in the neighborhood of $600,000 to $700,000, according to the county commissioners. The rehabilitation work would include removing lead in the old paint, which could not be dropped into the creek below.
So instead of rehabbing it and leaving it in the remote area where it now sits, officials decided it would better serve the county on the Indian Creek Trail, similar to the former Rothrock Mill Road bridge that already is placed on the trail.
‘I think that was a lot of the logic behind it, if you’re going to spend that kind of money to leave it in place, not doing anybody in good … put that money towards something where you actually have some value in what you’re spending the money for,’ engineer Kevin Russel said.
The remaining $1.1 million for the completion of the project, which will connect the gap between the north section of the trail at the YMCA of Harrison County and the south section at Hayswood Nature Reserve, will be funded by the Harrison County Community Foundation.
Walkers, runners and riders will then be able to make their way from the YMCA and Keller Fields sports complex south along Big Indian Creek through downtown Corydon (potentially under the west bridge) to Hayswood Nature Reserve crossing two historic bridges along the way.
‘This bridge is one of only three historic truss bridges (all built near the turn of the 20th century) remaining in Harrison County, and its use on the trail will ensure that it continues to serve our community and be appreciated for generations to come,’ the council said in a previous letter of support of the project.
The Harrison County Parks will partner with the project.
In other business, the council approved $92,750 for an engineering study for a boat ramp at the county’s Morvin’s Landing property east of Mauckport.
The hope is to be approved a grant with the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Division, which will pay 70 percent of the estimated $1 million-plus project.
Fish and Wildlife officials support the project, parks director Rand Heazlitt said, because it’s their goal to have public access every 10 miles along the Ohio River.
The project will include only a basic ramp and a parking lot.
The appropriation, out of riverboat gaming funds, was approved with only Councilman Kyle Nix against.
Nix said they need to come up with a plan for all of the ongoing parks projects before handing money out at each meeting.
The board also tabled a riverboat additional appropriation request of $80,000 to the Historical Society of Harrison County for the purchase of the former Branham Tavern building.
The council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.
On Monday, the council will have a budget hearing beginning at 5 p.m. with the veterans service office. That will be followed by the Circuit Court Clerk at 5:10; sheriff, 5:30; juvenile probation, 6:30; parks department, 6:45; animal control, 7:30; prosecutor, 7:40; and auditor, 7:50.