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Commissioners table multiple requests from parks board

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners tabled a request Monday morning to mitigate the Elizabeth ditch issue threatening the water wells and aquifer near the intersection of state roads 211 and 111.
The commissioners advised Larry Shickles, parks board president, to go to the parks board to come up with a joint proposal from engineering firms DLZ and Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz for a permanent fix to the ditch problem.
The parks board recently purchased the land for potential future use of a boat ramp.
The ditch has been expanding for years and is encroaching upon the aquifer that provides water for all of Elizabeth and Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino and hotel.
The request presented by DLZ ‘ with an initial cost of $46,350 ‘ was only a ‘quick fix’ that would buy at least five to 10 years before more work would have to be done.
Commissioner Charlie Crawford said he was not satisfied with a five-to-10-year fix.
Officials with DLZ said they went the quick route, as advised by the parks board, to relieve the issue in a timely manner.
‘I don’t feel like it’s an emergency,’ Crawford said. ‘I know it’s a concern.’
Crawford said he was in favor of a long-term fix.
Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said he wanted to see some options.
‘All three of us are looking at the entire ditch,’ commissioner chair Kenny Saulman said. ‘Not just a temporary fix.’
Shickles said their goal is to get it fixed and the issue will be brought up at the parks department board’s next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.
Also for the parks department, Shickles requested $455,320 out of riverboat gaming funds for design work which would yield a full set of plans for public bidding for South Harrison Park ($387,000) and Buffalo Trace Park ($68,320) renovations, upgrades and new projects.
The total cost of the projects at South Harrison, which would include the construction of a lake, cabins and pool and shelter house renovations, among other plans, is just under $6 million.
The pool at South Harrison has major leakage issues, Shickles said, and would be a focus of the project.
Shickles also requested $115,000 for an overall master plan and inventory of the county’s park properties.
He said most of the parks, beginning with Walter Q. Gresham Park in Lanesville, were created in the 1960s and ’70s and have had no major renovations or investments since.
‘They’ve had pretty good wear and tear over that 50-year period,’ he said.
The request for design work was tabled.
Crawford said it was a lot of information to digest and he wasn’t prepared to move forward with the requests.
In the county engineer’s report, the board approved a request of $350,000 to be sent to the county council for the Indian Creek Trail project. The low bidder for the project was C&R Construction of Corydon, at $2.8 million-plus. Funding needed to complete the project totals $950,000. The break-down request is: county government, $350,000; Harrison County Community Foundation, $350,000; and the Town of Corydon, $250,000.
The county’s portion will come out of the cumulative bridge fund.
The commissioner’s next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.