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Lanesville connector road gets name

The Lanesville connector road will honor a long-time resident, one who was instrumental in getting the Interstate 64 exit near the road, in the first place.

A Peter J. Schickel Way road sign was presented Monday night to Schickel as the Harrison County Board of Commissioners surprised the former county councilman.

“I think all of us in Harrison County like to call him Mr. Harrison County or Mr. Lanesville because he has been so active in both of them,” said Commissioner Charlie Crawford.

Schickel was a founding member of the Harrison County Hospital Foundation, a founding member of the Harrison County Community Foundation and had many other roles in the county, including the main driver to get the Lanesville connector road, which is expected to relieve congestion on the interstate by giving motorists a new road from the Lanesville interchange to S.R. 64, west of Georgetown.

The audience applauded the news.

“When I was on the council, we didn’t have the boat,” Schickel said, referring to the casino that opened in Harrison County in October 1998. “But, we always had a slogan. You got to separate your needs from your desires. It’s important for the commissioners and council to work together on important projects.”

The commissioners said Schickel had forward thinking to realize the eastern part of the county could use the road as an economic boost. A letter read by Commissioner Kenny Saulman that Schickel wrote to the state said this area had been an afterthought following the construction of the interchange at Lanesville.

“I spent several afternoons with him out at his house, talking about the connector road,” Saulman said. “And, we’d get in the truck and ride over there.”

While Schickel approved of the gesture, the commissioners acknowledged the street sign was incorrect; the sign misspelled Schickel’s last name. They said it would be corrected.

Crawford said he could remember it was around 2003 when Schickel would talk about how excited he was that the state committed to building the road, adding the former councilman constantly asked for updates about the project.

“I think we was as happy to name it in his honor as he was to get it named in his honor,” Crawford said.

In other county business, the commissioners approved the division of a lot into 2.5 acres and 1.47 acres along Pacer Drive, near Super 8, to allow the land to be sold so subdivisions can be constructed. County planner Eric Wise said the 30-day wait period has ended following the approval of the county’s plan commission.

The plan commission had also approved a request involving property owned by the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. A nine-acre parcel along the south side of Pacer Drive is getting rezoned to allow for the construction of 11 senior-living duplexes. Wise said it will be a 35-bed nursing home-type building and a purchase agreement is in place for the HCEDC to sell the property once the land is rezoned.

The commissioners approved both requests.

Also, the commissioners approved a $15,000 request from Harrison County Community Services to advance to the county council. HCCS Executive Director Rick Cooper said the money would be used to help feed children who are at home and may not have access to meals due to school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commissioners also will have the Harrison County Health Dept. seek $200,000 for emergency funds for the outbreak. The commissioners said it would be best to have a funding source in place and ask for a reimbursement from the state if the money is spent, rather than wait for state funding to become available to the county.

The commissioners’ next scheduled meeting is Monday, April 6, at 8:30 a.m.