Trustee floats plan for Harrison House property
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
The shuttered Harrison House could become green space for the town of Corydon.
Harrison Township Trustee Mark Strange approached the Corydon Town Council last week about partnering with him to demolish the former apartment building that has been vacant now for some time.
Strange was accompanied by Charles Eckart, township clerk, to Friday night’s council meeting. The meeting was originally scheduled for last Tuesday but was postponed due to not having a quorum available.
Strange said they have been “kicking around in our minds” the possibility of purchasing the Harrison House property, tearing down the two-story structure and creating a parking lot, green space and play area.
“With the center of our township being Corydon, … this would benefit the majority of the people (in the township),” Strange said.
He also threw out the idea of building public rest rooms at the Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market, citing that many of the downtown businesses don’t have public bathrooms and the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center isn’t always open for people to use its rest rooms.
“And Rice Island is so far away from downtown,” he said, referring to bathroom facilities that were added there this year. “Not only would it do good for the farmers market, but Bicentennial Park.”
Strange said he and his advisory board would also like to help with a skatepark the town council is pursuing to have built in downtown Corydon.
“I guess what we would like to know is if the town wants to help” with any of the projects, Strange said, adding “We think it would really make the town look nice.”
Lester (Les) Rhoads, president of the town council, said he wished the entire council was present for the discussion. Besides himself, Paul Hamann and Harlan Fischer were present. Doug Castetter and Hope Schneider were absent.
Eckart said the township has enough funds to do both the Harrison House and rest rooms projects but would like the town to “have some skin” in the endeavors.
Hamann said he’d like to know what the cost will be prior to committing any town funds.
The parties discussed how they could reduce the cost of the projects by “bundling” them and possibly using the same plans that were drawn for the Rice Island rest rooms.
Strange said he would report to his advisory board at its next meeting, which will be tomorrow (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the government center in Corydon.
“I think it’s exciting, myself,” Rhoads said.
Later in the meeting, town manager Scott Flickner told the councilmembers he wants them to think about constructing the skatepark on the old Gerdon Auto property with plans to discuss that option at the next meeting, which will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the town hall. It would be adjacent to the play area the town built on the property and placed an old, refurbished bridge across Little Indian Creek to Rice Island.
Flickner said there are “a few small things” that need to be done to the parking surface for the play area.
As a follow up to the downtown Corydon parking situation, the town council unanimously approved increasing parking violations to $25.
Rhoads said they have been “experimenting” with two-hour parking limits along Chestnut Street to see what kind of reaction they get.
“One person said it has helped a whole lot,” he said.
Signs directing motorists to public parking areas have been ordered and unlimited parking spaces will remain, at least for now, along some downtown streets.
“We don’t want to get real sticky on it,” Rhoads said of enforcing the two-hour limits, especially when it comes to those visiting from outside of Harrison County.
The new fine amount won’t go into effect until later this month, as an ordinance allowing the $25 fee must be published twice in this newspaper.
“I still think we have work to do on (the parking situation),” Rhoads said.
In other business, the council unanimously approved the following items:
Two invoices, totaling $47,500 to Midwestern Asset Management. The invoices — $23,750 each — were for water asset management plan and for sewer asset management plan. “Any time you apply for grants any more they want to know if you have an asset management plan in place,” said Flickner. “It’s not something you have to do every year,” but the council has a “responsibility” to stay on top of it, he added.
For Flickner to order a new service truck, a diesel model, for the town’s maintenance department. With dealerships having little to no inventory, it will take several weeks before the truck is placed into service, Flickner said.
A $23,720.45 payment to C&R Construction for a sewer pipe repair.
Two replacement meters, one which hasn’t been changed out since 2003 and the other that has been in service since 1998. Flickner said he would like for the meters to be replaced every 10 years.
A roadblock request on behalf of Jessica Ayres. The roadblock, on Saturday, Oct. 2, will benefit the Leukemia Society.