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By LARRY GOFFINET
CANNELTON – State Rep. Lloyd Arnold attended the Perry County Parks and Recreation Department’s board meeting Wednesday and vowed to try to help the department alter the restrictions on its Eagles Bluff Park.
The parks board wants to put camping facilities for recreational vehicles at Eagles Bluff but is barred from doing so under terms the board had to agree to when it acquired the land from the U.S. Fish & Wild-life Service in 2000.
There are 120 acres of land in the parks department’s deed but the department is allowed to use only 9.71 acres for purposes other than hiking trails and is not allowed to use any of it for camping facilities.
“We had to agree to those restrictions to get the ground,” County Recreation Director Adam Tempel told Arnold.
But now the parks department would like to install camping sites for RVs to help generate revenue for the department. “We’d be talking about just short of an acre (for the sites),” said Tempel. “We’re not going to disrupt wildlife.”
“And it’s something we really, really need in the county,” said Bev Minto, executive director of the Perry County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You’re not going to have any trouble filling it.”
Arnold agreed to contact Fish and Wild-life to see if the deed restrictions can be changed. “I think something’s feasible,” he said. “To everyone here it’s a no-brainer.”
In other business:
• Tempel announced the board has received a $2,000 grant from the Perry County Community Foundation to use toward erecting a restroom building at its Magnet park.
With an earlier $2,500 Southern Indiana Power Round-up grant and $2,300 already available in the parks board’s budget for the project, the board now has $6,800 for it, more than enough to get the first phase done.
Simon & Harris Construction of Derby, which built a similar restroom building at the county’s Wilkerson Park in Rome, submitted a bid of $6,350 for the first phase of the Magnet project. The board voted to accept that bid.
The first phase includes installing the tanks for the restrooms and the building’s foundation.
• Tempel said Lisa Gehlhausen of Indiana Region 15 Planning commission will attend the board’s February meeting to discuss ways to help with the board’s upcoming five-year master plan.
Such a plan must be developed to be eligible for many grants, but making the plan itself can be expensive.
Board member Rick Newton suggested applying for a Schergens Foundation grant to do the long-range plan. “I think it would fall under their criteria because it’s for community development,” he said.