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By LARRY GOFFINET
CANNELTON – Perry County Parks & Recreation Department board members brainstormed items to include in their new comprehensive long-range plan at their meeting Wednesday.
They will prioritize the items and finalize the plan, which must be approved by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, later. Their last five-year plan expired in 2005 and Perry County Recreation Director Adam Tempel told them having such a plan current is one of the requirements for many grants that may be available to help fund their projects.
Though the final list will be sorted out later, board members agreed that the top priority is getting a 30- by 40-foot storage building erected at Eagles Bluff Park.
Other items suggested for the list Wednesday were:
• Purchasing 117 acres of land that is for sale adjacent to Eagles Bluff Park.
• Developing camp sites at Eagles Bluff.
• Creating a splash park.
• Building a playground at Eagles Bluff.
• Developing a greenway from Troy to the Cannelton Dam.
• Creating a shooting range.
Tempel said grants are available for building shooting ranges. Because of the large amount of land needed for an outdoor range, he also suggested an indoor range for pistols and archery in a building approximately 200 feet long might be more feasible.
Tempel noted that the range could be used for “trainings – gun safety, hunter safety.”
Regarding the land adjacent to Eagles Bluff, the current asking price is $550,000, so the parks board would need grants and possibly some other income for local matches to buy it.
The board thinks putting campsites there could generate revenue, but it needs to generate revenue first to buy the land. And Tempel noted that running water and electric utilities to the proposed camp sites could cost an additional $200,000.
Board member Rick Newton suggested that putting primitive camp sites that don’t require water or electricity there might be a viable alternative.
Terms of the parks board’s deed to its current Eagles Bluff land prohibit putting camp sites on it. But the board decided to contact government officials to see if those terms can be altered to allow the board to generate some revenue by renting camp sites.
In other business:
• Tempel reported the department “will go into the negative” on money budgeted for equipment repairs this year, as the starter cord on one of the department’s chain saws recently broke and needs to be replaced. But he said there is still money available that can be transferred from other funds in the department’s budget.
• Tempel said, “I still haven’t heard back from the (Perry County) Community Foundation on our grant request” for erecting a restroom building at its Magnet Park. “We should know by Dec. 1.”
The parks board applied for a $4,000 grant for that project. It currently has $1,800 for the project, and the first phase of it has been estimated to cost $6,500.