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Smith new county recreation director

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Owensboro native, 30, has parks degree from WKU

By Larry Goffinet

CANNELTON - Brad Smith will get to put his bachelor's degree in parks and recreation management to use as Perry County's recreation director.

Smith was hired by the Perry County Parks and Recreation Department Wednesday to replace Dan Adams, who resigned in July to devote more time to his family's winery. Smith will officially start his duties Dec. 7.

Parks board members had said they wanted someone with a degree in parks and recreation, and board president Edd Ransom said Smith seemed well-suited for every aspect of the job.

"We had 19 applicants from about five different states and all over southern Indiana," said Ransom.

The board interviewed four applicants before deciding on Smith.

A native of Owensboro, Ky., Smith, 30, earned his degree from Western Kentucky University in 2004.

He said he heard about the Perry County opening from Ben Stallings, a friend who lives in Tell City.

Smith said he enjoys hiking and several of the activities that the parks department supervises.

While in college he worked in an after-school program in Bowling Green, Ky., running summer, holiday and spring-break camps.

Since then he was the sports supervisor for the city of Owensboro, Ky., worked at TPC Sawgrass, a golf course in Ponte Vedra, Fla., and is currently the assistant superintendent at Persimmon Ridge Golf Course in Louisville, Ky.

He and his wife, Ashley, plan to move to Perry County as soon as possible.

Finding funding for the parks board's programs in tough economic times will be one of Smith's challenges in his new job. But the board received some help in that department Wednesday.

Paul Malone of Southern Indiana Power's Operation Roundup board presented a check for $2,500 to the parks board to help with landscaping at Eagles Bluff Park and the 1960 Electra air crash memorial site.

The roundup grants are funded by Southern Indiana Power's customers' rounding their monthly bills up to the next dollar.

In other business Wednesday, the board agreed to pay $1,000 to the General Services Division of the federal government to buy the communications tower at Eagles Bluff Park.

The tower and the one-twentieth of an acre it sits on were not included in the parks board's 1999 purchase of the park from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The tower purchase also includes more than one acre of road easement through the park.

"We do have a need for it because if they don't sell it to us they're going to sell it to someone else," said Ransom. "Then someone else will have an easement through our property."

The board plans to let the Perry County Emergency Management agency use the tower to install communications devices. "We're in the business of helping the people of Perry County and that's one way of doing it," said Ransom.

In anticipation of this use of the tower, electricity was run to it at the same time it was run to the new Eagles Bluff visitors center. The county's EMA paid half the costs of running electricity to the tower.