Wayne County Sheriff Keith Davis was present at the July 1 Board of Supervisors meeting requesting approval for hiring a new Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the county. Sheriff Davis informed the board an application was received from Josh Strife and a letter of recommendation was received from Deputy James Wiltamuth on the hiring of Strife.
Strife was a reserve deputy with the City of Centerville since 2017. The board approved the hiring of Strife at the rate of $1 per year.
Following the approval Davis informed the board of plans to restart the K-9 program within the county. Davis stated the reserve fund will be donating $5,000 towards the K-9 fund.
“There is $5,000 in the K-9 fund already and it will be about $18,000 for the K-9 plus the training,” stated Davis. “The new vehicle is going to be equipped for the K-9 and Jim Bob (Wiltamuth) is the one wanting to handle the K-9 and he is really good with it. At this time we need to start the fundraising to raise another $8,000.”
With members from the City of Corydon and the Wayne County Conservation present, discussion turned to the conditions of the Corydon Lake Park. In a previous City of Corydon council meeting, council member Nathan Bennett expressed concern regarding the conditions of the park compared to others within the county and questioned who was responsible for the upkeep of the park.
“Thank you all for coming,” Supervisor and Wayne County Conservation member Tom Swearingin began. “It seems there is some disagreements and unhappy thoughts about the Corydon Lake Park which is the reason I called you all here.”
“I looked at the agreement and there has been some disagreements going on for some time,” Swearingin continued. “In the paper there were some comments about how much longer you have in the agreement. I took the agreement to Alan Wilson (Wayne County Attorney) and it can be ended today if everybody is in agreement.”
“I don’t know that we want to actually end it,” said City of Corydon Mayor Dennis Moorman. “A lot of people around thinks the city is taking care of it and we get a lot of phone calls and we’re not. The thing has been deteriorating for the last five to 10 years because the last person over it, (former Conservation Director Bonnie Friend) wanted to let it go back into natural habitat.”
“I don’t think that’s correct,” said Swearingin.
“She didn’t mow out there,” said Moorman. “From the campground clear down to the park it’s never been mowed and you can’t walk down there.”
“Is that what they refer to as the swamp?” asked Conservation member Tom Rockhold. “When it rains they can’t mow because they get stuck there a lot. Over the years they’ve been stuck I don’t know how many times down there. We mow when it’s dry but anytime it’s rained we just can’t mow down there.”
“As far as letting it go back to it’s natural habitat I have a report here from a licensed forester recommending the removal of some trees and with the canopy out there you’re not going to have as much grass,” said Swearingin. “He highly recommended removing these trees and she brought it to a city council meeting at some time and she was informed don’t touch a tree.”
“Somebody has went out now and cut seven or eight in the campgrounds,” said Moorman.
“People were having trouble getting into the camp site so the way I understand it there had to be some trees removed,” said Swearingin. “They had a tree service trim some trees last week because a limb had fell through the top of a camper. It comes down to the bottom line of if you want us to take care of it as in the conservation then turn them loose and let them take care of it otherwise they are in agreement to end this as well.”
“We don’t have very many campers out there, I think we only had three this past weekend,” said Moorman. “It’s a catch 22, we don’t have the money to fix it and we don’t have the campers paying.”
“A lot of people will not pull their campers out there because the road is so bad,” said Swearingin.
“We are working on that,” said Moorman.
“I don’t believe the idea was to end the agreement, we were just talking about our options,” said City of Corydon council member Amber Rodgers. “I would be interested in meeting with some of the Conservation Board at the county park to talk more about what is going on because I don’t feel we are on the same page now.”
“I think we need to meet and the park and talk about that before we jump to anything like ended an agreement,” said Rodgers.
“We don’t necessarily want it back because we are not budgeted for it,” added Moorman. “I don’t know what the campground needs but it needs dressed up to be more appetizing.”
“It needs some tree removal,” said Swearingin.
“We are all in agreement there because we talked about that in our meeting too,” stated Rodgers.
“I do know it was brought to the city about removing trees and she was flat told no by the previous mayor don’t touch any trees out there,” Swearingin said.
“We just hope to move forward,” said Rodgers.
“Let’s get a coordinated meeting out there with the city council and conservation and see if we can heal this wound and move on,” said Swearingin.
“The better we work together, the better it will be,” said Rockhold.
“It’s to everyone’s benefit if we can get that park built back up,” stated Supervisor David Dotts.
The deadline for filling the vacant Conservation Director position was on July 1.
“We do have a pile of applications but we have to have a meeting pretty quick to get something going,” said Swearingin.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 15 at 9 a.m.