Parks and Recreation issue stirs heated debate at fiscal court

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By Ben Hyatt

A heated discussion arose among Harrison County Fiscal Court members during the first reading of the new Parks and Recreation ordinance Tuesday night.
Like many past controversial discussions facing the fiscal court, the proposed Parks and Recreation issue stirs lengthy discussions and debates every time it is brought up.
Perhaps the strongest opponent of Parks and Recreation on the fiscal court, Bradley Copes, continues to argue the issue of potential higher budgeting needed in order to operate the proposed Parks and Recreation.
Copes argued that Parks and Recreation will cost county taxpayers much more and deliver little to no benefits to the county.
“Good luck getting anyone involved in any new recreation,” said Copes. “Recreation simply is not what it once was.”
Parks and Recreation committee members Missy Lutz and Frank Henson countered Copes’ argument by saying that Harrison County offers no recreation for anyone past the ages of 12.
“Frankly, I could care less at this point but one of two things needs to happen. We either develop the park (Flat Run Veterans’ Park) and offer something for everyone or sell it and use the money for something else,” said Henson.
After the first reading of the ordinance, which will establish Parks and Recreation, County Attorney Bradley Vaughn informed the court that he had received a letter on behalf of Mayor Steve Moses asking for a change in the ordinance.
“The mayor is asking that the 50/50 split between the county and city be dropped from the ordinance as well as a few other small changes,” explained Vaughn.
The court members agreed that the request should not be met and a call for a vote was called with Copes, Brad Marshall and Larry Wells voting “no.”
Motion passed.
State Rep. Tom McKee was also present during the fiscal court meeting to present a $300,000 check to the court.
The $300,000 was used earlier this year for the repair and repaving of Pedro Pike and Shaw Lane.
“On behalf of the fiscal court we want to thank you Mr. McKee for the continued support that you bring to Harrison County,” said County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett. “The money went to a good cause and the roads look great.”
Also discussed was the need to extend the contract between the county and Legacy Carting for county trash removal.
A vote was made to extend the contract for two years.
Finally, Barnett informed the court that the county surplus auction will be held at the county barn on Nov. 2. Barnett also reminded the court that the next meeting, Oct. 23, will be held in Berry at 7 p.m.