Last night, the Dubois County Council approved an appropriation of $30,000 for the Highway Department to begin the process of designing a second access road to the county park.

The idea of a second access road for the park is something that has been thrown around for months amid concerns of emergency vehicles having difficulty entering the park in the event of an emergency during events such as the 4-H fair with just one access road, which currently enters the park off of State Road 162.

The proposed road would cost the county $375,000 including the design cost and it would branch off of an unnamed gravel road west of the park to the east of County Road 50 East and just to the north of County Road 450 South.

Dubois County Park Board President Jason Schmitt says the appropriation for design is a good first step:

Much of the debate on the new road amongst council members during last night’s meeting surrounded¬† whether to make the new road a fully paved road or to make it more of a chip and seal type road, a solution that the council as a whole seemed to have no problem with.

County Council President Greg Kendall says the road will certainly be important in the event of an emergency:

The road would mostly be used in emergency situations. A gate would be installed towards the end of the road near the park and would likely be locked if there are no events going on at the fairgrounds. County Engineer Jason Heinle told the council that residents would have to sign a right-of-way petition before the county could begin any construction of a new road.

Also last night, the county council approved a total appropriation of $75,200 for the Sheriff’s Department for roof work on the county jail. That figure takes into account the cost of a brand new rhino-liner to put over the current roof, which Kendall says would save the county a significant amount of money versus replacing the roof, as well as the cost of repairing recent tornado damage.