Grant submitted for county park upgrades

Rendering courtesy Hafer Associates


BRETZVILLE — Plans for adding campsites, extending trails and installing a new restroom/information building at the Dubois County Park in Bretzville have been submitted to the state for grant funding.

The Dubois County Park Board has applied for a $250,000 Land and Water Conservation grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The grant requires a $250,000 match, which the board has in its coffers.

If the grant is received, plans call for an additional 14 RV campsites to be added south of the current RV camping site. This was scaled back from 17 sites as part of the effort to make sure the entire project totals $500,000, which DNR officials suggested in their review of the application.

“They want a $500,000 project, not a $510,000 project,” Board President Christine Prior said at the county park board’s Tuesday meeting.

Also in the plan, a restroom building — which would also house an information center — will be added near the southwest corner of a gravel parking lot, close to the lake and Our Precious Angels Monument area. Though the restroom was made a little smaller than originally planned, it will have three separated stalls, and each stall will have its own sink and other fixtures, explained architect Dan Engelbrecht of Evansville firm Hafer Associates. The site will also have vending machines, outdoor seating and information about the park’s features and rules.

Map courtesy Hafer Associates

A new paved parking lot will be added south of the new restroom; the lot will have space for 12 cars, with five of those being wheelchair-accessible.

An existing trail that runs from the southeast side of the parking lot will be improved and connected to a new trail that will run to the new RV campsite. The new trail will also connect to some existing trails that run through parts of the park and to the existing RV campsites. Those parts of the existing trails will be improved to be wheelchair-accessible.

The grant application was turned in before the June 1 deadline. In mid-June, state officials came to the park to see the area, review the proposal and make suggestions for changes.

DNR officials also mentioned their concern that the county owns the land instead of the park board. They mentioned some hesitation in investing in a property the board doesn’t own, said board member Ken Eck, who was with DNR officials when they visited the park. Prior said that matter would be discussed further if the grant is approved.

The board also:

• Heard that its 2020 budget proposal has been submitted to the Dubois County Council. The request includes an additional $50,000 for capital improvements. Board members mentioned that the campsites bring in almost that much in revenue, which is turned over to the county. In 2018, $46,000 was generated from the campsites; $21,000 has been generated, as of June. If more sites were added, more revenue would be generated, Prior said. The council will review the proposal at its daylong budget meeting, scheduled for Aug. 12.

• Learned that Prior is considering ideas for recognizing the county park’s anniversary, and welcomes suggestions. The Dubois County Park turns 50 in October.
Heard that the next park board meeting will be at 9 a.m. Oct. 8 at the Clover Pavilion at the 4-H fairgrounds.

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