Adventure group brings ideas before Versailles Town Board

Wanda English Burnett - Editor

All members of the Versailles Town Council were present at their regular meeting on Thursday, February 8. Joining council members, Sue Meisberger, Jim Taul and John Holzer, was Clerk-Treasurer Ted Spurlock. Town attorney Larry Eaton was not present. Minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

Brian Holzhausen, president and director of DINO (Do Indiana Off-Road) came before the town board, along with Katherine Taul of the Ripley County Tourism Bureau. They were there to describe an upcoming event being planned in the Versailles area by DINO.

Holzhausen said that DINO will hold its 5th Annual Mission Adventure Race on May 12 at the Versailles State Park. The race includes multiple activities such as biking, running/hiking, canoeing, fixed ropes and even rock climbing. It will take teams of 2-3 participants approximately 18 hours to finish the course. A beginners’ race will also be offered that will take up to four hours to complete.
Holzhausen came before the town council to ask permission for the group to repel off the water tower on 421 just south of Versailles. He told the council, “We need an interesting tourist thing for athletic people to do.” Holzhausen assured the members that DINO handles all insurance requirements. He went on to explain that the group uses the services of a militarily trained ropes specialist, Eric Bishop, who has worked with DINO for four years. A rope would be positioned around the tower with downward ropes attached. Holzhausen expects 90-100 participants for the event.

The town council agreed that it sounds like a good project, but expressed concerns about insurance and liability. They will discuss it with town attorney, Larry Eaton, and give the organization an answer as soon as possible.

Versailles resident, Von McGuire, came before the council with concerns regarding the road, Gaslight Drive, on which he lives. Citing a recent letter to the editor printed in the Versailles Republican regarding the conditions of properties in town, McGuire talked about old trailers lining the street, overflowing dumpsters in the trailer park and a general disregard for property. He said that because of his strong feelings regarding the issue, “My wife thought that I wrote the letter to the editor.”
McGuire, whose work puts him in touch with Honda representatives, told the group that he recently told a Honda employee, “Don’t look too hard in Shelbyville (for a place to live). We’re gonna get you to move to Versailles.” However, he said, that some places in town are quite simply eyesores that need to be dealt with before recommending it as a relocation destination. Town Marshal, Joe Mann, speaking about the trailer park noted, “There is an agreement so that they have police presence. How far-reaching is that?” And, council member John Holzer asked, “How can we solve some of this?” It was noted that the town no longer picks up trash in Gaslight Village because the owner does not want the service. McGuire told the council, “The dumpsters are full to overflowing twice a week.” Ted Spurlock asked if it would help to enclose the dumpsters. Mann asked if Versailles should revise its junk ordinance, noting that other towns are updating all of their ordinances. Holzer stated emphatically, “I want to get something done. I think we need to jump on it.”

In his report, Mann told the council that he had put on a demonstration for head start kids at Family Connections earlier in the evening. He said that fingerprint/photo I.D. kits were sent home with the parents. Due to weather the turn out was relatively small with 8-10 children and six parents present.
Mann also reported that he has requested a grant for $500 from the Ripley County Community Foundation for in-home drug tests. He stated that the advantage to this alternative is that it would allow parents to drug test their kids in private and without having to pay for a doctor visit.

Lee Matthews was sworn in as Mann’s deputy and welcomed warmly by the marshal and the town council. He will assume his duties on March 1.

Before adjournment, council members complimented town manager, Kevin Hensley, on his road crew’s handling of the recent snowfall.




© Copyright 2003 Ripley Publishing Co.. Inc. | Site Design by Eclectic Video