Shelbyville Daily Union

October 3, 2013

Lake Shelbyville takes the brunt

Balloon Fest events moved to airport

VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Reporter
Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — The government shutdown which began October 1 has its biggest effect locally at the Lake Shelbyville Corps of Engineers facilities.

As of October 1, all Corps campgrounds; boat ramps; day use facilities; trails, including some parts of the General Dacey Trail; Visitor Center; dam spillway; and the road across the dam are closed to the public for the duration of the shutdown.

“This is going to impact a lot of people,” said Corps ranger Anna Hickman. “We sincerely regret the impact this (shutdown) is having on everything. We hope for a quick solution.”

A few essential employees continue to work to maintain the function of the dam and to ensure safety in the area.

Eagle Creek and Wolf Creek State Parks as well as privately owned Findlay and Sullivan Marinas remain open and the lake can be accessed for fishing through those boat ramps.

“You cannot use the hunter and fisherman parking lots on Corps property. The Spillway is also closed to fishering,” Hickman said.

“Everything is marked. We ask everyone to recognize the signs and stay out of closed areas for their own safety,” Hickman added. She also noted that Conservation Police, who are part of the State government, will still be present around the lake to ensure safety.

The Corps property shutdown has also prompted Touchstone Balloon Fest organizers to find an alternate location for the event next weekend, October. 11-13.

“We have tentatively moved the Friday evening flight and the Saturday evening balloon glow and cookout to the airport,” said organizer Kevin Bernson. “We had to make the decision to let those coming know even if things with the shutdown change in the next few days.”

Bernson said the Saturday morning task flight will still be held at the soccer fields in Forest Park. The Sunday morning task flight location, orginally set for Ninth Street Beach, will be announced later. Updates will be posted on the Lake Shelbyville Balloon Fest Facebook page.

The airport is located on Route 16 west of Shelbyville.

The Shelby County Health Department said that they have enough vaccines for people in spite of the shutdown affecting the Center for Disease Control and distribution of, particularly, the flu vaccines.

“The shutdown is not going to affect the flu shots. It’s business as usual here,” said Health Department director Steve Melega.

Nationwide, the postal service is not affected by the government shutdown.

“The mail is sill being delivered and everyone is reporting to work,” said Shelbyville postal clerk Deana Dunaway on behalf of Postmaster Dawn Hagan. “We don’t foresee any problems in the near future. It’s business as usual.”