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Inmates help to clear illegal dumps along Harrison rail trail

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

About 1,000 feet down the Harrison County Rail Trail on the Rolland Glass factory end, stands a pile of old garbage.

For the past few weeks, inmates from the Pruntytown Correctional Center have worked to stack the trash beside the trail as part of a summer project to clean up illegal dumps there.

Wednesday, state and county officials saw their work during a tour, said Paul Hamrick, county litter control chairman.

Officials from the county Solid Waste Authority, Sheriff's Department and Parks and Recreation office, and the state Division of Environmental Protection walked about half of the seven-mile trail, Hamrick said.

"We traveled the trail so they could get a first-hand look at what needs to be cleaned up and repaired," he said.

In addition to the inmate labor project, the county also will work on repairing parts of the trail, and attempt to keep dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles off of it, Hamrick said.

"Law enforcement was there to look at how to cut down on the number of ATVs," he said. "There are so many of them, I think they are deterring walkers."

The Sheriff's Department has a four-wheel drive truck that could be used to help patrol the trail, he said.

Harrison's Parks and Recreation Department plans to make several needed repairs to the trail this summer, Hamrick said.

Now that they have seen the trail in person, officials will work together in an effort to improve the trail, Hamrick said.

Staff writer Paul Darst can be reached at 626-1404.

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