CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - A one-mile stretch of gravel road sits about 10 miles outside of Frankfort, but it might not be gravel for long.
The Clinton County Commissioners voted to pave County Road 450 West at their August 6 meeting.
Clinton County Commissioner Mike Beard said the Eunice H. Bryan Nature Preserve sits off the road, and that's the reason for the paving. Yet, several Clinton County residents feel there's an ulterior motive.
"It's not about that nature preserve," said Clinton County resident Richelle Lutz. "It's about Mr. Beard's farm and getting that piece of paved for his own use."
Commissioner Beard's home is off that County Road, along with his hog farm. Beard estimates the road paving will cost about $80,000.
Clinton County resident Joyce Weida said she believes that money could be used toward something else.
"We need trash trucks," said Weida. "There's other things we need that are more important than a one-mile stretch of road."
That's why Weida said she and others have had petitions in their businesses all week. In just seven days, Weida said she's already racked up about 100 signatures at her business alone.
"I just put it out here and it was made known that it was here," said Weida. "People were coming in saying, 'Where is that petition? This is not right.'"
Yet, Commissioner Beard said the allegations of paving the road for personal reasons are false. He said other groups, including the county tourism board, wanted the road paved because of the benefit to the preserve.
"The decision was based on information provided by me and other parties regarding the Eunice H. Bryan Nature Preserve," said Beard. "This is the only IDNR property in Clinton County."
Clinton County residents said they hope to take these signatures and get an injunction, and said they won't stop trying to do what they feel is right.
"We are not stopping and if it doesn't do any good in this instance, let another commissioner try to do something like this," said Lutz.
Petitions are still available to sign at "Plunder on the Square" in Frankfort.
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