Update: After Gov. Eric Holcomb's announcement on Wednesday, the Frankfort Lagoons will join other recreational areas in opening on Friday, May 22.
The Utility Services Board voted, 5-0, during its regular meeting on Monday night to re-open the Frankfort Lagoons on Sunday, May 24. The board’s approval to re-open comes with the condition that Gov. Eric Holcomb does not modify any measure affecting recreation areas in Phase 3 of his “Back on Track Indiana” re-opening plan before that date.
“It will (re-open) May 24 if the governor doesn’t change anything,” said USB president Mike Kelley on Tuesday. “He will make a statement before Friday, and we will know if there are any modifications of stage three.
“All along, we have gone along with the governor’s plan on Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3,” Kelley continued. “We knew that if we got to Phase 3, that is what we would do, and that is what we are trying to do. We interpret the rules that we are given.”
Rules for use of the Frankfort Lagoons will be posted on new signs before Sunday.
“The rules have been there for a long time, but the signs have either been destroyed or need to be updated,” Kelley said. “We should have that done before the 24th.”
Among the things not allowed at the Frankfort Lagoons are swimming, wading, hunting and trapping. And a fishing license is required for those who cast lines into the lagoons.
“One of the things that a lot of people don’t understand is that you have to have a fishing license,” Kelley said. “Even though we put water into (the lagoons), the water ends up in a tributary of the creek out there. When the source of water goes from public or private into an Indiana stream, the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) says that you have to have a fishing license for it. We have to abide by the Indiana DNR. It is posted out there now, but nobody really understood why.”
The USB also discussed blocking access to an observation deck on the largest lagoon until it can be reinforced or replaced.
“It is not really up to par, so we are probably not going to allow people to get on that because it needs to be improved or replaced,” Kelley said.
“I am hoping that we get to Phase 3,” he added. “I hope this will be a new resurgence for the lagoons. We are trying to make some improvements out there to make it even more attractive to people who want to see the birds, come and hike, and want to come and fish.”
Also decided at Monday’s meeting is that Rick Gunyon will be the USB’s liaison for the Frankfort Lagoons.
“He is going to be the person that brings anything that needs to be done at the lagoons to the board,” Kelley said. “He will be working with DNR and all the other organizations to put things together. He will be who fields those questions and brings them to the board.”