Fox Island hopes to reopen by mid-2023, officials say

FILE PHOTO - Fox Island damage
FILE PHOTO - Fox Island damage(WPTA)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 11:20 AM EST
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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA) - The derecho that tore through 21Country on June 13 caused so much damage to Fox Island County Park that it remains closed now—five months later.

BACKGROUND: Fox Island still cleaning up after derecho

Officials with the Allen County Park Board presented an update to the Allen County Commissions Friday morning. Those officials are working hard to reopen the park but say it won’t be brought back to its former glory in our lifetimes. They hope to get the park back open to the public by the middle of 2023.

The storm took out countless trees including the park’s signature 250-year-old black oak which was a highlight for visitors.

“If there was a bright spot, the caretaker who lives on the grounds had not been injured during the storm, and most of our buildings were spared from damage,” Park Board President Stephanie Veit said during Friday’s meeting.

A local firm started logging and removing trees about a month after the storm. The Allen County Park Board voted that all the funds received from logging will be used for restoration of Fox Island Park. They say the money will help plant new trees and keep invasive species from taking over.

The board estimates it has lost between $60,000 and $70,000 in income through October because of the shut-down. That includes rental cancellations. The board says neither the state nor the federal government has come forward with funds to offset the lost income.

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