The Scioto County Commissioners will be meeting with representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources next week with the status of the Shawnee State Park Golf Course being the topic of discussion.
“We’re doing our best to schedule a meeting with ODNR,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. “It looks like it’s going to be next Thursday or Friday.” Davis said the time and location of the meeting has not yet been confirmed, although ODNR is coming to them, and Commissioners are unsure at this time whether or not the meeting will be closed or open to the public.
“We’re going to be discussing the future, discussing their decision, and hopefully finding out exactly what’s brought us to this place that we’re at and what we can possibly do moving forward,” said Davis.
The sale of the golf course was first announced in June of last year, a decision by ODNR which reportedly blindsided commissioners. ODNR announced bids would be accepted until early August of 2018, with the condition that the successful bidder should note that the golf course will be required to be operated as a golf course for a minimum of three years after the sale.
A bid was initially accepted by ODNR, but was contingent on a signed agreement that never materialized. Commissioners state the reason the agreement was never signed is something they hope to find out when meeting with ODNR. “I have a whole lot of questions and not a lot of answers at this point. We need to do this, and the commissioners have been steadfast in our desire to keep the golf course open from day one. We’ve communicated that with our representatives, we’ve communicated that with Senator Uecker, Representative Baldridge and before that Representative Johnson and there was quite a bit of conversation between the two entities with ODNR and those offices. I had even discussed this matter with Governor DeWine Personally,” said Davis. “There is a lot of discussion going on at that level right now.”
Davis stated to keep in mind the commissioners are dealing with a new administration that inherited a mess, but felt the process was questionable from the beginning. “From day one the bidding process didn’t look right. Whether it’s right or wrong what they were trying to do I think it was haphazardly done by ODNR, just by looking at the bid documents how generic that process was,” said Davis. Davis noted that when the land bank goes to take down a house over a hundred pages of documents are in play, while the bid documents for the golf course consisted of only two pages. “Something doesn’t look right there folks,” said Davis.
Davis stated selling land owned by taxpayers and doing so disorderly did not make sense. “To sell off land that is owned by the citizens of this great and built with taxpayer’s money, and do it that haphazardly, I’m sorry it smelled. And I made that clear on multiple occasions. Whether it was a good idea or a bad idea was yet to be determined, now of course that deal is killed,” said Davis. “You had a local business man that was willing to do something, and from what I can tell the terms changed and here we are.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932