The Scioto County Commissioners met on Tuesday to tend to regular business of the county. When asked if there had been any new updates from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources regarding Shawnee State Park Golf Course, commissioners indicated that plans to hold another meeting with ODNR was in the works.
Commissioner Bryan Davis stated that he received correspondence stating that the ODNR Director would be willing to come to Scioto County to meet with the board of commissioners. Davis said that while the fate of the Shawnee State Park Golf Course was one major topic to be discussed, he also had questions regarding the 12,000 acres that was taken out of the tax base and “thrown” into Shawnee State Forest.
“I’d like to know what the plans are for that, if it’s just another timber play,” said Davis. “We want to make sure that’s not the case. Just talk about general communication with the two entities, it would be nice if there was going to be a move to remove tax base from the county that there would be some communication prior to, and we will have some discussion about that.”
Commissioners were asked for comment on a survey regarding potential recreational uses for the golf course that was circulated during ODNR’s public meeting, and Commissioner Cathy Coleman stated that she didn’t see a need for many of the suggested amenities, which included options like reunion lodge, full-service campsites, nature center, paddle sports, dog park, wedding venue, playground, etc.
“We have a lot of these things already, I’m not sure what they’re thinking. We already have camping, we have fishing, we have multipurpose trails and playgrounds,” said Coleman. “There’s only a couple listed here that we don’t already have.”
Davis reiterated that it feels unfair that these changes are only being made in Scioto County.
“We understand that there are budget crunches everywhere, and everyone’s feeling it. State of Ohio, no doubt there’s a budget crunch because of the time it’s being debated on this capital budget. There’s a lot of concern. We understand that here in Scioto County. But right is right, and wrong is wrong. Being the only county to have their golf course targeted, and I’ll use that word, targeted for closure is wrong. Whenever there is other golf courses, one particular park has two golf courses, and all of them are losing money. If you’re going to say you’re closing something because it’s losing money, close the rest areas on the highway. They don’t generate revenue. But they’re tax payer funded resources and people love them and expect them to be there. If it’s not making money, find a way to make it make money. Also, don’t utilize monies from it to prop up any other functions, i.e. the lodge or anything else. Let it be a standalone entity, let it make money on its own, whatever that may look like,” said Davis. “These are all discussions we’re going to have. Last time I made the comment that we’re mad, maybe that wasn’t the word to use. Disgusted, maybe that’s the word. We’re not thrilled with the way this all unfolded, but we want to work with the powers that be as long as they’re willing to work with us. There has to be give both ways in order to reach a compromise.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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