PORTSMOUTH — The Scioto County Commissioners fielded questions from the press on Tuesday related to the Shawnee State Golf Course project, which is in the process of being repurposed into a campground and area for recreational activities.
Commissioner Bryan Davis said in recent conversations with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, he has learned that permits are going out and new ones are being found. Questions still remain for him as to how the coronavirus will affect funding and the timeline for completion.
“Funding is still in place to get us through the next phase and a half,” said Davis. “They are waiting for the capital budget that is late right now because of COVID.”
By the end of the month or in September, Davis expects to receive word as to what additional funding will be directed toward the construction. He is confident that ODNR will remain dedicated to finding funds in any shape or form.
“They said even if they have to look at other buckets of money to find the money, they are committed to getting this project done,” Davis said. “I was very happy to hear that because that was one of our big concerns.”
After lower attendance of the golf course, ODNR announced 2019 would be its final year, which frustrated many in the area, including Davis at the time.
“It always has been a golf course, since the day it was deeded over to the state to turn into a golf course by a private individual,” Davis said in a June 2019 interview with the Portsmouth Daily Times. “It makes us mad. We’re mad. People really want to know, we’re mad. It’s not right and they know it’s not right.”
The $8 million project will provide new additions to the course and marina including a zip line, splash park, mini-golf, archery, RV pads, fishing ponds and a potential sports bar. Returning to the marina would be a gas and diesel station, which had not been available since 2012.
“The economic opportunities that this stuff provides will be much more beneficial for the community and will draw people in from all over to explore all that Scioto County has to offer,” said ODNR assistant director Mindy Bankey in a February press conference.
Phase One construction is expected to start this fall, which project manager Bob Cubow said will be focusing on the lower loop, a roadway and some of the infrastructure.
The Scioto County Commissioners will meet again this Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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