Archived Story

Partnerships could help rescue park

Published 12:59am Sunday, September 30, 2012

Government — and its myriad of agencies — often looks at everything as an “all-or-nothing proposition.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way when it comes to maintaining a rest area and community park that means a lot to many local residents.

The Ohio Department of Transportation recently announced its plans to close Ellisonville Park, which is a primitive rest area along State Route 93 near the entrance to Wayne National Forest. ODOT went from preliminary stages of evaluating the rest stop to closing it at the end of the month far too quickly.

The county commissioners are hoping to save it in some capacity and are circulating petitions to gauge public support. This comes after Wayne National Forest officials said they don’t have the resources to take it on.

Couldn’t all three agencies work together to keep this a viable rest stop and community park?

It clearly still serves motorists traveling on the state highway system. It is a great benefit for individuals coming into or going out of the national forest. And the county has a vested interest because it means so much to many rural residents who use it as green space, public park and family get-together destination.

If all three entities partnered, the annual expense for upkeep would be very minimal and would be greatly outweighed by the public benefits of keeping Ellisonville Park open.

It will take some creative thinking and the willingness to tackle this problem differently from the way government typically operates, but it is possible.

The community would win in the end.

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  • Poor Richard

    When you have a Congress that is not funding its agencies, I doubt the National Forest can afford to buy staples, let alone fund a drug infested park because the drug capital of southern Ohio ‘wishes it’. If the county commissioners want to keep it let them fund it. They have been less than supportive of the Wayne National Forest over the years, if I were the Wayne supervisor I would certainly have some choice words for county commissioners.

    The other article in the newspaper today goes on about how important the Ohio River is to Appalachia but again, Congress is literally allowing the Ohio River dams to disintegrate and crumble into the Ohio River because they won’t fund the agencies that oversee the infrastructure. Held together with duct tape! And we have some idiot agency the Ohio governor has come up with to focus on the economics of the Ohio River – lets just take the $100 million and repair the infrastructure!

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Many fond memories of Ellisonville Park. Would not be in the public’s interest to abandon it.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Share the costs and save the park. Fantastic!

    (Report comment)

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