ODNR's Response to the article "Hang on to the ride, Middle Bass"
March 23, 2006
I have attached some information to clarify the actual course the ODNR is undertaking and where we are in the process for Middle Bass Island State Park, now and in the future.
In 2002, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources hired consultants Woolpert LLP, Leon Younger & PROS and Economic Research Associates to study Middle Bass Island State Park and make recommendations about what types of amenities and recreational opportunities might potentially be offered there. As part of the study, the consultants also looked at the economic feasibility of their recommendations. They key words here are “study” and “feasibility.”
The consultants’ study included some very ambitious projects – including a potential resort hotel and retail complex that were later rejected as economically unfeasible, given the island’s short recreational season. These features are not in the state park’s future. What ODNR is seriously undertaking is a more modest plan to enlarge and renovate the harbor/marina area and expand the existing 21-site campground. These improvements will also require the construction of new water treatment and sewage disposal facilities at the park.
As a first step to accomplishing these marina-campground goals, ODNR has applied for a series of permits from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We expect to see those applications approved in six to 12 months. And we anticipate having additional conversations with island residents and property holders before any actual construction takes place.
The consultants’ study remains open. It exists to provide a framework for planners. Nothing in it is etched in stone. Once ODNR has completed the permitting process, the study will be amended to reflect more definite parameters and objectives. If the study is reviewed carefully, along with the two permit applications we have submitted, it should be clear that Middle Bass Island State Park is responding to real issues in a real, sensible way (public notices attached).
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Revised: 21 Jul 2008 07:50:25.
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