Trails near Ferneau Road discussed


The creation of the trails in the possible Pickett Run Wetlands on Ferneau Road in Paint Township in Highland County was discussed at the weekly Wednesday morning meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

A resolution was brought forward to the board of commissioners regarding the purchase of this property was brought forward at the meeting by the Arc of Appalachia organization.

Brent Charrette, the director of land stewardship with the organization, said they were looking for a Clean Ohio Grant for the creation of this project. He said they already have the approval from the Paint Township trustees and only need the approval from the board of commissioners.

He said, following the approval, the grant application would be submitted and then ranked and scored around the middle of October through Ohio Public Works. He also said the project isn’t closed until late spring or summer of next year.

He said two separate parcels make up this property, parcel no. 32-17-000-333.00, north of Ferneau Road, which is 7.6 acres and gives $350.60 per year in tax revenue, and parcel no. 32-17-000-323.00, south of Ferneau Road, which is 11.52 acres with a house and gives $1,419.48 in tax revenue. Charrette said, however, that the latter parcel might be “overstated” due to the house being abandoned and unsalvageable.

Dave Daniels, the vice president of the board of commissioners, said they wouldn’t be able to approve it immediately because they wanted to leave time for public comment, but “probably” would when they were able.

Charrette said there would be two different trails in this wetland area. He said the trail on the northern side would be called Boxelder Bottoms Trail and span three-tenths of a mile. He then said Riddell’s Goldenrod Trail would be on the southern side and measure four-tenths of a mile.

He also said this project would also give access to a large property east called Celandine Hill and Sad Song Creek. Charrette said the organization always wanted to make a trail there but never could due to the lack of access.

In other conservation matters, Nancy Stranahan executive director of Arc of Appalachia, brought forward the possibility of a collaboration called the Ohio Appalachia Front. She said it would bring together the five-county region of Adams, Highland, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties for a full tourism collaboration. She also said the region has four state forests, 150 miles of bridle trails, eight state parks and eight state nature preserves and “more Indian mounds and ancient earthworks than anywhere else in the world,” also soon to become World Heritage sites.

However, Daniels said the organization needs to find a more focused effort before coming to the counties for an ask all at the same time, which included the need for a coordinator for the project and a full marketing plan.

In other news, the board of commissioners plans to have a special meeting Thursday, July 6, for budget appointments with Highland County Common Pleas Court, Veteran Services, Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Engineer’s Office, as well as another meeting on Monday, July 17, at 10 a.m. for a bid opening.

In other news, there were four resolutions approved by the board of commissioners, which are as follows:

*Res. No. 23-96 is a rescinding of Res. No. 23-95 for the Probation Department.

*Res. No. 23-97 is a request from the Probation Department for an advance within the 2170 Community Probation Department SRVC account in the amount of $20,000. Also requested was an additional appropriation within the 2615 account in the amount of $20,000.

*Res. No. 23-98 is an authorization for an additional appropriation from unanticipated revenue in the amount of $335 to the 1000 County Court Budget.

*Res. No. 23-99 is an authorization for an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds in the amount of $3,000 to the 2000 Dogs and Kennel Other Expense fund.

There was also one contracts approved by the board of commissioners, which is as follows:

*Contract 60 is between the board of commissioners, Highland County Community Action Organization, Workforce Services Unlimited for an addition to Contract 36, with a requested extension for the contract with WSU for a comprehensive case management and employee program.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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