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Plan to open lake on hold

by Gail Marsh

ASSISTANT CITY EDITOR

CLARKSBURG -- The Harrison County Commission is waiting for an equipment agreement to be reached between the Clarksburg Water Board and the county park board before moving forward with plans to open the Buffalo Lake recreation area.

"We hope to have this concluded by the end of the week," said commission president Beth Taylor.

Members of the park board attended county commission Monday to ask that the park board be reimbursed $2,500 for rental of its equipment at the lake. The commission has agreed to operate the recreation area for one year rather than see it closed after the park board said it no longer wanted to maintain it.

The park board also asked to be reimbursed $48,000 for the property and equipment at the lake that it had installed over the years if the commission plans to continue operating the lake in the future. The property includes the bath house, the piers, paddle boats and other items.

Taylor said the commission could not enter into a multi-year agreement and would not pay additional rental for the park board's equipment. Commission members recommended that the park board return to the water board to work out any details on equipment so the lake can be opened soon.

The commission agreed to operate the recreation area after the water board, which owns the lake, denied a request from the park board for $10,000 to help offset maintenance costs. The park board has lost money on the venture for a number of years.

The commission offered to operate the facility for the coming year for $1, with the provision that all equipment used by the park board would be left in place.

A final agreement will be reviewed by Harrison County Prosecutor John Scott and legal counsel before it is approved by the commission, Taylor said.

During the regular meeting, a required public hearing was held on the application process for the state-administered Small City Block Grants. Terry Schulte, planning commission president, said the county will consider applying for $1.5 million for water expansion projects and up to $500,000 for general community development projects. A second hearing will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Waldomore, Schulte said.

In other business, the commission appointed residents to serve on the nine-member county park board. The new board will have representation from each of the county's six magisterial districts, two at-large members and one commissioner.

Assistant City Editor Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at gmarsh@exponent-telegram.com.

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