Following the first completed phase of rennovation at the Mount Gilead State Park, officials from the county and around the state paid the recreation area a visit to officially unveil the project’s progress.
“Mount Gilead State Park is a regional and community treasure,” Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zerhinger said during the Aug. 31 ceremony. “We are proud today to dedicate (the improvements).”
Priliminary rennovation of the park included laying 22 new full-size concrete pads throughout camping areas to better accomidate camping vehicles visiting the park.
Also part of the improvements, the park now has a full shower house, as well as new men’s and women’s restroom facilities.
The project cost somewhere in the $900,000 neighborhood according to Zerhinger.
“It was a collaborative effort. People are thrilled to have it (the reconstruction) and share in it,” Morrow County Auditor Pat Davies said. “This is truly a foundational, fundemental improvement.”
In addition to recognizing the completed improvement efforts, the ODNR director highlighting the reconstruction effort that is underway on both dams in the park.
ODNR officials perform a number of tests throughout the year to determine the efficiency of manmade dams in the state park system.
Construction projects are then slated based on a particular infastructure’s performance. The Mount Gilead State Park just happened to be next on the state agency’s list.
The $7.9 million project began last week and is projected to continue through October of 2017. Because of the project the lakeview and adjacent trails, as well as the lower parking lot of the park are closed to visitors.
These projects are made possible through funding from the Ohio State Parks Capital Improvement Fund to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Through the support of Governor John Kasich, Senate President Keith Faber and the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio State Parks received $88.5 million for capital improvements to strengthen the infrastructure and modernize facilities.
ODNR officials noted Ohio is one of only seven states in the US where admission to state parks are free.
Reach Jones at 419-946-3010 or on Twitter @zJones_1239