KOA plans to open at golf course site

By Anthony Conchel - The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — Garry and Vicki Cole told Village Council Monday night about the proposed Kampgrounds of America at Pine Lakes Golf Course.

KOA wants to turn the golf course it purchased into a family-oriented recreational facility.

A new conditional use is required and the meeting with the Zoning Board is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14. It is expected to be approved as golf courses and camp sites are both classified as recreational use facilities.

“There are 520 KOAs in the United States,” Garry Cole said. “We operate the one in Shelby also.”

“It’s a great family-friendly, outdoor hospitality. It fits right in with the Love Life/Live Rural motto of Morrow County,” he said.

The golf course was founded in 1950 and sits on 150 acres. All buildings were erected in 2008 at an investment cost of more than $1 million.

But it is no longer feasible to operate the 18-hole course, said Bob Thomas, former owner of Pine Lakes.

“Part of me is sad. The golf industry is changing … where the property is worth more than the golf course is.”

Thomas said he welcomes KOA here, calling it “a real nice venture.”

The Coles plan to open by spring of 2020. It is marketed as a “fun and convenient get-away.”

They said smaller “pocket parks” or playgrounds could be part of the facility, along with possibly a miniature or Frisbee golf course.

Council members believe the kampground will generate revenue for other village and county businesses, including restaurants and gas stations, as campers visit.

The kitchen and clubhouse are assets, and grilled food and pizza will be offered initially. KOA seeks to employ young people for its sites.

“We are very excited about this opportunity. We have a big passion for it,” Garry said.

In other business:

• On Dec.14, the Douglas Street water tower was losing move water than could be replaced, village administrator Dan Rogers reported.

”No leak could be found. Leak Detectors were contacted in Marion to help with the mystery with no success. It was necessary to contact the OEPA in case of a total depressization of the low district. We contacted DelCo about opening part way to valve between Edison and Mount Gilead. We were going valve by valve trying to find the leak when we come upon the hospital’s emergency 4-inch line that serves no purpose, was broken. No meter, nothing on the line to indicate that there was a problem.”

• A water leak occurred at Highland and Town streets about 4 a.m. Christmas morning.

“The leak was identified. Brandon, Kit and Frank came in and we had the hole opened up and the 10-inch line cleaned and repaired by 10:30 a.m. and the guys headed home to be with their families,” Rogers said.

• Jamie Brucker was elected president of council.

By Anthony Conchel

The Sentinel