FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP — Morrow County volunteers have contributed both labor and funds to make a difference in the clean-up project at the Hidden Lakes Campground. Abandoned lots have been cleaned up and trash has been cleared away as volunteers from five local churches have pitched in along with Hidden Lakes residents and local officials.
Work began this summer with Franklin Township Trustee Jim Jahn and the Hidden Lakes maintenance crew, and then several Hidden Lakes residents pitched in to work along with members of Fresh Faith Church.
“Churches have come through in a big way,” said Jahn. “Fresh Faith Church helped with manpower, especially Robin and Chris and the First Presbyterian Church has donated both manpower and dumpsters.”
The list of churches that contributed goes on with Ohio Home Church that donated four dumpsters and manpower and the Church of Christ has given five dumpsters, manpower, lunch for workers, and school supplies for the children at Hidden Lakes. Gilead Friends Church donated shoes and coats as well as a dumpster.
The Hidden Lakes clean-up started in late June with 10 roll off dumpsters that were provided by the county with a DKMM Solid Waste District grant. Morrow County Commissioners were instrumental in getting the dumpsters and clean-up effort started along with Jahn and Hidden Lakes board members.
Jahn said that Hidden Lakes started to get donations from several local churches after hearing about the clean-up and as of November 1st, 16 dumpsters have been used. There are now 29 lots that have been cleaned up of the original 31 that were listed as condemned. The lots have had debris and trash removed along with some condemned RVs and structures on the lots.
“We are pleased with progress, although there is still a long way to go. “Commissioner Tom Whiston said. “County Treasurer Mike Goff has been successful in setting up tax payment plans for several of the campground residents.”
Pat Davies is working to get a Dumpster to get rid of 600 more old tires in the campground and the county commissioners are working to get six more Dumpsters by the end of the year. Jahn reported that he just recently got a commitment from the Mount Gilead Church of Christ for four more trash receptacles.
He is pleased to have the two newly elected commissioners “on board” to continue with the project.
The plan at Hidden Lakes is to work section by section in the campground to get rid of any trash, abandoned utility buildings, scrap metal or abandoned RV’s. As abandoned, foreclosed and condemned properties are available, board members and the township are working with the Land Bank and county to see that properties are turned over to leasing and management by the Hidden Lakes board.
“There still is a long way to go, said Jahn. “But thanks to many we are getting a lot accomplished and heading down a much better path.”