Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2017

Board gives thumbsup to two new cabinsat Oakland Mills

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News | Oct 10, 2017

Campers will have a choice of two more cabins at Oakland Mills. However, the new option may not be available until the 2019 camping season.

Henry County’s Conservation Department Board of Directors gave thumbs up Monday to the construction of two new cabins which will be located near the Oakland Mills Nature Center.

The cabins have been on the board’s radar for over a year and John Pullis, county conservation director, gave the board cost estimates at its August meeting and had drawings for Monday’s meeting.

Pullis said the cabins with a wood deck would cost roughly $91,000 each and the price would increase to $92,000-$94,000 with composite decking.

“Anybody who has wood decking, now wishes they had composite decking,” noted Tony Brown, board member. Later when the board approved the construction of the cabins, it opted for composite decking.

The conservation director said Bill Young, who will do the concrete work, wants to get started yet this fall. But completion of the project “may be by this time next year or maybe sooner,” Pullis stated.

He said funds for the cabins will come from the department’s land development and acquisition fund which has a balance of about $240,000. “We have plenty of money (to build the cabins) if we want to approve it today,” Pullis told his board.

Most of the board’s discussion centered on plans for the full basement. Pullis said that he initially would like to use the basement as a storm shelter.

“I think we should see how things go before fully developing the basement,” the director said.

“I think that is a great idea,” remarked Brown.

Kat Zeglen, board president, however, said the department may want to finish the basement in one of the cabins. “It is more cost effective to finish the basement during construction,” she said.

Pullis said that the basement will not have windows.

“For now, the bottom line is to pour the basement and decide how we want to use the basement later,” Brown remarked.

“I think we should ‘rough it (basement) in’ and if we want to do any more, we can decide that later,” Zeglen added.

There was no mention of the status of the basement in the motion. The board approved the construction of two cabins with a full basement and composite deck.

Pullis said the campgrounds and Nature Center will close on Monday, Oct. 16. This is one week earlier than usual, largely because Pullis and another conservation department employee will be gone for at least a week beginning Oct. 21, and Pullis didn’t want any frozen pipes or other major problems while he was gone.

County Naturalist Cari Nicely said plans are complete for the annual Night Hike Oct. 23. “Alice’s Wonderland” is the theme of this year’s hike. Nicely will be giving previews of the hike to children in the Mt. Pleasant School District this week on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Conservation board members meet again in regular session Monday, Nov. 12 at noon at the department’s office at Oakland Mills.

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