Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 25, 2017

Conservation department will start emailing newsletter

Sep 12, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News

 

One more time.

That’s how many issues of the Henry County Conservation Department’s newsletter you will receive by mail.

Conservation board members, meeting Monday noon in regular session at Oakland Mills, decided not to mail the newsletter any longer after the next issue due to cost.

Currently, about 600 quarterly newsletters are mailed, County Naturalist Cari Nicely said.

“It costs us $225 annually for our bulk mailing permit and postage on top of that,” Henry County Conservation Director John Pullis told the board. “It is getting ridiculously expensive. We will mail one more out before we end it.”

He said the department also will send a postcard to all subscribers before the end of the year, notifying them of the change. Copies also will be available at the conservation office.

Board member Tony Brown suggested emailing it as a PDF file instead of a link, but Nicely and other board members disagreed.

“I used to do it that way (as a PDF file),” Nicely reflected. “However it was suggested to do it as a ink. A PDF filecan be very big and lock up computers and I had a lot of complaints.”

Pullis added that the file is large because of the photos.

Following more discussion, the board directed the newsletter be sent as a link.

Board members were also briefed on construction costs for the two new cabins which will be built overlooking the pond near the nature center. Pullis said the cost of each cabin could be close to $90,000. “We have the money to do it,” the director said. “In fact, we could probably spend $140,000 on each cabin.”

The department already has received several quotes for work on the cabins. Bill Young told Pullis the foundation for each cabin would run $13,600, and Greg Kinney said the price tag would be $5,900 for each cabin for extension of sewer lines to serve the cabins.

In the future, the department may pay people to be hosts at the Oakland Mills Nature Center. Pullis said the center was closed Labor Day Weekend because of the lack of hosts, and Brown added that it was closed about eight times during the spring and summer season because of no hosts.

“In the past, we have paid someone (to be a host) when the Nature Center was open,” reflected Pullis. “It is getting harder to find hosts because as the older people drop off, the younger people are not stepping up.”

The Nature Center is open on just Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. during the spring, summer and early fall, and Pullis said hosts may only have to be found for one of the days. He suggested paying the host $25.

Conservation board members urged Pullis to check if any help is available from IW students. The matter will be revisited before the center opens.

A letter was read by Pullis to board members from a would-be camper who was denied camping privileges over the Labor Day Weekend because he was going to camp in his 2015 Toyota Prius. The conservation board’s camping regulations do not allow camping in a vehicle. Pullis said it was the first such complaint he has received in 28 years with the department.

After receiving the letter, Pullis did some investigating and learned certain Prius models are made for camping. “It is very popular some places,” he noted.

That being said, he added that he disagreed with allowing camping in vehicles. “If we open this up to cars, we will have a lot of people camping in their cars.”

The board concurred.

In a final business matter, the conservation director said he hopes to have a draft next week on the reconfiguration of Water Works Campground. Warner Engineering Associates of Mt. Pleasant are handling the design work and will pattern the design after that of the Crossroads RV Park in Mt. Pleasant.

Conservation board members meet again in regular session at noon on Monday, Oct. 9 at the conservation department offices at Oakland Mills.

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