Camp Properties Update - July 2, 2013
Below you will find a summary of the information the GSNEO Properties Committee gathered to make its recommendation regarding the future of Great Trail Camp in Carroll County. This decision was not made lightly; much thoughtful consideration and a thorough discussion of the options took place before it was made.
Ultimately, the committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Board act upon their motion of March 2, 2011 to sell Great Trail Camp, which was amended on October 17, 2011, and the December 7, 2011 motion to issue a Request for Proposal and accept bids. The full Board will consider the recommendation on July 10, 2013 at the regular meeting of the Board of Directors. Please note that the Board has already voted on a provision that would ensure that all proceeds from any camp sale be restricted to improvements at camp properties.
If you have further questions please feel free to call Jane Christyson at 330-983-0400.
Joan P. VillarrealChair, Board of Directors
There are a myriad of costs associated with reopening Great Trail Camp, including fire extinguishers, floor coverings, latrines, and roof and foundation repairs. The barn on the property also needs to be repaired for safety reasons. An expert has provided an estimate to make foundation repairs. Additionally, land lines or another stable communications method would need to be addressed and installed for the safety of our members. The total cost estimated for these basic repairs and others is $77,300.
Security at the camp is a concern. Currently, a camp ranger is overnight 1-2 nights during the week. If reopened, staff would have to be hired.
Ohio EPA inspections, County Health Dept. inspections, and EPA water testing is required to re-open the south section of the camp. Although the costs of the tests are not prohibitive, the actions these agencies might require could be costly.
Annual costs to maintain the camp include labor to cut the grass, accomplish minimal repairs and other maintenance. Actual costs from 10/1/2011 – 9/30/12 were $67,350.51.
Staff contacted Carroll County Park District to discuss a partnership. The park district did not have the funds to contribute to the property and could not pursue this option.
The Properties Committee explored the possibility of a conservation easement for Great Trail Camp with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources and Soil Water Conservation District. The only possibility was a Conservation Reserve Program. However, this would only yield approximately $25,000 per year. This is significantly less than the cost of keeping the property in its current state. Furthermore, this is not a confirmed commitment; GSNEO would have to apply and see if the program accepted the land.
The creation of a Land Bank was also discussed. All buildings would have to be removed. The cost of removing all the buildings may be as much as $200,000 and a Land Bank would not generate any income.
Staff attempted to negotiate an easement for an oil and gas pipeline through the lower 50 acres of the south section to generate revenue, but the neighboring properties were not cooperative. Therefore, the deal could not be culminated.
Staff discussed a waterline easement through the south portion, but the company that was interested did not accept the restrictions GSNEO requested for safety reasons.
It is approximately a one-hour drive from the North Canton area to Camp Ledgewood and Great Trail Camp. (1.5 hours from Carroll County) There are camps in the area run by other organizations that can be utilized by Girl Scouts. Camp Wanake and Camp Aldersgate are two of the camps already being utilized by troops in the area.
A one week volunteer run Resident Camp for the girl membership in the southern part of the GSNEO council will be held at Camp Sugarbush for the 2nd year in a row. This camp was previously held at Great Trail Camp. Camp Sugarbush is an approximately 1.5 hour drive from Great Trail Camp.