White Pine Recreation Area May Be Closed

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PARIS — The Vallée du Pin Blanc leisure area in Paris could soon be closed to camping.

Mecosta County Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel asked the board of commissioners to consider removing the facility from the county’s park inventory due to safety concerns at its meeting this week.

In a letter to council, he said that in 2018 a request was sent to council asking for the property to be removed from the parks inventory, and after the parks mileage proposal failed, the board of parks is reviewing this request.

“After the recent mileage proposal failed, we had to reevaluate some of our facilities,” Abel said. “We were hoping that, if passed, we could have improved the facilities there.”

Abel went on to say that because of safety issues with the facilities, the parks commission viewed them as a hazard to the community and a liability to the county.

The parks commission is now asking the council to assess the condition of the vault cabin structure and restrooms for a proposed removal from the property due to safety concerns, the letter says.

“We encourage the Board of Commissioners to consider removing current structures and canceling access to the area for camping purposes,” he said.

The facilities are primarily used by scouts and other youth groups, Abel said, and they have their own keys to access the facilities, so the parks commission no longer has controlled access.

“We don’t think it’s a good thing that we don’t have control of county property,” he said. “At the very least, we’d like anyone using the facility to have to come through our office to request it.

“We ask the board to review the prior agreement and consider denying liability by removing these buildings and asking these groups to use one of our other facilities,” he said. for follow-up. “There are other large group facilities that can be used for the same purpose.”

County Administrator Paul Bullock told council he had asked the county building inspector to review the installation to see if it could be brought up to code.

“I got an unequivocal no,” Bullock said. “It was not built to any code or standard and there are no permitted remedies for the building.”

Abel added that they would like to retain control of the trail section of the property and specifically consider removing dilapidated buildings.

“Years ago we requested that the entire property be sold and removed from county inventory,” he said. “We modified this request because there is a good volunteer base for the trail portion, and it costs the county very little to maintain them.”

Council approved a motion for the Buildings and Grounds Committee to review the facilities and make a recommendation to Council.

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