Ga. County Eyes Corps Recreation Area
Hart County, Ga.’s Board of Commissioners has agreed to pursue taking over two parks now run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The parks are scheduled for closure by the corps, the Independent Mail of Anderson, S.C. reported.
In November, the corps announced it was closing Milltown Campground in Hart County permanently and temporarily closing Long Point Park.
The board recently heard a presentation from Hart County Chamber of Commerce Director Nicki Meyer and County Administrator Jon Caime on a plan to take over the maintenance of Milltown Campground and Long Point Park.
Meyer said taking over the two campgrounds would ensure sales tax and other revenue from tourism would continue to come into the county; monies that would otherwise be lost if the parks are allowed to close.
Comparing revenue to figures from Hart State Park over the past six years, Meyer noted Hart County has already lost millions in revenue when the corps closed the cottages and camp store at Hart State Park in 2010 and vistors dropped off, turning instead to Tugaloo State Park in Franklin County and Russell Lake State Park in Elbert County, which continue to operate cabins and a park store.
“This is our livelihood,” she said. “This is affecting our visitiation and tourism in this community. If we don’t get a handle on it, we’re going to find that we continue to have a drop (in visitors) because a lot of the tourists who used to come to Hart State Park are now going to those other two parks.”
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