The Clark County Park District will soon purchase the former Clearview Mobile Park from the county’s land bank for $3,000, possibly making it a part of a natural rock climbing park.
Park district commissioners recently unanimously voted to acquire the 15.86-acre lot along Dayton-Springfield Road as part of an effort to provide more recreational opportunities in the area and to preserve land along the Mad River.
“Over the years, we have hoped to find willing sellers and we would have the ability to purchase property along the Mad River to fulfill our long-term mission to protect properties that are of great value to the community,” Park District Director Jim Campbell said.
Officials said the land will provide access from Dayton-Springfield Road to a natural rock climbing area already owned by a park district, creating the possibility of a new recreation destination.
“That’s a strong possibility … knowing that there are natural cliffs there and that is an outdoor recreational activity that kind of fits,” Campbell said, noting that no final decisions have been made about the use of the property.
Officials have not determined how much the park district will invest into the site.
The site at 2710 Dayton-Springfield Road was purchased last week by the Clark County Land Reutlization Corp. from Jeff Ulery, according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office.
Ulery voluntarily closed the mobile home park several years ago due to EPA concerns about water pollution. The mobile home park once held about 50 to 60 manufactured homes. Park tenants were forced off the property in December 2007 due to unsanitary water.
The park was declared a public health nuisance in 2008 after a contractor, hired by Ulery to clean up the park, stripped trailers of their exterior metal to sell as scrap, leaving only exposed fiberglass insulation, broken windows and doors and debris strewn across the site.
In December 2008, Ulery was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and attempted murder.
The Clark County Combined Health District along with Mad River Twp. trustees in 2008 spent about $61,000 to clean up the site, according to the Springfield News-Sun’s archives.
“There were piles of debris everywhere and worst yet there was insulation blowing up and down Dayton Road for at least a half-mile. It wasn’t safe,” said Larry Shaffer, environmental services director for the health district. “Neighborhood kids were going in there messing around and there was an abandoned public septic system that was a hazard.”
Shaffer said the cleanup costs were assessed to the property taxes.
Park District Commissioner Kim Fish said officials have seen the potential for use of the property for many years. Officials know there is demand for a climbing area as residents currently trespass onto the property to gain access to the climbing walls, she added.
“It’s exciting, but it’s not yet a done deal,” Fish said.
“We’re excited that it may come to pass really quickly,” she continued. “The main thing it provides is access to a public road and climbing walls. Other uses in terms of trails and hiking, we haven’t had the chance to really discuss that.”
Additional discussion about the property will occur in May.
Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said the land bank purchased the property, which had not been used in years, to find a new use for it and bring it back into the “mainstream.”
“This would be a very viable use for it,” Detrick said.
He said he’s pleased the park district may turn the property a viable park.
“It will create a safe place for people to park their cars and do their rappelling,” Detrick said. “It showed some creativeness on the part of the park district to be able to put all of that together.”
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