Signage ordered to deter overnight camping

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(Posted July 7, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County Park District hopes to put a stop to illegal camping at the Prairie Grass Trailhead in London.

Last year, the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT) opened a primitive camping area at the trailhead, located behind the Madison County Senior Center. The camping area is designed to serve bicyclists using the bike path, which is part of the cross-state Ohio To Erie Trail.

Recently, some people have been “car camping” at the site, which is not permitted. They park their cars overnight in the trailhead lot and pitch tents in the camping area. They are not using the trail.

In an attempt to remedy the situation, FMCPT is purchasing and installing signs for the parking area they lease from the senior center. The signs will state: “No overnight parking. Violators will be towed.” The senior center is doing the same in their parking area near the trail.

On July 3, the Madison County commissioners, who serve as the park district board, agreed to pay for additional signs that state: “Campsite for bicycle patrons only.”

Julia Cumming, consultant to the park district board, said she and FMCPT members are working with the London Police Department regarding enforcement of the overnight parking rule.

In other business, the commissioners held a bid opening for storm water and sanitary sewer improvements on Toland Avenue and Oak Street in London. The county engineer’s estimate was $31,000. Two bids were submitted: one for $30,750 from Jackson Bros. Construction of Wellston, Ohio, and one for $29,500 from Buckeye Septic Tank Co. of West Jefferson.

“It’s nice to see bids come in under the estimate,” said Commissioner David Dhume.

London city officials will review the bids and make a recommendation to the commissioners, who will vote on the contract on July 10. The city is using state Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for the project. The county administers the funds.

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