Tuesday evening, the Ross County Park District gave a live and online presentation on the needs of the recreational trail that connects Chillicothe, Frankfort, and Washington CH, on a former railroad bed.
The "Paint Creek Recreational Trail" is threatened by erosion from the stream it runs beside, as well as aging wooden structures. Michael Benson, chair of the Ross County Park District, said the average between two estimates is a high price tag: about $11,000,000 to maintain it for the next 20 years.
That comes out to more than half their annual budget each year for the 2,000 acres the district currently manages.
The Park District assures the public that they will never close the trail. But even then, Benson says there are parts that may not be salvageable. He said they might be able to reroute to local roads, but there are many that leave no option. He said that's why they are seeking funding to pay for repairs, and coming to the public.
Find a link to the presentation in the red text at the top of their website.
Other concerns raised include a lack of maintenance that discouraged trail users from outside the area, and needing to be ready for the potential tourism influx from the World Heritage listing of the Hopewell Earthworks.