Several residents who live around Mill Creek Lake raised concerns with Amherst County officials on May 17 about the possibility of a future recreational trail on county-owned property around the lake.
Concerns raised during the Board of Supervisors’ public comment session prompted David Pugh, chairman of the board, to say the county is in the process of obtaining a land survey of county-owned properties around the lake in northeastern west of Amherst County.
“We are looking at eventually a trail around the edge of the lake. No money has been earmarked,” Pugh told residents to find out where the process stands. “This is strictly a survey around the edge of the property to see where the county lines are.”
Asked by a resident if the county is considering eminent domain, a process the government can use to seize private land for public purposes, for a potential trail, Pugh said, “Not on my watch.”
“I don’t want to take anyone’s property for recreational purposes around this lake,” Pugh said.
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Several residents have expressed concern about increased public access to a part of the county that many enjoy for its peace and quiet, potential for litter and wildlife disturbance.
“My main concern with this plan for a bike path around Mill Creek Lake is that many people will lose their privacy around and on their personal property, including my family and I, if a trail is created around the lake,” Victoria said. Warner.
Pugh said the board will need to discuss the possibility of a trail around the lake at a later date once the survey is complete.
County Administrator Dean Rodgers said the county is looking closely at the precise boundaries and where such a trail that resembles the Appalachian Trail would go so more residents can enjoy the scenic lake.
“It may not be possible to go around the lake,” Rodgers said, adding to the board, “We know you don’t want to take anyone’s property for that purpose.”
Supervisor Tom Martin said the results of the inquiry platform will determine how the council proceeds
“It could be a questionable conversation,” Martin said.
Meanwhile, the county’s public works department has recently been busy preparing the lake for the summer season. Public swimming at Mill Creek Lake started a few years ago.
The park’s restrooms have reopened for the season and Public Works has expanded the lake beach recently adding 100 tons of sand, according to the county.
Work continues on a swing jump with hopes to complete it by mid-summer and a new playground was installed at Mill Creek Lake Park last September.