Commission declines park land
by Jazz Clark
The Morgan County Commissioners decided at their October 4 meeting not to go forward with a county-owned park on land at Fisher’s Bridge over the Cacapon River west of Great Cacapon.
Ron Wilson of Friends of the Cacapon made the offer on behalf of the Tufty family. The late Barbara and Hal Tufty were founders of that group. Hal Tufty had owned the land being considered.
The commission felt as if they just couldn’t take on any more public responsibility.
“The county isn’t ordinarily in the park business,” said Commissioner Brad Close. “We’re already at our maximum as far as maintenance and service we need to provide on our recreational property, such as the ball field and North Berkeley park.”
Close suggested that the half-acre property be donated to a non-profit group, such as Friends of the Cacapon, that may have time and resources to properly maintain it.
“It’s a nice piece of land,” said Commissioner Stacy Dugan. “Unfortunately, we can’t put such a large burden on the taxpayers.”
Wilson said he doesn’t yet know what will become of the property, but the Division of Natural Resources has expressed interest.
The state DNR needs more room for trailers to park, so it would become a parking lot. DNR already owns the river access. They don’t yet know whether they want to pay for maintenance and renovation.
Regardless of what happens, a plaque for the marker from the old bridge will be in the works.
“Even if the state turns the property into a parking lot, there’s plenty of room behind the guard rail for a plaque,” said Wilson.
Wilson personally worked to salvage the marker when construction crews tried to destroy it along with old Fisher’s Bridge.