The proposed "Scenic River" designation for Paint Creek and its tributaries continues to flow along.
The Ross County Commissioners heard from representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on the progress towards acknowledging the beauty and natural state of the streams that flow through Ross, Highland, and Fayette counties.
The designation focuses on Paint Creek up to the dam, and its 35-mile North Fork. But Rocky Fork was requested to be added, as well as Rattesnake Fork...and Paint Creek above the lake was added, up to the Fayette County line.
Bob Gable, the Scenic River Program Manager, and Aaron Roarke, Southwest Ohio Scenic River Manager, spoke to the commissioners again - after almost concluding a memorandum of agreement with County Engineer Charlie Ortman.
Roarke and Gable said they want to address two concerns that many creekside property owners have. First, the designation will not impact their rights. They say it actually restricts government actions within the 1,000-foot corridor on the streams, such as bridge and road work.
Additionally, a 10-person advisory council will also help empower property owners.
Second, ODNR can't directly control the drinking, litter, and bad behavior from increased boating in recent year - but the designation will bring in people more interested in the natural aspects and scenery, and ODNR will help encourage local law enforcement with those problems.
They say the designation should be finalized this summer.
Roarke says he is happy to communicate or meet with anyone with concerns or interests, including through video conferencing. Contact him at 614 / 230-8534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Coleman reports on Chillicothe & Ross County government, politics, & culture