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Overcash discusses park plans with IL Action Council

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By Chris Sardelli

Christopher Sardelli

csardelli@thelancasternews.com

The future plans of Indian Land’s parks and recreation center were the main topics at Thursday’s meeting of the Indian Land Council of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce.

Frank Overcash, director of Lancaster County Parks and Recreation, met with the council, as well as interested business owners and residents, at the Indian Land law offices of Blackwell, Trimnal, Myers on U.S. 521. Overcash gave status updates on Roy Hardin Park, Edenmoor and the Indian Land Recreation Center and answered questions about his department’s programs.

He detailed several programs offered through the rec center, including summer camp, jazzercise and tae kwon do. Overcash said these programs, as well as the department’s efforts to maintain and establish new parks in the area, show how vital they are to Lancaster County.

“We’re building a community through people, parks and programs,” he said. “We’re a part of the economic development of the county.”

Overcash said the department has drawn up plans for a new recreation center, though there has been no formal discussion about alternative sites for a new center. The proposed center would cost between $3 million and $4 million, Overcash said. He assured the small crowd that if a new center was built, there would be no interruption in services during the transition.

“If I had a perfect world, this would be something we need,” Overcash said. “It would be a real good thing for us to have. But as to where it’s going to come from and how we’re going to pay for it, that’s the $64,000 question.”

As for recent discussions about relocating Roy Hardin Park, Overcash referred to a rendering he brought of the proposed site near Shelley Mullis Road. The plan, which was requested by York Development Group, LLC, would move the park from Collins Road to an area one street south. There are only 2 acres of usable park space at the current park, out of a total 9.9 acres. The new park would have 4.9 usable acres of space.

“There are a lot of issues tied up with that, but overall I’m in support of the swap,” Overcash said. “This would give a little more usable area than we have now.”

What about

Edenmoor?

Many Indian Land residents have also wondered about the status of Edenmoor, the long-delayed 800-acre housing development. Edenmoor was supposed to bring more than 2,000 homes, an emergency medical services substation and a $4.2 million, 68-acre public park, with four soccer fields, six softball/baseball fields, a skate park and more, to Indian Land. But those plans stalled last year when three liens were filed on the development by several contractors who worked on the project. The property is owned and managed by Lawson’s Bend LLC, which is managed by another company, GS Carolina.

“Edenmoor is in limbo right now,” Overcash said. “If we ever get to the point where this is cleared up, we’ll get started. The embarrassing part was we were supposed to open in January 2008, then it was moved to August 2008, now we’re in May 2009. I’m sure you can understand the frustration on our part, as well as by the community.”

Overcash said there is an effort to separate the parks and EMS substation from the lawsuit, but there has been no progress on that issue. He told the crowd that his department cannot own land, it can only manage property. Lancaster County Parks and Recreation has been cutting grass and doing some maintenance on the land, hoping to keep the area under control until it is transferred to the county. The department has also been keeping the area well-lit as a deterrent to vandals.

The only feature at Edenmoor that is now being used is a skate park. Overcash says the park has become incredibly popular with skateboarders from around the area.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at 416-8416