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Shenandoah County adds 300 acres of park land

Daily staff report

Shenandoah County can add another 300 acres to its cache of parks and recreational land.

The Board of Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday voted 4-2 to accept a gift of property in the southwestern part of the county. The late Zula Wagner left nearly 300 acres to Shenandoah County on the condition the county uses the land for parks and recreational activities. The board had until April to decide whether or not to accept the gift.

Supervisors John "Dick" Neese and David E. Ferguson voted against accepting the gift. Reasons given by Neese included the land's distance from the nearest towns, inaccessibility to water and the cost to the county to improve and maintain a park. Ferguson said he worried about the restrictions that come with the land.

The remaining supervisors said the gift presents opportunities for the county to offer more recreational amenities. The choice to accept the gift, described as a once in a lifetime opportunity, would benefit the county through tourism and economic development.

Chairman Conrad A. Helsley advised the board that the county would get no second chance should supervisors turn down the gift. However, if, at any time in the future the board decides the county can't use the land for recreation, supervisors can return the property to Wagner's heirs.


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