By JIM MAURER

STAFF WRITER

A grant application will be filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for Hancock Park District boat launch facilities.

If approved, the grant would provide up to 50 percent reimbursement. The park district would pay for the project and then request reimbursement from the state, said Gary Pruitt, park district director.

The application has to be filed in November, Pruitt said after Tuesday’s park district board meeting.

While there are no specific projects determined yet, or cost estimates, he said the portage areas east of the Riverside Park waterfall, and Shank Lake at Oakwoods Nature Preserve would be possible projects.

Other areas mentioned were Blanchard River Nature Preserve, Riverbend Recreation Area and Jackson Landing.

Liberty Landing and Blanchard Landing boat launches were previously updated with state funds.

Separately, the board approved renewing a fishing agreement with the state natural resources department.

Bob Sams, park district natural resource manager, discussed the 20-year agreement, effective Oct. 1 through Oct. 1, 2038. It would replace an agreement that expired last year, he said.

The agreement includes Shank Lake, which covers about nine acres at Oakwoods Nature Preserve; Giertz Lake, which covers about five acres at Riverbend Recreation Area; and Dold Lake, which covers about 11.9 acres, also at Oakwoods Nature Preserve.

The agreement provides free public fishing in those areas, either from a boat or from the bank. The state will provide a management program for stocking fish at the locations.

State fishing licenses are required for fishermen using the lakes.

State personnel will be allowed to do fish surveys, research, and law enforcement on the lakes.

Separately, the park board approved the annual resolution accepting the tax rate and amount determined by the Hancock County Budget Commission for the voter-approved 0.8-mill, eight-year park levy.

The levy, which continues through 2023, is estimated to generate more than $1.44 million in 2019.

Separately, county resident Todd Richard requested permission to hunt geese and ducks on park district-owned property off Hancock County 144, adjacent to Oakwoods Nature Preserve. He said he and friends would begin in mid- to late October. He has 20 years experience, he said.

The board directed Pruitt to consider the issue and prepare a report for discussion at the Oct. 9 board meeting.

After the meeting, the park district staff and board members toured Litzenberg Memorial Woods, part of the effort to see park district properties this fall.

Maurer: 419-427-8420

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