Raleigh Commissioners had hoped county crews could begin working this summer on a number of upgrades and repairs at Little Beaver State Park. 

The 600-acre park, which includes a 17-acre lake, is still owned by the state, although commissioners had hoped the facility would be back in the county's possession by now. 

"There wasn't a bill put in for us to take over Little Beaver," said Commission President Dave Tolliver. "So now I guess we have to wait until next Legislature."

After Tuesday's Commission meeting, Tolliver said the goal was to get a bill passed to transfer ownership of the park back to the county, and for an agreement to be established with the Division of Natural Resources for dam repairs and lake dredging. 

Since no such bill was passed, Tolliver said they will have to wait until the next regular Legislative session in January to try once more. 

"The park has really gone down," he said. "It needs a lot of work done on it."

If and when the county acquires Little Beaver, Tolliver said 36 additional campsites would be added, as well as sewer for the campsites. 

He said the picnic shelters need new roofs, the superintendent's house needs roughly $40,000 in updates, lighting needs to be fixed, and bridges need to be repaired. 

Tolliver estimated the total cost for repairs and upgrades at $250,000. 

Steve Davis, one of the members of a committee that examined the cost and benefit of Little Beaver to the county, said residents expressed support for the endeavor. 

"We'll have swimming, tied in with the 4-H camp for kids," Tolliver said. "We want to tie it all in like we did at Marsh Fork and Lake Stephens, so the county basically has something in each area."

He said he hopes to discuss the plans with lawmakers representing Raleigh County so the bill can be introduced, and hopefully passed, during the next regular Legislative session. 

• • •  

Also on Tuesday, Tolliver said a survey of the land proposed for a new Raleigh County Sheriff's headquarters is underway. 

He said as soon as the survey is returned, the county plans to make the purchase. 

Tolliver also noted the county is still working on the demolition of abandoned buildings. 

"We have 20 in the process of being torn down," he said. 

He noted that once a complaint is filed, the Abandoned Building Committee must go to the site to determine how to proceed. If they decide the building should be demolished, the property owner is given a 60-day notice. 

"After that, if they do not tear it down, we will go in and tear it down and put a lien on the property."

The Raleigh County Commission's next meeting will be Tuesday, July 23 at 10 a.m. 

— Email: wholdren@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @WendyHoldren

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