One step closer to reality — a Clinton County Joint Recreation District



WILMINGTON — Clinton County commissioners voted Monday in favor of a Clinton County Joint Recreation District (JRD), making it the second local government to do so.

Wilmington City Council passed legislation last week to establish a Clinton County JRD. The JRD envisioned by a local task force would also involve a third approval — from the Village of Blanchester — where a task force presentation is scheduled for this Thursday evening’s meeting of Blanchester Village Council.

The proposed Clinton County JRD would have a countywide mission to provide more wellness and recreation opportunities for Clinton Countians. Among other projects, it’s expected the JRD would seek to bring about a significant new wellness and recreation facility in Wilmington.

When Clinton County commissioners on June 5 heard the task force’s report and recommendation for a JRD, Clinton County Commissioners President Brenda K. Woods said she was concerned about the proposed makeup of the JRD Board of Trustees upon which the county and city would have the same number of appointees.

On Monday, Woods joined the two other county commissioners in voting to establish a Clinton County JRD.

“I still do not feel it is the ideal board composition, but I am not willing to hinder the process. I wanted to keep the project as a whole moving forward, and I thought that was the best way to do that,” said Woods afterward.

The proposed seven-person makeup of the JRD Board would include three trustees appointed by the County, three by the City, and one by Blanchester.

In the presentations to the County and City, local attorney and task force member William “Bill” Peelle said that once a Clinton County JRD is formed, the Wilmington and Blanchester Parks Departments can remain autonomous units.

“What we want to do is to establish a district in order to be able to bring forth and create those facilities where they are needed, to help everybody either by enhancing a facility or bringing in a new one,” said Peelle during the appointment with county commissioners.

There has been a proposed project in Blanchester as well as in Wilmington — the Blanchester Pool and Recreation Center. At the fall 2017 Blanchester Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, a special presentation was given to attendees by Erin Whitaker and Jim West, members of a committee spearheading a drive to pursue a pool and recreation center at Blanchester.

Prior to that in 2015, Whitaker kicked off an effort to save and re-open the former Blanchester Swim Club.

The meeting of Blanchester Village Council will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13 in the Village Municipal Building, located at 318 East Main Street in Blanchester.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.