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Published: Saturday, 8/31/2002

Scouts' Miakonda property reaps 4 `substantial' offers

Four developers have submitted offers to buy about 52 acres known as The Outpost at Camp Miakonda and letters of interest in the land have been submitted by Sylvania Township and from the Toledo Area Metroparks, according to a Boy Scout official.

Douglas Haynam, president of the Erie Shores Council of the Boy Scouts of America, called the offers “substantial,'' but declined to identify those submitting proposals yesterday.

Mr. Haynam said, however, that from what he knew of the proposals, if there were a sale, he would anticipate it would result “in a development that would be residential in nature.''

He said a committee has been formed to review the proposals before moving closer to the property's sale.

The Outpost is in the northwest portion of the camp and hasn't had any active use for years, Mr. Haynam said.

Earlier this year, the council said it also would consider the sale of about 8.6 acres of the camp near Sylvania Avenue and Holland-Sylvania Road, but that parcel was not part of this process.

The Scouts have said they need funds from the sale to make needed improvements on the main portion of Miakonda and at Camp Frontier near Pioneer, Ohio. The council has itemized projects at the two camps as costing about $2.8 million

The council also hopes to put some of the revenue into a trust for future needs.

In a July meeting called by the Lucas County Commissioners, Mr. Haynam said the council's goals could be met with about $5.3 million from the land sale.

Although he would not be specific, Mr. Haynam said yesterday's offers “fell within the range of our expectations.

“They are sufficient that we will have to seriously consider going ahead with the sale,'' he said.

Mr. Haynam said the letters of interest from the public entities were not offers to purchase, “and we'll have to contact them'' to determine more specifics.

The council has been criticized for the sale by people who contend that even if The Outpost isn't currently used, it is a portion of the area's oak savanna and should not be developed.

About 100 people at a special meeting of the Sylvania Township trustees last week urged the panel to do whatever it could to keep the land from being developed.

James Spengler, director of the Metroparks, said he is working in concert with the trustees to get an opportunity to “meet or exceed their best private offer, so we aren't bidding blindly with taxpayers' dollars.''

Mr. Haynam said he expects the committee studying the proposals to “take a couple of weeks'' before making a recommendation.



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