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Supervisors discuss vacant Boy Scout camp

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors discussed the future of the 300-acre former Bayport Boy Scout Camp in Jamaica District at its meeting on June 5.

Earlier in May, several supervisors were given a tour of the Jamaica property in an effort to find a public use for the former Boy Scout camp. In 2016, Boy Scouts of America turned over the deed to the property to the lender, Bayport Credit Union of Newport News.

The Boy Scouts purchased Bayport for $16 million but after renovating the building and renovating camp structures, the Scouts were unable to meet their monthly loan payments.

Supervisor Kathleen Swinehart suggested that the state purchase the property and tie it in with Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster County. It is separated by just two miles of water and the Scouts went across the Rapphannock River on a regular basis and camped at Belle Isle, she noted.
She also said the state requires 800 acres for an official state park, but they could meet this criteria by including the property as part of Belle Isle State Park.

County administrator Matt Walker said it would make a great park and there has been “some interest” by King and Queen and Essex County officials on creating a regional park.

“I think we all agree it would make a great park for the county but we have a great deal on our plate right now,” said Walker.

Board chair Chip Holt said he agreed it is an amazing property but he is not sure of the best use for it.

In another matter, Holt reported that 15 people, mostly neighbors of the airport, came to the May Airport Committee meeting and expressed support for realigning the airport to keep planes from flying over the homes near the airport. The county has hired a consultant engineer to work on safety issues at the airport.

posted 06.06.2018

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