Timbering land near Camp Virgil Tate could help pay for a new pool, but neighbors aren't entirely comfortable with the proposal and expressed concerns during a public hearing Monday night.
Nearly 433 acres, some of which is owned by the Kanawha County 4-H Foundation and some of which is owned by Kanawha County, could be timbered.
The existing pool was closed in 2008 because of major leaks. It has remained shuttered ever since. That has hurt the number of private groups booking stays at Camp Virgil Tate. Operating revenue has suffered as a result, Kanawha County Extension Agent Kerri Wade said.
The new pool is expected to cost more than $700,000.
"I have no doubt in my mind the pool will be built," said Damron Bradshaw, 4-H Foundation board president who came up with the idea to timber the property.
Jason Burke, a registered forester who owns Triple J Forest Products in Charleston, said the 4-H Foundation could stand to gain about $40,000. The adjacent county-owned property is much larger.
"You have some high-value timber here," he said.
The work would involve the building of a logging road near the horse stables, he said. Timbering the entire area would take about three summers.
Neighboring landowners were concerned about road damage caused by logging trucks, runoff, forest destruction and the possible disruption of underground gas lines.
Delbert Atkins, who lives near the camp, said timbering would be a disservice to camp visitors. He said he wants future generations to "see a forest, not a piece of ground that's been raped."