PREBLE COUNTY — During their meeting on Wednesday, June 20, Preble County Commissioners approved the vacation of Old State Route 725, at the request of the Preble County Park District.
Early in 2016, the family of Patricia and Herb Wagers donated 24 acres of land known as “Devil’s Backbone” to the Preble County Park District. The Wagers family owned the property since 1966 and allowed it to become a wildlife sanctuary with native plants and animals.
The area is scenic with limestone formations and beautiful waterfalls. The Park District plans to develop the new park with hiking trails and picnic areas while maintaining its natural state. This is where the vacation of Old State Route 725 becomes necessary, as Devil’s Backbone is located outside of Camden on Old State Route 725. To open the park to the public, the road must first be vacated.
According to the Preble County Engineer’s Office, Old State Route 725 could have been closed years ago when the new road was installed. Surveys numbers showed the entire portion of the road should be vacated. The Engineer’s Office saw this as a benefit to all sides — landowners, PCPD, and Preble County as a whole.
PCPD Commissioner Tom McQuiston said, when the property was donated to them it was contingent on the property being gated, which meant the road needed vacated.
This will take affect immediately, as there is no wait time for a referendum petition.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH