The campground section of Factory Shoals Recreation Park will remain closed following a decision by the Newton County (Ga.) Board of Commissioners Tuesday night (March 21), the Citizens reported.

County Manager Lloyd Kerr requested the change. Kerr told commissioners that the retirement of long-time park ranger Mike Beyer, who lived in a house on the park grounds, precipitated the request to close the campground section.

Factory Shoals Recreation Park, located in southern Newton County, is bisected by Newton Factory Bridge Road, with the recreation area on the southern side of the road and the camping area on the northern side. The park offers campsites, a BBQ pit, picnic facilities, restroom facilities, fishing, hiking trails and recreation fields. The park sits on the site of one of the earliest settlements in Newton County, and the foundation of an old grist mill is part of the landscape.

The park, which typically closes for the winter, shut down earlier than usual at the end of November following Beyer’s retirement. Kerr said at the time that without Beyer on the premises, it was difficult for the county to keep an eye on the 400-acre property.

The campground will likely remain closed for a year for repairs and so the county can come up with a park management plan.

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