Map shows general location of the Utica source rock (green area) and Marcellus boundary (yellow line). Map courtesy of www.geology.com.

When the mass exodus of people into southeast Ohio’s Belmont County from Texas, Oklahoma and other far-off places began several months ago, they encountered one perplexing problem – finding a rental home, a place to park a recreational vehicle or even a camper.

A partial solution to the temporary housing problem will be coming in the near future with the establishment of a recreational vehicle park almost in the center of the county that is rapidly being developed into a base for production of oil and gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale resources, the Wheeling (W. Va.) News-Register reported.

A group of concerned citizens and business leaders have banded together to transform a 20-acre site in Morristown into a parking area for recreational vehicles and campers.

Janey Doan, owner of the Doan Ford automobile agency on Ohio 149, just off historic National Road in Morristown, confirmed such a project is in the making.

“We’re going to start by developing just a couple of acres,” Doan noted. “Then we’ll expand it further as we get requests for space.” The acreage extends westward from the Doan dealership to a car wash located next to the Ohio Department of Transportation county headquarters; then northward from Bond Street, which goes from Ohio 149 to the ODOT office, to the near National Road.

“We’ll have access to 15 acres of the property,” explained James Grear of Barnesville, who, with Doan, is a member of a management team that was formed to oversee the project.

“The size of the park depends on the demand,” Grear explained. “We’ll build as needed. There’s space for 275 vehicles and the whole site will be developed if there is a demand.” He emphasized that house trailers will not be admitted into the area.

“This will be strictly for RVs and campers.” Grear had high praise for the location, describing it as an ideal one “because there are all services available – water, sewage, electric and wireless Internet.” In addition, he pointed out, “there’s a medical center nearby, a pharmacy, food market, restaurants, the Doan dealership, and a school right across the road. There’s everything one would need within a quarter of a mile of the park.”

Access to the park would be from the southern end of the acreage at Bond Street. Grear, who serves as a Warren Township trustee, said a minimal amount of excavating will be required to prepare the site for parking RVs. Work to develop the area will begin immediately and Grear and his associates hope to have the area ready for occupancy by June.