Jackson County sued by group over Expo Ponds

(This article is excerpted from the Medford Mail Tribune, dated January 4, 2018; written by Vickie Aldous) The nonprofit group Disabilities Recreation Project claims in a lawsuit that Jackson County stopped it from building wheelchair accessible fishing docks at the Expo Ponds in order to construct a for-profit RV park. Jackson County Roads and Parks Director John Vial said he can’t discuss details of the situation because of the pending litigation. But he said the county has wanted to build an RV park plus accessible fishing facilities at the park for years. Vial said the county does not yet have a timeline for building accessible docks. Paths made of decomposed granite soil – a gritty soil with small rock particles – lead around parts of the ponds. Although the paths have a gentle, wheelchair-friendly grade, reaching most of the fishing spots at the water’s edge requires negotiating steep side paths. The Disabilities Recreation Project had envisioned a $3.5 million project with parking lots, restrooms, asphalt paths, numerous wheelchair-accessible fishing docks around the ponds and a long accessible pier extending into one of the ponds, according to drawings on its website and past newspaper accounts of its plans.