SPRING HILL — As the radio station previously known as True Oldies 103.6 FM celebrates its new name — Hits 106 — at a free concert at the Lake House on Saturday, the Hello-Goodbye Party will have a double purpose.
The Spring Hill Community Association, which has run the Lake House for the last several years, will be saying hello to the county, which is purchasing the facility, and goodbye to volunteer community control over the site, which has existed since shortly after Spring Hill was born.
County commissioners voted unanimously earlier this month to pay the association $250,000 for the site, which includes the Lake House, the band shell behind it and a portion of the parking lot. The parcel includes a total of 16 acres.
The community association has been struggling in recent years to keep the facility booked and pay the bills, and association members embraced the county's interest in taking it over.
Association president Ed Lawrence told commissioners he was thrilled the county was saving the property and that it would be "brought to its full potential.'' The event planned for Saturday, he said, "will be a great day for us to say thank you for the community."
The association will also have one more chance to say thanks before disbanding. While there are some bills to be paid and a mortgage, whatever money remains from the county's purchase will go back into the community, according to association board member Beverly Reso.
"Basically, after the expenses are paid, our goal is to donate the money to some reputable charities in the county,'' she said. "We want to keep it in the county.''
Reso said that the board had the community's best interests at heart.
"We made the decision to sell the Lake House and not just board the windows up,'' she said. "We're trying to do the right thing.''
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for the party at the Lake House. The site is at 1202 Kenlake Ave., adjacent to the Little Red Schoolhouse and the Hunter's Lake boat ramp, which is currently closed.
Among the county's plans for the site are to find a funding source to clear out the lake and reopen the ramp. Other activities will be planned and announced after the county closes on the property, which is expected next month, according to Russ Wetherington, assistant county administrator for general services.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.