Chamberlain campground to get flooding repairsCHAMBERLAIN — The city of Chamberlain will foot most of the bill to make American Creek Campground suitable for use this year.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
CHAMBERLAIN — The city of Chamberlain will foot most of the bill to make American Creek Campground suitable for use this year.
City Engineer Greg Powell said the city has approved $20,000 from the general fund to help pay for restoration of picnic shelters, bathrooms and electric pedestals.
“We got most of it cleaned up last fall and early winter,” Powell said of the campground.
The campground was inaccessible during most of the camping season due to floodwater from the Missouri River.
The city will also request that $12,500 of a Barger Foundation grant be redirected toward fixing American Creek Campground. The city originally received the grant to update playground equipment at the day-use area, which is part of the American Creek Campground. Powell estimates the entire project will cost $50,000.
The campground has a complicated connection with the city. Powell said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers originally owned it, but transferred the property in deed to the state Game, Fish & Parks Department, which actually owns the property.
“The city leases it from Game, Fish & Parks, but didn’t want everyone who uses it to have to have a state sticker,” Powell said. “So, we sub-lease the campground to a private individual who runs it.”
Since GF&P owns the land, the contract between the city and the state says the state is responsible for clean-up and restoration.
However, Powell said the city is taking care of the situation for a few reasons.
The state is already strapped for money, so fixing the campground would likely be low on the priority list for GF&P.
The normally busy campground — which has 60 pads for campers — brings lots of business to Chamberlain, Powell said, which prompted the city to get involved.
“We’re stepping up because people are drawn to downtown while they’re camping,” he said. “On weekends, every pad’s full. On weekdays, I’d say the campground’s at 40 to 50 percent occupancy.”
Powell said the city does not have a “negative relationship with GF&P,” but is hoping the department can reimburse some of the expense this year.
Powell expects the bath houses will be complete in April, with new fixtures, interior walls, hand dryers and water hydrants. He said the picnic shelters will be ready depending on weather, but will likely be complete by April as well.
As far as the 50 electric pedestals that were ruined due to flooding, Powell expects they’ll be ready by May 1, the beginning of camping season.