To the Editor:

The article appearing in your May 2-3, 2020 newspaper titled “Building from Scratch” contains misinformation. It states: “With no opposition from the nearby landowners, the campground was approved in the fall …”

I am the nearest landowner to the project and along with other adjacent landowners, attended the Planning Board hearing and testified that we opposed the project for the following reasons:

  1. No one would take responsibility for the gravel road maintenance and increased traffic.

  2. There would be severe adverse wildlife impacts as the project is surrounded on three sides by public Game Production Areas.

  3. Pictures of trash, old abandoned vehicles, motors, air conditioners and pallets used as decks found at Camp Pleasant (owned by the Reis’) were provided to the Board to indicate the possibility of the same thing happening at the Camp Kowa project.

No one spoke for the project, except for the owners. The Planning Board recommended approval to the Town Board. The Town Board conducted two meetings on the project.

We, the adjacent landowners, along with retired S.D. Game Fish and Parks employees, and a few others testified at the first Town Board hearing. Again, no one spoke for the project.

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Several of us also attended the second Town Board meeting and requested changes to the application including: preventing pallets being used as decks and requiring trash receptacles be provided for every 10 sites and weekly pickup be required. These changes were approved by the Town Board along with overall approval for the project.

Please set the record straight and print an update/correction to your story. Val Moore, Oacoma Town Secretary can verify the above statements through the minutes of each meeting.

Barry Betts