North Adams Campground Opening May 15
Commissioner of Public Services Timothy Lescarbeau shows the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission which campsites have sewer and water.
The date was set at Tuesday's meeting of the Windsor Lake Recreation Commision at which commissioners were updated on the progress of a number of projects.
"I want it publicly known that the commission is extremely pleased with what the city has done for us this spring," said Chairman George Forgea. "A lot has happened in the last two months that I don't think anybody in this room ever expected."
Among the major projects was the replacement and extension of water and sewer lines into Historic Valley Campground.
"I'm happy to say everything I promised is done ... from site 36 to 95a is completed and has sewer and new water lines on it," said Public Services Commissioner Timothy Lescarbeau. He added that the water lines should be done by Wednesday and the city crews would begin hauling gravel to reconstruct the roads. "I'm extremely happy with the progress we've made on it."
Lescarbeau recommended that the park not open until May 15 to allow for completion. Forgea agreed, saying the land would "need time to heal" before letting more vehicles in. A few campers who have already reserved spots prior to May 15 will be allowed in but will be warned about construction work and kept to the first loop.
Also set for Wednesday is the pouring of the bases for the new gate-access system, which will include the installation of one of the older period lights from Eagle Street to illuminate the area. The new security system will be card-key coded to limit access to the 100-site campground.
Susan Chilson, one of the new park managers, recommended the policy be to provide no more than two card keys per site with a deposit fee of $10 per card. The cards are programmable so should a card be lost, it can be immediately wiped from the system.
Commissioner Robert Upton explains the handsets that were ordered for park security.
The concession operator will return this summer and will be open at least five days a week; the tentative plan is to be closed on Tuesday and Thursday based on last year's attendance, said Chilson.
Still in the works are a proposed handicapped-accessible play set for the beach, estimated at $21,000, and a volleyball court. A website is also under construction.
Deborah Forgea, who has been working with Develop North Adams on the new entrance sign and garden said the sign has been ordered, thanks to some advance money from supporters. They would be reimbursed and plantings purchased once expected grants are received; she is also soliciting donations. The North Adams Tree Commission is donating a Chinese dogwood.
The commissioners also reviewed new policies for the campground, including limiting appliances and portable structures and how to discourage out-of-area campers from bringing in firewood because of concerns over ash borer infestations. State parks are now banning transportation of firewood to stop the insect.
"The way the campground looks right now is how the commissioners want it to look at the end of the season," said Forgea. "I think we're all in agreement with that."
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