Funnies Extra!

Corps wary of possible closings

3/28/13 (Thu)

Corps wary of possible closings

By Jill Denning Gackle

“Closed.”
That’s what the sign might say if you want to camp at East Totten Trail or Wolf Creek campgrounds this summer, if the federal government doesn’t provide enough funding to the Department of Defense, which also funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The message of uncertainty was shared at a meeting of resorts and campground managers around the lake March 20. Managers from Williams County Park Board to Beulah Park Board and Hazen Bay, learned that the Corps of Engineers Riverdale office staff was poised to move to a four-day-a-week work week starting in April, cutting paychecks by 20 percent, while trimming staff who serve the campgrounds like East Totten Trail (on the west end of Lake Audubon) and Wolf Creek Campground (east of Riverdale). A federal budget was passed Friday and the need for furloughs was waived; however, the Riverdale office is now awaiting word on what impact the federal sequestration will have on the office’s budget.
Initially Todd Lindquist, operations manager, said plans are in place to keep Downstream Campground open because it is the federal park on the lake that draws a high number of campers and day visitors, 50,975 a year. Douglas Creek Campground would also remain open, because its 18,893 visitors, require little service from the Corps staff. East Totten Trail drew 60,756 campers and day visitors in 2012 and Wolf Creek drew 16,529. Boat ramps would remain open.
Until Friday, Lindquist said the Corps was working under a continuing fiscal resolution that “spoon feeds you money to keep you going but you don’t know how much money you have to work with.”