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Park Board ponders campground rules


This news story was published on February 16, 2012.
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by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – The Mason City Park Board met Tuesday night and heard concerns about the MacNider Campground.

One concern the board heard was of long-term campers staying for weeks on end at the campground.  It was said that many campers stay at MacNider for extended periods of time despite the fact there is a “two-week rule” in effect, which states that a camper can only stay for two weeks and then must leave for two weeks before coming back.

Interim Recreation Director Brian Pauly indicated he was in favor of enforcing the rule.  It was also said that many long-term campers are “good tenants” and there was concern of driving them to other campgrounds by enforcing the rule.  City Administrator Brent Trout, when asked his opinion, told the board this was a “philosophical decision” about how they run their business and suggested the board think on their decision, which they agreed to do until a later date when Pauly can present more options.

The MacNider Campground is tentatively set to open around April 20th, 2012, under new management.

The board heard a proposal from Ozzie Ohl of Mason City regarding a new sledding hill, which he would like to have constructed in Georgia Hanford Park on Mason City’s south side.  He would raise the funds privately for the project, he told the board.

Ohl had the support of Chris Watts, who has been working as a volunteer to make improvements to Georgia Hanford Park as well as his neighborhood on 19th Street SW.  Watts told the board he would like a second shelter house built at the park,  a full-size basketball court, and possibly lights added to the ball diamond there.  Watts heads up and collects donations from citizens and businesses for the Georgia Hanford Neighborhood Association.

The board heard an update on the dog park.  Funds are still being raised and local architect Ed Wineinger is drawing up plans for the park.

A Vision Iowa plaque will be installed in Central Park in Mason City, commemorating that project.  See video below for more details.

The Mason City Recreation Department offices are getting ready for their move to Washington School.  Those personnel will be sharing the building with Charlie Brown Daycare.  The Rec. Department is currently renting offices at Mohawk Square.  The renovation of space at the school is costing over $20,000 but will save the department money over the long-run, according to Pauly.  “The rent is much lower but we have to pay some utility costs,” he said.  Pauly said he thinks his staff can be in the new offices sometime in March.  More on this story later.

A change order from Henkel Construction for the project was considered by the board.  The change order is for a bathroom that must be made ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities.)  The cost over-run is $6817.00.  The board approved the change order.

Watch video:


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8 Responses to Park Board ponders campground rules

  1. Avatar

    Jerry Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hmm, Never heard any of you at the meeting. Long term lots are something to look at. I’ve camped there. Must have missed the druggies. New managers will help too. Nice facility A few people squat on the best lots far too long. Let them have one of the choice lots for one or maybe two weeks tops. What’s with the interim on Brian. He should be the park and rec director.

  2. Avatar

    sijr Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    If there are drug problems, get the local police off their dead +++ Problem solved. Long term stays mean money…what’s wrong with that. Run Trout off…he can make a decision on anything!!!!

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    YEP extended stay cheap for the homeless and druggies. Nothing but problems as friends of ours found out this past summer. They won’t be back and when word gets out, homeless dopers. your nice campground will turn to shit!!!!!

  4. Avatar

    Really??? Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 7:01 am

    If they are staying for over 2 weeks in the same site it must be a good value compared to other permanent site campgrounds. Maybe an increase in fees is in order?

  5. Avatar

    Patriot Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I think the wise decision would be to have some spots for long term campers. After spending all that money rebuilding the place, we shouldn’t be chasing away business.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      February 17, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Patriot, that is a perfect solution. Both short and long term can be accommodated, and it increases revenue in the long run. Please bring that one up to the Board.

  6. Avatar

    Open Comment to Park Board Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Experience teaches us that while there are many good people that use the camp grounds on an extended basis we need to consider the bigger picture.

    So do lots of DRUG DEALERS!

    I don’t like come to use the any camp grounds when there are extended stay campers. I don’t go there to be subject to drugs.

    Also extended stay campers tend to get junky. I don’t go there to see that either.

    I vote to enforce the rule!!

  7. Avatar

    amanda Reply Report comment

    February 16, 2012 at 12:42 am

    the past year or so, every time i hear something about mason city. it makes he think what the hell is wrong with the so called leaders.
    they bust their ass begging people to come to mason city, and when they do, the so called leaders manage to piss them off somehow and they leave, if they come at all.
    then the so called leaders walk around with their fingers up their asses and wonder why people leave or not come here at all.
    if i may make a suggestion. maybe they should not be in bars so much, and if they sobered up a bit, then maybe they would think a little better then they do now.