By Charlene Sims, email@example.com
MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commission decided to delay for a second week plans to increase user fees at Linn County Park in the northeastern corner of the county. The decision was made at the commission meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 26, to wait until Commission Chair Danny McCullough could attend in person.
McCullough was in cell phone contact with county officials during Monday’s meeting.
At the previous commission meeting on Dec. 18, commissioners and park officials discussed the status of people living in recreational vehicles at the park who are essentially full-time residents there and the amount they are paying to live there.
Many of those residents living on Marina Lane next to the park’s offices have installed sheds, porches and other structures beside their RVs.
Park Manager Sheri Loveland told commissioners at the Dec. 18 meeting that, in the past, she had suggested that the county install electric meters for those RVs so that residents could pay their own utilities.
At the commission’s direction, Loveland sent information with Public Works Director Shaun West to the Dec. 26 meeting with figures collected on the electricity rates and determined that the average monthly rate for Marina Lane was $101 and $65 for Viewpoint Drive.
At an earlier meeting in December, Loveland pitched increasing camping fees from $15 to $19 per night on some sites and increasing fees from $16 to $20 per nigh on others.
However, West, who formerly was park manager, noted that, in comparison with other campgrounds in the area, the lower rates at the Linn County Park reflect the amount of amenities available to campers.
With information on electrical usage in hand, West recommended rates for sites with just 30 amp service costing $16 per night; 30 amp service and water, $17; 30 amp full hookup to $18; 50 amp service with water, $19; and 50 amp service with water and sewer, $20.
Other changes would be daily admissions up a $1, yearly passes, second car, daily showers, replacement sticker, tent camping and additional tent camping were all recommended to be moved up in small increments. Cabins would become $60 per night, pet fees to $30, the small shelter to $50 and the large shelter to $60. Peak seasons or event weekends were included in one of the proposals.
Some of the amenities at the other parks include wifi, swimming areas and storm shelters.
West pointed out that his biggest concern was moving the rates up too fast and losing the customer base that the park has because current customers are accustomed to the facilities and amenities that the park does have, and if they were looking for the other amenities they would pay additional costs.
McCullough asked West why they do not do online reservations at the park.
West said that he was not for sure that VenTek, the computer application that the park uses, supports that but he can look into it. With VenTek, the staff at the park had moved away from a paper- and employee-intensive process where customer came to the marina and rented every site, every night from them. VenTek’s kiosk is outside of the marina and can be accessed at any time.
As far as VenTek being able to do online reservations without double bookings, he said he was not familiar enough with that to report on it then. He said he would check with the Information Technology (IT) department about that.