Camping fees set for next year

Park and wildlife user fees in Hamilton County for 2014 have been set.

At Monday’s meeting of the Hamilton County Conservation Board, the board approved fees for camping and other outdoor activities.

At Briggs Woods Park, a camping fee with full hook-up will cost $24 per night. Camping with an electric hookup only will be $$18 per night. During the winter, camping costs are $12 a night with campsites not being plowed for snow removal. Winter rates are valid through March 31.

For six-person cabins, weekday stays will be $45 a night and $50 on weekends and $35 during the winter season.

The 15-person Legacy and Lakeview cabins will cost $155 a night on weekdays and $200 on weekends. Those costs are reduced to $75 and $100 a night respectively during the winter.

The Sunset, Oak and Hillside eight-person cabins will cost $135 per night on weekdays, $150 per night on weekends. Winter rates reduced to $50 and $75.

All cabins include a deposit of varying costs and a 10 percent Hotel/Motel tax.

Bell’s Mill Park will have an $18 per night fee and $12 during the winter. Little Wall Lake offers full hook-up camping for $24 per night, $21 for water and electric, and $12 for tent sites.

Many of the fees at Briggs Woods Golf Course will remain the same in 2014. Increases between $10 and $30 have been approved for season passes. However, passes for juniors and golf teams have remained the same.

In other business, the board also heard two proposals from Rob and Kenneth Hach of Wind and Solar Specialists. Rob Hach, President of the company, discussed an initial proposal to build a wind turbine at Little Wall Lake.

Hach, who had been in talks with Conservation Executive Director Brian Lammers prior to the meeting, said the proposed turbine would be a smaller turbine than those north of Webster City. His proposal called for a $60,000 lease over 20 years that he said would net $246,300 in energy savings over those years.

“Hamilton County could be a test plot for other Conservation boards looking to use wind energy,” Hach said.

Board member George Caggiano said with the money down, Conservation would still lose money for several years.

“I don’t know where we’re going to come up with $60,000,” Caggiano said. “The other side of the coin is we’re not going to be able to pay more utility bills for the next eight years than we’re paying right now.”

Another preliminary proposal to add solar energy to a Hamilton County cabin was also discussed.

The next board meeting will be held on Jan. 28 at the Conservation office.