Windsor Lake Commission Eyeing Major Campground Updates
Historic Valley Campground in North Adams is going to need some infrastructure investment in the near future.
iBerkshires.com reprorts the 50-year-old municipal camping site has had some upgrades in recent years, but Administrative Officer Michael Canales informed the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission the next phase could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,
"We need to make some investments up there, specifically around drainage and electricity," he said.
The commissioners had been debating the advisability of raising rates for the next season, but Campground Manager Wendy Sherman didn't think that was a necessity at this point.
The campground had raised rates several years ago in part to underwrite upgrades in the sewer, bathrooms and wireless signals. The discussion at that time — during the Alcombright administration — had been about tying any rate increases to fund repairs, renovations and upgrades at the Windsor Lake complex.
The park was opened in 1970 after the city purchased the land from what was then the North Adams YMCA for $25,000. Another $150,000, half supplied by the state and federal governments, was spent preparing the 100-site camp to open. It was the only municipally owned campground at the time.
However, it was built largely for tents and pop-ups — not for the larger trailer campers now in use that also demand more electricity. And no major upgrades have been done since.
Sherman said the campground has been booked solid all summer and through the upcoming Fresh Grass Festival and Columbus Day weekends.
If the design and cost estimates could be lined up over the next year, the anticipation is the work could be done the following winter. That would include tying the campground into the city's water system if work is going to be done on drainage.
In other business, the committee also discussed updating regulations to cover issues such as dogs and golf carts. Canales recommended that they look at what other campgrounds have done before getting into too many details. Commissioner Susan Chilson suggested they consider icons or images to relay pertinent information because it seems less negative than lists of "no" and many people don't read signage.