The Wapello County Board of Supervisors (Iowa) has approved spending $500,000 as a contribution to the funding of a massive campground project at the Pioneer Ridge Nature Area.
According to a report, the total project cost is over $1.2 million, and the county’s allotment comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. However, conservation board director Richard Tebbs said other grant opportunities are also available.
The project is quite massive and the revenue is anticipated to pick up once the project is completed.
A few of the project highlights include increasing the number of campground sites from nine to approximately 25, and building a four-stall shower house in a central location, as the current shower house is near the red hay barn and creates conflicts for big events, according to Tebbs.
The funding will also allow for new septic systems, as well as updating electrical boxes.
The budget will also fund a new playground, a dump station, as well as the ability to accept online reservations.
“There’s going to be a lot of upgrades that people are used to with modern parks,” he said. “There will be more pull-through campsites, which people like, instead of just back-in sites.
“It’ll just draw more people, and with the online reservations, if people are traveling through the county and need to stop for three nights, they can go online and make a reservation.”
After the project is finished, fees would likely double from the current $12 per night to $25.
Tebbs estimated a larger campground would bring in about $60,000 in new revenue, without having to get rid of trees.
Supervisor Brian Morgan has long said the money the county spends through ARPA should have a return on investment, and he believes this will.
“This is something that will make money after it is built,” he said. “We want this money to go to projects, and this is one where we’ll see the dollars coming in. It’s going to pay for itself; it’s an investment, but it’s going to make money.”
He emphasized that work may not be completed in one year, adding that the playground may be the last thing to be completed and the shower house may also not be completed immediately,
“Probably the main point I would try to get done in one year is, if we tear everything up, get the septic and the water lines and electric lines. I would completely shut down the campground for a period of time while excavation was going on,” he said.
This story originally appeared on Yahoo.