Conservation continues working toward moving Water Works Campground to higher elevation

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


A two- to three-foot increase in elevation could be the difference between the flooded Water Works Campground and grounds that are able to be used well into the summer months.

The Henry County Conservation Department campground, surveyed by French Reneker Associates Inc., will move from an elevation of 567 feet inland to an elevation of 569 to 570 feet cost dependent. This could put Water Works slightly higher than South Shore Campground, which already floods less often than Water Works.

Conservation Director John Pullis said while building the new campground, the other campground would be kept open for use. He believes it will only take one summer to build the new structures with 20 electrical sites and five to six primitive sites.

Looking at the current Water Works Campground, it is clear that the earth dips past the bank of the river, making it really susceptible to moderate flooding, Pullis said. ?The riverbank is higher inland; 80 feet in is where the flooding can be seen,? he said.

With the frequency of flooding, improvements to Water Works is difficult. Adding wood chips to the playground and maintaining restrooms on site seems like a waste of time and energy when it will later be washed away by flooding.

Pullis does have some concerns with moving Water Works further inland, however, such as complaints about being further from the river where people prefer to camp.

During the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, June 12, Pullis also introduced a new teacher guide for the 2018 to 2019 school year as naturalists at the Conservation Department prepare classroom activities.

The teacher guide was created after complaints from naturalists about overly-disruptive students and teachers who left the classroom in the hands of the naturalists while they were at the schools.

The new guide follows the three strikes you?re out rule. ?If they have an issue with a class and it happens three times in a row, they will stop visiting that class,? Pullis said.

The guide also limits adults bringing their younger children with them when chaperoning an educational classroom trip to the Nature Center. Pullis said that parents often bring the younger siblings of students, which is a disruption. The school district will continue handling how many chaperones are needed.

In other news, a public hearing will be held Tuesday, June 26 for the reclassification of a road from a Class B dirty road to a Class C gated road. Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss said the road is a dead end and the request was made by landowners who adjoin the road. The resolution will pass that day if there is no public opposition.

Cedar Falls Construction Co. will begin working on concrete patches this week throughout the county on Oasis Ave., Racine Ave., and Old Hwy 34. The Engineering Department began shoulder pull work this week on Merrimac Rd. and it will continue through the end of June.

This week, territory operators were occupied with shoulder pull and installing cross road pipe on Agency Rd., repaired a title line on 220th St., spraying for noxious weeds as well as working on small ditching projects.