Rock County is considering purchasing Camp Indian Trails; Boy Scouts could still use it | Government
Rock County could buy Camp Indian Trails and turn it into a county park with camping for youth groups.
A detailed report outlining the idea is on the agenda for the county council’s public works committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
The report suggests the purchase cost could be between $ 1.2 million and $ 1.6 million.
Committee chairman Rick Richard said the county is expecting about $ 31 million from US federal bailout legislation, and it looks like some of that money could help with the purchase.
“The opportunity for the county to acquire 180 wooded and recreational acres on the Rock River and open it up as a park to county citizens is once in a lifetime, and I hear the purchase of most of it. people I spoke with in the county, ”said Richard.
The local Boy Scouts of America Glacier’s Edge council is required to sell the camp in order to help the BSA settle lawsuits involving thousands of cases of sexual abuse, The Gazette reported in March.
County administrator Josh Smith said county staff and some county council members discussed the idea with Scout leaders.
“If the committee thinks this is a good idea, then the staff will go back to the Boy Scouts and have discussions that could be described as negotiations as to whether this is a viable option or not,” Smith said.
The idea could then become a resolution that would go to county council committees and ultimately to county council for a decision, Smith said.
The money could come from a conservation / parks fund established about 12 years ago with the $ 1.8 million coming from an environmental impact fee paid by American Transmission Co. when the company upgraded its lines. electric, Smith said.
Another source of funding could be unallocated money in the general fund, which Smith likened to a county savings account used for one-time purchases and as a rainy day fund.
“We wouldn’t borrow for that,” Smith said.
The report suggests that private parties have expressed interest in purchasing the site and will pay more than the county, but the BSA has shown interest in keeping the site for recreational purposes, and one of the only means by which Scouts could continue to use the site would sell to the county, the report said.
The report suggests allowing camping for scouts and other youth groups.
Part of the purchase could be a joint use agreement that would involve BSA retaining about 68 acres on the southeast side, the report said. This could lower the county’s purchase price.
Jason Ballew of Glacier’s Edge Council said no decision has been made as the council is reassessing all of its properties.
“We are working to create a strategic plan that supports our volunteers and expands Scouting in our region with an exceptional program,” Ballew said in an email.
“Camp Indian Trails offers the rare opportunity where an existing property has already been developed into a usable outdoor recreation space, making the transition from Boy Scout Camp to County Park much more efficient than other more undeveloped sites. difficult, ”the report says.
“One thing that arouses interest is to preserve land for public use and prevent it from developing. Many county council members are interested in preserving natural lands, ”Smith said.
The park could become a draw for tourists, which could boost the local economy, the report says.
A private purchase, however, would move the tax-exempt property onto the tax roll.
The report suggests a wide variety of uses for the site, including a zipline course or concerts. It also plans to generate income through rental of recreational equipment, concessions and a “stream / water park”.
The report suggests the county remove the swimming pool and bathhouse, improve roads and parking, improve trails and buildings, write a master plan and other improvements at costs ranging from $ 425,000 to $ 700,000.
Ongoing maintenance would include the hiring of a full-time maintenance worker and two part-time employees, which would cost $ 125,000 per year. Annual maintenance efforts, aside from labor, would cost between $ 150,000 and $ 250,000.